[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 47 (Friday, March 10, 1995)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13342-13346]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-5991]




[[Page 13341]]

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Part VII





Department of Agriculture





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Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service



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Special Research Grants Program, Water Quality for Fiscal Year 1995, 
Solicitation of Applications; Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 60, No. 47 / Friday, March 10, 1995 / 
Notices 
[[Page 13342]] 

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service


Special Research Grants Program, Water Quality for Fiscal Year 
1995; Solicitation of Applications

    Applications are invited for competitive grant awards under the 
Special Research Grants Program, Water Quality for Fiscal Year 1995.

Authority and Funding

    The authority for this program is contained in section 2(c)(1)(A) 
of the Act of August 4, 1965, Public Law No. 89-106, as amended by the 
Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, Public Law No. 
101-624 (7 U.S.C. 450i(c)(1)(A)). This program is administered by the 
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) 
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). (The CSREES was 
established by Section 251(d)(1) of Public Law 103-354, the Federal 
Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act 
of 1994, and the functions of the Cooperative State Research Service 
were transferred to the CSREES by Section 2.b(7) of the Secretary of 
Agriculture's Memorandum 1010-1, dated October 20, 1994.) Under this 
program, and subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary may 
award grants for periods not to exceed five years, for the support of 
research projects to further the program discussed below. Proposals may 
be submitted by State agricultural experiment stations, all colleges 
and universities, other research institutions and organizations, 
Federal agencies, private organizations or corporations, and 
individuals. Proposals from scientists at non-United States 
organizations will not be considered for support.
    Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis to support water 
quality research within the scope of the program. A total of 
approximately $1,000,000 will be available for this program in Fiscal 
Year 1995. Funding requested for each proposal submitted in Fiscal Year 
1995 shall not exceed $500,000 for a period of one year. Two proposals 
are expected to be funded in Fiscal Year 1995. Under this program, the 
maximum total funding that may be requested over a funding period of 
five years shall not exceed $2,000,000 per proposal. Funding for years 
two through five will depend upon the availability of funds and 
progress toward the objectives.
    Pursuant to Section 712 of Public Law 103-330, (the Agriculture, 
Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act, 1995), funds available in Fiscal Year 1995 to pay 
indirect costs on research grants awarded competitively by CSREES may 
not exceed 14 per centum of the total Federal funds provided under each 
award.
    In addition, pursuant to Section 719(b) of Public Law No. 103-330, 
in case any equipment or products may be authorized to be purchased 
with funds provided under this program, entities receiving such funds 
are encouraged to use such funds to purchase only American-made 
equipment or products.

Applicable Regulations

    Regulations applicable to this program include the following: (a) 
the administrative provisions governing the Special Research Grants 
Program, 7 CFR part 3400, as amended (56 FR 58146, November 15, 1991) 
which set forth procedures to be followed when submitting grant 
proposals, rules governing the evaluation of proposals and the awarding 
of grants, and regulations relating to the post-award administration of 
grant projects; (b) the USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations, 7 
CFR part 3015; (c) the USDA Uniform Administrative Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments, 7 CFR 
part 3016; (d) the Audits of Institutions of Higher Education and Other 
Nonprofit Institutions, 7 CFR part 3051 (58 FR 41410, August 3, 1993); 
(e) the Governmentwide Debarment and Supervision (Nonprocurement) and 
Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants), 7 CFR 
part 3017, as amended; and (f) New Restrictions on Lobbying, 7 CFR part 
3018.

Program Description

    Program-related questions should be directed to either of the 
following:

Dr. Maurice L. Horton
Dr. Berlie L. Schmidt
Phone No. (202) 401-4504
Fax No. (202) 401-1706
    The scope of research includes developing principles to better 
understand the processes and interactions occurring in soil and crop 
management systems involving the use of certain pesticides, fertilizers 
and wastes which may impact water quality. The research should have a 
holistic point of view including products to be developed and a plan 
for transfer of new technology.
    The focus of the Fiscal Year 1995 research is to develop new and 
innovative agricultural management strategies for use by farmers and 
public officials to reduce or prevent pollution of water sources. The 
research must address water quality problems at the landscape--
watershed scale. Traditional small plot research is not excluded but 
must be integrated into an overall project where direct evidence is 
obtained at the watershed scale. The proposed strategies for reducing 
pollution should be developed in partnership with Federal, State and 
local agencies, universities, private industry, public interest groups 
or other stakeholders. Economic and environmental impacts upon water 
quality are to be considered. The final product of the research should 
be agricultural management systems that will be effective in reducing 
pollution on a watershed scale, economical to implement, sustainable, 
acceptable to producers, and in compliance with policy guidelines.
    In the water quality program, the term ``AGRICULTURE'' encompasses 
the production of food, feed, fiber, and industrial crops, trees and 
livestock, and includes rural residences and rural communities, forests 
and wooded areas. Proposals on health risk problems are excluded.

