State Indoor Radon Grants
OFFICE OF AIR AND RADIATION, INDOOR ENVIRONMENTS DIVISION, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Indoor Radon Abatement Act, Section 306, 15 U.S.C. 2661; Toxic Substances Control Act, Title I, Section 10(a).
The Indoor Radon Abatement Act (IRAA), Section 306, and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Section 10(a), authorizes EPA to assist States and Federally Recognized Indian Tribes in the development and implementation of programs for the assessment and mitigation of radon related health risks. Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2008: In FY 2008 this program aims to: (1) maintain, enhance and improve the effectiveness of existing state and federally recognized indian tribal radon programs; (2) increase the number of homes and schools tested and mitigated; (3) increase the number of builders voluntarily including radon-reducing features in new homes; (4) increase the number of state and local jurisdictions adopting radon-reducing features in residential building codes; (5) focus activities under (2), (3) and (4) in high radon potential areas; (6) encourage radon disclosure, testing and mitigation in residential property transfers; and (7) encourage grant recipients to be more strategic in their risk reduction efforts, e.g., by improving their results reporting and sharing and replicating best practices.
Types of Assistance
Uses and Use Restrictions
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 demonstration projects or the purchase and analysis of radon measurement devices.
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. For certain competitive funding opportunities under this CFDA description, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy. The Agency may also limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants from a particular regional or geographical area (e.g. tribes). EPA may limit competition to a sovereign nation when TSCA 10(a) is the grant authority.
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.
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 with OMB Circular A-87, "Cost Principles for State, Local and Tribal Governments."
Application and Award Process
Application assistance is available through Regional radon coordinators and their Regional grants specialist counterparts. Regarding pre-application/pre-proposal assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this program description (TSCA 10(a) only), 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" or see Appendix IV of the Catalog. 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. Visit http://www.epa.gov/iaq/whereyoulive.html for state specific information on the state radon programs and how to contact them.
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 may be able to use http://www.grants.gov to electronically apply for certain grant opportunities under this CFDA.
Each application shall be subjected to administrative evaluation to determine adequacy of application in relation to grant regulations and to technical and program evaluation to determine the merit and relevancy of the project or program. 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.
Completed deadlines are set by the appropriate Regional Office. Contact the Regional Office for application deadlines. Visit http://www.epa.gov/iaq/whereyoulive.html for details.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
About 90 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 40 CFR 30.63 or 40 CFR 31.70, as applicable.
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula. EPA may provide States with up to 60 percent of allowable costs of approved SIRG Program activities. TSCA Section 306 requires a progressive match for States and Tribes in the first, second and third year of participation in the SIRG program. (25 percent, 40 percent, and 50 percent respectively). However, in FY 2005 Congress changed the recipient match requirement to be a minimum of 40 percent for participants with three or more years in the program. Under TSCA 10(a) authority, Federally Recognized Indian Tribes are not required to provide a cost share match, but competition is required.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Under TSCA Section 306, EPA normally funds grants and cooperative agreements for a period of 12-36 months. EPA negotiates project periods appropriate to the specific project, and encourages 3 year grant periods. However, EPA project periods are limited to a maxium of 5 years. Grants and cooperative agreements are fully funded or incrementally (partially) funded. Successful applicants under a competitive funding announcement are notified via U.S. mail or electronic mail.
Post Assistance Requirements
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.
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. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.
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.
FY 07 $7,439,000; FY 08 $7,948,000; and FY 09 est $7,948,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Federal funding can range from $15,000 to a maximum of about $700,000 per State applicant and $10,000 to $80,000 per Tribal applicant. The average Federal funding per applicant is $150,000 for States and $30,000 per Tribe. Minimum awards are $10,000.
In FY07, SIRG awarded 44 assistance agreements (39 states, 5 tribes) totaling $7,432,000. An estimated 213,000 additional homes included radon-reducing features in calendar 2006 (latest data; 139,000 new homes and 74,500 existing homes). Much of this progress resulted from the work of coalitions in partnership with local governments, national and local nonprofit organizations, and other leaders. The SIRG program continues to stress the importance of achieving and measuring results in the number of homes, schools, and other buildings tested and mitigated for radon; in the number of homes built with radon-reducing features through real estate disclosure and property transfers. Recipients are now required to include the results measures template in their work plans. Projects that yield results are preferred over those with inconclusive results.
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) Part 31, "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". Applicable OMB Circulars include (1) Circular A- 87, "Cost Principles for State and Local Governments," and (2) Circular A-102, "Uniform Requirements for Assistance to State and Local Governments". Other materials applicable to SIRG include: (1) Administrative Guidance for the State Indoor Radon Grants Program under Section 306, Indoor Radon Abatement Act (January 2005); (2) Indoor Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurement Device Protocols (EPA 402-R-92-004); 3) Protocols for Radon and Radon Decay Products Measurements in Homes EPA 420-R-93-003; and (4) Guidance for the Indian Radon Pilot Projects (March 1991). Visit http://www.epa.gov/radon/sirgprogram.html for more information.
Regional or Local Office
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/sirgprogram.html
For program information, contact: Philip Jalbert, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, Environmental Protection Agency, 1310 L Street, NW., Mail Code 6609J, Washington, DC 20005. Phone: (202) 343-9431; fax (202) 343-2393; e-mail: email@example.com.
Web Site Address
Examples of Funded Projects
The State and Tribal Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) program has awarded grants to States and Tribes to: (1) establish effective radon programs among states, territories, and federally recognized Indian tribes; (2) increase the number of homes, schools, and other buildings tested and mitigated from radon; (3) implement radon resistant construction standards in high risk areas; (4) encourage radon testing and disclosure in connection with real estate transfers; and (5) promote environmental justice through programs and outreach efforts directed at low-income and/or culturally-diverse populations. The Agency encourages recipients to partner with other public health and environmental organizations to increase program effectiveness.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
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. The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement. Under the TSCA 10(a) authority, Tribes are authorized to receive grants for demonstration projects. However, under this authority, SIRG funding is awarded competitively. 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 or TSCA 10(a).