[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 11 (Friday, January 16, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2577-2579]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-950]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[Docket No. 020418091-3272-02]


Ballast Water Technology Demonstration Program: Request for 
Proposals for Fiscal Year 2004

AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
Department of Commerce (DOC).

ACTION: Notice of request for proposals.

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SUMMARY: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in 
cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the 
U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), publishes this notice to solicit 
proposals to conduct ballast water treatment technology testing and 
demonstration projects. The Ballast Water Technology Demonstration 
Program supports projects to develop, test, and demonstrate 
technologies that treat ships' ballast water in order to reduce the 
threat of introduction of aquatic invasive species to U.S. waters 
through the discharge of ballast water. The technologies being proposed 
for investigation should have promise of being effective at removing, 
inactivating, or preventing the transfer of aquatic organisms in the 
ballast water, should be practicable from the standpoint of ship 
operations, safety, environmental protection, and the ability to meet 
all

[[Page 2578]]

regulatory requirements, and should have the potential to be developed 
into commercially viable product.

DATES: Preliminary proposals must be received by 5 p.m. e.s.t. February 
13, 2004. Full proposals must be received by 5 p.m. e.s.t. on February 
17, 2004. Only those who submit preliminary proposals by the 
preliminary proposal deadline are eligible to submit full proposals.

ADDRESSES: Proposals must be submitted to: National Sea Grant College 
Program, R/SG, Attn: Ballast Water Competition, Room 11841, NOAA, 1315 
East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Phone number for express 
mail applications is 301-713-2435.
    Electronic Access: The full funding announcement is available via 
the Ballast Water Program Web site noted below or NOAA's grant 
opportunities Web site: http://www.ofa.noaa.gov/[sim]amd/SOLINDEX.HTML 
or through the FedGrants Web site: http://www.fedgrants.gov or by 
contacting the program officials identified above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Information Contact(s): Dorn Carlson 
at the above address, 301-713-2435; via Internet at 
Dorn.Carlson@noaa.gov; or Pamela Thibodeaux, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 703-358-2493; via Internet at Pamela Thibodeaux@fws.gov; or 
Deborah Aheron, U.S. Maritime Administration, 202-366-8887; via 
Internet at Deborah.Aheron@marad.dot.gov. Further information can be 
obtained from the above information contacts, or on the Ballast Water 
Program Web site: http://www.nsgo.seagrant.org/research/nonindigenous/
ballast.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NOAA published an omnibus notice announcing 
the availability of grant funds for both projects and fellowships/
scholarships/internships for Fiscal Year 2004 in the Federal Register 
on June 30, 2003 (68 FR 38678). That notice indicated that additional 
program initiatives, such as the Ballast Water Technology Demonstration 
Program, might be announced in subsequent Federal Register notices. The 
evaluation criteria and selection factors for projects contained in the 
June 30, 2003, Omnibus notice are applicable to this solicitation. For 
a copy of the June 30, 2003, omnibus notice, please go to: http://
www.ofa.noaa.gov/amd/[sim]SOLINDEX.HTML.

    Statutory Authority: 16 U.S.C. 4701 et seq.; 33 U.S.C. 1121-
1131; 46 U.S.C. App 1211 (2000); 50 U.S.C. App 1744 (2000).

CFDA: 11.417, Sea Grant Support; 15.FFA Fish and Wildlife Management 
Assistance

Program Description

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and the U.S. Maritime 
Administration (MARAD) expect to entertain proposals to conduct ballast 
water treatment technology testing and demonstration projects. The 
Ballast Water Technology Demonstration Program supports projects to 
develop, test, and demonstrate technologies that treat ships' ballast 
water in order to reduce the threat of introduction of aquatic invasive 
species to U.S. waters through the discharge of ballast water. The 
technologies being proposed for investigation should have promise of 
being effective at removing, inactivating, or preventing the transfer 
of aquatic organisms in the ballast water, should be practicable from 
the standpoint of ship operations, safety, environmental protection, 
and the ability to meet all regulatory requirements, and should have 
the potential to be developed into commercially viable product. 
Technology demonstration proposals must include a long-term development 
plan that outlines how the technology will be developed from its 
current state into an effective, commercially viable ballast water 
treatment system, and how the proposed project is an essential part of 
this development.

Funding Availability

    Depending on 2004 appropriations, NOAA and the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service expect to make available up to about $2 million in FY 
2004, and MARAD expects to make available several vessels for use as 
test platforms, to support ballast water treatment technology 
demonstration projects. The maximum amount of award will vary with the 
scale of the proposed project. Anticipated maximum awards for 
laboratory-scale experiments will be $200,000; for full-scale 
demonstration projects, $400,000. If $2 million is made available, 
approximately 10 grants with a median value of about $160,000 are 
anticipated to be awarded. Cost Sharing Requirements: None.

