[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 126 (Thursday, July 1, 1999)]
[Pages 35650-35656]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-16773]




Sustainable Development Challenge Grant Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Solicitation of proposals for FY 1999/2000.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting 
proposals for the combined FY 1999/2000 Sustainable Development 
Challenge Grant (SDCG) program, one of President Clinton's ``high 
priority'' actions described in the March 16, 1995 report, 
``Reinventing Environmental Regulation.'' EPA also is soliciting 
comments on the SDCG program's overall design. The EPA anticipates that 
approximately $9.4 million will be available for the SDCG program in FY 
1999/2000. This includes $4.7 million already authorized by Congress 
for FY 1999 and an additional $4.7 million requested for the program in 
the President's FY 2000 Budget Request and subject to Congressional 
    The SDCG program challenges communities to invest in a sustainable 
future that links environmental protection, economic prosperity and 
community well-being. It provides an opportunity to develop place-based 
approaches to problem solving that can be replicated in other 
communities. The SDCG program strongly encourages community members, 
business and government entities to work cooperatively to develop 
flexible, locally-oriented approaches that link place-based 
environmental management and quality of life activities with 
sustainable development and revitalization. These grants are intended 
to catalyze community-based projects to promote environmentally and 
economically sustainable development; build partnerships which increase 
a community's capacity to take steps that will ensure the long-term 
health of ecosystems and humans, economic vitality, and community well-
being; and leverage public and private investments to enhance 
environmental quality by enabling community efforts to continue beyond 
the period of EPA funding.
    EPA will select projects on a competitive basis using the criteria 
outlined in the section titled ``SDCG Program Criteria.'' Applicants 
may compete for funding from EPA in two ranges for FY 1999/2000: (1) 
Requesting $30,000 to $100,000 with a total project budget of $125,000 
or less and (2) requesting between $100,001 and $250,000 with no limit 
on the total project budget amount. Proposals will compete with other 
proposals in the same range (i.e., a proposal for $30,000-$100,000 will 
not compete with a proposal requesting $100,001-$250,000). Applicants 
in each category are required to provide a minimum 20% match from non-
federal funding sources.
    This document includes the following: Background information on the 
Sustainable Development Challenge Grant program; the process for 
preparing and submitting proposals; a description of the FY 1999/2000 
program; the program's relationship to other related EPA activities; 
the SDCG Program Criteria; and the selection and award process.

DATES: The period for submission of proposals for FY 1999/2000 will 
begin upon publication of this Federal Register document. Project 
proposals must be postmarked by September 29, 1999 to be considered for 

Submission of Proposals

    Please provide an original and four copies of your entire proposal 
to the regional representative listed below for the state in which your 
project will take place. Applicants applying for $100,000 or less are 
only required to submit an original and one copy of the proposal. 
Proposals must be postmarked no later than September 29, 1999 to be 
considered for funding. Telefaxed or electronic submissions will not be 
accepted. An acknowledgment of receipt for your proposal will be sent 
by your respective EPA Regional Office. This should take a minimum of 
two weeks from the postmark date. We expect to announce final 
selections in April 2000 and to complete the full grant award process, 
including grant workplan negotiations with the appropriate EPA Region, 
by June 2000.
    Preparing the SDCG Proposal: Proposals should not exceed eight (8) 
page sides (four double-sided pages, single or double-spaced). Where 
proposals exceed the eight pages in length, the additional pages will 
not be considered.
     Items 2 through 5 in the list below count towards the (8) 
page maximum. The only items not included in the eight (8) page maximum 
are the Summary Information Page (item 1) and the Mandatory Attachments 
described in item 6 (these are your Proof of Non-profit Status, and 
your Letters of Commitment from match partners).
     The new EPA Small Grants Policy states that any grant 
proposal requesting $100,000 or less is not required to submit a 
proposal which exceeds five (5) page sides. These applicants may, 
however, submit up to the eight page limit if they so desire.
     Please do not use covers, binders or folders.
     Proposals should be submitted on 8\1/2\ x 11'' recycled 
paper and be double-sided.
     Use no smaller than 10-point type and have one inch page 
margins all around.
    The project proposal should contain the following in the given 

