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Notice

Notice of Fiscal Year 2011 Safety Grants and Solicitation for Applications

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AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice; change in application due dates.

SUMMARY:

This notice is to inform the public of FMCSA's Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 safety grant opportunities and FMCSA's changes to its application dates. At present, FMCSA is operating under an extension of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy of Users (Pub. L. 109-59) which will expire December 31, 2010, unless extended by Congress. While the Agency expects new authorizing legislation to make changes to its grant programs, the Agency is preparing for FY 2011 assuming that the following grant programs will continue for part or all of the upcoming fiscal year. The 10 safety grant programs include the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) Basic grants; MCSAP Incentive grants; MCSAP New Entrant Safety Audit grants; MCSAP High Priority grants; Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operator Safety Training grants; Border Enforcement grants (BEG); Commercial Driver's License Program Improvement (CDLPI) grants; Performance and Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM) grants; Safety Data Improvement Program grants (SaDIP); and the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) grants. It should be noted that FMCSA does not expect the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) Modernization grants to be continued in reauthorization, and, therefore, FMCSA will not be soliciting applications for this grant program in FY 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact the following FMCSA staff with questions or needed information on the Agency's grant programs:

MCSAP Basic/Incentive Grants—Jack Kostelnik, john.kostelnik@dot.gov, 202-366-5721.

New Entrant Safety Audits Grants—Arthur Williams, arthur.williams@dot.gov, 202-366-3695.

Border Enforcement Grants—Carla Vagnini, carla.vagnini@dot.gov, 202-366-3771.

MCSAP High Priority Grants—Cim Weiss, cim.weiss@dot.gov, 202-366-0275.

CMV Operator Safety Training Grants—Julie Otto, julie.otto@dot.gov, 202-366-0710.

CDLPI Grants—Brandon Poarch, brandon.poarch@dot.gov, 202-366-3030.

SaDIP Grants—Cim Weiss, cim.weiss@dot.gov, 202-366-0275.

PRISM Grants—Tom Lawler, tom.lawler@dot.gov, 202-366-3866.

CVISN Grants—Julie Otto, julie.otto@dot.gov, 202-366-0710.

All staff may be reached at FMCSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background and Purpose

The FMCSA recognizes that State and local governments and other grantees are dependent on its safety grants to develop and maintain important CMV safety programs. The FMCSA further acknowledges that delays in awarding grant funds may have an adverse impact on these important safety programs. As a result, FMCSA completed a grants process review to identify ways to streamline the application, award, and grants management processes, and to award grant funds earlier each fiscal year. In addition, FMCSA made changes in the grants application, award and oversight processes to standardize Start Printed Page 59785application forms, increase the use of electronic documents, standardize quarterly reports and reduce the number of needed grant amendments.

The FMCSA continues to enter into grant agreements beginning October 1 or as soon thereafter as administratively practicable. FMCSA intends to enter into grant agreements no later than 90 days from the date the application is due.

The FMCSA is using a standard grant application form and a new quarterly reporting process. The FMCSA requires the Standard Form 424 (“Application for Federal Assistance”) and its attachments for all grant program applications. While each grant program may request different data in some of the data fields on the form, the use of the Standard Form 424 is mandatory. FMCSA adopted the Standard Form—Project Progress Report (SF-PPR) as its required form for quarterly reporting. Again, each grant program may, in certain instances, request that different data be submitted in some of the fields or boxes on the form but SF-PRR is mandatory for quarterly reporting.

The number of original copies of grant agreements required to be submitted to FMCSA was reduced from three copies to two. In addition, FMCSA will provide most grant agreement documents electronically to its financial processing office. Grantees will, however, be required to submit the completed Automated Clearing House (ACH) Vendor Payment Form (SF-3881) directly to FMCSA's financial processing office by U.S. Postal Service, courier service or secure fax. Changes were necessitated by the Agency's implementation of a new grants management information technology system—GrantSolutions. GrantSolutions is a comprehensive grants management system provided by the Grants Center of Excellence (COE). The Grants COE serves as one of three consortia leads under the Grants Management Line of Business E-Gov initiative offering government-wide grants management system support services. It is expected that after full implementation, the GrantSolutions system will allow FMCSA to more quickly award grant funds, and will provide standardized grant application, award, and management and oversight throughout the Agency's grant programs. It should be noted that in FY 2011, FMCSA will be implementing the electronic signatures functionality of the GrantSolutions system. As a result, this will be the Agency's preferred method for securing grant agreement signatures. If electronic signature is used, two copies of the grant agreement do not have to be signed. Additional information will be provided to grantees during the grant award process.

