Assessment grants provide funding for developing inventories of brownfields, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities, and conducting site assessments and cleanup planning related to brownfield sites. Assessment grant funds may not be used to conduct cleanups. Assessment grants for individual applicants can be either community-wide or site-specific. Community-wide proposals are appropriate when a specific site is not identified and the applicant plans to spend grant funds on more than one brownfield in its community. Site-specific proposals are appropriate when a specific site has been identified and the applicant plans tospend grant funds on this one site only. The performance period for assessment grants is three years.
Additionally, assessment proposals may be submitted by coalitions of eligible entities to pool their grant funds (see section III.A. for a list of entities eligible to apply for an assessment grant; existing grantees are eligible entities). A coalition is a group of three or more eligible entities that submits one grant proposal under the name of one of the coalition participants who will be the grant recipient, if selected. Coalition members may not have the same jurisdiction (for example, different departments in the same county) unless they are separate legal entities (for example, a city and a redevelopment agency). The grant recipient must administer the grant, be accountable to EPA for proper expenditure of the funds, and be the point of contact for the other coalition members. Assessment coalitions may submit only one proposal up to $1,000,000. All coalition assessment grant proposals must be community-wide proposals; therefore, the applicant does not need to respond to the site eligibility threshold criteria in section III.C.3. Site eligibility will be determined after grant award and prior to expending grant funds at any site. Coalitions will be required to assess a minimum of five sites. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) documenting the coalition’s site selection process must be in place prior to the expenditure of any funds that have been awarded to the coalition. The purpose of the MOA is for coalition members to agree internally about the distribution of funds and the mechanisms for implementing the assessment work. MOAs do not need to be included as part of your proposal. Coalition members are not eligible as applicants for additional community-wide or site-specific assessment grants. A coalition member wishing to apply as a separate applicant must withdraw from the coalition to be eligible for individual assessment funds.
The total estimated funding available under the national competition for assessment, cleanup, and RLF grants is estimated at $79.4 million. Separate announcements are posted for the RLF and cleanup competitions. EPA must expend 25 percent of the amount appropriated for brownfields grants on sites contaminated with petroleum. EPA anticipates awarding an estimated 341 grants among all three grant types. Under this announcement, EPA anticipates awarding an estimated 171 assessment grants for approximately $37.3 million. In addition, EPA reserves the right to award additional grants under this competition should additional funding become available. Any additional selections for awards will be made no later than six months from the date of the original selection decision. EPA reserves the right to reject all proposals and make no awards under this announcement or make fewer awards than anticipated. In appropriate circumstances, EPA reserves the right to partially fund proposals by funding discrete portions or phases of proposed projects. To maintain the integrity of the competition and selection process, EPA, if it decides to partially fund a proposal, will do so in a manner that does not prejudice any applicants or affect the basis upon which the proposal, or portion thereof, was evaluated and selected for award.
The following information indicates which entities are eligible to apply for an assessment grant. Nonprofit organizations are not eligible to apply for an assessment grant.
• General Purpose Unit of Local Government. (For purposes of the brownfields grant program, EPA defines general purpose unit of local government as a “local government” as defined under 40 CFR Part 31.)
• Land Clearance Authority or other quasi-governmental entity that operates under the supervision and control of, or as an agent of, a general purpose unit of local government.
• Government Entity Created by State Legislature.
• Regional Council or group of General Purpose Units of Local Government.
• Redevelopment Agency that is chartered or otherwise sanctioned by a state.
• Indian Tribe
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