Ozone Transport Commission
The overall goal of the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) grant is to facilitate collaboration among the OTC jurisdictions, notably the State Environmental Commissioners/Secretaries, State Air Directors and their staff, to assist them in reducing ozone precursor emissions in their states and in representing their ozone related issues to the EPA. Without this collaboration, individual States would potentially be duplicating or recreating each other?s work, and face resource constraints to complete the work needed to attain and maintain the health-protective ozone standards in the region. The focus of the OTC is to ensure real results in air quality improvement in the Ozone Transport Region. The OTC brings together the State members to coordinate reductions in air pollution to benefit the entire region. These State officials have primary responsibility under the Clean Air Act for achieving the nation?s ambient air quality standards, including the standard for ozone pollution which is caused by oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds emissions with the region and ozone transported into the region from non-OTC states. The commission provides a forum where States collaboratively develop and share air pollution inventories and analyses, and engage in developing harmonized regional ozone pollution reduction strategies. The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC or the Commission) is the single regional multi-state organization created under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAA) responsible for advising the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on ground-level ozone and its precursor pollutant transport issues. The Commission is responsible by law for developing and implementing regional solutions to the ground-level ozone problem in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States. As directed under the CAA, EPA awarded a grant to establish the Commission, and has subsequently maintained funding of the Commission with funds appropriated by the Congress to state and local air pollution control agencies under the authority of Section 106 of the CAA. Section 184 of the CAA established the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) that, by law, develops and recommends regional strategies for cleaning up air pollution. Funding Priorities - Fiscal Year 2019: The OTC states continue to face significant challenges in preparing SIPs for the attainment of the 2008 and the 2015 Ozone U.S. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These challenges are highlighted by the recent increases in monitored ozone levels and will require a greater level of regional support and coordination from the OTC. The member states rely on OTC work products, particularly sound science, to meet their individual SIP obligations. The coordinated and collaborative effort of OTC?s Committees represents the most efficient, cost effective, and in certain cases the only possible means to assemble all the necessary elements of an attainment plan for OTC States. The OTC will continue to take a leadership role in coordinating with other Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs), contributing States, and EPA offices to assist in the resolution of ozone transport issues under CAA section 110 (a)(2)(D). Despite many successes, large population areas within the OTR are remain in high need of focused efforts to provide health protections from high ozone exposure. The OTC Work Plan is focused on collaboration and partnerships that improve efficiency, effectiveness, and overall consistency among states in addressing ozone pollution in the region. Administratively, the OTC has continuously streamlined and modernized operations to provide the efficient and effective management of limited resources. The Modeling Committee facilitates the coordination of the photochemical modeling and emissions inventory work of the OTC States. The grant provides necessary technical resources to ensure management and technical assistance for this coordination among member states and collaboration with other states, EPA and stakeholders. The modeling work begins with developing an emissions inventory of ozone precursor emissions for a base year, along with a reproduced meteorological field for that same year. The emissions inventory and meteorological field data are processed and run through a photochemical model to ?predict? the ozone readings at air quality monitors. These ?predictions? are then compared to actual data on ozone levels collected at the monitors for the same period to validate the performance of the model. The modeling and emissions inventory work in the OTC is coordinated by the Modeling Committee to ensure that States are able to complete the work accurately and on time. Both the emissions inventory and modeling work are decentralized across States and other planning organizations, requiring considerable commitment of resources, coordination, and oversight. Ongoing activities include: Developing regional models of ozone concentrations in collaboration with the OTC States to achieve consistency in the final results. The OTC also coordinates with other RPOs, upwind States, and the EPA to achieve this goal. Improving the modeling tools available: The OTC also works to improve the suite of modeling tools available in order to make the process of modeling quicker, more transparent, and more accurate. OTC has also been a leader for an inter-regional effort to respond to the 110 good neighbor provisions required by the CAA. OTC has also initiated an effort to understand ozone patterns where land and water meet. This effort led to suggesting alternatives to how these areas could be represented in photochemical models. States and EPA are now actively working to prepare a new modeling platform and emissions inventories to help shape the technical support of policies and strategies to improve air quality. Funding Priorities - Fiscal Year 2020: The OTC focused and organized its activities and projects around the following priorities: 1) Promoting timely attainment of air quality goals and requirements in the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) by supporting faster and greater reductions of emissions from all pertinent stationary and area sources through polity mechanisms, including