Regional Applied Research Efforts (RARE)


To (1) support surveys, studies and investigations and special purpose assistance to determine the environmental effects of air quality, drinking water, water quality, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and pesticides; (2) identify, develop, and demonstrate effective pollution analysis, monitoring, and control techniques; and (3) fund innovative regional projects that address a stated problem or opportunity relating to sustainability and use science to inform design, planning and environmental decision-making. Fiscal Year 2019 - Priorities include but are not limited to conducting high priority air pollutants research, ecological risk assessment, water quality, watersheds and drinking water research, research to improve human health risk assessment, pollution prevention and new technologies, and Social Science research. Support surveys, studies and investigations and special purpose assistance actions to determine the environmental effects of air quality, drinking water, water quality, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and pesticides; and identify, develop, and demonstrate effective pollution control techniques and community applications will be funded under this category.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Environmental Protection Agency
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 No Content Available. NA
Fiscal Year 2017 1) The technology implemented by the project team at a refinery in South Philadelphia, provided a cost-effective and low-intensity approach to monitoring the release of benzene at the fence-line. The results of this project were made publicly available and addressed the concerns of South Philadelphia communities close to one of the largest sources of hazardous air pollutants in the city. 2) With funding provided by RARE and Region 2, ORD developed a citizen science air monitor (CSAM) that is low-cost, portable, and could be successfully used by the Ironbound community of Newark, NJ to examine local levels of nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, two pollutants of particular interest to the community. During the approximately six months that the units were deployed, community volunteers were able to gather air quality data from over 20 sites throughout the community. The collaborative project enabled residents to learn more about local air quality and how local pollutant sources can impact it. The project has also resulted in the development of new resources to enable EPA to better support citizen science air monitoring projects including ORD's Air Sensor Toolbox that provides valuable information on how communities can utilize the next generation of air monitoring equipment to investigate their local air quality. ORD and Region 2 are now evaluating a new generation of smaller and lighter air monitors in Pe????as, Puerto Rico to evaluate the performance of the CSAM units in tropical climates. 3)Two funded RARE projects permitted the installation and demonstration of chlorination and filtration techniques that have benefited roughly 300 individuals in the communities of La Sofia and Apeadero in rural Puerto Rico that are not owned nor administered by Puerto Rico's Aquaduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA). In an effort to protect human health and reduce the potential for waterborne disease, ORD has, since 2005, conducted research on the development of low-cost and easy-to-maintain filtration and disinfection technologies appropriate for non-PRASA communities.
Fiscal Year 2018 Ongoing projects. Water quality project work to date has included field sampling and evaluation of fecal indicator abundance. Biosensors tool research has progressed with sample collection and use of samples in method development.
Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001
Clean Water Act, Section 104
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20, as amended by P.L. 106-74
Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10, as amended by P.L. 106-74
Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, Section 203
Clean Air Act, Section 103
Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Section 311
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Section 102(2)(F)
Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Only EPA Regions are eligible to send applications or proposals. The Agency proposals selected to receive funding may result in 0-2 projects moving forward to include a subsequent, related request for assistance. This is determined after proposal selections are made each year and information specific to these request opportunities will be made available on a one-on-one basis at that time. Regarding any potential future requests for assistance: Federal Agencies may not apply. Federal employees are not eligible to serve in a principal leadership role on an assistance agreement. Federal employees may not receive salaries or augment their Agency's appropriations through awards made under this program unless authorized by law to receive such funding. The applicant institution may enter into an agreement with a Federal Agency to purchase or utilize unique supplies or services unavailable in the private sector to the extent authorized by law. Examples are purchase of chemical reference standards, analyses, or use of instrumentation or other facilities not available elsewhere. A written justification for federal involvement must be included in the application. In addition, an appropriate form of assurance that documents the commitment, such as a letter of intent from the Federal Agency involved, should be included. 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.
Beneficiary Eligibility
NOTE: Only Regions are eligible to submit proposals or applications
The Agency may request that applicants demonstrate they have appropriate background, academic training experience in the field, and the necessary equipment to carry out the research. EPA may ask applicants or principal investigators to provide curriculum vitae and relevant publications. EPA may ask principal investigators for information documenting past performance.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact assessment is required for this listing. 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.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Funds may be available to support activities including but not limited to experiments, surveys, studies, investigations, public education programs, and monitoring where authorized by specific statutes, in both science and engineering disciplines. Please check the Federal Register or the EPA/ORD website at: for an updated listing of these programs. Applicants, except in limited circumstances approved by the Agency, must submit all initial applications for funding through Additional information on applying for EPA grants can be found at:
Award Procedure
The official notification of an award will be made by the Agency's Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division. Customarily, applicants are notified about award decisions within six months of the solicitation deadline. After being recommended for award, applicants will be required to submit additional certifications and may be requested to provide responses to comments or suggestions offered by the peer reviewers, a revised budget, past performance documentation, and/or make appropriate revisions. EPA Project Officers will contact Principal Investigators to obtain these materials. Before or after award, certain applicants will be expected to provide additional quality assurance documentation.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Approximately 180 days.
Asistance 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.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
Funds awarded via grants/cooperative agreements are available for allowable direct cost expenditures incident to the performance of research plus allocable portions of allowable indirect costs of the institutions, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations. Assistance agreement awards under this program may involve or relate to geospatial information. Further information regarding geospatial information may be obtained by viewing the following website:
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Performance monitoring is required under this program. Reporting requirements shall be determined at the time of grant award.
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.
Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate charges to each grant, must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. All records must be maintained until three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions still remain, such as those raised as a result of audit, related records should be retained until the matter is completely resolved.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Grants are normally funded on a 12-month basis (annual). Total approved project period typically does not exceed 2 years. Assistance is either fully funded (lump sum) or incrementally funded on an annual basis.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Individuals are encouraged to communicate with the appropriate EPA Regional office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog. For administrative questions on grant applications and procedures, contact the Headquarters Office Contact.
Headquarters Office
Valerie Blank
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development/OSP, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (Mail Code: 8104R)
Washington, DC 20460 US
Phone: 202-564-1720
Fax: 202-565-2916
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 18$25,000.00; FY 19 est $0.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$200,000.00; FY 16 est $135,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
New cooperative agreements shall not exceed $60,000 per Year/per Region.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
General Grant Regulations and Procedures, Environmental Protection Agency 2 CFR 200 and 1500; Research and Demonstration Grant Regulations, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 40). Costs will be determined in accordance with 2 CFR Part 225, for State and local governments, 2 CFR Part 220, for educational institutions, and relocated to 2 CFR Part 230, for nonprofit organizations.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 1) Design of innovative water treatment enhancements for small community drinking water facilities experiencing high nitrate loads in source water; 2) Tribal high performance home analysis. NA
Fiscal Year 2017 1) Natural attenuation of septic-system nitrogen from thickly settled coastal zones; 2) Application of lower cost air monitoring technologies for local-scale air quality investigation in an environmental justice community.
Fiscal Year 2018 1) Water quality project work, including field sampling and evaluation of fecal indicator abundance; 2) Biosensors tool research; including sample collection and methodology development.


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