[[Page 35651]]

    (1) Summary Information Page (recommended length: 1 page) that 
A. Applicant Information
     Project title and location;
     Applicant name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-
mail address;
     Type of applicant organization, e.g., non-profit, state, 
local government, Native American (American Indians and Alaskan Native 
Villages), or educational;
     Name of project contact, address, telephone and fax 
numbers, and e-mail address;
     Indicate if the project is being done in cooperation with 
or funded by another federal or EPA program; if so, please identify the 
     Project category (see the section titled ``List of 
Potential Project Categories'' and choose those that apply; feel free 
to use a different category from those listed if it better describes 
your project).
B. Summary Budget Information
     Dollar Amount Requested from EPA
     Dollar Amount of Matching Funds
     Dollar Amount of Total Project Budget
     Match Percentage
C. Match Partner Information
     List of Organizations (including addresses) providing 
     Match Amount
    The Summary Information page does not count against the eight page 
    (2) Project Overview (Recommended page length: (1) Briefly address 
the following questions. Your responses provide an overview of the 
proposed project and help reviewers understand the context of your 
proposal. You have the opportunity to expand on these questions when 
addressing the SDCG Program Criteria.
     What is the role of your organization in the community?
     Where will the activity occur and what is the geographic 
scale of the proposed activity (community, city, watershed, region, 
     What are the goals and objectives of the project?
     What are the project's expected results and what vision do 
you have for the ultimate impact of activity (what do you expect to see 
change over time among the people involved, the physical environment, 
and the environmental, economic or social conditions)?
    (3) SDCG Program Criteria (Recommended page length: 3-4) Address 
the program criteria question-by-question. Include criteria subheadings 
(Sustainability, Community Commitment and Contribution, and Measurable 
Results and Evaluation) and use the question numbers to organize your 
responses. The specific criteria are found in the ``SDCG Program 
Criteria'' section. Definitions of some of the key terms included in 
the criteria are provided at the end of this notice.
    (4) Project Schedule and Time-Frame (Recommended page length: \1/2\ 
page) Show when you expect to complete significant steps and milestones 
in your project. Clearly depict the project's duration, and include 
months and dates. Use July 1, 2000 as the project start date (the exact 
date will be negotiated with EPA if your project is selected). One to 
three year project duration is permitted under the SDCG program. See 
the sample schedule below:

Convene project team--Jul 1, 2000
Complete Task 1 (include brief description of task)--Oct 30, 2000
Complete Task 2 (include brief description of task)--Mar 15, 2001
Complete Task 3 (include brief description of task)--Jun 1, 2001
Complete final report--Jun 30, 2001

    (5) Budget Detail (Recommended page length: \1/2\ page) Be sure to 
review the section titled ``Funding Ranges and Match'' before preparing 
your budget. Prepare a proposed budget showing expected costs by major 
categories (personnel, travel, supplies, rent, subcontracts, etc.). 
This should include how the matching funds (i.e., funds provided from 
non-federal sources) will be spent, what the sources of those funds 
are, and whether the funds are cash, in-kind, or both. Proposals that 
do not document a minimum 20% match via commitment letters will not be 
considered. See the sample budget format provided below:

                                    EPA share      funds        Total
Staff Salaries and Benefits......      $33,000       $8,000      $41,000
Travel...........................        7,000            0        7,000
Supplies.........................        3,000        1,000        4,000
Service Contract.................        5,000        3,000        8,000
    Totals.......................       48,000       12,000       60,000
Break-Down of Matching Funds:
    Your Organization--$5,000 (in-
    Cityville, USA--$3,000 (cash)
    Cityville, USA--$3,000 (in-
    LocalBusiness, Inc.--$1,000