development of OTC?s multi-pollutant position, with an acute focus on technical and policy support for good neighborhood and infrastructure SIPs, and designations and classifications under the 2015 NAAQS for ozone; 2) Focusing greater attention on application and implementation of tighter emissions standards in the mobile sources and transportation sector and developing and implementing programs and tools to assist OTR states in achieving those standards; 3) Revising and implementing improved systems, including coordination with other multi-state organizations (MSOs) and their member states, to develop and manage information and sharing resources and mechanisms for states; 4) Improving and augmenting modeling and data analysis protocols and tools to assist OTR states in meeting new federal ozone requirements and identifying co-benefits that may accrue for meeting new federal PM requirements, and to help support and promote OTC policy positions; 5) Working in partnership with the EPA and encouraging EPA to use and implement the successful work of the OTC on a national basis; 6) Tracking relevant regulatory and policy information nationally and in the region, and commenting accordingly; 7) Supporting and directing the work of the OTC committees; and 8) Exploring voluntary and cooperative. The OTC will continue to take a leadership role in coordinating with other Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs), contributing States, and EPA offices to assist in the resolution of ozone transport issues under CAA section 110 (a)(2)(D). Despite many successes, large population areas within the OTR are remain in high need of focused efforts to provide health protections from high ozone exposure. The OTC Work Plan is focused on collaboration and partnerships that improve efficiency, effectiveness, and overall consistency among states in addressing ozone pollution in the region.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Environmental Protection Agency
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Fiscal Year 2016
The OTC Modeling Committee continued to move forward with its work plan to fulfill the charge from the Commission from the OTC Fall 2015 meeting and assist the other Committees with modeling support. The OTC and its Committees activities have increased significantly given the nexus of continued development of recommendations to facilitate the work of OTC states to meet the 2008 ozone NAAQS, continued work to assist states on the 110(a)(2)(d) good neighbor provision of the CAA, working collaboratively on regionally significant national measures under development from EPA, planning for states and regional activities under the revised ozone standard finalized on October 1, 2015, and working collaboratively with states across a region encompassing the eastern United States. The Modeling Committee continued development and testing of the next generation, 2011based, modeling platform. This platform corresponds with EPA's updated modeling platform and will use EPA data when appropriate to maintain consistency and reduce costs. The Modeling Committee has shifted its 2018 projection inventory development to include a 2017 projection year to support states attainment SIPs. The majority of the committee's work focused on processing the second version of EPA's emissions inventory for photochemical modeling. Work also began on the development of a technical support document for the modeling platform as well as documentation necessary for SIP submittal The OTC Modeling Committee continued to move forward with its work plan to fulfill the charge from the Commission from the OTC Fall 2015 meeting and assist the other Committees with modeling support. The OTC and its Committees activities have increased significantly given the nexus of continued development of recommendations to facilitate the work of OTC states to meet the 2008 ozone NAAQS, continued work to assist states on the 110(a)(2)(d) good neighbor provision of the CAA, working collaboratively on regionally significant national measures under development from EPA, planning for states and regional activities under the revised ozone standard finalized on October 1, 2015, and working collaboratively with states across a region encompassing the eastern United States. The Modeling Committee continued development and testing of the next generation, 2011 based, modeling platform. This platform corresponds with EPA's updated modeling platform and will use EPA data when appropriate to maintain consistency and reduce costs. The Modeling Committee has shifted its 2018 projection inventory development to include a 2017 projection year to support states attainment SIPs. The majority of the committee's work focused on processing the second version of EPA's emissions inventory for photochemical modeling. Work also began on the development of a technical support document for the modeling platform as well as documentation necessary for SIP submittal.Fiscal Year 2018
The Stationary and Area Source (SAS) Committee and the Mobile Source Committee (MSC) continued to develop draft model rules for regional ozone control measures. During this quarter, the SAS Committee workgroups worked on addressing the charges given by the Commission at the 2017 Fall Meeting. The main charge required the Committee to perform technical analyses to calculate & document emissions reductions and develop cost estimates for the three SAS strategies formalized in the Good Neighbor State Implementation Plan (GN SIP) Resolution. The emissions reductions from these strategies which cover sources inside & outside of the OTR will be used in photochemical modeling to help OTC states include these measures in their GN SIPs. The Largest Contributors Workgroup worked on two of these strategies, i.e. calculating emissions reductions from and costs of: 1. optimizing the use of existing SCR or SNCR NOx control technology on coal-fired EGUs each day of ozone season, and 2. installing SCR or SNCR control technology on uncontrolled coal-fired EGUs & optimize use of such technology each day of the ozone season. Results of photochemical modeling (which is currently underway) and cost estimates (which are ready) will be presented to the Commission in the June meeting. The Control Measures Workgroup is working on the 3rd strategy which deals with calculating the emissions reductions gained