Discussion of Comments

On July 13, 2010, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments regarding FMCSA's anticipated Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 safety grant opportunities (75 FR 40023). This notice requested comments on the originally proposed dates. Only one comment was submitted to the docket. It did not directly discuss the grant programs or the proposed dates. Rather, the anonymous commenter provided an opinion about SAFETEA-LU.

Additional information is provided below for each individual grant program.

MCSAP Basic and Incentive Grants:

Sections 4101 and 4107 of SAFETEA-LU authorize FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Grants. MCSAP Basic and Incentive formula grants are governed by 49 U.S.C. 31102-31104 and 49 CFR Part 350. Under the Basic and Incentive grants programs, a State lead MCSAP agency, as designated by its Governor, is eligible to apply for Basic and Incentive grant funding by submitting a commercial vehicle safety plan (CVSP). See 49 CFR 350.201 and 350.205. The following jurisdictions are not eligible for Incentive funds: The Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 31103 and 49 CFR 350.303, FMCSA will reimburse each lead State MCSAP agency 80 percent of eligible costs incurred in a fiscal year. Each State will provide a 20 percent match to qualify for the program. The FMCSA Administrator waives the requirement for matching funds for the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. See 49 CFR 350.305. In accordance with 49 CFR 350.323, the Basic grant funds will be distributed proportionally to each State's lead MCSAP agency using the following four, equally weighted (25 percent) factors:

(1) 1997 road miles (all highways) as defined by the FMCSA;

(2) All vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as defined by the FMCSA;

(3) Population—annual census estimates as issued by the U.S. Census Bureau; and

(4) Special fuel consumption (net after reciprocity adjustment) as defined by the FMCSA.

A State's lead MCSAP agency may qualify for Incentive Funds if it can demonstrate that the State's CMV safety program has shown improvement in any or all of the following five categories:

(1) Reduction in the number of large truck-involved fatal accidents;

(2) Reduction in the rate of large-truck-involved fatal accidents or maintenance of a large- truck-involved fatal accident rate that is among the lowest 10 percent of such rates for MCSAP recipients and is not higher than the rate most recently achieved;

(3) Upload of CMV accident reports in accordance with current FMCSA policy guidelines;

(4) Verification of Commercial Driver's Licenses during all roadside inspections; and

(5) Upload of CMV inspection data in accordance with current FMCSA policy guidelines.

Incentive funds will be distributed in accordance with 49 CFR 350.327(b).

Prior to the start of each fiscal year, FMCSA calculates the amount of Basic and Incentive funding each State is expected to receive. This information is provided to the States and is made available on the Agency's Web site. The FY 2011 information is available at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

It should be noted that MCSAP Basic and Incentive formula grants are awarded based on the State's submission of the CVSP. The evaluation factors described in the section below titled “Application Information for FY 2011 Grants” will not be considered. MCSAP Basic and Incentive grant applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov).

New Entrant Safety Audit Grants:

Sections 4101 and 4107 of SAFETEA-LU also authorize the Motor Carrier Safety Grants to enable grant recipients to conduct interstate New Entrant safety audits consistent with 49 CFR Parts 350.321 and 385.301. Eligible recipients are State agencies, local governments, and organizations representing government agencies that use and train qualified officers and employees in coordination with State motor vehicle safety agencies. The FMCSA's share of these grant funds will be 100 percent. New Entrant grant applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov).

MCSAP High Priority Grants:

Section 4107 of SAFETEA-LU also authorizes the Motor Carrier Safety Grants to enable recipients to carry out activities and projects that improve CMV safety and compliance with CMV regulations. Funding is available for projects that are national in scope, increase public awareness and education, demonstrate new technologies and reduce the number and rate of CMV accidents. Eligible Start Printed Page 59786recipients are State agencies, local governments, and organizations representing government agencies that use and train qualified officers and employees in coordination with State motor vehicle safety agencies.

