[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 60 (Wednesday, March 28, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 18767-18785]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-6994]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 86

[Docket No. FWS-R9-WSR-2011-0083; FVWF941009000007B-XXX-FF09W11000]
RIN 1018-AW64


Boating Infrastructure Grant Program

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose 
changes in the regulations governing the administration of the national 
Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIG). We are updating the 
regulations to reflect changes in policy and practice that have 
occurred since the program's inception in 1998. We are also responding 
to recommendations received from States carrying out the program, a 
Federal advisory committee, and organizations with an interest in the 
program. The proposed rule will clarify the current program 
requirements, adjust the ranking criteria for competitive awards to 
correspond to the priorities in the Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act 
of 1998, organize questions and answers to reflect the life cycle of 
the grant, and reword and reformat regulations following Federal plain 
language policy and current rulemaking guidance.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before May 
29, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number FWS-R9-
WSR-2011-0083, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     U.S. mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. 
FWS-R9-WSR-2011-0083; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Division of 
Policy and Directives Management; 4401 North Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-
PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 
Division of Policy and Directives Management; 4501 North Fairfax Drive, 
Room 2042 PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
    We will not accept email or faxes. All submissions received must 
include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information 
Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted 
without change to http://www/regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. For detailed instructions on submitting comments 
and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the ``Public 
Comments'' heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this 
document.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa E. Van Alstyne, Wildlife and 
Sport Fish Restoration Program, Division of Policy and Programs, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 703-358-1942.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Boating is a national pastime recognized for decades as a 
recreational activity that also has a strong economic impact. According 
to the National Marine Manufacturer's Association Recreational Boating 
Statistical Abstract, 2009, boating contributes $30.8 billion in annual 
sales and services to the U.S. economy. Studies of recreational boaters 
have shown an increase in the number of boats at least

[[Page 18768]]

26 feet long that stay in the water for the entire season and travel 
throughout the country's waterways. These boaters contribute an 
estimated 16 percent of the overall boating impact to the economy, over 
$5 billion annually. The activities of transient recreational boats at 
least 26 feet long call for specific accommodations and services for 
protecting the environment and enjoyment by the public. The purpose of 
the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIG) is to assist States in 
addressing the need for more and better facilities to accommodate these 
boaters. A recent economic study conducted by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service) estimates the annual positive impact of the 
BIG Program in 2009 to be $34.28 million. This impact reflects the 
availability of the grants themselves as well as the jobs created to 
construct facilities, increased boater traffic, positive economic 
impact due to more and easily accessible facilities, overall 
improvement to the infrastructure of boating-access facilities, and 
connections to communities throughout the United States.
    Testimony at a congressional hearing in February 1997 introduced 
awareness of the need for more and better boating access and facilities 
for recreational boats at least 26 feet long that owners put into the 
water for a season and travel from place to place. The testimony and 
further research indicated too few, inadequate, or poorly located 
facilities available to allow these boaters to travel the United States 
navigable waters and access amenities such as dock space, restrooms, 
showers, fuel, pumpouts, and harbors of safe refuge, and to link 
boaters to cultural, historic, scenic, and natural resources of the 
United States.
    The Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act of 1998 (16 U.S.C. 777g-1) 
amended the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act. This amendment 
established a Federal grant program to States for developing and 
maintaining facilities for transient nontrailerable recreational 
vessels at least 26 feet long. These vessels must be operated primarily 
for pleasure or leased, rented, or chartered to another for the 
latter's pleasure. The priorities in awarding grants are constructing, 
renovating, and maintaining facilities; providing for public and 
private partnership efforts to develop, maintain, and operate 
facilities; and including new and emerging techniques, ideas, products, 
and concepts to increase and improve facilities and services.
    The Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program 
and the partnerships it has fostered manage multiple grant programs. 
Among them is BIG, which offers grants to States to build facilities 
for eligible transient recreational vessels that support boating, 
travel, local economies, and environmental improvement, and enhance 
awareness and public satisfaction.
    The Service published the BIG final rule in the Federal Register 
[66 FR 5282] on January 18, 2001. The Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance (CFDA) describes the program at 15.622.
    In 2003, the Director of the Service asked the Sport Fishing and 
Boating Partnership Council (Council), an advisory group established 
according to the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
(FACA), to undertake a review of BIG and offer recommendations for 
improvement. The Council issued its report in June 2005 and offered 
recommendations for improvement in program administration; project 
application, review and selection; awareness and participation; and 
project execution and reporting. We have considered the issues and 
recommendations identified in the Council report. This proposed rule 
includes changes based on our response to advice offered by the 
Council.
    We propose to incorporate changes to the rule based on Service 
Manual chapter 522 FW 16, ``Preagreement Costs,'' Oct. 13, 2005. The 
chapter establishes conditions under which a grantee may incur costs 
before the grant start date. It incorporates recommendations of a joint 
task force of Federal and State officials.
    We will make changes to the rule based on Public Law 111-274, 
``Plain Writing Act of 2010'' (October 13, 2010). This Act requires 
that we use plain language in all proposed and final rulemaking 
documents published in the Federal Register.
    The Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act of 1998 required the 
Service to develop a National Framework for States to collect 
information on existing facilities and the current state of boating 
that would allow the Service and States to develop a strategy to 
address areas of need. States were to complete a survey, based on the 
National Framework, and the Service would use the information to 
develop a Comprehensive National Assessment. The Secretary of the 
Interior adopted the National Framework for Survey of Boating Access 
Needs through a Federal Register notice [65 FR 58284] on September 28, 
2000. The Service proposal to implement the survey allowed States to 
collect data through several methods and allowed States to choose the 
method they used. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) rejected 
the proposal, citing concerns that the variety of data collection 
methods would result in the inability of the Service to compile all of 
the States' information consistently. Funding constraints have 
prevented the Service from developing standardized collection methods 
and reporting of this information for States. The current rule contains 
detailed information for implementing the survey and reporting. We 
propose to remove these sections from the proposed rule. We will give 
guidance for the National Framework, State survey, and Comprehensive 
National Assessment in the future should the Service receive the 
resources needed to pursue the project.
    The current rule contains criteria allowing projects to receive 
points for completing a State survey based on the National Framework. 
As we propose to remove all references to the National Framework and 
State survey, we also propose to remove the criterion allowing projects 
to receive points for completing a survey. We propose other changes to 
the ranking criteria for competitive grants based on Service experience 
and recommendations from participants, interested parties, and Service 
staff.

Updates to the Regulation

    We arrange the sections of the proposed rule into subparts of 
related subject matter. The gaps in section numbers between each 
subpart allow us to add new sections in the future. We summarize the 
changes in the proposed rule by section or by group of sections, and 
cross-reference proposed section numbers to the corresponding numbers 
in the current version of 50 CFR part 86 as published in the Federal 
Register [66 FR 5282] on January 18, 2001. We refer to the 2001 version 
of 50 CFR part 86 when we use the term ``current'' before a section 
number or before a reference to 50 CFR part 86. Where we change the 
format, wording, or both, of a section or topic, but do not change the 
content in a major way, we indicate that we make no significant 
changes.
    We include new terms in the definitions to make the rule easier to 
read and understand. We change some definitions in the current rule to 
clarify the meanings. We divide the rule into more subparts and 
sections to clarify program details.
    We remove all references to ``framework,'' ``boat access survey,'' 
``State plans,'' or any other terms or activities found in the current 
``Subpart J--Service Completion of the National Framework,'' ``Subpart 
K--How States Will Complete Access Needs Surveys,''

[[Page 18769]]

``Subpart L--Completing the Comprehensive National Assessment,'' and 
``Subpart M--How States Will Complete the State Program Plans.'' We do 
not have OMB approval or funding to implement the framework, surveys, 
assessment, or plans as published in the Federal Register [67 FR 744-
755] on January 7, 2002. We will publish guidance on these topics when 
the Service has the resources and approval to implement.