    (6) Mandatory Attachments (These items do not count toward the page 
    A. Proof of Non-profit Status. All non-governmental applicants must 
attach articles of incorporation or other documentation demonstrating 
non-profit status. For more information, see the section titled 
``Eligible Applicants.'' Applications without this documentation will 
not be considered.
    B. Match Commitment Letters. Letters of commitment from ALL 
partners contributing matching funds (cash and/or in-kind) to the 
project must be submitted with your proposal, not sent separately or at 
a later date. Commitment letters from project partners must specify the 
nature of the match (cash or in-kind services), the dollar value of the 
match, and the role the contributor will play in the project. Project 
partners providing matching funds must certify that the funds will be 
available during the project period. Letters must be submitted on 
letterhead (if applicable), signed by an individual with authority to 
commit funds, and include the organization's telephone number and 
address. Letters can be addressed to the appropriate EPA contact for 
your proposal or to the organization submitting the proposal. 
Applications submitted without commitment letters confirming available 
match funds will not be considered. Please do not send letters of 
general support from non-match partners or

[[Page 35652]]

others; they will not be used in the evaluation and review process.

Submission of Comments

    EPA also is requesting comments on the overall content and design 
of the FY 1999/2000 Program. Please send comments to Dr. Lynn Desautels 
at EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC via letter, fax, or e-mail (see 
For Further Information for specifics). Your comments will be used to 
help the agency make further improvements in the program in subsequent 
funding years. Please submit your comments by December 1, 1999.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact the regional representative for your 
state or Dr. Lynn Desautels, Director, Sustainable Development 
Challenge Grant Program, Office of the Administrator, U.S. EPA (MC 
1306), 401 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20460, telephone (202) 260-6812, 
fax (202) 260-2555, e-mail [email protected].

Regional Offices

Rosemary Monahan, US EPA Region I, 1 Congress Street, Suite 1100, 
RSP, Boston, MA 02114-2023, (617) 918-1087, 
[email protected]. States: ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI
Marcia Seidner, US EPA Region 2, 290 Broadway, 26th Floor, New York, 
NY 10007-1866, (212) 637-3590, [email protected]. States & 
Territories: NY, NJ, PR, VI
Theresa Martella, US EPA Region 3, 1650 Arch Street (3CB00), 
Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 814-5423, [email protected]. 
States: DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV
Annette N. Hill, US EPA Region 4, OPM, 61 Forsyth Street, SW, 
Atlant, GA 30303, (404) 562-8287, [email protected] States: 
Janette Marsh, US EPA Region 5, 77 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 
60604-3507, (312) 886-4856, [email protected], States: MN, WI, 
Diana Hinds, US EPA Region 6, Fountain Place, Suite 1200, 1445 Ross 
Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202-2733, (214) 665-7561, [email protected]gov, 
States: AR, LA, NM, OK, TX
Dick Sumpter, US EPA Region 7, 901 N. 5th Street, Kansas City, KS 
66101, (913) 551-7661, [email protected], States: KS, MO, NE, 
David Schaller, US EPA Region 8, 999 18th Street, Suite 500, Denver, 
CO 80202-2466, (303) 312-6146, [email protected], States: CO, 
Nova Blazej, US EPA Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street (CMD-7), San 
Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 744-2089, [email protected], States & 
Territories: CA, NV, AZ, HI, AS, GU
Anne Dalrymple, US EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue (01-085), 
Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 553-0199, [email protected], States: 

Headquarters Office

Dr. Lynn Desautels, Director, Sustainable Development Challenge 
Grant Program, Office of the Administrator, US EPA, MC 1306, 401 M 
Street SW MC 1306, Washington, D.C. 20460, (202) 260-6812 (SDCG 
Line) [email protected]