For grants awarded for public education activities, the Federal share will be 100 percent. For all High Priority grants other than those awarded in support of public education activities, FMCSA will provide reimbursements for no more than 80 percent of all eligible costs, and recipients will be required to provide a 20 percent match. FMCSA may reserve High Priority funding exclusively for innovative traffic enforcement projects, with particular emphasis on work zone enforcement and rural road safety. Also, FMCSA may reserve funding for an innovative traffic enforcement initiative known as “Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks” or TACT. TACT provides a research-based safety model that can be replicated by States when conducting a high-visibility traffic enforcement program to promote safe driving behaviors among car and truck drivers. The objective of this program is to reduce the number of commercial truck and bus related crashes, fatalities and injuries resulting from improper operation of motor vehicles and aggressive driving behavior. More information regarding TACT can be found at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/​safety-security/​tact/​abouttact.htm.

High Priority grant applications must be submitted through grants.gov.

CMV Operator Safety Training Grants:

Section 4134 of SAFETEA-LU established a grant program which enables recipients to train current and future drivers in the safe operation of CMVs, as defined in 49 U.S. C. 31301(4). Eligible awardees include State governments, local governments and accredited post-secondary educational institutions (public or private) such as colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools and truck driver training schools. Funding priority for this discretionary grant program will be given to regional or multi-state educational or nonprofit associations serving economically distressed regions of the United States. The Federal share of these funds will be 80 percent, and recipients will be required to provide a 20 percent match. CMV Operator Safety Training grant applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov.

Border Enforcement Grants (BEG):

Section 4110 of SAFETEA-LU established the BEG program. The purpose of this discretionary program is to provide funding for border CMV safety programs and related enforcement activities and projects. An entity or a State that shares a land border with another country is eligible to receive this grant funding. Eligible awardees include State governments, local governments, and entities (i.e., accredited post-secondary public or private educational institutions such as universities). Requests from entities must be coordinated with the State lead CMV inspection agency. Applications must include a Border Enforcement Plan and meet the required maintenance of expenditure requirement. BEG funding decisions take into consideration the State or entity's performance on previous BEG awards; its ability to expend the awarded funds with the BEG performance year; and activities meeting the BEG national criteria established by FMCSA. As established by SAFETEA-LU, the Federal share of these funds will be 100 percent. As a result, there is no matching requirement. BEG grant applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov.

CDLPI Grants:

Section 4124 of SAFETEA-LU established a discretionary grant program that provides funding for improving States' implementation of the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) program, including expenses for computer hardware and software, publications, testing, personnel, and training. Funds may not be used to rent, lease, or buy land or buildings. The agency designated by each State as the primary driver licensing agency responsible for the development, implementation, and maintenance of the CDL program is eligible to apply for basic grant funding. State agencies, local governments, and other entities that can support a State's effort to improve its CDL program or conduct projects on a national scale to improve the national CDL program may also apply for projects under the High Priority and Emerging Issues components. Grant proposals must include a detailed budget explaining how the funds will be used. The Federal share of funds for projects awarded under this grant is established by SAFETEA-LU as 100 percent; therefore, there is no grantee matching requirement. The funding opportunity announcement on grants.gov will provide more detailed information on the application process; national funding priorities for FY 2011; evaluation criteria; required documents and certifications; State maintenance of expenditure requirements; and additional information related to the availability of funds. CLDPI grant applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov.

SaDIP Grants:

Section 4128 of SAFETEA-LU established a SaDIP grant program to improve the quality of crash and inspection truck and bus data reported by the States to FMCSA, as described 49 USC 31102. Eligible recipients are State agencies, local governments, and organizations representing government agencies that are involved with highway traffic safety activities and must demonstrate a capacity to work with highway traffic safety stakeholders. The State's SaDIP proposal must focus on a project that enhances the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of the collection and reporting of Commercial Motor Vehicle crash information in all components of the State's record system. An applicant's proposed SaDIP project must address the seven (7) application requirements plus the overriding indicator established for the State Safety Data Quality (SSDQ) program. The FMCSA will provide reimbursements for no more that 80 percent of all eligible costs and recipients are required to provide a 20 percent match.

