Environmental Information Exchange Network Grant Program and Related Assistance

 

The National Environmental Information Exchange Network (EN) is an inter-governmental partnership to foster better environmental management and decision-making through increased access to timely and high quality environmental information. The EN, launched in 2002, uses a standards-based approach to facilitate environmental data sharing among EPA, states, tribes and territories. This framework allows organizations to exchange and share data over the Internet regardless of the specific information technology used. The EN is the foundation for the E-Enterprise Initiative, also a joint state, tribal, territory and EPA partnership, launched in 2013. Its goals include expanding access to environmental data, personalizing the access experience through customized portals and re-engineering and streamlining regulatory information collection and reporting processes to achieve burden reduction and cost avoidance. Phase 1 of EN implementation focused on transforming the regulatory reporting processes of eight national data flows, by moving them from out-of-date reporting methods to standardized electronic reporting approaches based on EN data standards and technology. Phase 2, which was initiated in 2013, focuses on providing the data management and technology approaches needed by EPA and its co-regulators to collaboratively modernize and improve the implementation of environmental programs. This includes creating and using shared services, data publishing and EPA outbound services to increase access to EPA data, innovative collection, monitoring and analytical methods, and electronic reporting to states by the regulated community. The Exchange Network Grant Program provides funding for projects that develop the Network and enable timely, on-demand access to environmental data through innovative technologies, improved support systems, and expanded collaboration using shared tools and services EPA encourages applicants to propose projects that align with the principles of E-Enterprise for the Environment. FY 19 - There are five program priorities for the FY 2019 EPA Exchange Network Grant Program: 1. Integrate foundational EN services into environmental business processes. 2. Increase the number of co-regulator data flows involved in e-reporting. 3. Expand data access and availability. 4. Improve environmental management business processes through advanced data monitoring and transmittal processes. 5. Augment the data and technology management capacity of potential EN partners.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
66.608
Federal Agency/Office
Environmental Protection Agency
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 FY 2016 is the fifteenth year EPA will award Exchange Network grants. From FY 2002 through FY 2015, EPA has provided approximately $200 million for state, tribal and territorial awards and associated program support through the grant program. As of May 2014, all 50 states, 87 tribes and 5 territories have received Exchange Network grants. All states, nearly 150 tribes and several territories are using the EN to report data to EPA. FY 2016 is the fifteenth-year EPA will award Exchange Network grants. From FY 2002 through FY 2015, EPA has provided approximately $200 million for state, tribal and territorial awards and associated program support through the grant program. As of May 2014, all 50 states, 75 tribes and 5 territories have received Exchange Network grants. All states, nearly 150 tribes and several territories are using the EN to report data to EPA.
Fiscal Year 2017 FY 2017 is the sixteenth-year EPA will award Exchange Network grants. From FY 2002 through FY 2016, EPA has provided approximately $210 million for state, tribal and territorial awards and associated program support through the grant program. As of May 2016, all 50 states, 75 tribes and 5 territories have received Exchange Network grants. All states, nearly 150 tribes and several territories are using the EN to report data to EPA.
Fiscal Year 2018 FY 2018 is the seventeenth-year EPA will award Exchange Network grants. From FY 2002 through FY 2018, EPA has provided approximately $228 million for state, tribal and territorial awards and associated program support through the grant program. As of May 2018, all 50 states, 85 tribes and 6 territories have received Exchange Network grants.
Authorization
Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2019 (P.L. 116-16)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible applicants for the Exchange Network Grant program include states, U.S. Territories (i.e., American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam, Palau, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands), federally recognized Indian tribes and native Alaska villages, and inter-tribal consortia of federally recognized tribes (e.g., the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission). Other entities, such as regional air pollution control districts and some public universities may apply for assistance if they are agencies or instrumentalities of a state under applicable state laws. These entities, as well as other entities that submit applications asserting they are agencies or instrumentalities of a state, must provide with the application a letter from the appropriate state Attorney General certifying that the applicant is an agency or instrumentality of the state. EPA will not consider an application that does not contain the required documentation. EPA recognizes that the delegation for some programs extends to local governments, which are responsible for reporting data to EPA. Local governments that can demonstrate that they are instrumentalities of the state by providing the documentation described in the preceding paragraph are eligible to apply for Exchange Network Grants. However, most local governments that implement EPA programs are not agencies or instrumentalities of the state and therefore, are not eligible to apply. Interstate commissions and other interstate entities, likewise, are not eligible to apply. 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
Not applicable.