Overview of the Sustainable Development Challenge Grant Approach

    The Sustainable Development Challenge Grant (SDCG) program is an 
important opportunity for EPA to award competitive grants that leverage 
private and other public sector investment in communities (ranging in 
size from neighborhoods to cities to larger geographic areas such as 
watersheds or metropolitan areas). These grants will build partnerships 
that will increase the capacity of communities to ensure long-term 
environmental protection through the application of sustainable 
development strategies. EPA intends these competitive grants to be 
catalysts that challenge communities to invest in a more sustainable 
    The program encourages communities to recognize and build upon the 
fundamental connection between environmental protection, economic 
prosperity and community well-being. Accomplishing this linkage 
requires integrating environmental protection in policy and decision-
making at all levels of government and throughout the economy. 
Achieving sustainability is a responsibility shared by environmental, 
community and economic interests.
    The SDCG program recognizes the significant role that communities 
have and should play in environmental protection. The program 
acknowledges that sustainable development is often best designed and 
implemented at a community level and encourages projects that can be 
replicated in other communities. This emphasis on strong community 
involvement requires a commitment to ensuring that all residents of a 
community, of varying economic and social groups, have opportunities to 
participate in decision-making and benefit from successful sustainable 
development activities. Only through the combined efforts and 
collaboration of government, private organizations and individuals can 
our communities, regions, states, and nation achieve the benefits of 
sustainable development. In keeping with this philosophy, the EPA will 
implement this program consistent with the principles of Executive 
Order 12898, ``Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in 
Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations'' (February 11, 1994). 
We encourage submissions from Empowerment Zones and Enterprise 
    The EPA initiated the SDCG program as a pilot effort in 1996 and 
has funded 96 of the 2,218 proposals received in the first three years 
of the program (FY96, 97, 98) for a total of approximately $10,500,000. 
Project descriptions for all of the projects funded to date are 
available via the Internet at http:www.epa.gov/ecocommunity (see ``List 
of Potential Project Categories'' for further information).

Linkages to Other Initiatives

    EPA and its state and local partners continue to refine how 
environmental protection is accomplished in the United States. The 
Agency recognizes that environmental progress will not be achieved 
solely by regulation. Innovative attitudes of regulatory agencies 
combined with individual, institutional, and corporate responsibility, 
commitment and stewardship will be needed to assure adequate protection 
of the earth's resources. The Sustainable Development Challenge Grant 
program is consistent with other community-based efforts EPA has 
introduced, such as the Brownfields Initiative, Environmental Justice 
Small Grants Program, Project XL, the President's American Heritage 
Rivers Initiative, the Watershed Protection Approach, the Clean Water 
Action Plan, Transportation Partners, the $mart Growth Network, and the 
Community-Based Environmental Protection Approach. The Sustainable 
Development Challenge Grant program is also a step in implementing 
``Agenda 21, the Global Plan of Action on Sustainable Development,'' 
signed by the United States at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 
1992. All of these programs require broad community participation to 
identify and address environmental issues.
    Through the Sustainable Development Challenge Grant program, EPA 
also intends to further the vision and goals of the President's Council 
on Sustainable Development (PCSD), created in 1993 by President 
Clinton. EPA is coordinating existing urban environmental programs 
within the Agency and with other federal, state and local agencies. The 
President charged the Council, composed of corporate, government, and 
non-profit representatives, to find ways to ``bring people together to 
meet the needs of the present without jeopardizing the future.'' The 
Council has declared this vision:

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    ``Our vision is of a life-sustaining Earth. We are committed to 
the achievement of a dignified, peaceful and equitable existence. We 
believe a sustainable United States will have a growing economy that 
equitably provides opportunities for satisfying livelihoods and a 
safe, healthy, high quality of life for current and future 
generations. Our nation will protect its environment, its natural 
resource base, and the functions and viability of natural systems on 
which all life depends.'' (February 1996)

    The Sustainable Development Challenge Grant program furthers this 
vision by encouraging community-based sustainable development 

Eligible Applicants

    Eligible applicants include: (1) Incorporated non-profit (or not-
for-profit) private agencies, institutions and organizations, and (2) 
public (state, county, regional or local) agencies, institutions and 
organizations, including those of Native Americans (American Indians 
and Alaskan Native Villages), the District of Columbia, the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the U.S. 
Applicants must be located in, and project activities must be conducted 
within, the U.S., the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory or 
possession of the U.S. While state agencies are eligible they are 
encouraged to work in partnership with community groups and other non-
profit organizations. Federal agencies are not eligible for funding, 
however, they are also encouraged to work in partnership with state and 
local agencies and non-governmental organizations on these projects. 
Profit-making organizations and individuals are not eligible for 
funding; however, they are encouraged to participate in sustainability 
efforts in their community by becoming partners with eligible 
    Non-profit Status: Applicants are not required to have a formal 
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) non-profit designation, such as 
501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4), however they must present their letter of 
incorporation documenting their non-profit or not-for-profit status. 
This requirement does not apply to public agencies. Failure to enclose 
the letter of incorporation documenting an applicant's non-profit or 
not-for-profit status will result in an incomplete submission and the 
proposal will not be reviewed. Applicants who do have an IRS 501(c)(4) 
designation are not eligible for grants if they engage in lobbying, no 
matter what the source of funding for the lobbying activity. No 
recipient may use grant funds for lobbying. Further, profit-makers are 
not eligible to receive sub-grants from eligible recipients, although 
they may receive contracts, subject to EPA's regulations on procurement 
under assistance agreements, 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 30.40 
(for non-governmental recipients) and 40 CFR 31.36 (for governments).