PRISM Grants:

Section 4109 of SAFETEA-LU authorizes FMCSA to award financial assistance funds to States to implement the PRISM requirements that link Federal motor carrier safety information systems with State CMV registration and licensing systems. This program enables a State to determine the safety fitness of a motor carrier or registrant when licensing or registering or while the license or registration is in effect. PRISM grant applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov. No matching funds are required.

CVISN Grants:

Section 4126 of SAFETEA-LU authorizes FMCSA to award financial assistance to States to deploy, operate, and maintain elements of their CVISN Program, including commercial vehicle, commercial driver, and carrier-specific information systems and networks. The agency in each State designated as the primary agency responsible for the development, implementation, and maintenance of a CVISN-related system is eligible to apply for grant funding.

Section 4126 of SAFETEA-LU distinguishes between two types of CVISN projects: Core and Expanded. To be eligible for funding of Core CVISN deployment project(s), a State must have its most current Core CVISN Program Plan and Top-Level Design approved by FMCSA and the proposed project(s) should be consistent with its approved Core CVISN Program Plan and Top-Level Design. If a State does not have a Start Printed Page 59787Core CVISN Program Plan and Top-Level Design, it may apply for up to $100,000 in funds to either compile or update a Core CVISN Program Plan and Top-Level Design.

A State may also apply for funds to prepare an Expanded CVISN Program Plan and Top-Level Design if FMCSA acknowledged the State as having completed Core CVISN deployment. In order to be eligible for funding of any Expanded CVISN deployment project(s), a State must have its most current Expanded CVISN Program Plan and Top-Level Design approved by FMCSA and any proposed Expanded CVISN project(s) should be consistent with its Expanded CVISN Program Plan and Top-Level Design. If a State does not have an existing or up-to-date Expanded CVISN Program Plan and Top-Level Design, it may apply for up to $100,000 in funds to either compile or update an Expanded CVISN Program Plan and Top-Level Design.

CVISN grant applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov. Awards for approved CVISN grant applications are made on a first-come, first-served basis. States must provide a match of 50 percent.

Application Information For FY 2011 GRANTS:

General information about the FMCSA grant programs is available in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) which can be found on the internet at http://www.cfda.gov. To apply for funding, applicants must register with grants.gov at http://www.grants.gov/​applicants/​getregistered.jsp and submit an application in accordance with instructions provided.

Evaluation Factors: The following evaluation factors will be used in reviewing the applications for all FMCSA discretionary grants:

(1) Prior performance—Completion of identified programs and goals per the project plan.

(2) Effective Use of Prior Grants—Demonstrated timely use and expensing of available funds.

(3) Cost Effectiveness—Applications will be evaluated and prioritized on the basis of expected impact on safety relative to the investment of grant funds. Where appropriate, costs per unit will be calculated and compared with national averages to determine effectiveness. In other areas, proposed costs will be compared with historical information to confirm reasonableness.

(4) Applicability to announced priorities—If national priorities are included in the grants.gov notice, those grants that specifically address these issues will be given priority consideration.

(5) Ability of the applicant to support the strategies and activities in the proposal for the entire project period of performance.

(6) Use of innovative approaches in executing a project plan to address identified safety issues.

(7) Feasibility of overall program coordination and implementation based upon the project plan.

(8) Any grant-specific evaluation factors, such as program balance or geographic diversity, will be included in the grants.gov application information.

Revised Application Due Dates: For the following grant programs, FMCSA will consider funding complete applications or plans submitted by the following dates:

MCSAP Basic and Incentive Grants—August 1, 2010.

Border Enforcement Grants—September 15, 2010.

MCSAP High Priority Grants—October 15, 2010.

CMV Operator Safety Training Grants—December 15, 2010.

New Entrant Safety Audit Grants—October 15, 2010.

CVISN Grants—February 1, 2011.

CDLPI Grants—November 15, 2010.

PRISM Grants—February 1, 2011.

SaDIP Grants—February 15, 2011.

Applications submitted after due dates may be considered on a case-by-case basis and are subject to availability of funds.

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Issued on: September 20, 2010.

William A. Quade,

Associate Administrator for Enforcement and Program Delivery.

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[FR Doc. 2010-24044 Filed 9-27-10; 8:45 am]

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