from adopting the “OTC Model Rule for Control of NOx Emissions From Natural Gas Pipeline Compressor Fuel-Fired Prime Movers” in GN SIPs. This work is ongoing and the results are expected before the June meeting. In addressing the standing SAS charge requiring periodic updates of the OTC Model Rule on Consumer Products, the Consumer Products Workgroup revised and updated the current (Phase IV) Consumer Products Model Rule based on California standards. The new Phase V Model Rule includes several new categories, excludes a few, requires more stringent VOC limits for existing categories, has revised definition language, and an optional 3 year sell through limit for existing products that do not comply with VOC limits. The new Model Rule has been posted on the OTC website for public comment with a deadline of May 11, 2018. The Mobile Source Committee (MSC) began its work fulfilling the charge given to it at 2017 Fall Meeting. The MSC continued to follow developments with policies affecting aftermarket catalytic converters including having conversations with EPA including Regions 1, 2 and 3 in response to the resolution adopted by the Committee at the Spring Meeting. The MSC finished work on recommendations on policies to reduce vehicle idling regionally and continued work on an idling educational toolkit. The MSC completed collection of survey data concerning state progress in implementing several programs and initiatives. Finally, the MSC developed preliminary estimates of emission reductions that could be achieved both inside and outside the OTR. Both the SAS and MSC are working with a broad range of industry and other stakeholders, states and regional organizations both within and outside the OTR, and EPA offices to develop a framework for control measurement programs based on OTC Model Rules which are significant not only to eastern region but have national applicability in addressing the sources contributing to ozone formation and transport. In addition, on January 5, 2018 the OTC submitted its comments on EPA’s “Proposed Rule on the Repeal of Emission Requirements for Glider Vehicles, Glider Engines, and Glider Kits”. OTC opposes the adoption of this Proposed Rule as it could potentially result in an increase in air pollution with adverse public health impacts. OTC continued its efforts in coordinating with EPA to discuss state implementation plan development and related issues. Discussions with non-OTR states included the progress of ERTAC (the Eastern Regional Technical Advisory Committee) focused on developing a model for electricity generation and emissions from EGUs, a tool that incorporates state collected data and information on EGUs, and how to coordinate with other Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs) on modeling work and the need for federal measures to enable some OTC states attain the 2008 and the 2015 Ozone NAAQS standards. The OTC also participated in the Federal/RPOs technical collaborative including participating in a workgroup that developed broad recommendations for the next base-year to use in modeling platforms. OTC is participating and providing leadership in a multi-regional and EPA collaborative approach to develop emissions inventories and the next photochemical modeling platform. The OTC and other states continue to rely on the 2011 modeling platform for making projections, particularly with control measures applied. The OTC Modeling Committee and staff provide critical work to ensure the region’s technical analysis and decision-making are using the best modeling available. The OTC has completed several project milestones which resulted in the following policy products (now available on OTC website at https://otcair.org/document.asp?Fview=Report): 1) Finalized and published a “Regulatory and Technical Guideline for Control of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Emissions from Natural Gas Pipeline Compressor Fuel-Fired Prime Movers”, and the accompanying “Technical Support Documentation” for “Analysis of Technical Feasibility & Cost Effectiveness”, May 23, 2019. 2) Finalized and published an “Analysis of the Potential Health Impacts of Reducing Ozone Levels in the OTR Using BenMAP – 2018 Edition” February 2, 2019. 3) Finalized and published a “Regulatory & Technical Guideline for Consumer Products Phase V” and the accompanying “Technical Support Documentation” for emissions reductions and cost analyses, 11/20/2018. 4) Finalized and published a “2011-Based Modeling Platform Support Document” October 18, 2018.
Clean Air Act, Section 106
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
An agency or commission designated by the Governors of the affected States, which can recommend to those Governors' plans for implementation of national primary and secondary ambient air quality standards and which includes representation from the States and the appropriate political subdivisions within the affected air quality control region. For certain competitive funding opportunities under this assistance listing, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy.
Municipalities, intermunicipalities, States, interstate agencies or commissions, and Federally recognized Indian tribes.
The application must supply evidence of legal authority for air pollution control, evidence of the availability of non-federal matching funds, evidence that the Governor or his designated State agency has been given the opportunity to comment on the relationship of the program to be funded to the State plan and a workable program officially adopted for the agency. Principles for determining allowable costs are set forth in the Uniform Grants Guidance 2 CFR 200 of the Federal Regulations. Costs will be determined in accordance with 2 CFR 200.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. Regarding pre-application/pre-proposal assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this program description, EPA will generally specify the nature of the pre-application/pre-proposal assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the competitive announcement. For additional information, contact the individual(s) listed in the competitive announcement.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants, except in limited circumstances approved by the Agency, must submit all initial applications for funding through https://www.grants.gov.