Credentials/Documentation
Other entities, such as regional air pollution control districts and some public universities may apply for assistance if they are agencies or instrumentalities of a state under applicable state laws. These entities, as well as other entities that submit applications asserting they are agencies or instrumentalities of a state, must provide with the application a letter from the appropriate state Attorney General certifying that the applicant is an agency or instrumentality of the state. EPA will not consider an application that does not contain the required documentation. EPA recognizes that the delegation for some programs extends to local governments, which are responsible for reporting data to EPA. Local governments that can demonstrate that they are instrumentalities of the state by providing the documentation described in the preceding paragraph are eligible to apply for Exchange Network Grants. However, most local governments that implement EPA programs are not agencies or instrumentalities of the state and therefore, are not eligible to apply. EPA encourages such entities to partner with a state applicant to allow for their data to be reported and shared through the Exchange Network. Interstate commissions and other interstate entities, likewise, are not eligible to apply and are encouraged to partner with a state applicant.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. 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 as "Information Contacts" in the competitive announcement.
Application Procedure
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. EPA may require applicants to submit additional or updated documents if the project is selected for funding to complete the funding package. EPA will provide further instructions for submittal of additional or updated documents at that time. Additional information on applying for EPA grants can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/grants/how-apply-grants
Award Procedure
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."
Deadlines
This assistance listing includes deadline information within the Solicitation Notice, which contains both the deadline for submitting applications to EPA and the tentative expected award date for the current year's exchange network grants.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 120 to 180 days. Applicants whose applications are denied for funding will be notified approximately five months after the application deadline. Applicants whose applications are recommended for funding will be notified, initially to request additional documentation to finalize the application, and, later, when the assistance agreements are issued and mailed by EPA's Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division, which is expected to be approximately eight to nine months after the application deadline.
Appeals
From 15 to 30 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.
Renewals
More than 180 days. Applicants can apply for a one year no cost extensions to complete their project after 12-months within the grant. No cost extension cannot exceed a total of seven years.
How are proposals selected?
The complete evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this assistance listing will be described in the competitive announcement. The evaluation criteria will include such factors as expected project outputs/outcomes, the feasibility and approach of the work plan, the relevance and significance of the proposed project to the EN, the adequacy of resources and key personnel, and past performance. EPA may also consider various qualitative criteria when determining which applications to recommend for funding. Examples of such qualitative criteria may include, but are not limited to, factors such as achieving a balance among projects, distributing funds among different states/territories/ tribes, and having EPA programmatic support for the project. Applications for non-competitive awards to co-regulator/co-implementer organizations, funded by the EN Grant program through EPA's STAG appropriation, will be evaluated based on the ability of the applicant to provide the following: outreach, communications, technical assistance, and other support to states/tribes that are participating in, or may wish to participate in, the Network; and support for state participation in the EN governance.
How may assistance be used?
Applicants may propose EN project funding for costs associated with personnel salaries and fringe benefits, Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreements (IPAs) travel, travel related to Exchange Network activities, equipment, supplies, contractual costs, in-kind services provided by EPA, and indirect costs. Applicants may propose EN project funding for development, modernization, and enhancement activities. Applicants may not use EN funding for the following functions (see Appendix G for definitions): • Construction costs. • Operations and maintenance including previously developed and implemented EN projects. Workshops and Conferences that are not initiated, advertised, and conducted for the benefit of the recipient and other state, tribal, territorial, or local representatives or public participants or are conducted primarily for EPA’s benefit. • Pre-Award Costs not previously requested to cover pre-award costs incurred 90 days or less before the award date • Management Fees more than the direct costs and indirect costs at the rate approved by the applicant’s cognizant audit agency, or at the rate provided for by the terms of the agreement negotiated with EPA. • Development and deployment of partner physical nodes – Instead, EPA makes available and encourages all applicants to request funds to use and configure the Agency’s Virtual Exchange Services. • Operations and maintenance of flows, including minor updates to schema for an existing flow. • Expansion of existing data flows to include historical data or new geographic regions.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Performance Reports: Performance monitoring is required. Frequency will be determined at time of award.
Auditing
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
Financial records, including all accounting records that substantiate the charges to each grant, must be maintained and accessible to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. If certain financial records are part of an audit investigation, then they must be retained until the matter under investigation has been completely resolved. Award recipients must retain complete records documenting their projects for a period of seven years after the close-out of the agreement. Such records include, but are not limited to, financial records, technical reports, periodic performance progress reports, project management files, correspondence with other project partners, and correspondence with EPA. Final products and deliverables that result from the project are considered to be permanent records and should be retained indefinitely. .