Eligibility

    Individuals, institutions of higher education, nonprofit 
organizations, commercial organizations, Federal, State, local and 
Indian tribal governments, foreign governments, organizations under the 
jurisdiction of foreign governments, and international organizations 
are eligible. Only those who submit preliminary proposals by the 
preliminary proposal deadline are eligible to submit full proposals.

Proposal Review and Selection Process for Projects

    An initial administrative review is conducted at both the 
preliminary and full proposal stages to determine compliance with 
requirements and completeness of the application. This program includes 
a pre-application process that provides an initial review and feedback 
to the applicants. Preliminary proposals will not be subjected to a 
selection process. They will be used to assess the nature of full 
applications to be expected, to select appropriate technical reviewers 
for full applications, and to develop technical and formatting guidance 
that will be supplied to all applicants who submitted preliminary 
applications, to assist them in writing their full applications. All 
those (and only those) who submitted preliminary proposals meeting the 
deadline and other requirements of this notice are eligible to submit 
full proposals.
    Full proposals are subject to merit review which is conducted by 
mail reviewers and/or peer panels consisting of government, academic, 
and industry experts. Each reviewer will individually evaluate and rank 
proposals using the evaluation criteria. There will be no consensus 
advice given by the mail reviewers or review panel. A minimum of three 
merit reviewers will review each proposal. The merit reviewers' ratings 
are used to produce a rank order of the proposals. Their 
recommendations and evaluations will be considered by the Federal 
Program Officers for NOAA, the Service, and MARAD who will award in 
rank order of the merit review ratings unless the proposal is justified 
to be selected out of rank order based upon the appropriate selection 
factors.
    Federal Program Officers from NOAA, the Service, and MARAD will 
make the final recommendations concerning proposals for funding and 
will work together to reach decisions, but the final responsibility for 
making decisions regarding disposition of funds and other resources 
rests with the agency that is providing that resource. Applicants may 
be asked to respond to questions or modify objectives, work plans, or 
budgets prior to final approval of the award. Subsequent grant 
administration procedures will be in accordance with current DOC or DOI 
grants procedures. Grants officers from each of the respective agencies 
are the officials authorized to make awards and obligate funds.

[[Page 2579]]

Intergovernmental Review

    Applications under this program are not subject to Executive Order 
12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.''

Limitation of Liability

    Funding for the program listed in this notice is contingent upon 
the availability of Fiscal Year 2004 appropriations. NOAA issues this 
notice subject to the appropriations made available under the current 
continuing resolution, H.J. Res. 69, ``Making continuing appropriations 
for the fiscal year 2004, and for other purposes,'' Public Law 108-84, 
as amended by H.J. Res. 75, Public Law 108-104, H.J. Res. 76, Public 
Law 108-107, and H.J. Res. 79, Public Law 108-135. NOAA, the Service, 
and MARAD anticipate making awards for the program listed in this 
notice provided that funding for the program is continued beyond 
January 31, 2004, the expiration of the current continuing resolution. 
In no event will NOAA, the Service, or MARAD be responsible for 
proposal preparation costs if this program fails to receive funding or 
is cancelled because of other agency priorities. Publication of this 
announcement does not oblige NOAA, the Service, or MARAD to award any 
specific project or to obligate any available funds.

Universal Identifier

    Applicants should be aware that, for programs that have deadline 
dates on or after October 1, 2003, they will be required to provide a 
Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number during 
the application process. See the June 27, 2003 (68 FR 38402) Federal 
Register notice for additional information. Organizations can receive a 
DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number 
request line at 1-866-705-5711 or via the Internet (http://
www.dunandbradstreet.com).

The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements

    The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register 
notice of October 1, 2001 (66 FR 49917), as amended by the Federal 
Register notice published on October 30, 2002 (67 FR 66109), are 
applicable to the awards made by NOAA.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Applications involve collection-of-information requirements subject 
to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The use of Standard Forms 424 and 
424A, 424B, SF-LLL, and CD-346 has been approved by OMB under the 
respective control numbers 0348-0043, 0348-0044, 0348-0040, 0348-0046, 
and 0605-0001. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB control number.

Executive Order 12866

    This notice has been determined to be not significant for purposes 
of Executive Order 12866.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies 
with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 
13132.

Administrative Procedure Act/Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required 
by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for rules 
concerning public property, loans, grants, benefits, and contracts (5 
U.S.C. 553(a)(2)). Because notice and opportunity for comment are not 
required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical 
requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 
are inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not 
been prepared.

    Dated: January 12, 2004.
Louisa Koch,
Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
[FR Doc. 04-950 Filed 1-15-04; 8:45 am]
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