Each application shall be subjected to administrative coordination to determine adequacy in relation to grant regulations, and to technical and program evaluation to determine merit and relevancy of the project. For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals, and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the competitive announcement. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days. Approximately 60 days.
Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts." Disputes relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 2 CFR 1500 Subpart E, as applicable
Applicant must reapply.
How are proposals selected?
The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this assistance listing will be described in the competitive announcement.
How may assistance be used?
Assistance funds may be used for costs specifically incurred in the conduct of interstate pollution projects in accordance with the purposes enumerated in the approved application.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Grantees are required to perform performance monitoring.
Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff, or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year.
Recipients must keep financial records, including all documents supporting entries in accounting records and to substantiate changes in grants available to personnel authorized to examine EPA recipient grants and cooperative agreements records. Recipients must maintain all records until 3 years from the date of submission of the final expenditure reports. If questions, such as those raised as a result of an audit remain following the 3-year period, recipients must retain records until the matter is completely resolved.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching is mandatory. 40%. Upon initial designation by the Governors of the affected States, pursuant to Sections 106 or 111 of the Clean Air Act of 1990, the Administrator is authorized to pay for up to 2 years, and up to 100 percent of the air quality planning program costs of a designated commission or interstate agency. After the initial 2-year period, the Administrator is authorized to make grants to such agency or such commission in amounts up to 3/5 of its air quality management plan costs. This program has no statutory formula.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The terms of the grant shall be determined at the time of grant award. Assistance agreements are incrementally funded.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
EPA encourages potential applicants to communicate with the appropriate program contacts listed below.
Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation,
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., (Mail Code: 6102A)
Washington, DC 20460 US
Environmental Protection Agency - Region 1 (New England), 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (Mail Code: 05-2)
Boston, MA 02109 USA
(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 18$639,000.00; FY 19 est $639,000.00; FY 20 est $411,000.00; FY 17$639,000.00; FY 16$639,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
There is only one cooperative agreement awarded under this program. The cooperative agreement will range from $600,000 to $650,000/fiscal year with an average award of $639,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
EPA Uniform Administration Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments 2 CFR 200 and 1500.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016
The Modeling Committee facilitated the coordination of the photochemical modeling and emissions inventory work of the OTC States. Developed regional models of ozone concentrations: Because ozone precursors and ozone itself can travel over long distances, projecting future ozone concentrations requires a super-regional model that encompasses most of the United States east of the Mississippi River. Improved the modeling tools available: The OTC also works to improve the suite of modeling tools available in order to make the process of modeling quicker, more transparent, and more accurate. The Modeling Committee facilitated the coordination of the photochemical modeling and emissions inventory work of the OTC States. Developed regional models of ozone concentrations: Because ozone precursors and ozone itself can travel over long distances, projecting future ozone concentrations requires a super-regional model that encompasses most of the United States east of the Mississippi River. Improved the modeling tools available: The OTC also works to improve the suite of modeling tools available in order to make the process of modeling quicker, more transparent, and more accurate.Fiscal Year 2018
The OTC Modeling Committee (MC) continued to work on regional air quality modeling to assist OTC states’ efforts in meeting CAA Sec. 110(a)(2)(d) good neighbor provision to attain & maintain the 2015 ozone NAAQS through regionally-significant national measures developed in partnership with EPA. To fulfill the charge from the Commission, the MC is also working with the Stationary & Area Sources and the Mobile Sources Committees to model and compute emissions reductions that could be achieved from strategies identified in the Good Neighbor State Implementation Plan (GN SIP) Resolution which was adopted by the Commission last fall. The emissions reductions from these strategies which cover sources inside & outside of the OTR were used in photochemical modeling to help OTC states include these measures in their GN SIPs. The OTC Modeling Committee and staff provide critical work to ensure the region’s technical analysis and decision-making are using the best modeling available.Fiscal Year 2019
OTC has several ongoing projects that are funded via the EPA grant. Some of these projects include: 1) Stationary and Area Sources Committee: work plan nearly complete to start addressing the current charge from the Commission; evaluating and developing a recommendation for a potential CAA Sec. 184(c) petition. 2) Mobile Sources Committee: work plan is to be drafted shortly to address the current charge from the Commission. 3) Modeling Committee: currently revising the Action Plan to model peak day emissions, finalizing OTC Domain boundaries, continuing 2016 Modeling Platform development (updating emission inventories, performance testing, etc.), monitoring Research developments from Ozone Water-Land Environmental Transition Study (OWLETS) and Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study (LISTOS); finalizing the updated BenMap report with 2018 data.