Surveys, Studies, Investigations and Special Purpose Grants within the Office of the Administrator


(1) To support surveys, studies, investigations, and special purpose assistance associated with air quality, acid deposition, drinking water, water quality, hazardous waste, toxic substances and/or pesticides; (2) to identify, develop, and demonstrate necessary pollution control techniques; (3) to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution; (4) to evaluate the economic and social consequences of alternative strategies and mechanisms for use by those in economic, social, governmental, and environmental management positions; and (5) to promote collaboration on projects and activities within the states and enable wider and more coordinated state input on national environmental issues.

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 As of June 21, 2016, ECOS is working on a project to increase the capacity of states to improve their business processes. To date, ECOS has drafted a compilation of states Lean activities and supported state participation at the federal level regarding state-EPA engagement on business process improvement. As of June 21, 2016, ECOS is working on a project to increase the capacity of states to improve their business processes. To date, ECOS has drafted a compilation of states Lean activities and supported state participation at the federal level regarding state-EPA engagement on business process improvement.
Fiscal Year 2017 In FY17, ECOS issued a report on state business process improvement activities from 2010-2016, facilitated 3 BPI peer-to-peer skills exchanges, supported state participation in EPA’s Lean Action Board, scoped a national BPI community of practice, engaged states on draft FY18-19 NPM Guidances, piloted a Measures project, issued a “Field Guide to Flexibility and Results,” published a Green Report on state environmental agency budgets, supported state participation on EPA’s grants management work group, facilitated communication on EJ and Title VI priorities, supported states on the Combined Air Emissions Reporting Team, issued a call for capacity-building projects related to state clean water revolving loan funds that benefit disadvantaged communities, issued an RFP for support of an ECOS-maintained database of state oil and gas documents, researched enforcement training needs and drafted a needs assessment, facilitated communications on EAP ORD’s C-FERST tool and ORD’s Wildfire guide, synthesized and communicated states’ research needs to EPA/ORD, assisted with follow-up communications on state research needs, shared information to states on research including ORD webinars and NAS work and opportunities, created a work group on sustainable materials management, held monthly calls with states and state waste associations on various SMM topics, planned a panel in coordination with ASTSWMO for the August 2017 Materials Management and Hazardous Waste Training Conference, created a work group on amended TSCA implementation, held regular calls on toxics work to share information and solicit state perspectives, and established state representatives for the Inorganics Byproduct Negotiated Rulemaking Committee.
Fiscal Year 2018 1) Combined Air Emissions Reporting Team (CAER). Specific results for the State Level Scoping and Standardizing Source Classification Codes (SCCs) include: a. Completing assessment of new codes/factors needed, retiring old codes/factors, making SCCs consistent, and filing in missing information in the data fields; b. Quality Assurance/Quality Checks (QA/QC) Scoping at the State Level – completed scoping work in the states to understand the full extent of state issues and work; c. Data Integration–supported development of a common emission form (CEF) reporting system; d. Providing Support to State Engagement– to be used for video conferencing, webinar tools, and travel expenses to broaden state participation through more remote involvement opportunities. 2) Environmental-Health Research Connections, Risk Communication and State Engagement in EPA Research. Specific results include: a. Completing work with ASTHO and ORD on PFAS and HABs Project ECOS completed and published its case studies on PFAS and HABs risk communication; b. ECOS interviewing PA, MI, and NH on PFAS risk communication, and MO, NC, OH, and UT on HABs risk communication; c. ERIS continuing to support EPA Office of Research and Development's monthly Tools and Resources webinars by distributing information on the trainings through its weekly newsletter, ECOSWIRE; d. ERIS continuing to gather quotes from states for EPA’s case studies that demonstrate how the agency’s research, tools, and technical assistance were helpful; and e. Gathering interest in developing a clearinghouse of EPA’s science, research and tools for state environmental agency directors and staff (and others). EPA created the inventory and presented. 3) Advancing TSCA Implementation and Continued Coordination for the Reduction of Toxic Substances. Specific results include: a. Holding Semi-Monthly Calls on Amended TSCA and Toxics; b. Holding four semi-monthly calls to build EPA and state awareness of various efforts on chemicals, implementation of the Lautenberg amendments to TSCA, and EPA; c. Convening States to Collaborate on Output Materials; d. States holding several calls and collaborated on comments to EPA’s guidance outlining state access to confidential business information, as well as on letters regarding IRIS and mercury (see attached copies of letters and comments). (Tasks 1 and 2); and e. Gathering Materials on PFAS ECOS shared best practices and state activities regarding per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances.
Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442(a) & (c)
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20, Public Law 106-74
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA),, Section 311
Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10
National Environmental Policy Act, Section 102(2)(F)
Clean Air Act, Section 103
Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001, as amended
Clean Water Act, Section 104
Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, Section 203
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Assistance under this program is generally available to State agencies, territories, the District of Columbia, Indian Tribes, and possessions of the U.S. Assistance is also available to public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, and other public or private nonprofit institutions. Nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 are not eligible to apply. For profit organizations are generally not eligible for funding. Some of EPA's statutes may limit assistance to specific types of interested applications. See "Authorization" listed above. For certain competitive funding opportunities under this CFDA 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