Subpart A--General

Section 86.1 What does this part do?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.10. We 
remove references to both the boat access survey and State plans. We 
introduce two new terms, ``BIG Basic'' to replace ``Tier 1'', and ``BIG 
Competitive'' to replace ``Tier 2'' for identifying the available grant 
award types.
Section 86.2 What is the purpose of BIG?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.11. We 
make no significant changes.
Section 86.3 What terms do I need to know?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.12. We 
give definitions for terms as they apply to BIG that improve reader 
understanding of the program and our administration of it. The proposed 
section defines the following terms that are not in the corresponding 
``Definitions'' section of 86.12: BIG-funded facility, Capital 
improvement, Director, Eligible user, Eligible vessel, Facility, Match, 
Real property, Regional Office, Scope, Service, and Useful life. We 
introduce the terms ``BIG-funded facility'' and ``Facility'' to 
differentiate between the components of a facility that receive BIG 
funding and to which this part applies, from the rest of the facility. 
We define ``Capital improvement'' and apply the term to explain useful 
life, the Federal interest in property, and information to include in 
the BIG grant application. We introduce the terms ``Eligible vessel'' 
and ``Eligible user'' so that we do not repeat the term ``transient 
nontrailerable recreational vessel at least 26 feet long'' throughout 
the rule. We use ``Useful life'' to tell applicants how to follow 
guidance in the rule that shows the responsibilities of grantees to 
maintain a BIG-funded facility.
    We propose to move the section on ``Boating infrastructure'' from 
the current Sec.  86.13 and include it as a term in this section. We 
expand the term ``Construction'' to include all applicable phases of 
construction.
    We remove the terms: Proposal, Recreational waters, Survey 
instrument, and Tie-up facilities. We include the information for what 
is in a ``Proposal'' in the proposed Sec.  86.41 ``How do you apply for 
a grant?''. We do not need the terms ``Recreational waters'' and 
``Survey instrument'' because we do not use them in the rule. We remove 
the term ``tie-up facilities'' because the term is too restrictive and 
does not reflect all the eligible activities in BIG.

Subpart B--Program Eligibility

    This proposed subpart does not have a corresponding subpart in the 
current regulations. We use this subpart to tell grantees and the 
public what the basic program requirements are. This subpart lays a 
foundation for the subparts that follow. We indicate where we relocate 
current sections to this new subpart. We incorporate and expand the 
current Sec.  86.15 throughout the subpart.
Section 86.10 Who may apply for a BIG grant?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.14. We 
make no significant changes.
Section 86.11 What activities are eligible for funding?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.20. The 
section lists only eligible activities. We discuss design features at 
Sec.  86.13. We propose to add to the list of eligible activities those 
services, equipment, and structures that: (a) Support clean boating and 
good environmental practices and (b) make boating infrastructure more 
convenient for eligible users.
    The Act requires that we consider as a priority those projects that 
propose ``innovative ways to increase the availability of facilities.'' 
We propose new language to allow flexibility so that we may approve 
other activities in the future that consider new ideas and 
technologies, promote environmental stewardship and awareness, and 
benefit the mission of BIG. We explain some eligible activities in 
general terms to allow for growth of the program based on our knowledge 
and judgment year to year.
Section 86.12 What construction and services does boating 
infrastructure include?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.13. We 
remove the term ``Safe harbor'' from this section and the rule as a 
whole. The public now commonly uses the term to define business or 
financial situations that have no connection to boating and are not 
applicable to the BIG rule. Where we refer to a place of safety for 
boaters in the proposed rule, we use the term ``Harbor of safe 
refuge.''
Section 86.13 What design features must a BIG-funded facility have?
    We separate the design criteria from the current Sec.  86.20 to 
clarify the differences between eligible activities and required design 
features. All eligible activities must include the required design 
features, but not all design features are eligible activities. BIG 
facilities cater to larger boats that contain Marine Sanitation Devices 
that may require a pumpout, so pumpout service is an integral part of a 
BIG-funded project. However, we will consider waiving the requirement 
for a pumpout if: (a) The BIG-funded facility is in an area that does 
not have existing utilities to operate a pumpout, (b) the applicant can 
demonstrate it is not feasible to install, or (c) there are legal 
restrictions that do not allow septic-waste collection facilities in an 
area. If we waive the requirement to provide a pumpout facility, we 
will require that the grantee post a sign telling boaters they must 
hold and dispose of waste properly and indicate where the nearest 
pumpout or pumpouts are located.
Section 86.14 How can I receive BIG funds for maintenance?
    We add this new proposed section to tell applicants how they can 
receive BIG funds for maintenance. BIG Competitive grants are primarily 
for construction projects, and grantees must receive funds with the 
understanding that they are responsible for the continued maintenance 
of the BIG-funded facility for the useful life of the project. Grantees 
may propose to include maintenance activities during construction that 
support the eligible project, such as painting the existing transient 
docks, replacing worn planks, or overhauling the fuel dock. Applicants 
may request BIG Basic funding for eligible maintenance at any BIG-
eligible facility any time in the life of the project.
Section 86.15 How can dredging qualify as an eligible activity?
    We add this new proposed section to expand on how grantees may use 
BIG funding for dredging projects. The primary purpose of BIG is to 
construct, renovate, or maintain facilities for eligible users, but 
sometimes dredging is necessary to provide access to eligible users. We 
establish a funding limit for dredging of no more than 10 percent of 
the total BIG-funded project, which

[[Page 18770]]

includes the Federal grant and match. This limit applies to all 
activities directly related to dredging. Grantees may pay for 
additional costs through other funding sources, but they may not use 
their excess contribution toward any other BIG matching requirements. 
We limit funding for dredging because it does not produce additional 
slips or amenities.
Section 86.16 What activities are ineligible for BIG funding?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.21. We 
list ineligible activities and we give other requirements at Sec.  
86.16(a)(9) and (b), without which we will consider a project or 
activity ineligible. We remove references to plans and surveys. We 
remove the 20-year useful-life requirement from the current section and 
discuss useful-life requirements at Sec. Sec.  86.74 and 86.75. We 
designate as ineligible activities: acquiring land; constructing retail 
businesses, parking lots, or roads; administering or managing the 
facility; and purchasing or operating boats to transport boaters.
Section 86.17 Who must own the site of a BIG-funded facility?
    This proposed section does not have a corresponding section in the 
current regulations. We add it to emphasize the information in the 
current Sec.  86.20 that allows projects on publicly or privately owned 
properties.
Section 86.18 How can I ensure that BIG-funded projects continue to 
serve their intended purpose for their useful life?
    This proposed section does not have a corresponding section in the 
current regulations. We add this section to tell grantees that they 
must apply best standards when constructing a project and follow 
requirements to protect the State and Federal interest in the BIG-
funded project.
    We affirm the obligation of States to record, or ensure that 
subgrantees record, the Federal interest in a BIG project and require 
notice of certain changes that may occur at the project location during 
its useful life.
Section 86.19 What if a project would benefit both eligible and 
ineligible users?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.44(b). We 
tell a grantee how to assign costs to the BIG-funded project when 
components of the project may also include ineligible costs or 
benefits.