SDCG Program Criteria

    The proposed project must meet the two statutory threshold 
determinations described below in the Statutory Authority section. 
Then, proposals will be ranked according to how well they address and 
integrate the SDCG Program Criteria. Definitions of some of the key 
terms used in the criteria are included at the end of this notice. A 
higher ranking will be given to those proposals which clearly and 
comprehensively meet and integrate the greatest number of criteria, 
address serious environmental problems, and are likely to produce 
successful results. Applicants should address each of the three 
criteria sections question-by-question. If a proposal does not address 
one or more criteria, the applicant must clearly state why these 
criteria were not addressed.

(A) Sustainability: 50 Points

    A1. How do the proposed project solutions integrate and sustain 
environmental protection, economic prosperity and community well-being 
at the community level and at the regional level?
    A2. How does the proposal address the ways in which future 
generations are affected by the proposed project?
    A3. What are the specific environmental, economic, and community 
problem(s) the proposal addresses and what are their significance?
    A4. What type of sustainable behavior is desired, and what type of 
non-sustainable behavior needs to be changed?
    A5. How do the environmental solutions proposed illustrate an 
ecosystem approach to environmental protection? An ecosystem approach 
is one that looks at a specific area and addresses the air, land, 
water, plants, animals, and people as an integrated and interconnected 
    A6. How do the proposal's environmental and economic impacts 
promote community well-being for all people in the community?
    A7. How does the proposal assure that the project's activities do 
not exhaust or degrade the environment in your community or shift the 
problem to another community or another part of the environment?
    A8. How do the environmental solutions proposed by the project lead 
to long-term economic vitality? For example, will the project lead to 
more sustainable use of natural resources, reduce consumption of non-
renewable resources, create a more skilled and flexible labor force, 
and maximize local financial resources?
    A9. How does the proposal represent new solutions for the 
community, given their previous history and current circumstances?
    A10. How does the project build upon lessons learned from similar 
sustainable development projects conducted in your community or 

(B) Community Commitment and Contribution: 25 Points

    B1. How do your partners fully represent those in the community who 
have an interest in or will be affected by the project?
    B2. What methods will be used for community involvement to assure 
that all affected by the project are provided an opportunity to 
    B3. Does the community have in place the legal and regulatory 
authority they need to implement the project?
    B4. What evidence is there of long-term commitment to the proposal? 
Describe how you plan to continue the work after the grant ends or how 
this project will evolve into other efforts.

(C) Measurable Results and Evaluation: 25 Points

    C1. What are the achievable short-term (within three years) and 
long-term objectives that will be used to measure the proposal's 
contribution to sustainability? These objectives should be both 
quantitative and qualitative.
    C2. For planning or visioning proposals: Once the plan or vision is 
developed, what next steps will be taken to ensure the plan or vision 
is implemented? How will the plan or vision's contribution be measured?
    C3. How will you measure and evaluate how well the project meets 
its goals and objectives? Goal and objective measures should be both 
qualitative and quantitative, and should assess the project's 
contribution to sustainability.
    C4. In what ways will the project be transferable to other 
communities and how will you transfer that information?

