State Indoor Radon Grants

 

Title III of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Indoor Radon Abatement Act (IRAA), Section 306, authorizes EPA to assist States and Federally Recognized Indian Tribes to develop and implement programs to assess and mitigate radon-related lung cancer risk. In FY 2014 EPA will encourage state and tribal grant recipients to work collaboratively with their (non-EPA) Federal Departments and Agencies participating in the Federal Radon Action Plan (FRAP) - http://www.epa.gov/radon/action_plan.html.

Projects should also focus on addressing environmental justice (EJ) concerns in communities. EJ is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

. In FY 2015 the State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) program continued to emphasize radon risk reduction through increased action by home buyers and sellers, homeowners, real estate professionals, radon services professionals, homebuilders, tribes, non-governmental organizations, Federal, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations. Projects funded by SIRG should focus on achieving the following outcomes:



- Homes built to include radon-reducing features, especially in high-radon potential areas,



- Reducing radon in existing homes to below 4pCi/L through mitigation, and



- Building new schools to include radon-reducing features, and reducing radon in existing schools to below 4pCi/L.



To achieve these outcomes and increase results, the SIRG program aims to: (1) improve the effectiveness of state-local/tribal radon programs; (2) focus on high radon potential areas, especially for new home building, building code adoption, and green and healthy homes programs; (3) encourage testing and mitigation within residential property transfers; and (4) encourage SIRG recipients to be strategic in their risk reduction efforts e.g., utilizing results date and information, by institutionalizing risk reduction practices and policies, and utilizing best practices.





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General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
66.032
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Office: Office of Air and Radiation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
PROJECT GRANTS
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: The SIRG program awarded 44 state and 8 tribal assistance agreements totaling $8,051,000; $7,752,000 to states, and $299,000 to tribes. In calendar year 2013, approximately 83,930 new single-family homes were built with radon-reducing features. Much of this progress resulted from work by coalitions and partnerships comprised of local governments, national and local non-profit organizations, industry, radon advocates and other leaders, homebuilders using radon-reducing features, and local governments adopting building codes to require radon-reducing features. The SIRG program continues to stress the importance of achieving and measuring results in: the number of homes, schools, and other buildings mitigated for radon; in the number of new homes and schools built with radon-reducing features. Recipients are required to include the SIRG results measures template in their work plans, and projects with clear risk reduction benefits are to be preferred over projects projected to have lesser risk reducing results. Persons and organizations looking for ways to participate in the national radon risk-reduction effort should visit www.RadonLeaders.org.



Accomplishments information for FY 2014 on homes mitigated may become available sometime in calendar 2015. Accomplishments information for FY 2014 on new homes built with radon-resistant features will become available in the first quarter of FY 2016. Fiscal Year 2015: No content available. Fiscal Year 2016: Not available.
Authorization
Indoor Radon Abatement Act, Section 306, 15 U.S.C 2661.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible entities include States (including District of Columbia (DC)), Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Canal Zone, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Federally recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal consortia, or any other U.S. Territory or possession.
Beneficiary Eligibility
State agencies: local, municipal, district, or area wide governments and organizations; U.S. territories or possessions, Federally Recognized Indian Tribes, colleges, universities, multi-state agencies, nonprofit organizations, low-income individuals, homeowners, and the general public.
Credentials/Documentation
An applicant's application must: 1) describe the seriousness and extent of radon exposure; 2) identify the lead State agency with primary responsibility for the radon program that will receive the grant, with a description of the lead agency's role and responsibilities, and those of any other State agencies, and any municipal, district or area wide organizations involved in the radon program; 3) submit a work plan describing the activities and programs to be funded; 4) provide a budget specifying the Federal and applicant share of the funding for each work plan element. First time applicants must have a 3-year work plan outlining long range program goals and objectives, the tasks necessary to achieve them, the resource requirements including anticipated SIRG applicant funding levels and the desired Federal funding level. Costs are determined in accordance Costs are in accordance with 2 CFR 200 Subpart E, "Cost Principles for State, Local and Tribal Governments.". 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Application assistance is available through Regional radon coordinators and their Regional grants specialist counterparts. For additional information, contact the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts" or see Appendix IV of the Catalog. Visit www.epa.gov/iaq/whereyoulive.html for state specific information on the state radon programs and how to contact them. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. 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. EPA requires final applications to be made on Standard Form 424. Requests for application kits must be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency and the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog, or through the Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division, 3903F, Washington, DC 20460. Applicants, except in limited circumstances approved by the approved by the Agency, must submit all initial applications for funding through http://www.grants.gov






