[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 240 (Thursday, December 15, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 74297-74299]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-7397]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[Docket No. 030602141-5301-30]


Request for Proposals for Fiscal Year 2006-NOAA Educational 
Partnership Program With Minority Serving Institutions: Environmental 
Entrepreneurship Program

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

ACTION: Notice of availability of funds.

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SUMMARY: NOAA's Environmental Entrepreneurship Program is soliciting 
proposals that support environmental revitalization projects. Projects 
should engage students at MSIs in hands-on training and experiential 
learning opportunities in the application of NOAA science and business 
acumen.
    The program's objective is to increase the number of students 
proficient in environmental business enterprises. For the purposes of 
this program, Environmental Business Enterprises is defined as applying 
skills and techniques in the development and operations of businesses 
that resolve environmental degradation in local communities.
    The process involves engaging students in the application of 
business skills and best management science techniques that will enable 
students to gain practical experience in resolving environmental 
degradation in their local communities. Students are expected to learn 
how to transform business concepts into innovative products or services 
that support environmental business enterprises. This is achieved 
through community-based collaborative processes.
    It is expected that three cooperative agreement awards will be 
funded in fiscal year 2006. Eligible MSIs may apply for a maximum of 
$200,000, on a competitive basis, to support environmental 
revitalization projects, for a two or three-year period. The total 
funding available is $600,000, subject to Congressional appropriations.
    The program's vision is an increased number of students at MSIs 
proficient in environmental business enterprises that advance DOC/
NOAA's mission. Successful programs will build the institution's 
capacity to train students in developing and operating businesses in 
local communities where there is a need to sustain or revitalize 
naturally depleted environments.

DATES: Full Proposals must be received by 2 p.m. (eastern standard 
time) February 13, 2006. Facsimile transmissions and electronic mail 
submission of proposals will not be accepted.

ADDRESSES: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications 
through the Grants.gov Web site. Electronic access to the full funding 
opportunity announcement for this program is available via the 
Grants.gov Web site: http://www.grants.gov. The announcement will also 
be available at the NOAA Web site http://www.ofa.noaa.gov/%7Eamd/
solindex.html or by contacting the program official identified below. 
Applicants must comply with all requirements contained in the full 
funding opportunity announcement.
    If Internet access is unavailable, paper applications (a signed 
original and two copies) should be submitted by postal mail, commercial 
delivery service, or hand-delivery to the Educational Partnership 
Program at the following address: NOAA/EPP, 1315 East-West Highway, 
SSMC III, Room 10600, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. Facsimile and 
electronic mail submission of applications will not be accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacqueline Rousseau, Program Director 
at (301) 713-9437 extension 124 or Jacqueline.J.Rousseau@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Summary Description

    NOAA's Environmental Entrepreneurship Program supports projects 
aimed at increasing opportunities for students at MSIs to become 
proficient in environmental business enterprises.
    According to the U.S. DOC Census Bureau, 2002 Economic Statistics 
Report, under represented groups comprise only fourteen percent of the 
total U.S. businesses. These include:
     5% of the U.S. businesses are owned by Blacks;
     6.85% of the U.S. businesses are owned by Hispanic or 
Latinos;
     0.89% (less than one percent) of U.S. businesses are owned 
by American Indian and Alaska Natives and;
     (0.14%) (less than one percent) of U.S. businesses are 
owned by Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders.

[[Page 74298]]