Subpart C--Federal Funds and Match

    We remove references to specific-year funding and dates specific to 
the grant cycle. We will publish annual funding and date information in 
the annual Request for Applications (RFA).
Section 86.30 What is the source of BIG funds?
    We add this new section to inform the public of the source of funds 
for BIG and emphasize the participation of anglers and boaters in 
supporting the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.
Section 86.31 How does the Service know how much money will be 
available for BIG grants each year?
    This proposed section replaces the current Sec.  86.40 and Sec.  
86.41 in general terms. We discuss the process rather than specific 
amounts.
Section 86.32 What are the match requirements?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.42. We 
add that grantees must not use land or any interest in land for match 
to emphasize that BIG grants are for boating infrastructure and not 
land acquisition. States have access to other Federal grants to buy 
land for boating access. We do not allow using the value of existing 
structures as match in a BIG project to avoid subsidizing existing 
facilities.
Section 86.33 What information must I provide on match commitments and 
where do I provide it?
    This proposed section does not have a corresponding section in the 
current regulations. We explain how grantees must show match and match 
commitments in an application. This will allow reviewers to evaluate 
the source and value of matching funds more consistently.
Section 86.34 What if a partner is not willing or able to follow 
through on a match commitment?
    This proposed section does not have a corresponding section in the 
current regulations. Match is often associated with partnerships. We 
consider partnerships as part of the scoring criteria. We include this 
section to tell applicants how changes in contributions provided by a 
partner may affect their applications. We emphasize the responsibility 
of the grantee to provide the match should the providing partner not be 
able or willing to fulfill their commitment. This section also 
emphasizes the importance of making sure that partners' commitments are 
reliable.

Subpart D--Application for a Grant

    We remove the current Sec.  86.50 and Sec.  86.51 that give dates 
and specific contacts for sending in grant applications. We will 
provide this information in the annual RFA.
Section 86.40 What are the differences between BIG Basic grants and BIG 
Competitive grants?
    This proposed section replaces the current Sec.  86.53, replaces 
some of the information in the current Sec.  86.54, and presents the 
information in table form. We introduce new funding limits. BIG Basic 
grants will have an annual minimum award of $100,000 per State, but the 
minimum award may increase depending on available annual funds. We will 
announce the maximum award in each RFA. We will limit BIG Competitive 
grants to $1.5 million to allow us to fund more projects. To date, less 
than 5 percent of the BIG Competitive projects have exceeded $1.5 
million in Federal funds.
Section 86.41 How do I apply for a grant?
    This proposed section includes topics discussed in the current 
Sec.  86.51. We remove addresses for the Regional Offices and direct 
the public to http://www.grants.gov and the annual RFA for detailed 
contact information.
Section 86.42 What do I have to include in an application?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.52. We 
include general information and refer applicants to http://www.grants.gov and the annual RFA for more guidance.
Section 86.43 What information must I put in the project statement?
    This proposed section does not have a corresponding section in the 
current regulations. We add this section to improve consistency of 
information included in applications, to enable the review and ranking 
of applications, and to clarify OMB Circular A-102, ``Grants and 
Cooperative Agreements with State and Local Governments.''
Section 86.44 What other documents and information must I include in a 
grant application?
    We propose this new section to describe the need for BIG 
competitive grant applicants to address ranking criteria and provide 
maps and drawings to support the proposed project. The section also 
emphasizes the requirement

[[Page 18771]]

at the proposed Sec.  86.33 for commitment letters from partners 
providing match.
Section 86.45 What if my BIG Competitive project needs more than the 
awarded Federal share and required match to complete?
    We propose this new section to inform applicants how to apply for 
funding if they plan a project that will require more than the $1.5 
million Federal share and the required match to complete. We emphasize 
that each BIG Competitive grant application must be a discrete project 
that meets all grant criteria without considering any other BIG grant 
applications. All BIG Competitive grants will compete equally with all 
other grant applications, and we will not give preference to an 
application based on its connection to another application. If one 
project cannot be completed or be successful without the other, we will 
either reject it or assign it a low score. States may use BIG Basic 
funds to assist projects that have received BIG Competitive funds, or 
to complete portions of projects over several years.
Section 86.46 If the Service does not select my application for 
funding, can I apply for the same project the following year?
    We propose this new section to clarify that if you are unsuccessful 
in receiving a grant for a BIG grant one year, you may reapply in 
following years.
Section 86.47 What changes can I make in an application after I submit 
it?
    We propose this new section to emphasize the responsibility of the 
applicant to submit a complete application by the due date. We give 
details that set clear standards and help avoid any unfair 
interpretation in this national program.

Subpart E--Project Selection

    This subpart corresponds to the current Subpart F--How the Service 
Selects Projects to Receive Grants.
    We propose sections 86.52-86.58 to explain the criteria at section 
86.51. This will help applicants and the public understand how we view 
each ranking criterion.
Section 86.50 Who ranks BIG competitive applications?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.61 with 
no significant changes.
Section 86.51 What criteria does the Service use to evaluate BIG 
Competitive applications?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.60. We 
change the scoring criteria to correspond to the three priorities 
Congress established in the original Act. We also change the scoring 
system to a sliding scale for each criterion. We base this change on 
experience administering BIG and advice from States, a Federal advisory 
committee, and boating-related organizations. The current rule does not 
consistently allow sliding scales, and reviewers often must score 
projects using set points that can negatively affect accurate 
assessment of projects. For one current criterion, applicants must 
receive at least 1 point even if the criterion does not apply to their 
project or they do not address it in the application. This change 
allows ranking committee members to consider the need, value, 
significance, and benefit when scoring the project. We adjust the 
criterion in the current rule that gives preference to projects at 
existing marinas to give projects at new locations the ability to rank 
well. We continue to emphasize partnerships but expand the criteria in 
response to recommendations that asked us to consider the nonmonetary 
value of a partner as well as the monetary contributions. The proposed 
criteria allow for partnerships in small communities to rank well even 
if they do not result in large financial contributions. We also set new 
standards for innovation. The intent is to allow reviewers the 
flexibility to judge applications based on new technologies and 
techniques each year, and to consider different standards for 
innovation year-to-year, based on knowledge and availability at the 
time of the review.
Section 86.52 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
under the criterion at Sec.  86.51(a)(1) on the need for more or 
improved boating infrastructure?
    We propose to emphasize that projects must show a need for new or 
expanded facilities. We wish to avoid funding projects in areas that 
have sufficient capacity or where eligible boaters are unlikely to 
travel.
Section 86.53 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
under the criterion at Sec.  86.51(a)(2) on boater access to 
significant destinations and services that support transient boater 
travel?
    We propose to consider not only a destination that is likely to 
attract boaters, but also access from the BIG-funded facility and how 
long the attraction is available. We expand this section to include the 
need for services that help transient boaters. A significant 
destination, such as a national park or entertainment attraction, may 
entice boaters, but if they cannot refuel, stock up on provisions, and 
take care of basic needs, then it is unlikely they will go there.
Section 86.54 What does the Service consider under the criterion at 
Sec.  86.51(a)(3) on cost-benefit analysis?
    We propose to expand on the current criterion (5) that requires a 
project to be cost-effective. The current criterion requires a cost-
per-slip analysis that favors construction in an existing marina or 
area. We modify this criterion to allow reviewers to look at the cost 
of a project in relation to the benefit received. This will allow a 
project that costs more per slip because it is new, but is in an area 
of great need, to rank well against a project that costs less per slip, 
but offers less benefit.
Section 86.55 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
under the criterion for partners at Sec.  86.51(b)(1)?
    We propose to show what applicants must include in their 
applications to receive points for partners. Applicants must verify the 
commitment of all partners, including subgrantees, by a signed letter 
that includes details of the partnership. States, as applicants, are 
not partners. Governmental entities are partners only if they 
contribute to the project more than required by legal mandate or 
administrative assignment. We will allow various types of partners and 
consider contributions other than monetary.
Section 86.56 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
under the criterion for match at Sec.  86.51(b)(2)?
    We propose to allow applicants to receive additional points if they 
or their partners contribute more than the minimum 25-percent matching 
share. This is similar to the current Sec.  86.60(b)(4), but has a 
sliding scale instead of the set breakdown of points.
Section 86.57 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
for improving or maintaining the quality of the local environment under 
the criterion at Sec.  86.51(c)(1)?
    We propose this new criterion for projects that include components 
that improve the local environment or mitigate the impacts of the 
project.

