[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 250 (Thursday, December 30, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 82382-82386]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-32926]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[OW-FRL-9245-6]


Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of Availability of 2011 BEACH Act Grants.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Section 406(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) as amended by the 
Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act 
authorizes EPA to award program development and implementation grants 
to eligible states, territories, tribes, and local governments to 
support microbiological monitoring and public notification of the 
potential for exposure to disease-causing microorganisms in coastal 
recreation waters, including the Great Lakes. EPA encourages coastal 
and Great Lakes states and tribes that have received BEACH Act grants 
in the past to apply for 2011 BEACH Act grants to implement effective 
coastal recreation water monitoring and public notification programs 
(``implementation grants''). EPA also encourages eligible tribes that 
have not previously received BEACH Act grants to apply for 2011 BEACH 
Act grants to develop effective and comprehensive coastal recreation 
water monitoring and public notification programs (``development 
grants'').

DATES: States, Erie County, Pennsylvania, and tribes that previously 
received BEACH Act grants must submit applications on or before 
February 28, 2011. Other eligible tribes should notify the relevant EPA 
Regional BEACH Act grant coordinator of their interest in applying for 
a grant on or before February 14, 2011. Upon receipt of a tribe's 
notice of interest, EPA will establish an appropriate application 
deadline.

ADDRESSES: You must send your application to the appropriate EPA 
Regional grant coordinator listed in this notice under Section VII, 
Grant Coordinators.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lars Wilcut, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., 
NW., (4305T), Washington, DC 20460.

[[Page 82383]]

Telephone: (202) 566-0447. E-mail: wilcut.lars@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

What is the BEACH Act?

    The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act 
of 2000 amends the Clean Water Act to better protect public health at 
our nation's beaches through improved water quality standards and beach 
monitoring and notification programs. The BEACH Act authorizes EPA to 
award grants to develop and implement monitoring and public 
notification programs for coastal recreation waters, consistent with 
EPA's required performance criteria. EPA published the required 
performance criteria for grants in its National Beach Guidance and 
Required Performance Criteria for Grants (EPA-823-B-02-004), on July 
19, 2002. Currently, all 37 eligible states and tribes operate beach 
monitoring and notification programs using BEACH Act grant funds.

What is the statutory authority for BEACH Act grants?

    The general statutory authority for BEACH Act grants is section 
406(b) of the Clean Water Act, as amended by the BEACH Act, Public Law 
106-284, 114 Stat. 970 (2000). It provides that, ``(T)he Administrator 
may make grants to States and local governments to develop and 
implement programs for monitoring and notification for coastal 
recreation waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of access that 
are used by the public.'' CWA section 406(b)(2)(A), however, limits 
EPA's ability to award implementation grants only to those states and 
tribes that meet certain requirements (see Section II, Funding and 
Eligibility, below for information on specific requirements).

What activities are eligible for funding under the FY 2011 grants?

    In fiscal year 2011, EPA intends to award grants authorized under 
CWA section 406(b) to eligible states and tribes to support the 
implementation of coastal recreation water monitoring and public 
notification programs that are consistent with EPA's required 
performance criteria for implementation grants. Also in fiscal year 
2011, EPA intends to award development grants to eligible tribes to 
support the development of coastal recreation water monitoring and 
public notification programs that are consistent with EPA's performance 
criteria for grants. EPA published the required performance criteria 
for grants in its National Beach Guidance and Required Performance 
Criteria for Grants (EPA-823-B-02-004), on July 19, 2002. This document 
can be found on EPA's Web site at http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/beachgrants/guidance_index.cfm. Copies of the document may also be 
obtained by writing, calling, or e-mailing: Office of Water Resource 
Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code RC-4100T, 1200 
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. (Phone: 202-566-1731 or 
e-mail: center.water-resource@epa.gov).

II. Funding and Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply for BEACH Act grants?

    Coastal and Great Lake states that meet the requirements of CWA 
section 406(b)(2)(A) are eligible for grants in fiscal year 2011 to 
implement monitoring and notification programs. The definition of the 
term ``state'' in CWA section 502 includes the District of Columbia, 
and current U.S. territories: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the 
Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands. Tribes may also be eligible for BEACH Act 
grants. In order to be eligible, a tribe must have coastal recreation 
waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of access that are used by 
the public, and the tribe must demonstrate that it meets the 
``treatment in the same manner as a state'' criteria in CWA section 
518(e) for the purposes of receiving a section 406 BEACH Act grant.