List of Potential Project Categories

    EPA welcomes proposals for many types of demonstration projects 
under the SDCG program. Those most likely to be chosen for funding will 
innovatively link solutions for significant environmental, economic and 
community issues and problems. Short descriptions of all previously 
funded SDCG projects can be found on the

[[Page 35654]]

Internet at our web site: ``www.epa.gov/ecocommunity.'' If you do not 
have Internet access, copies of these descriptions can be obtained from 
your regional representative or from our headquarters office (see 
section titled ``For Further Information''). The list below illustrates 
some of the categories that best describe projects previously funded 
under this program. Projects often fall under more than one category. 
The list is not intended to be exhaustive, and proposed projects may 
fit into several categories or into new categories.
     Comprehensive planning for sustainable growth.
     Comprehensive resource management and restoration (e.g. 
watershed restoration, habitat protection, wildlife corridors, 
greenways, wetlands, local environmental features, etc.).
     Educational ecology or environment-based tourism 
supporting local communities.
     Green business incentives.
     Sustainability indicators.
     Sustainable agriculture.
     Sustainable forestry.
     Green building design.
     Community revitalization and redevelopment.
     Sustainability education.
     Community/local government tools for sustainability.
     Sustainable energy systems.
     Materials reuse.
    Since the program seeks to fund innovative ideas, proposals that 
are repetitious of earlier funded projects must state how the proposal 
addresses new aspects of the problem or issue. Proposals focused on 
planning or visioning should clearly state goals and objectives and 
indicate the next steps for implementation. Projects do not have to 
fall into a single project type, but can incorporate aspects of several 
project types.

Funding Ranges and Match

    Applicants may compete for funding from EPA in two ranges for FY 
1999/2000: (1) Requesting $30,000 to $100,000 with a total project 
budget of $125,000 or less, and (2) requesting between $100,001 and 
$250,000 with no limit on total project budget. Proposals will compete 
with other proposals in the same range. Applicants in each category are 
required to demonstrate how they will meet the minimum 20% non-federal 
match. Applicants may submit multiple proposals, however, each proposal 
must be for a separate and distinct project. No organization may 
receive funding for more than one grant each year under the SDCG 
program, and projects awarded in any given year will be ineligible for 
future funding from this program. Applicants who have received funding 
under this program in the past are eligible to receive funds for new 
projects which are unrelated to the previously funded projects.
    This program is intended to provide seed money to leverage a 
broader public and private investment in sustainability activities. As 
a result, the program requires a minimum non-federal match of at least 
20% of the total project budget. The total budget includes (1) EPA's 
share, (2) funds identified as match, and (3) any other funds directly 
supporting the project. EPA strongly encourages applicants to leverage 
as much investment in community sustainability as possible. EPA views 
this leverage as a measure of community support and an indication of 
the possible longevity of the project. The match can come from a 
variety of public and private sources and can include in-kind goods and 
services. No Federal funds, however, can be used as matching funds 
without specific statutory authority. The match must be calculated in 
accordance with the following example calculation:
    (1) If you want to request $100,000 from EPA, your match amount is 
not $20,000. You calculate the amount of match you must provide by 
dividing the amount you are requesting by 80%. For example:

$100,000 divided by .8 = $125,000 (total project costs)

(2) Amount Requested From US EPA--$100,000
Your Match--+25,000
Total Project Budget--$125,000

    These equations calculate the minimum match required. Your match 
must be at least 20% to be eligible for funding; fractions (e.g. 19.5%) 
will not be rounded up.

    Note: Consistent with the provisions of the Omnibus Territories 
Act, as amended, 48 U.S.C. 1469a(d), the match requirement is waived 
for applications submitted by the governments of American Samoa, 
Guam, the Virgin Islands, or the Northern Mariana Islands.