Award Procedure
Each state or tribal SIRG application is subjected to an administrative and prior period performance evaluation to determine the recipients eligibility to receive continued funding. An applicant's proposed projects and work plan are evaluated for projected results and alignment with the Agency's radon program goals and priorities. SIRG award decisions are non-competitive and made at the EPA Regional level, based on a formula moderated by Regional management discretion utilizing prior performance and results. A state or tribe able to provide the required 40% in matching funds is eligible to apply to the Regional EPA office for a grant.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
About 90 days.
Appeals
Disputes will be resolved under 2 CFR 1500 Subpart E, as applicable.
Renewals
Renewals of awards will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Section 306 and the SIRG Program Handbook.
How are proposals selected?
The EPA will base its review of SIRG applications on whether they reflect the program's goals and promote integrity in States' use of grant funds. Pursuant to TSCA Section 306(e), if State applications exceed the funds appropriated for award in a fiscal year, EPA will prioritize State activities based on the following criteria: (1) the seriousness and extent of the radon contamination problem to be addressed; (2) the potential for the activity or project to bring about reduction in radon levels; (3) the potential for the development of innovative radon assessment techniques, mitigation measures as approved by the Administrator, or program management approaches which may be of use to other States; (4) the potential for the activity to implement EPA's model radon-resistant building standards; (5) the potential for the development of radon programs in high-risk areas; and (6) the potential for the activity to improve the effectiveness and viability of the State program. EPA may establish additional criteria related to demonstration activities or other aspects of the SIRG program. All other requirements of the SIRG program are applicable to the States and Tribes unless otherwise stated in TSCA 306.
How may assistance be used?
The following activities are eligible for funding under SIRG: radon surveys, public information and educational materials, radon control programs, purchase of radon measurement equipment or devices, purchase and maintenance of analytic equipment, training, program overhead and administration, data storage and management, mitigation demonstrations, and toll-free hotlines. Funding for these eligible activities may be used to develop State radon response programs. States may, at the Governor's direction, provide assistance to local governments for public information and educational materials, radon control programs and training. RESTRICTIONS: The statute places the following restrictions on the use of Federal funds: 1) SIRG recipients must perform satisfactorily in the preceding budget period to be eligible to receive additional funding; 2) State expenditures for measurement equipment/devices and mitigation demonstrations cannot exceed 50 percent of the grant amount in a budget period; 3) State expenditures for general overhead and program administration cannot exceed 25 percent in a budget period; and 4) SIRG applicants may use grant funds for financial assistance to persons only to the extent that such assistance is related to approved demonstration projects or the purchase and analysis of radon measurement devices.

Grant recipients and sub-recipients are encouraged to adopt and enforce policies that ban text messaging while driving company-owned or -rented vehicles or government-owned vehicles, or while driving privately-owned vehicles when on official government business or when performing any work for or on behalf of the government. Grant recipients and sub-recipients are encouraged to conduct initiatives of the type described in section 3(a) of the Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving Executive Order that was signed on October 1, 2009.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Required reports from grant recipients include: performance reports, no more often than quarterly; Financial Status Reports, (Standard Form 269); Federal Cash Transactions Reports (for grants paid by letter of credit); and if applicable, Request for Advance or Reimbursement (Standard Form 270). To monitor the performance of each grant recipient, the EPA Project Officer and other Agency personnel may conduct mid-year (or more frequent) site visits to inspect program activities first hand.