[[Page 18772]]

Examples are when applicants propose to:
    1. Design or renovate docks to allow more sunlight to pass through, 
thus benefitting a local fish or plant habitat;
    2. Include a structure in the dock system to nurture juvenile 
aquatic life to be released into the larger area; or
    3. Renovate a fuel dock to prevent spills.
Section 86.58 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
for environmental sustainability under the criterion at Sec.  
86.51(c)(2)?
    We propose this new criterion to encourage using new technologies 
and techniques, environmentally sound best-management practices, and 
education to produce a project that supports the overall mission of BIG 
and the Service.
Section 86.59 What happens after the Director approves projects for 
funding?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.62, but 
we give further detail on requirements to obligate funding promptly.

Subpart F--Grant Administration

    This proposed subpart corresponds to the current ``Subpart G--How 
States Manage Grants.'' We propose to include questions and answers to 
give grantees a better understanding of their responsibilities once 
they receive a BIG grant.
Section 86.70 What standards must I follow when constructing a BIG-
funded facility?
    We propose minimum standards for construction and a requirement 
that a licensed engineer or architect design construction.
Section 86.71 How much time do I have to complete the work funded by a 
BIG grant?
    We propose to give a reasonable time frame to complete a BIG 
project with a baseline of 3 years from the beginning of the grant 
period. The intent of BIG is to award funds so that projects are 
completed and available for eligible boater use as soon as possible. 
However, sometimes there are delays beyond the control of the grantee, 
so we allow justified grant extensions. We include instructions for 
grant extensions at Sec.  86.72.
Section 86.72 What if I cannot complete the project during the grant 
period?
    We propose this new section to tell grantees how they may request 
an extension if their project is not completed during the 3-year grant 
period. The proposed process allows for two 1-year extensions if 
grantees can document progress. We have included a possibility for 
further extensions under extreme conditions. We propose this process to 
encourage grantees to complete projects promptly.
Section 86.73 What if I need more funds to finish a project?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.74. The 
current rule states that a grantee must compete in another grant cycle 
if it needs more funds. This suggests that an applicant does not have 
the responsibility to complete an awarded project as presented and 
could potentially set up a system where grantees might expect extra 
funding to finish projects they originally stated they could complete 
with requested funds. It also suggests that partial projects can 
successfully compete against full projects. BIG is a competitive 
program, and when we fund a project through BIG, we expect the grantee 
to complete the project as proposed. We reject applications that do not 
propose discrete projects. A grantee may not come back and request more 
BIG Competitive funds to complete the project. That would be unfair to 
applicants that competed unsuccessfully and unfair to grantees that 
completed their projects as proposed. Should the grantee need more 
money to complete the project, we expect the grantee to find another 
source of funding to complete the project. If that is not possible, the 
grantee may ask for a change in scope following our guidance.
Section 86.74 How long must I operate and maintain a BIG-funded 
facility, and who is responsible for the cost of operation and 
maintenance?
    This proposed section corresponds to the second sentence of the 
current Sec.  86.20(a)(1) and Sec.  86.70(b). We propose that grantees 
maintain the BIG project for the useful life specified in the grant 
agreement instead of the 20 years in the current rule. We address how a 
catastrophic incident may affect useful life.
Section 86.75 How do I determine the useful life of a project?
    This proposed section expands on the proposed Sec.  86.74 and tells 
applicants what information to consider when they propose a useful life 
for their project in the grant application and how we will include the 
useful life in the grant agreement.
Section 86.76 How should I credit the BIG program?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec. Sec.  86.91 
and 86.94. We added a graphic of the Sport Fish Restoration logo in the 
proposed rule. Since the current rule was published, the Division of 
Federal Aid was renamed the Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish 
Restoration. We change recommended crediting language to reflect Sport 
Fish Restoration and BIG. We require that you must credit BIG for the 
funding.
Section 86.77 How can I use the logo for the BIG program?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec. Sec.  86.91-
86.93. We indicate where grantees and subgrantees may use the Sport 
Fish Restoration logo. We also state the consequences of unauthorized 
use.
Section 86.78 How must I treat program income?
    This proposed new section gives the circumstances where program 
income requirements would apply to a BIG grant.
Section 86.79 How must I treat income earned after the grant period?
    This proposed new section clarifies the requirements for income 
earned after the grant period.

Subpart G--Facility Operations and Maintenance

    This subpart tells grantees, subgrantees, and operators how a BIG-
funded facility must be operated and maintained.
Section 86.90 How much must an operator of a BIG-funded facility charge 
for using the facility?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.31. 
According to OMB Circular A-102, ``Grants and Cooperative Agreements 
with State and Local Governments,'' grantees must not use grant-
acquired assets to compete unfairly with the private sector. It is 
unacceptable for grantees to make money using grant funds by charging 
more than the local market. This section tells grantees: (a) How to 
propose reasonable fees for BIG-funded projects and (b) that they must 
include this information in the grant application.
Section 86.91 May an operator of a BIG-funded facility increase or 
decrease user fees during the useful life of the BIG-funded project?
    This proposed new section does not correspond to a current section. 
It allows the operator of a BIG-funded

[[Page 18773]]

project to increase or decrease fees after the grant period based on 
changes in the local market.
Section 86.92 May an operator of a BIG-funded facility limit public 
access?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.21(a) and 
Sec.  86.30. We propose no significant changes to the public access 
requirements. We add a paragraph that allows an operator to limit 
access temporarily for emergency or other reasonable purposes.
Section 86.93 May I prohibit overnight use by eligible vessels at a 
BIG-funded facility?
    This proposed section corresponds in part to the current Sec. Sec.  
86.13(b) and 86.20(a)(5)(ii), which discuss day docks as an eligible 
activity under BIG. This section allows BIG-funded facilities to be for 
day use only if proposed in the application.
Section 86.94 Do I have to include informational signs for eligible 
users at BIG-funded facilities?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.90 with 
no significant changes.