Are local governments eligible for funding?

    CWA section 406(b)(2)(B) authorizes EPA to make a grant to a local 
government for implementation of a monitoring and notification program 
only if, after July 19, 2003, EPA determines that the state within 
which the local government has jurisdiction is not implementing a 
program that meets the requirements of CWA section 406(b), which 
includes a requirement that the program is consistent with the 
performance criteria in National Beach Guidance and Required 
Performance Criteria for Grants. EPA has awarded an implementation 
grant to Erie County, Pennsylvania, the local government implementing 
the beach monitoring and notification program for all of Pennsylvania's 
coastal recreation waters. Local governments may contact their EPA 
Regional Office for further information about BEACH Act grants.

How may tribes apply for BEACH Act development grants and how much 
funding is available for tribes?

    Section 518(e) of the CWA authorizes EPA to treat eligible Indian 
tribes in the same manner as states for the purpose of receiving CWA 
section 406 grant funding. For fiscal year 2011, EPA will make $100,000 
available to eligible tribes. In order to be eligible for a CWA section 
406 development grant, a tribe must have coastal recreation waters 
adjacent to beaches or similar points of access that are used by the 
public. The phrase ``coastal recreation waters'' is defined in CWA 
section 502(21) to mean the Great Lakes and marine coastal waters 
(including coastal estuaries) that are designated under CWA section 
303(c) for use for swimming, bathing, surfing, or similar water contact 
activities. The statute explicitly excludes from the definition inland 
waters and waters upstream of the mouth of a river or stream having an 
unimpaired natural connection with the open sea. In addition, a tribe 
must demonstrate that it meets the ``treatment in the same manner as a 
state'' (TAS) criteria contained in CWA section 518(e) for purposes of 
receiving a CWA section 406 grant. To demonstrate TAS, the tribe must 
show that it: (1) Is federally recognized; (2) has a governing body 
carrying out substantial governmental duties and powers; (3) will be 
exercising functions pertaining to waters within the reservation; and 
(4) is reasonably expected to be capable of carrying out the functions 
consistent with the CWA and all applicable regulations. EPA encourages 
those tribes with coastal recreation waters to contact their EPA 
Regional BEACH Act grant coordinator for further information regarding 
the application process as soon as possible.

Are there any additional eligibility requirements and grant conditions 
applicable to states and tribes?

    Yes, there are additional eligibility requirements and grant 
conditions. First, CWA section 406(b)(2)(A) identifies eligibility 
requirements for implementation grants and CWA section 406(c) 
identifies conditions of receipt of a monitoring and notification 
grant. These requirements are discussed in the National Beach Guidance 
and Required Performance Criteria for Grants.
    In addition, there are special reporting requirements for BEACH Act 
grants. See Section VI below.

How much funding is available?

    For fiscal year 2011, the total available for BEACH Act grants is

[[Page 82384]]

expected to be $9,900,000. EPA expects to award all but $100,000 to 
eligible states for implementation grants. EPA intends to award the 
remaining $100,000 to eligible tribes. If EPA does not award any grants 
to eligible tribes, EPA will redistribute the money to eligible states 
using the base allocation formula described below.

How will the funding for states be allocated?

    For fiscal year 2011, EPA expects to award grants to all eligible 
states who apply for funding based on a grant allocation formula that 
combines the formula that the Agency originally developed in 2002 
(``base allocation formula'') with a supplemental allocation formula 
introduced with the fiscal year 2010 grants (see 75 FR 1373, January 
11, 2010).

How does EPA expect to allocate 2011 BEACH Act grant funds?

