[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 216 (Thursday, November 6, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66096-66098]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-26478]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration


Notice of Funding Availability and Solicitation of Applications 
for Grants under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Repair Grant Program

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of funding availability; solicitation of applications.

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SUMMARY: Under this Notice, the FRA encourages interested State 
departments of transportation to submit applications for grants to 
repair and rehabilitate Class II and Class III railroad infrastructure 
damaged by hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters in areas for 
which the President declared a major disaster after January 1, 2008, 
under Title IV of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act of 1974.

DATES: FRA will begin accepting grant applications 10 days after 
publication of this Notice of Funding Availability in the Federal 
Register. Applications may be submitted until January 16, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Applications for grants under this Program must be submitted 
electronically to ``Grants.gov'' at http://www.grants.gov. Grants.Gov 
allows organizations to find and apply electronically for competitive 
grant opportunities from all Federal grant-making agencies. Any State 
wishing to submit an application pursuant to this notice should 
immediately initiate the process of registering with Grants.Gov. Please 
confirm all Grants.gov submissions by sending an e-mail to 
paxrail@dot.gov.
    For application materials that an applicant is unable to submit via 
Grants.Gov (such as oversized engineering drawings), applicants may 
submit an original and two (2) copies to the Federal Railroad 
Administration at the following address: Federal Railroad 
Administration, Attention: Alice Alexander, Office of Railroad 
Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Mail Stop 20,Washington, DC 
20590.
    Due to delays caused by enhanced screening of mail delivered via 
the U.S. Postal Service, applicants are encouraged to use other means 
to assure timely receipt of materials.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alice Alexander, Office of Railroad 
Development, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, 
SE., Mail Stop 20, Washington,

[[Page 66097]]

DC 20590; Phone: (202) 493-6363; Fax: (202) 493-6333.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Railroad Rehabilitation and Repair Grant 
Program (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Program Number 
20.314) will be supported with up to $20,000,000 of Federal funds 
provided to FRA as part of the Consolidated Security, Disaster 
Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 110-329, 
September 30, 2008.) Of this $20,000,000, one-half of 1 percent of the 
funds, $100,000, may be retained by the FRA to fund oversight of the 
design and implementation of projects funded by this Program.
    Funds provided under this Program may constitute no more than 80 
percent of the total cost of a selected project, with the remaining 
cost funded from other non-Federal sources. FRA anticipates awarding 
grants to multiple eligible participants. Eligible projects include 
repairs and rehabilitation to Class II and Class III railroad 
infrastructure damaged by hurricanes, floods, and natural disasters 
that are located in counties that have been identified in a Disaster 
Declaration for Public Assistance issued by the President (http://
www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema#sev1) in calendar year 2008.\1\
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    \1\ Counties in thirty-two states are eligible to apply under 
this program. The states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, 
Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, 
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, 
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, 
North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, 
West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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    Class II and Class III railroad infrastructure eligible for repair 
and rehabilitation consists of railroad rights-of-way, bridges, signals 
and other infrastructure which are part of the general railroad system 
of transportation and primarily used by railroads to move freight 
traffic. Section 24312 (Labor Standards) of Title 49, United States 
Code, applies to grantees assisted under this Program. The grantees 
must exhaust all other Federal and State resources prior to seeking 
assistance under this Program. FRA anticipates that no further public 
notification will be made with respect to soliciting grant applications 
and selecting grantees under this Program.
    Purpose: In 2008, the President made over sixty major disaster 
declarations which were related to hurricanes, floods, and other 
natural disasters. Funds provided under this Program will assist Class 
II and Class III railroads rebound from these disasters declared in 
2008.\2\
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    \2\ Inclusive dates for eligibility are January 1, 2008, through 
the publication date of this notice of funding availability.
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    Authority: The Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and 
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 110-329, September 30, 
2008).
    Funding: The Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and 
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (the Act) provides $20,000,000, 
that remains available until expended, and directs the Secretary of 
Transportation to competitively award grants covering up to 80 percent 
of project costs, with the remaining project costs provided in non-
Federal cash, equipment, or supplies. In addition, the Act allows the 
Secretary to retain up to one-half of 1 percent of the funds to fund 
the oversight by the Administrator of the Federal Railroad 
Administration of the design and implementation of projects funded by 
these grants. (The maximum that can be retained is $100,000.) The 
funding provided for these grants will be made available to the 
grantee(s) on a reimbursable basis. It is anticipated that the 
available funding could support projects proposed by multiple 
applicants. FRA may choose to award a grant or grants in any amount 
within the limit of the available funds.
    Schedule for Rehabilitation and Repair Grant Program: FRA will 
begin accepting grant applications 10 days after publication of this 
Notice of Funding Availability in the Federal Register. All 
applications must be received by the January 16, 2009, deadline.
    Eligible Participants: The department of transportation of any 
eligible State may apply for funding under this notice, provided that 
the applicant State has an eligible project and has exhausted all other 
Federal and State resources prior to seeking assistance under this 
Program.
    Eligible Projects: To be eligible for funding under this Program, a 
project must include the rehabilitation and repair of Class II or Class 
III railroad infrastructure damaged by hurricanes, floods, and other 
natural disasters in counties for which the President declared a major 
disaster in calendar year 2008 under Title IV of the Robert T. Stafford 
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974. Rehabilitation or 
repairs must be made to rights-of-way, bridges, signals, and other 
infrastructure which are part of the general railroad system of 
transportation. In addition, the railroad infrastructure replaced or 
rehabilitated must be primarily used to move freight traffic.
    Funding Period: Funds will be available under this program only for 
the reimbursement of costs incurred after a major disaster declaration 
in calendar year 2008 in the counties covered by such a declaration.
    Selection Criteria: FRA will consider the following selection 
factors in evaluating applications for grants under this Program:
    1. The inability of the Class II or Class III railroad to fund the 
project without Federal grant funding.
    2. The effects on rail operations, specifically the movement of 
freight, of the proposed rehabilitation or repair.
    3. The likelihood of continued operation of the railroad operations 
on the track that is proposed to be repaired or rehabilitated for more 
than three years after project work is complete.
    Requirements for Grant Applications: The following points describe 
the minimum content which will be required in grant applications. These 
requirements may be satisfied through a narrative statement submitted 
by the applicant and supported by spreadsheet documents, tables, 
drawings, and other materials, as appropriate. Each grant application 
must:
    1. Designate a point of contact for the applicant and provide his 
or her name, title, and contact information, including phone number, 
mailing address and e-mail address. The point of contact must be an 
employee of the applicant.
    2. Include an explanation of why the project is an eligible project 
and a thorough discussion of how the project meets all of the selection 
criteria.
    3. Identify all funds (including amounts) received from other 
Federal and/or State disaster relief programs that directly benefited 
the project(s) for which funds are being sought under this Program, or 
demonstrate that all such efforts at procuring such funding have failed 
or been exhausted. This demonstration should include a recitation of 
specific Federal and State disaster relief programs investigated by the 
applicant. Among the Federal programs which the applicant might 
investigate are those administered by the Federal Emergency Management 
Administration, the Small Business Administration, the Federal Highway 
Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    4. Include a complete Standard Form 424, ``Application for Federal 
Assistance,'' Standard Form 424D, ``Assurances--Construction 
Programs,'' and the most recent audit performed in compliance with OMB 
Circular A-133, if available. Information on Circular A-