    The EEP advances the U.S. Department of Commerce mission ``to 
create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity by promoting 
innovation, entrepreneurship, competitiveness and stewardship''. In 
addition, the EEP supports NOAA's efforts to foster environmental 
literacy.
    Minority Serving Institutions are expected to design Environmental 
Revitalization Projects that train students in becoming proficient in 
environmental business enterprises. The projects must engage students 
in resolving environmental degradation in local communities where there 
is a need to sustain or revitalize naturally depleted environments.
    The projects must be undertaken through community-based 
collaborative efforts among MSIs, NOAA, and the private sector. 
Business incubators serve as a learning environment for training 
aspiring entrepreneurs; therefore, MSIs that collaborate with business 
incubators are highly encouraged.
    MSIs are also encouraged to pursue collaboration with campus or 
local community-based minority business development centers, small 
business development centers, and community and economic development 
organizations. Strong linkages or collaborations with NOAA programs, 
laboratories and facilities and the private sector are required. 
Innovative approaches to training students are sought that take maximum 
advantage of synergies and partnerships with Business Incubators, 
Minority Business Development Centers, Small Business Development 
Centers and Community and Economic Development organizations.
    MSIs, and their partners, must train a minimum of ten students each 
year of the project in a combination of science and business skills 
under this program.
    Partnerships should enable students to become proficient in 
businesses that resolve environmental degradation in support of NOAA's 
science mission areas. These include assisting students to become 
proficient in businesses that would:
    (1) Protect, restore, and manage coastal and ocean resources 
through ecosystem management;
    (2) Increase the number and use of climate information, products 
and services that would enable local communities to plan and respond to 
climate variability and change;
    (3) Improve weather and water information, products and services to 
improve the understanding, observation, forecasting and warning of 
environmental events; and
    (4) Support the nation's commerce with information, products and 
services for safe, efficient, and environmentally sound transportation.
    MSIs should ensure students obtain the necessary knowledge, skills, 
tools and technology training that are applied outside the classroom. 
The projects should allow students to gain practical, real-world 
experiences to understand the nature and extent of environmental 
degradation within local communities. Students should be trained in 
testing and monitoring methods to prevent, control, and reduce the 
degradation of natural environments.
    The intention is for students to apply skills and techniques, 
business concepts, and products and services for the expansion of 
commerce and economic development.
    At the end of the project, participating students will be 
proficient in environmental business enterprises. Students and faculty 
will contribute to promoting environmental sustainability and 
revitalizing local communities in support of NOAA's science mission 
areas.

Electronic Access

    Applicants can access, download, and submit electronic grant 
applications, including the full funding opportunity announcement, for 
NOAA programs at the Grants.gov Web site: http://www.grants.gov. The 
announcement will also be available at the NOAA Web site http://
www.ofa.noaa.gov/%7Eamd/SOLINDEX.HTML or by contacting the program 
official identified above. The closing date will be the same as for the 
paper submissions noted in this announcement. NOAA strongly recommends 
that applicants not wait until the application deadline date to begin 
the application process through Grants.gov.
    If Internet access is unavailable, a signed original and two paper 
copies of proposals will also be accepted by the submission deadline. 
This includes color or high-resolution graphics, unusually sized 
materials, or otherwise unusual materials submitted as part of the 
proposal. For color graphics, submit either color originals or color 
copies. Facsimile transmissions and electronic mail submission of full 
proposals will not be accepted.

Funding Availability

    This solicitation announces that funding up to $600,000 will be 
available in FY 2006, with a maximum of $200,000 per award for a two 
(2) or three (3) year period, subject to Congressional appropriations.
    Applications for awards in access of $200,000 will not be 
considered. It is anticipated that the funding instrument will be a 
cooperative agreement since NOAA will be substantially involved in 
collaborative student training and experiential learning activities.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1540.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: 11.481--Educational 
Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions.

Eligibility

    Minority Serving Institutions eligible to submit proposals include 
institutions of higher education identified by the Department of 
Education as:
    (1) Historically Black Colleges and Universities,
    (2) Hispanic-Serving Institutions,
    (3) Tribal Colleges and Universities,
    (4) Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions.

on the most recent ``United States Department of Education Accredited 
Postsecondary Minority Institutions'' list (at the date of publication 
of this notice). The most recent list can be found on the NOAA EPP Web 
site at: http://epp.noaa.gov/.
    Proposals submitted by non-profit organizations, foundations, 
auxiliary services or any other entity on behalf of MSIs will not be 
accepted.