    For 2011, the total available for BEACH Act grants is expected to 
be $9,900,000. Two tribes, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior 
Chippewa and the Makah Indian Nation, are expected to receive grants of 
$50,000 each (assuming no other grants are awarded to other eligible 
tribes), leaving $9,800,000 for grants to states and territories, 
$205,280 of which will be allocated using the supplemental allocation 
formula. Assuming all 35 states with coastal recreation waters apply 
and meet the statutory eligibility requirements for implementation 
grants (and have met the statutory grant conditions applicable to 
previously awarded section 406 grants), the allocation of the funds for 
year 2011 is expected to be:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         Portion of the
                                      The year 2011    total that is the
  For the state or territory of:      allocation is       supplemental
                                     expected to be:       allocation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...........................           $268,000             $5,628
Alaska............................            154,000              4,183
American Samoa....................            306,000              4,183
California........................            524,000              9,888
Connecticut.......................            228,000              4,260
Delaware..........................            216,000              5,628
Florida...........................            539,000             11,257
Georgia...........................            293,000              6,997
Guam..............................            307,000              4,183
Hawaii............................            331,000              8,443
Illinois..........................            249,000              5,705
Indiana...........................            209,000              2,814
Louisiana.........................            325,000              2,814
Maine.............................            260,000              5,628
Maryland..........................            276,000              7,074
Massachusetts.....................            263,000              8,443
Michigan..........................            288,000              9,811
Minnesota.........................            209,000              4,183
Mississippi.......................            262,000              4,183
New Hampshire.....................            209,000              4,260
New Jersey........................            285,000              7,074
New York..........................            357,000              8,443
North Carolina....................            311,000              8,443
Northern Marianas.................            306,000              2,814
Ohio..............................            228,000              4,260
Oregon............................            234,000              5,551
Pennsylvania......................            227,000              4,260
Puerto Rico.......................            123,000                  0
Rhode Island......................            220,000              6,997
South Carolina....................            305,000              8,443
Texas.............................            392,000              8,443
U.S. Virgin Islands...............            306,000              2,814
Virginia..........................            282,000              5,628
Washington........................            277,000              6,920
Wisconsin.........................            231,000              5,628
------------------------------------------------------------------------

What if a state does not apply or does not qualify for funding?

    EPA expects that all 35 states and territories will apply for a 
grant. If fewer than 35 states apply for the allocated amount, or if 
any applicant fails to meet the statutory eligibility requirements (or 
the statutory conditions applicable to previously awarded section 406 
grants), then EPA will distribute available grant funds to eligible 
states in the following order:
    (1) States that meet the eligibility requirements for 
implementation grants and that have met the statutory conditions 
applicable to previously awarded section 406 grants will be awarded the 
full amount of funds allocated to the state under the formula described 
above.
    (2) EPA may award program implementation grants to local 
governments in states that the Agency determines have not met the 
requirements for implementation grants.
    (3) Consistent with CWA section 406(h), EPA will use grant funds to 
conduct a beach monitoring and notification program in the case of a 
state that has no program for monitoring and notification that is 
consistent with EPA's grant performance criteria.

What if a state or tribe cannot use all of its allocation?

    If a state or tribe cannot use all of its allocation, the Regional 
Administrator may award the unused funds to any eligible coastal or 
Great Lake grant recipient in the Region for the continued development 
or implementation of its coastal recreation water monitoring and 
notification program. If, after re-allocation, there are

[[Page 82385]]

still unused funds within the Region, EPA Headquarters will 
redistribute these funds to any eligible coastal or Great Lake BEACH 
Act grant recipient according to the supplemental formula described in 
the Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the fiscal 
year 2010 grants (75 FR 1373, January 11, 2010).

How will the funding for tribes be allocated?

    EPA expects to apportion the $100,000 set aside for tribal grants 
evenly among all eligible tribes that apply for funding.

What is the expected duration of funding and projects?

    The expected funding and project periods for implementation grants 
awarded in fiscal year 2011 is one year.

Does EPA require matching funds?

    Recipients do not have to provide matching funds for BEACH Act 
grants. EPA retains the option to establish a match requirement in the 
future based on a review of state program activity and funding levels.

III. Eligible Activities

    Recipients of implementation grants may use funds for activities to 
support implementing a beach monitoring and notification program that 
is consistent with the required performance criteria for grants 
specified in the document, National Beach Guidance and Required 
Performance Criteria for Grants (EPA-823-B-02-004). Recipients of 
development grants may use the funds to develop a beach monitoring and 
notification program consistent with the performance criteria. EPA 
expects that grantees will send a representative to EPA's National 
Beach Conference. Costs for attending this conference will be provided 
for in the grant agreement, if necessary, in accordance with 2 CFR part 
225, Appendix B, Item 27.