Subpart H--Revisions and Appeals

Section 86.100 Can I change the information in an application after I 
receive a grant?
    We propose this new section to inform grantees of the conditions 
that apply to postaward changes of information in an application.
Section 86.101 How do I ask for a revision of a grant?
    We propose this new section to supplement Sec.  86.100.
Section 86.102 Can I appeal a decision?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.63. There 
are no significant changes, but we include additional guidance.
Section 86.103 Can the Director authorize an exception to this part?
    This proposed section is new. It supports the authority of the 
Director to make exceptions to this rule.

Subpart I--Information Collection

Section 86.110 What are the information-collection requirements of this 
part?
    This proposed section corresponds to the current Sec.  86.52 and 
``Subpart H--Reporting Requirements for the States.'' The proposed 
section is more general than the current section to allow this 
regulation to stay current if the frequency and level of reporting 
change.

Public Comments

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We will not accept 
comments sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in ADDRESSES. 
Finally, we will not consider hand-delivered comments that we do not 
receive, or mailed comments that are not postmarked, by the date 
specified in DATES.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal information from 
public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Required Determinations

Clarity of This Regulation

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by Public 
Law 111-274, ``Plain Writing Act of 2010'' (October 13, 2010), to write 
all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    a. Be logically organized;
    b. Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    c. Use clear language rather than jargon;
    d. Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    e. Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To help us revise 
the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, 
you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that you 
find unclear, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections 
where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866)

    OMB has determined that this rule is not significant and has not 
reviewed this rule under E.O. 12866. OMB bases its determination on the 
following four criteria:
    a. Whether the rule will have an annual effect of $100 million or 
more on the economy or adversely affect an economic sector, 
productivity, jobs, the environment, or other units of the government.
    b. Whether the rule will create inconsistencies with other Federal 
agencies' actions.
    c. Whether the rule will materially affect entitlements, grants, 
user fees, loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients.
    d. Whether the rule raises novel legal or policy issues.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires an agency to consider the 
impact of proposed rules on small entities, i.e., small businesses, 
small organizations, and small government jurisdictions. If there is a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, 
the agency must perform a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. This is not 
required if the head of an agency certifies the rule would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) amended 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to state the 
factual basis for certifying that a rule would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    We have examined this proposed rule's potential effects on small 
entities as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. We have 
determined that the proposed changes do not have a significant impact 
and do not require a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis because the 
changes:
    a. Give information to State fish and wildlife agencies that allows 
them to apply for and administer grants more easily, more efficiently, 
and with greater flexibility. Only State fish and wildlife agencies may 
receive grants in BIG, but small entities sometimes voluntarily become 
subgrantees of agencies. Any impact on these subgrantees would be 
beneficial.
    b. Address changes in law and regulation. This helps grant 
applicants and recipients by making the regulation consistent with 
current standards. Any impact on small entities that voluntarily become 
subgrantees of agencies would be beneficial.
    c. Reword and reorganize the regulation to make it easier to 
understand. Any impact on the small entities that voluntarily become 
subgrantees of agencies would be beneficial.
    The Service has determined that the changes primarily affect State 
governments. The small entities affected by the changes are primarily 
concessioners and subgrantees that

[[Page 18774]]

voluntarily enter into mutually beneficial relationships with an 
agency. The impact on small entities would be very limited and 
beneficial in all cases.
    Consequently, we certify that because this proposed rule would not 
have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small 
entities, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required.
    In addition, this proposed rule is not a major rule under SBREFA (5 
U.S.C. 804(2)) and would not have a significant impact on a substantial 
number of small entities because it does not:
    a. Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.
    b. Cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; 
individual industries; Federal, State, or local government agencies; or 
geographic regions.
    c. Have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, 
investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based 
enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. Ch. 25; Pub. L. 
104-4) establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the 
effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal 
governments and the private sector. The Act requires each Federal 
agency, to the extent permitted by law, to prepare a written assessment 
of the effects of a proposed rule with Federal mandates that may result 
in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in 
aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted 
annually for inflation) in any 1 year. We have determined the following 
under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.):
    a. As discussed in the determination for the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic effect on 
a substantial number of small entities.
    b. The regulation does not require a small government agency plan 
or any other requirement for expenditure of local funds.
    c. The programs governed by the current regulations and enhanced by 
the proposed changes potentially assist small governments financially 
when they occasionally and voluntarily participate as subgrantees of an 
eligible agency.
    d. The proposed rule clarifies and enhances the current regulations 
allowing State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector to 
receive the benefits of grant funding in a more flexible, efficient, 
and effective manner.
    e. Any costs incurred by a State, local, or tribal government or 
the private sector are voluntary. There are no mandated costs 
associated with the proposed rule.
    f. The benefits of grant funding outweigh the costs. The Federal 
Government provides up to 75 percent of the cost of each grant to the 
50 States affected by the proposed rule. The Federal Government will 
also waive the first $200,000 of match for each grant to the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the territories of 
Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Of the 50 States and 
6 other jurisdictions that voluntarily are eligible to apply for grants 
in these programs each year, 95 percent have participated. This is 
clear evidence that the benefits of this grant funding outweigh the 
costs.
    g. This proposed rule would not produce a Federal mandate of $100 
million or greater in any year, i.e., it is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

Takings

    This proposed rule would not have significant takings implications 
under E.O. 12630 because it would not have a provision for taking 
private property. Therefore, a takings implication assessment is not 
required.

Federalism

    This proposed rule would not have sufficient Federalism effects to 
warrant preparation of a Federalism assessment under E.O. 13132. It 
would not interfere with the States' ability to manage themselves or 
their funds. We work closely with the States in administration of these 
programs, and they helped us identify those sections of the current 
regulations in need of change and new issues in need of clarification 
through regulation. In drafting the proposed rule, we received comments 
from the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, a nongovernment 
committee established under FACA; the States Organization for Boating 
Access; the Joint Federal/State Task Force on Federal Assistance 
Policy; and individual States.

Civil Justice Reform

    The Office of the Solicitor has determined under E.O. 12988 that 
the rule would not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the 
requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. The proposed 
rule will benefit grantees because it:
    a. Updates the regulations to reflect changes in policy and 
practice and recommendations received during the past 10 years;
    b. Makes the regulations easier to use and understand by improving 
the organization and using plain language;
    c. Modifies the final rule to amend 50 CFR 86 published in the 
Federal Register at 66 FR 5282 on January 18, 2001, based on subsequent 
experience; and
    d. Adopts recommendations on new issues received from State fish 
and wildlife agencies and the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership 
Council since we published the current rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    We examined the proposed rule under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), and there are no new collections of information 
that require OMB approval. The proposed 50 CFR part 86 describes the 
Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, including application and 
reporting requirements.
    OMB has approved Governmentwide standard forms for: (a) Grant 
applications (OMB Control No. 4040-0004); (b) certifications related to 
authority, capability, and legal compliance (OMB Control Numbers 4040-
0007 and 4040-0009); (c) reports on the status of Federal grant funds 
and any program income earned (OMB Control Number 0348-0061); and (d) 
reports on real property status and requests for agency instructions on 
real property (OMB Control Number 3090-0296).
    In addition to the above, OMB approved the following information 
collection requirements associated with the BIG Program: (a) Project 
statement in support of a grant application, (b) report on progress in 
completing a grant-funded project, and (c) request to approve an update 
or another change in information provided in a previously approved 
application (OMB Control Number 1018-0109).
    We may not collect or sponsor and you are not required to respond 
to a collection of information unless it displays a current OMB control 
number.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have analyzed this rule under the National Environmental Policy 
Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. and part 516 of the Departmental Manual. 
This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. An environmental impact 
statement/assessment is not required due to the categorical exclusion 
for administrative changes provided at 516 DM 8.5A(3).