Cost Sharing Requirements

    Matching requirements include 10 percent match of the total grant 
project in direct student support. Matching funds must be from non-
Federal sources (in the private sector) and may include in-kind 
contributions in support of students working and using equipment for 
the purposes of training. The nature of the contribution (cash versus 
in-kind) and the amount of matching funds will be taken into 
consideration in the review process.
    The Director of NOAA's Office of Education may waive all or part of 
the matching requirement if the Director determines that the project 
meets the following two requirements: (1) No reasonable means are 
available through which an applicant can meet the matching requirement; 
and (2) The probable benefit of such project outweighs the public 
interest in such matching requirement. In the case of a waiver request, 
the applicant must provide a detailed justification explaining the need 
for the waiver. The program shall waive any requirement for local 
matching funds to the governments of Insular Areas, defined as the 
jurisdictions of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and

[[Page 74299]]

the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Intergovernmental Review

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

Evaluation and Selection Criteria and Procedures

    NOAA published its agency-wide solicitation entitled ``Omnibus 
Notice Announcing the Availability of Grant Funds for Fiscal Year 
2006'' for projects for Fiscal Year 2006 in the Federal Register on 
June 30, 2005 (70 FR 37766). The evaluation and selection criteria and 
procedures for projects contained in that omnibus notice are applicable 
to this notice. Copies of this notice are available on the Internet at 
http://www.ofa.noaa.gov/%7Eamd/SOLINDEX.HTML. Further details on 
evaluation and selection criteria and procedures applicable to this 
notice can be found in the full funding opportunity announcement.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    NOAA must analyze the potential environmental impacts, as required 
by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), for applicant projects 
or proposals which are seeking NOAA federal funding opportunities. 
Detailed information on NOAA compliance with NEPA can be found at the 
following NOAA NEPA Web site: http://www.nepa.noaa.gov/, including our 
NOAA Administrative Order 216-6 for NEPA, http://www.nepa.noaa.gov/
NAO216_6_TOC.pdf, and the Council on Environmental Quality 
implementation regulations, http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/ceq/toc_
ceq.htm. Consequently, as part of an applicant's package, and under 
their description of their program activities, applicants are required 
to provide detailed information on the activities to be conducted, 
locations, sites, species and habitat to be affected, possible 
construction activities, and any environmental concerns that may exist 
(e.g., the use and disposal of hazardous or toxic chemicals, 
introduction of non-indigenous species, impacts to endangered and 
threatened species, aquaculture projects, and impacts to coral reef 
systems). In addition to providing specific information that will serve 
as the basis for any required impact analyses, applicants may also be 
requested to assist NOAA in drafting of an environmental assessment, if 
NOAA determines an assessment is required. Applicants will also be 
required to cooperate with NOAA in identifying feasible measures to 
reduce or avoid any identified adverse environmental impacts of their 
proposal. The failure to do so shall be grounds for not selecting an 
application. In some cases if additional information is required after 
an application is selected, funds can be withheld by the Grants Officer 
under a special award condition requiring the recipient to submit 
additional environmental compliance information sufficient to enable 
NOAA to make an assessment on any impacts that a project may have on 
the environment.

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 December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78389) are applicable to this 
solicitation.

Limitation of Liability

    In no event will NOAA or the Department of Commerce be responsible 
for proposal preparation costs if these programs fail to receive 
funding or are cancelled because of other agency priorities. 
Publication of this announcement does not oblige NOAA to award any 
specific project or to obligate any available funds. Recipients and 
sub-recipients are subject to all Federal laws and agency policies, 
regulations and procedures applicable to Federal financial assistance 
awards.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This notification involves collection-of-information requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The use of Standard Forms 
424, 424A, 424B, and SF-LLL and CD-346 has been approved by the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) under control numbers 0348-0043, 0348-
0044, 0348-0040 and 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

    It has been determined that this notice is 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 comments 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, and none has been prepared.

Mark Brown,
Chief Financial Officer, NOAA, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.
 [FR Doc. E5-7397 Filed 12-14-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P