IV. Selection Process

    EPA Regional Offices will award CWA section 406 grants through a 
non-competitive process. EPA expects to award grants to all eligible 
state, tribal, and territorial applicants that meet the applicable 
requirements described in this notice.

Who has the authority to award BEACH Act grants?

    The Administrator has delegated the authority to award BEACH Act 
grants to the Regional Administrators.

V. Application Procedure

What is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for 
the BEACH Monitoring and Notification Program Implementation grants?

    The number assigned to the BEACH Act grants is 66.472, Program Code 
CU.

Can BEACH Act grant funds be included in a Performance Partnership 
grant?

    For fiscal year 2011, BEACH Act grants cannot be included in a 
Performance Partnership Grant.

What is the application process?

    Your application package should contain completed:
     EPA SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance, and
     Program Summary.
    In order for EPA to determine that a state or local government is 
eligible for an implementation grant, the applicant must submit 
documentation with its application to demonstrate that its program is 
consistent with the performance criteria. The Program Summary must 
contain sufficient technical detail for EPA to confirm that a program 
meets the statutory eligibility requirements and statutory grant 
conditions for previously awarded CWA section 406 grants referenced in 
Section II (Funding and Eligibility) of this notice. The Program 
Summary must also describe how the State or local government used BEACH 
Act grant funds to develop and implement the beach monitoring and 
notification program, and how the program is consistent with the nine 
performance criteria in National Beach Guidance and Required 
Performance Criteria for Grants (EPA-823-B-02-004) which is found at 
http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/beachgrants/guidance_index.cfm.
    The Program Summary should also describe the state or local 
program's objectives for the grant year and target dates and milestones 
for timely project completion.
    States, Erie County, and tribes that have previously been awarded 
BEACH Act grants must submit application packages to the appropriate 
EPA Regional Office by February 28, 2011. EPA will make an award after 
the Agency reviews the documentation and confirms that the program 
meets the applicable requirements. The Office of Management and Budget 
has authorized EPA to collect this information (BEACH Act Grant 
Information Collection Request, OMB control number 2040-0244). Please 
contact the appropriate EPA Regional Office for a complete application 
package. See Section VII for a list of EPA Regional Grant Coordinators 
or visit the EPA Beaches Web site at http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/beaches/contact.cfm.

What should a tribe's Notice of Interest contain?

    The Notice of Interest should include the tribe's name and the name 
and telephone number of a contact person.

Are Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) required for 
applications?

    Yes. Three specific QA/QC requirements must be met to comply with 
EPA's performance criteria for grants:
    (1) Applicants must submit documentation that describes the quality 
system implemented by the state, territory, tribe, or local government. 
Documentation may be in the form of a Quality Management Plan or 
equivalent documentation.
    (2) Applicants must submit a quality assurance project plan (QAPP) 
or equivalent documentation.
    (3) Applicants are responsible for submitting documentation of the 
quality system and QAPP for review and approval by the EPA Quality 
Assurance Officer or his designee before they take primary or secondary 
environmental measurements. More information about the required QA/QC 
procedures is available in Chapter Four and Appendix H of National 
Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for Grants (EPA-823-B-
02-004).

VI. Reporting Requirements and Applicable Regulations

Are there reporting requirements?

    Recipients must submit annual performance reports and financial 
reports as required in 40 CFR 31.40 and 31.41. The annual performance 
report explains changes to the beach monitoring and notification 
program during the grant year. It also describes how the grant funds 
were used to implement the program to meet the performance criteria 
listed in National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for 
Grants (EPA-823-B-02-004). The annual performance report required under 
40 CFR 31.40 is due no later than 90 days after the grant year ends.
    There are also special reporting requirements for BEACH Act grants. 
First, state grant recipients must submit to EPA a report that 
describes (1) data collected as part of the program for monitoring and 
notification as described in section 406(c), and (2) actions taken to 
notify the public when water quality