[[Page 18775]]

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    We have evaluated potential effects on federally recognized Indian 
tribes under the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), E.O. 13175, and 512 DM 2. We have 
determined that there are no potential effects. This proposed rule 
would not interfere with the tribes' ability to manage themselves or 
their funds.

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (E.O. 13211)

    E.O. 13211 addresses regulations that significantly affect energy 
supply, distribution, and use, and requires agencies to prepare 
Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. This 
rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866 and does 
not affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this 
action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of Energy 
Effects is required.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 86

    Administrative practice and procedure, Boats and Boating Safety, 
Fishing, Grants administration, Grant programs, Harbors, Intermodal 
transportation, Marine resources, Natural resources, Navigation 
(water), Recreation and recreation areas, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Rivers, Signs and symbols, Vessels, Water resources, 
Waterways.

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, we propose to amend 
title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, chapter I, subchapter F, 
by revising part 86 to read as follows:

PART 86--BOATING INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT PROGRAM

Subpart A--General
Sec.
86.1 What does this part do?
86.2 What is the purpose of BIG?
86.3 What terms do I need to know?
Subpart B--Program Eligibility
86.10 Who may apply for a BIG grant?
86.11 What activities are eligible for funding?
86.12 What construction and services does boating infrastructure 
include?
86.13 What design features must a BIG-funded facility have?
86.14 How can I receive BIG funds for maintenance?
86.15 How can dredging qualify as an eligible activity?
86.16 What activities are ineligible for BIG funding?
86.17 Who must own the site of a BIG-funded facility?
86.18 How can I ensure that BIG-funded projects continue to serve 
their intended purpose for their useful life?
86.19 What if a project would benefit both eligible and ineligible 
users?
Subpart C--Federal Funds and Match
86.30 What is the source of BIG funds?
86.31 How does the Service know how much money will be available for 
BIG grants each year?
86.32 What are the match requirements?
86.33 What information must I provide on match commitments and where 
do I provide it?
86.34 What if a partner is not willing or able to follow through on 
a match commitment?
Subpart D--Application for a Grant
86.40 What are the differences between BIG Basic grants and BIG 
Competitive grants?
86.41 How do I apply for a grant?
86.42 What do I have to include in an application?
86.43 What information must I put in the project statement?
86.44 What other documents and information must I include in a grant 
application?
86.45 What if my BIG project needs more than the awarded Federal 
share and required match to complete?
86.46 If the Service does not select my application for funding, can 
I apply for the same project the following year?
86.47 What changes can I make in an application after I submit it?
Subpart E--Project Selection
86.50 Who ranks BIG Competitive applications?
86.51 What criteria does the Service use to evaluate BIG Competitive 
applications?
86.52 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project on 
the need for more or improved boating infrastructure?
86.53 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project on 
boater access to significant destinations and services that support 
transient boater travel?
86.54 What does the Service consider on benefits to eligible users 
that justify the cost of the project?
86.55 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project for 
partnerships?
86.56 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project that 
includes greater than the minimum match?
86.57 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project for 
improving or maintaining the quality of the local environment?
86.58 What does the Service consider when evaluating a project for 
environmental sustainability?
86.59 What happens after the Director approves projects for funding?
Subpart F--Grant Administration
86.70 What standards must I follow when constructing a BIG-funded 
facility?
86.71 How much time do I have to complete the work funded by a BIG 
grant?
86.72 What if I cannot complete the project during the grant period?
86.73 What if I need more funds to finish a project?
86.74 How long must I operate and maintain a BIG-funded facility, 
and who is responsible for the cost of operation and maintenance?
86.75 How do I determine the useful life of a project?
86.76 How should I credit the BIG program?
86.77 How can I use the logo for the BIG program?
86.78 How must I treat program income?
86.79 How must I treat income earned after the grant period?
Subpart G--Facility Operations and Maintenance
86.90 How much must an operator of a BIG-funded facility charge for 
using the facility?
86.91 May an operator of a BIG-funded facility increase or decrease 
user fees during the useful life of the BIG-funded project?
86.92 May an operator of a BIG-funded facility limit public access?
86.93 May I prohibit overnight use by eligible vessels at a BIG-
funded facility?
86.94 Do I have to include informational signs for eligible users at 
BIG-funded facilities?
Subpart H--Revisions and Appeals
86.100 Can I change the information in an application after I 
receive a grant?
86.101 How do I ask for a revision of a grant?
86.102 Can I appeal a decision?
86.103 Can the Director authorize an exception to this part?
Subpart I--Information Collection
86.110 What are the information-collection requirements of this 
part?

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 777c, g, and g-1.

Subpart A--General


Sec.  86.1  What does this part do?

    (a) This part of the Code of Federal Regulations tells States how 
they may apply for and receive grants from the Boating Infrastructure 
Grant program (BIG) Basic and Competitive subprograms. The differences 
between these two subprograms are described at Sec.  86.40.
    (b) The terms you and your refer to a State agency that applies for 
or receives a BIG grant. You may also apply to a subgrantee with which 
a State agency has a formal agreement to construct, operate, or 
maintain a project.
    (c) The terms we, us, and our refer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service.


Sec.  86.2  What is the purpose of BIG?

    The purpose of BIG is to:
    (a) Construct, renovate, and maintain boating infrastructure 
facilities for

[[Page 18776]]

transient recreational vessels at least 26 feet long; and
    (b) Produce and distribute information and educational materials 
about BIG-funded boating infrastructure facilities.


Sec.  86.3  What terms do I need to know?