    In-Kind Contributions to Meet Your Match Requirement: In-kind 
contributions are non-cash contributions to a project. Volunteered 
services and donated supplies (use of equipment, office/meeting space, 
printing, etc.) used toward your match are called ``in-kind 
contributions,'' which you are allowed to count toward the required 
match. Volunteered services may include a bookkeeper's maintenance of 
your group's financial records and preparation of required financial 
reports; an auditor's review of your group's financial records; a 
lawyer's aid in drafting a contract for your technical advisor(s), etc. 
You must place a reasonable monetary value on your in-kind 
contributions and include them in your budget. You must be prepared to 
document in-kind contributions in your records. Rates for volunteer 
services must be consistent with rates in your community for similar 
services and may not include fringe benefits, overhead or profit. EPA 
can only provide funds for project costs that are allowable under EPA 
statutory authority. The funds that match partners contribute to a 
successful challenge grant can only be counted toward match if they are 
for costs which EPA can fund. If selected to receive an SDCG grant, 
applicants and their match partners are subject to audit to ensure that 
all costs are appropriate. If costs are ineligible or the grantee 
cannot properly document match dollars , the grantee would be liable 
for the disallowed costs.
    FOIA, CBI, and Enforcement Screening: Applicants should be aware 
that proposals submitted under this or any other EPA grant program are 
subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This means that 
anyone can request and receive copies of all the information submitted 
in your grant proposal. If your application contains any Confidential 
Business Information (CBI), be sure to highlight it so the 
confidentiality can be protected in the event of a FOIA request.
    Finalists for challenge grant awards may be screened to ensure that 
the applicants and their match partners are in compliance with 
applicable EPA statutes.
    Duration: Funded projects are expected to be structured for a 
period of one to three years.

What Costs Can Be Paid?

    Even though a proposal may involve an eligible applicant, eligible 
activity, and eligible purpose, grant funds cannot necessarily pay for 
all of the costs which the recipient might incur in the course of 
carrying out the project. Allowable costs, including those paid for by 
matching funds, are determined by reference to EPA regulations cited 
below and to OMB Circulars A-122, ``Cost Principles for Non-profit 
Organizations,'' A-21 ``Cost Principles for Education Institutions,'' 
and A-87, ``Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal 
Governments.'' Generally, costs which are allowable include salaries, 
equipment, supplies, training, rental of office space, etc., as long as 
these are ``necessary and reasonable.''

[[Page 35655]]

Entertainment costs are an example of unallowable costs.

Statutory Authority

    EPA expects to award Sustainable Development Challenge Grants 
program under the following eight grant authorities: Clean Air Act 
section 103(b)(3); Clean Water Act section 104 (b)(3); Resource 
Conservation and Recovery Act section 8001; Toxics Substances Control 
Act section 10; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act 
section 20; Safe Drinking Water Act sections 1442(a) and (c); National 
Environmental Education Act, section 6; and Pollution Prevention Act, 
section 6605.
    In addition to the program criteria listed in the SDCG Program 
Criteria section above, a proposal must meet the following two 
important threshold criteria to be considered for funding:
    Threshold Criterion #1. A project must consist of activities 
authorized under one or more of the eight EPA grant authorities cited 
above. Most of the statutes authorize grants for the following 
activities: ``research, investigations, experiments, training, 
demonstrations, surveys and studies.'' These activities relate 
generally to the gathering or transferring of information or advancing 
the state of knowledge. Grant proposals should emphasize this 
``learning'' concept, as opposed to ``fixing'' an environmental problem 
via a well-established method. For example, a proposal to plant some 
trees in an economically depressed area in order to prevent erosion 
would probably not in itself fall within the statutory terms 
``research, studies, demonstrations,'' etc., nor would a proposal to 
start a routine recycling program. The project's activities must 
advance the state of knowledge or transfer information. The statutory 
term ``demonstration'' can encompass the first instance of the 
application of pollution control and prevention techniques, or an 
innovative application of a previously used method. The term 
``research'' may include the application of established practices when 
they contribute to ``learning'' about an environmental concept or 
    Threshold Criterion #2. In order to be funded, a project's focus 
generally must be one that is specified in the statutes listed above. 
For most of the statutes, a project must address the causes, effects, 
extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of air, water, or solid/
hazardous waste pollution, or, in the case of grants under the Toxic 
Substances Control Act or the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and 
Rodenticide Act, to ``carrying out the purposes of the Act.'' While the 
purpose of the SDCG program will include the other two aspects of 
sustainable development (economic prosperity and community well-being), 
the overarching concern or principal focus must be on the statutory 
purpose of the applicable grant authority, in most cases ``to prevent 
or control pollution.'' In light of this, proposals relating to other 
topics which are sometimes included within the term ``environment'' 
such as recreation, conservation, restoration, protection of wildlife 
habitats, etc., should describe the relationship of these topics to the 
statutorily required purpose of pollution prevention and/or control. 
For assistance in understanding statutory authorities under which EPA 
is providing these grants, please contact your EPA representative 
listed earlier in this notice.