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
EPA plans to issue awards for applications that are recommended for funding approximately seven months after the application deadline. The standard period of performance for projects funded by the EN Grant Program is two years. EPA may consider requests from award recipients for project/budget period extensions; and if deemed appropriate by EPA, the Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division may issue amendments extending the project/budget periods. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Lump.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Wendy Blake-Coleman
Information Exchange Partnership Branch, Office of Information Collection, Office of Environmental Information, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, (Mail Code: 2824-T)
Washington, DC 20460 US
blake-coleman.wendy@epa.gov
Phone: (202) 566-1709
Website Address
https://www.epa.gov/exchangenetwork/exchange-network-grant-program
Financial Information
Account Identification
68-0103-0-1-304
Obligations
(Project Grants) FY 18$9,550,000.00; FY 19 est $9,646,000.00; FY 20 FY 17$8,609,000.00; FY 16$10,020,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Grants are awarded with a period of performance of three years, with the average grant award being $75,000/ fiscal year. The maximum single agency grant award in FY 19 and FY 20 is $200, 000. If the grant proposal is a partnership between multiple organizations, the maximum grant award for FY 19 and FY 20 is $400,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
The Exchange Network Grant Program assistance agreements issued to state, territorial, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations (i.e., co-regulator/co-implementer organizations) for associated program support for the EN Grant Program or other EN activities governed by OMB's regulations at 2 CFR 200 and EPA's supplemental regulations at 2 CFR 1500.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 The Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, Environmental Department proposes to solicit and introduce additional organizations to the data consortium; configure the publishing of data using the virtual node; improve data quality through standardization and thresholds validation; support sharing of data via Representational State Transfer web services; enhance Ambient Water Quality Monitoring System (AWQMS) Geographic Information System capabilities and implement web services based on open geospatial standards; consume Water Quality Exchange (WQX) XML files in AWQMS; provide Consortium of Oklahoma AWQMS Tribes members better support for groundwater and drinking water data; share open dumps data via the Exchange Network; consume Water Quality Portal or other Environmental Protection Agency web services and integrate into AWQMS data analysis tools. The University of California, Davis proposes to implement virtual node to improve the ease with which tribes and state agencies can retrieve water-sustainability data; improve purpose-driven retrieval and interpretation of water sustainability information; and increase the likelihood of sustainable decision-making, by water users, at individual to state scales. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency proposes to build web services, shareable with direct entry/java environment Exchange Network (EN) partners, using two or more Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information (RCRAInfo), Federal Web Services, and develop web services and a Java OpenNode2 plug-in reusable by EN partners to automatically provide facilities' stack test, emissions, and compliance data to United States Environmental Protection Agency's Compliance Enforcement Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI). The Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, Environmental Department proposes to solicit and introduce additional organizations to the data consortium; configure the publishing of data using the virtual node; improve data quality through standardization and thresholds validation; support sharing of data via Representational State Transfer web services; enhance Ambient Water Quality Monitoring System (AWQMS) Geographic Information System capabilities and implement web services based on open geospatial standards; consume Water Quality Exchange (WQX) XML files in AWQMS; provide Consortium of Oklahoma AWQMS Tribes members better support for groundwater and drinking water data; share open dumps data via the Exchange Network; consume Water Quality Portal or other Environmental Protection Agency web services and integrate into AWQMS data analysis tools. The University of California, Davis proposes to implement virtual node to improve the ease with which tribes and state agencies can retrieve water-sustainability data; improve purpose-driven retrieval and interpretation of water sustainability information; and increase the likelihood of sustainable decision-making, by water users, at individual to state scales. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency proposes to build web services, shareable with direct entry/java environment Exchange Network (EN) partners, using two or more Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information (RCRAInfo), Federal Web Services, and develop web services and a Java OpenNode2 plug-in reusable by EN partners to automatically provide facilities' stack test, emissions, and compliance data to United States Environmental Protection Agency's Compliance Enforcement Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI).
Fiscal Year 2017 The Eight Northern Indian Pueblo Council’s (NIPC) Water Quality, Assessments, and Continuous Data Sharing Project will result in improved exchange of, and access to, water quality data between tribes and the EPA. The project will focus on enhancing data quality assurance procedures, data analysis, and reporting capabilities of the NIPC hosted water quality exchange (WQX) compatible database to meet requirements of the EPA National Strategic Plan and tribe-specific reporting needs. The Washington State Department of Health proposes to establish a “Community of Interest” for radon data flows, and coordinate radon data flow to an Exchange Network (EN) node or virtual network from partner states in order to increase the flow of radon data through EN.

 



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