Grantees are required to submit program reports in accordance with Agency policy and the Monitoring and Reporting Program Performance requirements stated in Uniform Grants Guidance 2 CFR 200. Grantees are required to submit financial reports in accordance with Agency policy and the Financial Reporting and Financial Management Systems requirements stated in Uniform Grants Guidance 2 CFR 200. Grantees are required to submit progress reports in accordance with Agency policy and the Monitoring and Reporting Program Performance requirements stated in Uniform Grants Guidance 2 CFR 200. No expenditure reports are required. Grantees are required to perform performance monitoring in accordance with Agency policy and requirements stated in Uniform Grants Guidance 2 CFR 200.
Auditing
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. 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.
Records
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 agreement 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
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: EPA may provide States a maximum of 60% of allowable costs of approved SIRG Program activities. TSCA Section 306 requires a progressive match for States and Tribes; 25% in the first year; 40% in the second year; and, 50% in the third and subsequent years of participation. However, in the FY 2006 appropriation, Congress permanently reduced the recipient match requirement from a maximum of 50% to 40% for participants with two or more years in the program.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Awards funded under TSCA Section 306 are normally for a period of 12-36 months; EPA strongly encourages 36-month (3-year) SIRG project periods. EPA negotiates project periods appropriate to a suite of projects or specific project. However, EPA project periods are limited to a maximum of five years. Grants and cooperative agreements may be fully funded or incrementally (partially) funded, conditional on the availability of funds. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Assistance agreements are fully funded by a lump sum.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. For questions of a programmatic/technical nature, contact the appropriate Regional Radon Office representative listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog. The individual Regional radon SIRG project officers can be found at http://www.epa.gov/radon/whereyoulive.html.
Headquarters Office
Philip Jalbert, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, Environmental Protection Agency, 1310 L Street, NW., Mail Code 6609J, Washington, District of Columbia 20005 Email: jalbert.philip@epa.gov Phone: (202) 343-9431.
Website Address
http://www.epa.gov/radon/sirgprogram.html
Financial Information
Account Identification
68-0103-0-1-304.
Obligations
(Project Grants) FY 14 $8,051,000; FY 15 est $8,051,000; and FY 16 est $8,051,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range and Average of Financial Assistance In FY 2014 federal funding can range from $15,000 to a maximum of $805,100 (by law 10% of the annual appropriation amount) per State/Tribal applicant. The average SIRG award is $170,000. Minimum awards are $15,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature


EPA regulations that govern State activities under the SIRG Program are contained in the following Parts of 40 CFR: (1) Part 4, "Implementation of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1980"; (2) Part 7, "Nondiscrimination in Programs Receiving Federal Assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency"; (3) Part 29, "Intergovernmental Review of Environmental Protection Agency Programs and Activities"; (4)UGG 2 CFR 200, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments"; (5) Part 32, "Debarment and Suspension under EPA Assistance Programs"; and (6) Part 35; "State and Local Assistance". Uniform Grant Guidance 2 CFR 200, "Cost Principles for State and Local Governments," and "Uniform Requirements for Assistance to State and Local Governments". Also applicable to SIRG is the State Indoor Radon Grants (SIRG) Program Handbook (January 2005) ; Visit http://www.epa.gov/radon/sirgprogram.html for more information





Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: (1) Kentucky. The Radon Advisory Committee (RAC) of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department of Public Health (DPH) submitted draft regulations on radon certification to the Kentucky Legislative Research (LRC) Commission in June. The regulations are being formally reviewed, and the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee is expected to approve them.

(2) Washington, DC. During January, 2014, the Department of the Environment's Communication Office emailed 10,000 residents and community organizations about radon and the City's radon program; free radon test kits are available to District of Columbia residents. Staff also used Twitter to alert DC residents about NRAM and free radon test kits. In the first six months of 2014 the Department's radon messages reached an estimated 13,244 residents.

(3) Minnesota. A total of 22,000 brokers and agents and real estate professionals were informed/educated about radon, through the new MN Radon Awareness Act (MNRAA/"Janet's Law"), radon class offerings, and an MDH informational mailing.

(4) New Jersey. Fifteen schools were built with radon-reducing features. Two new schools and 13 school additions were built between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 in Tier 1 areas, where the NJ Radon Hazard Sub-code applies.

(5) Pennsylvania. Enforcement of radon requirements (regulations, standards, or protocols) on practitioner/provider activities included 52 Violation Notices were issued. Seven penalty conferences were held, whereby some type of monetary penalty was assessed against violators. Fiscal Year 2015: Not available. Fiscal Year 2016: Not available.

 



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