[[Page 82386]]

standards are exceeded. (See CWA section 406(b)(3)(A) and the National 
Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for Grants.) Grant 
recipients must submit to EPA the monitoring and notification reports 
for any beach season by January 31 of the year following the beach 
season (68 FR 15446, 15449 (March 31, 2003)). For the 2011 beach 
season, the deadline for states to submit complete and correct reports 
is January 31, 2012.
    In addition, grant recipients must report to EPA, latitude, 
longitude and mileage data on (1) the extent of beaches and similar 
points of public access adjacent to coastal recreation waters, and (2) 
the extent of those beaches that are monitored. EPA first established 
this requirement in the Federal Register notice for the fiscal year 
2003 grants (68 FR 15446, 15447 (March 31, 2003)). EPA is continuing 
this requirement in order to capture any changes states, tribes, and 
local governments may make to their beach monitoring and notification 
programs. States, tribes, and local governments must report to EPA any 
changes to either the extent of their beaches or similar points of 
access, or to the extent of their beaches that are monitored.
    As new predictive tools and methods of measuring water quality 
become more widespread, the ability to provide timely information to 
the public will increase. Coupled with improvements to the data 
submission process, it will be easier for states and EPA to make 
notification and water quality data available to the public. Therefore, 
EPA is considering requiring states to report to EPA more frequently 
than annually in the future. The Agency intends to review state and 
federal agency capabilities, resource constraints, and the impact of 
more frequent reporting, and make any necessary changes to the 
appropriate section of the National Beach Guidance and Performance 
Criteria. Any such changes would not affect reporting for the 2011 
beach season.

What regulations apply to the award and administration of these grants?

    The regulations at 40 CFR part 31 govern the award and 
administration of grants to states, tribes, local governments, and 
territories under CWA section 406(b). Allowable costs will be 
determined according to the cost principles outlined in 2 CFR part 225.

VII. Grant Coordinators

Headquarters--Washington, DC

    Lars Wilcut, USEPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.--4305, Washington, 
DC 20460; T: 202-566-0447; F: 202-566-0409; wilcut.lars@epa.gov.

Region 1--Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode 
Island

    Caitlyn Whittle, USEPA Region 1, 5 Post Office Square Suite 100 
(OEP06-1), Boston, MA 02109-3912; T: 617-918-1748; F: 617-918-0748; 
whittle.caitlyn@epa.gov.

Region 2--New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

    Helen Grebe, USEPA Region 2, 2890 Woodbridge Ave. MS220, Edison, NJ 
08837-3679; T: 732-321-6797; F: 732-321-6616; grebe.helen@epa.gov.

Region 3--Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia

    Denise Hakowski, USEPA Region 3, 1650 Arch Street 3WP30, 
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029; T: 215-814-5726; F: 215-814-2318; 
hakowski.denise@epa.gov.

Region 4--Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South 
Carolina

    Joel Hansel, USEPA Region 4, 61 Forsyth St. 15th Floor, Atlanta, GA 
30303-3415; T: 404-562-9274; F: 404-562-9224; hansel.joel@epa.gov.

Region 5--Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin

    Holly Wirick, USEPA Region 5, 77 West Jackson Blvd. WT-16J, 
Chicago, IL 60604-3507; T: 312-353-6704; F: 312-886-0168; 
wirick.holiday@epa.gov.

Region 6--Louisiana, Texas

    Mike Schaub, USEPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Ave. 6WQ-EW, Dallas, TX 
75202-2733; T: 214-665-7314; F: 214-665-6689; schaub.mike@epa.gov.

Region 9--American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 
California, Guam, Hawaii

    Terry Fleming, USEPA Region 9, 75 Hawthorne St. WTR-2, San 
Francisco, CA 94105; T: 415- 972-3462; F: 415-947-3537; 
fleming.terrence@epa.gov.

Region 10--Alaska, Oregon, Washington

    Rob Pedersen, USEPA Region 10, 120 Sixth Ave. OW-134, Seattle, WA 
98101; T: 206-553-1646; F: 206-553-0165; pedersen.rob@epa.gov.

    Dated: December 23, 2010.
Peter S. Silva,
Assistant Administrator for Water.
[FR Doc. 2010-32926 Filed 12-29-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P