    For the purposes of this part, we define these terms:
    BIG-funded facility means only the part of a facility that we fund 
through a BIG grant.
    Boating infrastructure means all of the structures, equipment, 
accessories, and services that are necessary or desirable for a 
facility to accommodate eligible vessels.
    Capital improvement means:
    (1) A new structure that costs at least $25,000 to build; or
    (2) Altering, renovating, or repairing an existing structure if it 
increases the structure's useful life by 10 years or if it costs at 
least $25,000.
    Construction means the act of building or significantly altering, 
renovating, or repairing a structure. Acquiring, clearing, and 
reshaping land and demolishing structures are types or phases of 
construction. Examples of structures are buildings, docks, piers, 
breakwaters, and slips.
    Director means:
    (1) The person whom the Secretary of the Interior:
    (i) Appointed as the chief executive official of the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service; and
    (ii) Delegated authority to administer BIG nationally; or
    (2) A deputy or another person who exercises the Director's 
Servicewide authority.
    Eligible user means an operator or passenger of an eligible vessel.
    Eligible vessel means a transient recreational vessel at least 26 
feet long. The term includes vessels that are owned, loaned, rented, or 
chartered. The term does not include commercial vessels that dock or 
operate from a permanent location or that routinely transport 
passengers on a prescribed route, such as cruise ships, dive boats, and 
ferries.
    Facility means the structures, equipment, and operations that:
    (1) Provide services to boaters at one location; and
    (2) Are under the control of a single operator or business 
identified in the project application.
    Grant means an award of money, the principal purpose of which is to 
transfer funds from a Federal agency to a grantee to support or 
stimulate an authorized public purpose and includes the matching cash 
and any matching in-kind contributions.
    Maintenance means keeping structures or equipment in a condition to 
serve the intended purpose. It does not include routine activities such 
as janitorial work.
    Match means the portion of the costs of a grant-funded project or 
projects not borne by the Federal Government, unless a Federal statute 
authorizes such match, including the value of any in-kind 
contributions.
    Navigable waters means waters that are deep and wide enough for the 
passage of eligible vessels.
    Operation means activities that allow a project or parts of a 
project to perform their function on a daily basis.
    Project means one or more related activities that are eligible for 
BIG funding and, in the case of a construction project, occur at only 
one facility.
    Real property means one, several, or all interests, benefits, and 
rights inherent in owning a parcel of land or water and includes 
anything physically and firmly attached to it by natural or human 
action. Examples of real property include fee and leasehold interests, 
easements, fixed docks, piers, breakwaters, buildings, utilities, and 
fences.
    Regional Office means the main administrative office of one of the 
Service's geographic Regions in which a BIG-funded project is located. 
Each Regional Office has a:
    (1) Regional Director appointed by the Director to be the chief 
executive official of the Region and authorized to administer Service 
activities in the Region, except for those handled directly by the 
Service's Washington Office; and
    (2) Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) or its 
equivalent that administers BIG grants.
    Renovate means to rehabilitate all or part of a facility to restore 
it to its intended purpose or to expand its purpose to allow use by 
eligible vessels or eligible users.
    Scope of a project means the purpose, objectives, approach, and 
results or benefits expected including the useful life of any capital 
improvement.
    Service means the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    State means any State of the United States, the Commonwealths of 
Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, 
and the territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American 
Samoa.
    Transient means traveling through and staying at a single facility 
up to 10 days.
    Useful life means the period during which a BIG-funded capital 
improvement is capable of fulfilling its intended purpose with adequate 
routine maintenance. See Sec. Sec.  86.74 and 86.75.

Subpart B--Program Eligibility


Sec.  86.10  Who may apply for a BIG grant?

    One agency in each eligible State may apply for a BIG grant if 
authorized to do so by:
    (a) A Statute or regulation of the eligible jurisdiction;
    (b) The Governor of the State, Commonwealth, or territory; or
    (c) The Mayor of the District of Columbia.


Sec.  86.11  What activities are eligible for funding?

    (a) The following activities are eligible for BIG funding if they 
are for eligible users or eligible vessels:
    (1) Construct, renovate, or maintain publicly or privately owned 
boating infrastructure (see Sec.  86.12) following the requirements at 
Sec.  86.13.
    (2) Conduct activities necessary to construct boating 
infrastructure, such as:
    (i) Engineering, economic, environmental, or feasibility studies or 
assessments; and
    (ii) Planning, permitting, and contracting.
    (3) Dredge a channel, boat basin, or other boat passage following 
the requirements at Sec.  86.15.
    (4) Install navigational aids to give transient vessels safe 
passage between a facility and navigable channels or open water.
    (5) Offer services that support clean boating and good 
environmental practices at facilities.
    (6) Produce information and educational materials such as charts, 
cruising guides, brochures, and public communication pertaining to 
specific activities or accomplishments of a BIG project or the BIG 
program.
    (7) Administer BIG Statewide using BIG Basic grant awards, 
including coordinating and monitoring to ensure BIG-funded facilities 
are well constructed, meet project objectives, and serve the intended 
purpose for the useful life of the project.
    (b) Other activities may qualify for BIG funding, subject to our 
approval, if they achieve the purposes of BIG as described at Sec.  
86.2.


Sec.  86.12  What construction and services does boating infrastructure 
include?

    Boating infrastructure may include:
    (a) Boat slips, piers, mooring buoys, floating docks, dinghy docks, 
day docks, and other structures for boats to tie-up and gain access to 
the shore or services.

[[Page 18777]]

    (b) Fuel stations, restrooms, showers, utilities, and other 
amenities for transient-boater convenience.
    (c) Lighting, communications, buoys, beacons, signals, markers, 
signs, and other means to support safe boating and provide information 
to assist boaters.
    (d) Breakwaters, sea walls, and other physical improvements to 
allow an area to offer a harbor of safe refuge. A harbor of safe refuge 
is an area that gives eligible vessels protection from storms. The 
facility must offer a place to secure eligible vessels and provide 
access to provisions and communication for eligible users.
    (e) Pumpouts, oil recycling, bilge-water cleaning, absorbent fuel 
collars, and other services and structures that support clean and safe 
boating.


Sec.  86.13  What design features must a BIG-funded facility have?

    (a) At project completion, a BIG-funded facility must:
    (1) Be open to eligible users and operated and maintained for its 
intended purpose for its useful life;
    (2) Clearly designate eligible uses and inform the public of 
restrictions;
    (3) Offer security, safety, and service for eligible users and 
vessels;
    (4) Be accessible by eligible vessels on navigable waters;
    (5) Allow public access as described at Sec.  86.92;
    (6) Have docking or mooring sites with water access at least 6 feet 
deep at the lowest tide or fluctuation; and
    (7) Have an operational pumpout station if:
    (i) Eligible vessels stay overnight; and
    (ii) Available pumpout service is not located within 2 nautical 
miles; or
    (iii) State or local laws require one on site.
    (b) We may waive the pumpout requirement if the grantee 
demonstrates that installing a pumpout would be a hardship due to lack 
of utilities or other difficult obstacles, or that State or local law 
does not allow septic-waste disposal facilities at the location.
    (c) If we waive the pumpout requirement, the BIG-funded facility 
must post a sign that tells boaters:
    (1) The requirement to hold and dispose of septic waste; and
    (2) Where they can find the nearest pumpout station or stations.


86.14  How can I receive BIG funds for maintenance?

    (a) For BIG Competitive and BIG Basic grants, you may request BIG 
funds for maintenance if the maintenance activities:
    (1) Are a one-time cost; and
    (2) Do not extend past the grant period.
    (b) For BIG Basic grants, you may also request BIG funds for 
continued maintenance costs at BIG-eligible facilities.
    (c) Facilities need not have received BIG funds in the past.


Sec.  86.15  How can dredging qualify as an eligible activity?

    (a) Dredging can qualify as an eligible activity under the grant if 
the costs for the dredging-related activities do not exceed 10 percent 
of total BIG project costs.
    (b) When the project is completed, the BIG-funded dredged area 
must:
    (1) Have navigable water at least 6 feet deep at lowest tide or 
fluctuation;
    (2) Allow safe, accessible navigation by eligible vessels to, from, 
and within the BIG-funded facility; and
    (3) Allow eligible vessels to dock safely and securely at transient 
slips.
    (c) You must show in the application that:
    (1) Dredging is needed to fulfill the purpose and objectives of the 
proposed project; and
    (2) You have divided the dredging costs equitably between the 
expected use by eligible vessels and ineligible vessels.
    (d) You must certify in the application that you have enough 
resources to maintain the dredged area at the approved width and depth 
for the useful life of the BIG-funded project.


Sec.  86.16  What activities are ineligible for BIG funding?