Format for Research Grant Proposals

    The administrative provisions governing the Special Research Grants 
Program, 7 CFR part 3400, set forth instructions for the preparation of 
grant proposals. The following proposal format requirements are in 
addition to or deviate from those contained in 7 CFR part 3400.4(c). In 
accordance with 7 CFR part 3400.4(c), to the extent that any of the 
following additional requirements are inconsistent or in conflict with 
the instructions at 7 CFR part 3400.4(c), the provisions of this 
solicitation shall apply.
    The sections of the proposal shall be assembled in the following 
order: (1) Application for Funding, (2) Title of Project, (3) Abstract, 
(4) Key Words, (5) Justification, (6) Objectives, (7) Procedures, (8) 
Research Timetable, (9) Literature Review, (10) Current Research, (11) 
Facilities and Equipment, (12) Collaborative Arrangements, (13) 
Curriculum Vitae of Investigators, (14), Budget, (15) Assurance 
Statements(s), if applicable, (16) Current and Pending Support, and 
(17) NEPA statement. Items (2) through (9) are limited to 25 pages, 
including any figures or tables. The curriculum vitae should be limited 
to a presentation of academic and research credentials, e.g., 
educational, [[Page 13343]] employment and professional history, and 
honors and awards. Unless pertinent to the project, do not include 
meetings attended, seminars given, or personal data such as birth date, 
marital status, or community activities. The vitae shall be no more 
than 2 pages each in length, excluding publications listings. A 
chronological list of all relevant publications in referred journals 
during the past five years, including those in press, must be provided 
for each professional project member for whom a curriculum vitae is 
provided. Also list those non-referred technical publications that have 
relevance to the proposed project. Authors should be listed in the same 
order as they appear on each paper cited, along with the title and 
complete reference.
    Application for Funding. Attach a completed and signed Application 
for Funding, Form CSRS-661, to the front of the proposal. The original 
copy of Form CSRS-661, must contain pen-and-ink signatures of the 
principal investigator(s) and the authorized organizational 
representative. Form CSRS-661 and other required forms and 
certifications are contained in the Application Kit.
    Type and Paper Size. Type should be no smaller than 12 characters 
per inch (12 pitch or 10 point), single-spaced on one side of 8 \1/
2\'' x 11'' paper with margins of one inch or greater. Total length of 
the proposal text shall not exceed 25 pages as stated above. Reduction 
by photocopying or other means for the purpose of meeting above-stated 
page limits is not permitted. Attachment of appendices is not 
permitted. Proposals which do not fall within the guidelines of this 
solicitation will be eliminated from the competition and will be 
returned to the applicant, as stated in Section 3400.14(a) of the 
Administrative Provisions governing the Special Research Grants 
Program.
    Abstract and Key Words. The body of the proposal should be prefaced 
by an abstract and key words which are used to classify the proposal.
    Abstract. Include factual, concise, and clear statements of 
proposed research as phrases or sentences. Limit the length of the 
abstract to about one-half page.
    Key Words. Select two double words or four single words that 
describe the research emphasis, such as water quality, conservation 
tillage, nitrates, tillage, models, or contaminants.
    Justification. Describe the water quality problems, or potential 
problems, including: where they occur; relevance to site-specific, 
watershed, regional, State, and national size scales. The expected 
application or use of resulting information should be explained; for 
example: value to the economy, methods of chemical analyses, need for 
specific model, basis of recommendations, understanding of processes, 
or relevancy to a specific water quality research program.
    Multi-Institutions/Organizations. Multi-disciplinary and multi-
institution collaboration is required. Collaborators must demonstrate 
significant contributions to the planning and conduct of the research. 
Collaborators or cooperative arrangements may include universities, 
other research organizations, or federal or state agencies such as the 
Agricultural Research Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 
Cooperative State Research Education, and Extension Service (except 
Natural Resources and the Environment, which will be the unit within 
CSREES awarding the special grant), State Agricultural or Natural 
Resource Agencies, Economic Research Service, U.S. Geological Survey, 
and the Environmental Protection Agency. Projects such as Hydrologic 
Unit Areas, Management Systems Evaluation Areas (MSEA), Demonstration 
Sites, Farmstead Assessment, and Area Studies provide excellent 
opportunities for collaboration. Evidence, such as letters of intent, 
should be provided to assure peer reviewers that the collaborators 
involved have agreed to render their service.
    Budget, Form CSRS-55. A copy of Form CSRS-55, along with 
instructions for completing it, is included in the Application Kit. 
Applicants should note the special instructions shown below when 
completing Form CSRS-55.
    Item D., ``Nonexpendable Equipment.'' Requested items of equipment 
must be itemized (by description and cost) on a separate sheet of paper 
attached to Form CSRS-55, or in the body of the proposal. The need for 
all requested equipment must be fully justified in the proposal.
    Item F., ``Travel.'' The type and extent of travel and its 
relationship to project objectives should be described and justified. 
It should be noted that the terms and conditions of any grant awarded 
under this program will require Principal Investigators, as defined at 
7 CFR 3400.2(c), to participate in at least one annual regional or 
national research reporting, evaluation, and planning workshop or 
conference, for the purpose of interstate, interagency, and 
interdisciplinary coordination in this water quality program. Funds may 
be requested under this budget category for these workshop/conference 
costs.
    Item I., ``All Other Direct Costs.'' Subawards are to be shown on 
each budget sheet of the primary budget. Subawardee budgets should be 
provided on separate forms in the same detail.
    Item K., ``Indirect Costs.'' The recovery of indirect costs under 
this program may not exceed the lesser of the grantee institution's 
official negotiated indirect cost rate or the equivalent of 14% of 
total Federal funds awarded. This limitation also applies to the 
recovery of indirect costs by any subawardee or subcontractor, and 
should be reflected in the subrecipient budget.