State agencies and local governments, U.S. territories and possessions, Indian Tribes, universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, and other public and private nonprofit institutions.
Documentation of nonprofit status may be required. Applicants may be requested to demonstrate they have appropriate background, academic training, experience in the field, and necessary equipment to carry out projects. Office of the Administrator may ask applicants or principal investigators to provide curriculum vitae and relevant publications.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
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 CFDA assistance listing, 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.
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
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.
Specific information regarding deadlines is provided in the competitive announcement.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
More than 180 days. Approximately 180 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
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA assistance listing will be described in the competitive announcement. Non-competitive proposals are judged for: (a) technical merit in terms of: (1) strengths and weaknesses of the project, (2) adequacy of overall project design, (3) competency of proposed staff, (4) suitability of applicant's available resources, (5) appropriateness of the proposed project period and budget, and (6) probability that the project will accomplish stated objectives; and, for (b) program interest in terms of: (1) the need for the proposed project, and (2) relationship to program objectives.
How may assistance be used?
Grants and cooperative agreements are available to support recipients' allowable direct costs incident to approved surveys, studies, investigations and special purpose assistance, plus allowable indirect costs, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations. Funds awarded under Section 311(b)(3) of CERCLA must be used for projects relating to innovative or alternative treatment technologies that may be utilized in response actions to achieve more permanent protection of human health and welfare and the environment.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Performance monitoring is required under this program.
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.
The record retention requirements of 2 CFR Part 200 and 1500 as applicable depending upon the identity of the recipient. Recipients must keep financial records, including all documents supporting entries on accounting records which support substantial changes to the grant, available to personnel authorized to examine EPA recipients' grants and cooperative agreement records. Recipient must maintain all records for a period of three (3) years from the date of submission of final expenditures reports. If questions, such as those raised as a result of audits remain following the 3-year period, recipients must retain records until the matter is fully resolved.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary. This program has no statutory formula. In addition, CERCLA Section 311(b)(3) requires that "to the maximum extent possible," EPA enter into an appropriate cost-sharing arrangement with recipients of grants and cooperative agreements relating to innovative and alternative treatment technologies. EPA may waive the Section 311(b)(3) cost-sharing requirement in appropriate cases. Matching fund requirements may be established in program guidance or in the terms of competitive solicitations.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
EPA normally funds grants and cooperative agreements on a 12-month basis. However, the Office of the Administrator can negotiate the project period with each applicant based on project requirements. EPA has limitations on project periods, and grants and cooperative agreements may be incrementally or fully funded. These determinations are made by EPA. Assistance is generally awarded incrementally and is released on an as-needed basis.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Dan Murphy
Office of Congressional & Intergovernmental Relations, Office of the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (Mail Code: 2732A)
Washington, DC 20460 US
Phone: 202-564-3227
Fax: 202-564-1808
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 18$520,000.00; FY 19 est $254,323.00; FY 20 FY 17$1,024,035.00; FY 16$340,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range $40,000 to $520,000 per amendment. Average amount approximately $341,000 per amendment. .
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Surveys, studies, and investigations grants and cooperative agreements are subject to EPA general grant regulations located at 2 CFR Parts 200 and 1500. Costs will be determined in accordance with 2 CFR 200 Subpart E for all entities. FAR Part 31 for "for profit" entities.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 No content available. Sustainability - Through a series of informative briefings for state environmental agency leaders, ECOS covered topics including current research, existing and emerging technologies, and regulatory initiatives. These briefings set the stage for ECOS to develop a compendium of principles and best practices and other tools for states to use in addressing methane and VOC emissions. ECOS Partnership and Performance Workgroup - collaborations and deliverables on NPM Guidance development, grants management initiatives, implementing the Partnerships Cross-Agency Strategy, Title VI programs, Environmental Justice tools, and the oversight of state delegated permitting programs. Shale Gas Caucus-through a series of informative briefings for state environmental agency leaders, ECOS covered topics including current research, existing and emerging technologies, and regulatory initiatives. These briefings set the stage for ECOS to develop a compendium of principles and best practices and other tools for states to use in addressing methane and VOC emissions.
Fiscal Year 2018 This comprehensive nationwide project covers a wide array of topics including: air & water quality, drinking water, toxics, planning & resource allocation, data management, compliance & enforcement, solid & hazardous waste, emerging contaminants, climate change, energy & energy efficiency, public & environmental health, state capacity building, alignment of state & EPA priorities, civil rights, EJ, oversight, partnership enhancement, legal relationships, performance measures, streamlining of state environmental business processes, innovations, new technologies, and pollution prevention


Related Federal Grants

Federal Grants Resources