Selection and Award Process

    EPA will select Sustainable Development Challenge Grant recipients 
for FY 1999/2000 through a national competition. EPA Regional Offices 
will assess how well the proposals meet the program criteria and 
forward their top proposals to EPA Headquarters for review by a 
national panel consisting of EPA Headquarters and Regional 
representatives. Proposals will be evaluated and final selections will 
be recommended by the national panel. The panel's recommendations will 
be presented to EPA Senior Management for final selection. In making 
these final selections such factors as geographic diversity, project 
diversity, costs, matching funds, and project transferability or 
replicability may be considered. We expect to announce final selections 
in April 2000 and to complete the full grant award process, including 
workplan negotiations with the appropriate EPA Region, by June 2000.
    Although the selections will be made nationally, SDCG grants will 
be awarded and managed by the appropriate EPA Regional Offices. 
Applicants selected to receive SDCG grants will be contacted by the 
appropriate EPA Regional Office, and will be requested to submit a full 
grant application (i.e. Application for Domestic Federal Assistance). 
Your EPA Regional Contact will provide you with the information you 
need, and will be available to answer any questions.


    Sustainable Development: Sustainable development means integrating 
environmental protection and community and economic goals. Sustainable 
development meets the needs of the present generation without 
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 
The sustainable development approach seeks to encourage broad-based 
community participation and public and private investment in decisions 
and activities that define a community's environmental and economic 
future and community well-being.
    Community Well-being: In the sustainable development context, 
community well-being means understanding and considering the impacts of 
activity on the diversity of cultures, values, and traditions in a 
community and on the overall quality of life. It acknowledges both 
current and future generations. Community well-being means ensuring 
that all members of the community, regardless of ethnic or cultural 
group, age or income, have access to services provided through the 
sustainable development project, and that the benefits/burdens of the 
project are fairly distributed.
    Community: The scale used to define ``community'' under this 
challenge grant program will vary with the issues, problems, or 
opportunities that an applicant intends to address. The SDCG program 
recognizes the significant role that communities have and should play 
in environmental protection. ``Community'' means a geographic area 
within which different groups and individuals share common interests 
related to their homes and businesses, their personal and professional 
lives, the surrounding natural landscape and environment, and the local 
or regional economy. A community can be one or more local governments, 
a neighborhood within a small or large city, a large metropolitan area, 
a small or large watershed, an airshed, tribal lands, ecosystems of 
various scales, or some other specific geographic area with which 
people identify.
    Non-sustainable Behavior: Development, or land and water 
activities, management or uses, which limit the ability of humans and 
ecosystems to live sustainably by destroying or degrading ecological 
values and functions, diminishing the material quality of life, 
diverting economic benefits away from long-term community prosperity, 
and decreasing the long-term capacity for sustainability.
    Pollution Prevention: Any practice that (1) reduces the amount of 
any hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant entering any waste 
stream or released into the environment (including fugitive emissions) 
prior to recycling, treatment or disposal, and (2) reduces the hazards 
associated with such substances, pollutants or contaminants; and (3) 
other practices

[[Page 35656]]

that reduce or eliminate the creation of pollutants through increased 
efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water or other 
resources; or (4) protection of natural resources by conservation.

Applicable Grant Regulations

    40 CFR part 30 for other than state/local governments, for example, 
non-profit organizations (see 61 FR 6065 (Feb. 15, 1996)), and part 31 
for state and local governments and Indian tribes.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection provisions in this document for 
solicitation of proposals are approved by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. 
in a generic Information Collection Request titled Generic 
Administrative Requirements for Assistance Programs (ICR No. 938.06 and 
OMB Approval No. 2030-0020). A copy of the Information Collection 
Request (ICR No. 938.06) may be obtained from Sandy Farmer in the 
Regulatory Information Division, EPA, 401 M Street, SW (Mail Code 
2137), Washington, DC 20460 or by calling (202) 260-2740.

    Dated: June 25, 1999.
Peter D. Robertson,
Acting Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 99-16773 Filed 6-30-99; 8:45 am]