Compliance With the National Environmental Policy Act

    As outlined in 7 CFR part 3407 (the CSREES regulations implementing 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969), environmental data for 
any proposed project is to be provided to CSREES so that CSREES may 
determine whether any further action is needed. The applicant shall 
review the following categorical exclusions and determine if the 
proposed project may fall within one of the categories.

(1) Department of Agriculture Categorical Exclusions (7 CFR 1b.3)

    (i) Policy development, planning and implementation which are 
related to routine activities such as personnel, organizational 
changes, or similar administrative functions;
    (ii) Activities which deal solely with the functions of programs, 
such as program budget proposals, disbursements, and transfer or 
reprogramming of funds;
    (iii) Inventories, research activities, and studies, such as 
resource inventories and routine data collection when such actions are 
clearly limited in context and intensity;
    (iv) Educational and informational programs and activities;
    (v) Civil and criminal law enforcement and investigative 
activities;
    (vi) Activities which are advisory and consultative to other 
agencies and public and private entities; and
    (vii) Activities related to trade representation and market 
development activities abroad.

(2) CSREES Categorical Exclusions (7 CFR 3407.6(a)(2))

    Based on previous experience, the following categories of CSREES 
actions are excluded because they have been found to have limited scope 
and intensity and to have no significant individual or cumulative 
impacts on the quality of the human environment: [[Page 13344]] 
    (i) The following categories of research programs or projects of 
limited size and magnitude or with only short-term effects on the 
environment:
    (A) Research conducted within any laboratory, greenhouse, or other 
contained facility where research practices and safeguards prevent 
environmental impacts;
    (B) Surveys, inventories, and similar studies that have limited 
context and minimal intensity in terms of changes in the environment; 
and
    (C) Testing outside of the laboratory, such as in small isolated 
field plots, which involves the routine use of familiar chemicals or 
biological materials.
    (ii) Routine renovation, rehabilitation, or revitalization of 
physical facilities, including the acquisition and installation of 
equipment, where such activity is limited in scope and intensity.
    In order for CSREES to determine whether any further action is 
needed with respect to NEPA, pertinent information regarding the 
possible environmental impacts of a particular project is necessary; 
therefore, Form CSRS-1234, ``NEPA Exclusions Form'' (copy enclosed), 
must be included in the proposal indicating whether the applicant is of 
the opinion that the project falls within a categorical exclusion and 
the reasons therefor. If it is the applicant's opinion that the 
proposed project falls within the categorical exclusions, the specific 
exclusion must be identified. The information submitted shall be 
identified in the Table of Contents as NEPA Considerations and Form 
CSRS-1234 and supporting documentation shall be place after the Form 
CSRS-661, ``Application for Funding,'' in the proposal.
    Even though the applicant considers that a proposed project may 
fall within a categorical exclusion, CSREES may determine that an 
Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement is 
necessary for a proposed project if substantial controversy on 
environmental grounds exists or if other extraordinary conditions or 
circumstances are present that may cause such activity to have a 
significant environmental effect.