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133 can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a133/
a133.html. Also include signed copies of FRA's Additional Assurances 
and Certifications, available at http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/
admin/assurancesandcertifications.pdf.
    5. Define the scope of work, budget and schedule for the proposed 
project. Describe the proposed project's physical location, mile-post 
limits, and include any drawings, plans, or schematics that have been 
prepared relating to the proposed project.
    If funding requested under this Program is only going to support a 
portion of the overall rehabilitation and repair of the applicant's 
project, describe the complete project and specify which portion will 
involve Federal funding. In addition, FRA strongly encourages 
applicants to estimate complete project costs and the future financial 
viability of the Class II and Class III railroad on whose property the 
project is located.
    6. The budget for the cost of the project should, to the extent 
possible, be separated into the following categories: (1) 
Administrative; (2) Engineering fees; (3) Demolition and removal; (4) 
Construction labor, supervision, and management; (5) Equipment; (6) 
Materials, by type (e.g., ties, rail, ballast, signals, and switches); 
(7) Contingencies; and (8) Inspection fees. Costs may be reimbursed as 
long as expenditures were incurred after the date of the natural 
disaster.
    7. Describe the source and amount of non-Federal funds, broken down 
by cash, equipment, or supplies.
    8. Describe proposed project implementation and an overview of 
project management arrangements.
    9. For the railroad(s) operating on the infrastructure proposed to 
be rehabilitated or repaired, describe the frequency of service, axle-
load limits, and estimated railroad gross ton miles per mile for the 
first full year after completion of the project.
    10. Provide an overview of all work done to date to rehabilitate 
and repair damage caused by the natural disaster.
    11. Describe the status or progress toward completing any 
environmental documentation or clearance for the proposed project under 
the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic 
Preservation Act, section 4(f) of the DOT Act, or other applicable 
federal or state environmental impact assessment laws. FRA's Procedures 
for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 Fed. Reg. 28545) (May 26, 
1999) (http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/166) describe FRA's process 
for the assessment of environmental impacts and the preparation and 
processing of appropriate documents. For projects that may be 
categorically exempt from detailed environmental review, as discussed 
in FRA's Procedures, categorical exclusion worksheets are available at: 
http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/1606. Applicants are encouraged to 
contact FRA as early as possible in the environmental/historic 
preservation review process to discuss the environmental review.
    Format: Excluding spreadsheets, drawings, and tables, the narrative 
statement for grant applications may not exceed twenty-five pages in 
length. With the exclusion of oversized engineering drawings (which may 
be submitted in hard copy to the FRA at the address indicated above), 
all application materials should be submitted as attachments through 
Grants.Gov. Spreadsheets consisting of budget or financial information 
should be submitted via Grants.Gov as Microsoft Excel (or compatible) 
documents.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 3, 2008.
Mark E. Yachmetz,
Associate Administrator for Railroad Development.
 [FR Doc. E8-26478 Filed 11-5-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-06-P