Review Criteria

    Proposals will be evaluated by a peer review group of qualified 
scientists selected in accord with Section 3400.11 of the 
administrative provisions governing the Special Research Grants 
Program. Pursuant to 7 CFR part 3400.5(a), the following selection 
criteria for proposals will be used in lieu of those which appear in 
Section 3400.15 of the administrative provisions:

Selection Criteria--Maximum Score

Overall Scientific and Technical Quality--40
--Creative and innovative scientific approach
    --Clear, concise, and achievable objectives
    --Technical soundness of procedures
    --Feasibility of attaining objectives
    --Applicability to watershed scale systems
Justification, Review of Literature and Current Research--15
    --Importance of the problem
    --Relevance of proposed research to solution of the problem
    --Literature focused on specific research approach and objective
Budget, Resources, and Personnel--15
    --Necessary facilities, resources, and personnel available
    --Funds contributed by other agencies
    --Budget appropriate for proposed research
    --Demonstrated scientific capability of investigators
Collarboration--20
    --Evidence of significant contributions by collaborators
    --Evidence and justification of multi-disciplinary and/or multi-
institutional and multi-agency collaboration
Application of Research Results--10
    --Planned application and implementation of research results
    --Extension, transferability, and publication of results
    --Potential for results to enhance agricultural sustainability
Total--100

How To Obtain Application Materials

    Copies of this solicitation, the Application Kit, and the 
administrative provisions governing this program, 7 CFR Part 3400, may 
be obtained by writing to the address or calling the telephone number 
which follows: Proposal Services Branch; Awards Management Division; 
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; U.S. 
Department of Agriculture; Ag Box 2245; Washington, DC 20250-2245; 
Telephone: (202) 401-5048.
    These materials may also be requested via Internet by sending a 
message with your name, mailing address (not e-mail) and phone number 
to [email protected]. which states that you want a copy of the 
application materials for the Fiscal Year 1995 Special Research Grants 
Program, Water Quality. The materials will then be mailed to you (not 
e-mailed) as quickly as possible.
    Applicants should note that separate but complementary programs in 
water resources assessment and protection, soils and soil biology, and 
agricultural systems exist within the CSREES National Research 
Initiative Competitive Grants Program. For further information on that 
program, contact the Proposal Services Branch at the address listed 
above. Proposals should be submitted to the most appropriate program--
submission of duplicate proposals or proposals with substantial overlap 
to both programs is discouraged.

What To Submit

    An original and twelve copies of each proposal, prepared in 
accordance with the instructions found above, must be submitted. This 
number of copies is necessary to permit thorough, objective peer 
evaluation of all proposals received before funding decisions are made.
    All copies of a proposal must be mailed in one package and each 
copy must be stapled securely in the upper left-hand corner. Every 
effort should be made to ensure that the proposal contains all 
pertinent information when initially submitted.
    One copy of each proposal not selected for funding will be retained 
for a period of one year. The remaining copies will be destroyed.

Where and When To Submit Applications

    To be considered for funding during Fiscal Year 1995, proposals 
must be submitted by April 28, 1995.
    Proposals submitted through the regular mail must be postmarked by 
April 28, 1995, and should be sent to the following address: Proposal 
Services Branch; Awards Management Division; Cooperative State 
Research, Education, and Extension Service; U.S. Department of 
Agriculture; Ag Box 2245; Washington, D.C. 20250-2245. The telephone 
number is: (202) 401-5048.
    Hand-delivered proposals must be submitted to an express mail or 
courier service by April 28, 1995, or brought to the following address 
by 4:30 p.m. on April 28, 1995: Proposal Services Branch; Awards 
Management Division; Cooperative State Research, Education, and 
Extension Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Room 303, Aerospace 
Center; 901 D Street, S.W.; Washington, D.C. 20024. The telephone 
number is: (202) 401-5048.

Supplementary Information

    The Special Research Grants Program is listed in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.200. [[Page 13345]] For 
reasons set forth in the final Rule-related Notice to 7 CFR part 3015, 
subpart V (48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983), this program is excluded from 
the scope of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental 
consultation with State and local officials.
    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (44 
U.S.C. 3504(h)), the collection of information requirements contained 
in this Notice have been approved under OMB Document No. 0524-0022.

    Done at Washington, DC, this 6th day of March 1995.
K. Jane Coulter,
Acting Administrator, Cooperative State Research, Education, and 
Extension Service.
                                                 BILLING CODE 3410-22-M
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[FR Doc. 95-5991 Filed 3-9-95; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-22-C