    (a) These activities or costs are ineligible for BIG funding:
    (1) Law enforcement.
    (2) Direct administration and operation of the facility, such as 
salaries, utilities, and janitorial maintenance.
    (3) Developing a State plan to construct, renovate, or maintain 
boating infrastructure.
    (4) Acquiring land or any interest in land.
    (5) Constructing, renovating, or maintaining roads or parking lots.
    (6) Constructing, renovating, or maintaining boating infrastructure 
facilities for:
    (i) Shops, stores, food service, other retail businesses, or 
lodging;
    (ii) Facility administration or management, such as a 
harbormaster's or dockmaster's office; or
    (iii) Transportation, storage, or services for boats on dry land, 
such as dry docks, haul outs, and maintenance and repair shops.
    (7) Purchasing or operating service boats to transport boaters to 
and from mooring areas.
    (8) Marketing, which is an activity that promotes a product to 
interested customers for the benefit of the facility. It includes a 
strategy for sales techniques, business communication, and business 
development. A business uses marketing to identify, satisfy, and keep a 
customer.
    (9) Constructing, renovating, or maintaining boating infrastructure 
that does not:
    (i) Include design features as described at Sec.  86.13;
    (ii) Serve eligible vessels or users; or
    (iii) Allow access by the general public as described at Sec.  
86.92.
    (b) Other activities may be ineligible for BIG funding if they are 
inconsistent with the:
    (1) Purpose of BIG as described at Sec.  86.2; or
    (2) Applicable Cost Principles at 2 CFR part 225 or 230.


Sec.  86.17  Who must own the site of a BIG-funded facility?

    (a) You, a subgrantee, or another entity approved by us must own or 
have a legal right to operate the site of a BIG-funded facility. You 
must be able to show that your contractual arrangements with the owner 
of the site will ensure that the owner will use the BIG-funded facility 
for its authorized purpose for the useful life of the BIG-funded 
project.
    (b) Subgrantees or contractors may be a local or tribal government, 
a nonprofit organization, a commercial enterprise, or an individual.
    (c) Subgrantees that are commercial enterprises are subject to:
    (1) 43 CFR 12 subpart F for grant administrative requirements; and
    (2) Any future regulations that supplement or replace that subpart.


Sec.  86.18  How can I ensure that BIG-funded projects continue to 
serve their intended purpose for their useful life?

    (a) When you design and build your project, you must consider:
    (1) The features and location of your project in reference to the 
geological, geographic, and climatic factors that may have an impact on 
the useful life of the project; and
    (2) The best reasonably available materials and technology.
    (b) You must record the Federal interest in real property that 
includes a BIG-funded capital improvement according to the assurances 
required in the application and guidance from the Regional WSFR 
Division.
    (c) You must require that subgrantees record the Federal interest 
in real property that includes a BIG-funded capital improvement.

[[Page 18778]]

    (d) You must notify subgrantees that they must not alter the 
ownership, purpose, or use of the BIG-funded facility as described in 
the project statement without approval from you and the WSFR Regional 
Office.
    (e) You may impose other requirements on subgrantees, as allowed by 
law, to reduce State liability for the BIG-funded project. Examples 
are: insurance, deed restrictions, and a security interest agreement.


Sec.  86.19  What if a project would benefit both eligible and 
ineligible users?

    You may assign 100 percent of the project costs to the BIG grant if 
the project and each discrete element of the project benefit only 
eligible users. If a proposed project or a discrete element of a 
project would benefit both eligible and ineligible users:
    (a) You must divide costs equitably between eligible and ineligible 
users, even if the benefits for ineligible users are incidental to the 
objectives of the project. You must assign to the BIG grant only the 
share of costs that benefits eligible users.
    (b) You must not assign any share of the costs to the BIG grant if 
the project or a discrete element of the project does not benefit 
eligible users.
    (c) You must consider placement of facilities for eligible users 
and the potential for attracting ineligible users. An example would be 
transient dock space near a boat ramp that ineligible users could view 
as a courtesy dock. Any facilities with a potential dual purpose must 
either divide costs following the guidance at paragraph (e) of this 
section or post restrictions following the requirements at Sec.  86.94.
    (d) You must consider the number of months per year that the BIG-
funded project will be available to eligible users.
    (e) The following table shows how to apply paragraphs (a) through 
(d) of this section:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   If a discrete element of a project
             benefits. . .                                              Then. . .
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Only eligible users................  Assign 100 percent of the costs to BIG.
(2) Both eligible and ineligible users.  Divide costs equitably by the method described in the annual Request
                                          for Applications at http://www.grants.gov.
(3) Only ineligible users..............  Assign 0 percent of the costs to BIG.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (f) You must clearly post the details of eligible- and ineligible-
user access following the guidance at Sec.  86.94.
    (g) You must explain in the project statement the basis or method 
you use to assign costs between eligible and ineligible users. We 
reject applications that do not divide costs equitably between eligible 
and ineligible users.

Subpart C--Federal Funds and Match


Sec.  86.30  What is the source of BIG funds?

    (a) BIG receives Federal funding as a percentage of the annual 
revenues to the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (Trust 
Fund) [26 U.S.C. 4161(a), 4162, 9503(c), and 9504].
    (b) The Trust Fund receives revenue from sources including:
    (1) Excise taxes paid by manufacturers on sportfishing equipment 
and electric outboard motors;
    (2) Fuel taxes attributable to motorboats and nonbusiness use of 
small-engine power equipment; and
    (3) Import duties on fishing tackle, yachts, and pleasure craft.


Sec.  86.31  How does the Service know how much money will be available 
for BIG grants each year?

    (a) We estimate funds available for BIG grants each year when we 
issue a Request for Applications (RFA) at http://www.grants.gov. We 
base this estimate on the revenue projected for the Trust Fund.
    (b) We calculate the actual amount of funds available for BIG 
grants based on tax collections, the funds carried over from previous 
fiscal years, and available unobligated BIG funds.


Sec.  86.32  What are the match requirements?

    (a) The Act requires that the State or another non-Federal partner 
must pay at least 25 percent of eligible and allowable project costs. 
We must waive the first $200,000 of the required match for each grant 
to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the territories 
of American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (48 U.S.C. 
1469(a)).
    (b) Match may be cash contributed during the funding period or in-
kind contributions of personal property, structures, and services 
including volunteer labor contributed during the grant period.
    (c) Match must be:
    (1) Necessary to achieve project objectives;
    (2) From a non-Federal source, unless you show that a Federal 
statute authorizes the specific Federal source for use as match; and
    (3) Consistent with the applicable sections of:
    (i) Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements 
at 43 CFR 12.64 and 43 CFR 12.923;
    (ii) Applicable Cost Principles at 2 CFR parts 225 or 230; and
    (iii) Any regulations or policies that may replace or supplement 
requirements at paragraphs (c)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section.
    (d) Match must not include:
    (1) An interest in land or water;
    (2) The value of any structure completed before the beginning of 
the funding period;
    (3) Costs or in-kind contributions that have been or will be 
counted as satisfying the cost-sharing or match requirement of another 
Federal grant, a Federal cooperative agreement, or a Federal contract, 
unless authorized by Federal statute; or
    (4) Any funds received from another Federal source, unless 
authorized by Federal statute.


Sec.  86.33  What information must I provide on match commitments and 
where do I provide it?

    (a) You must provide information on the amount and the source of 
match for your BIG application on the standard grant application form 
available at http://www.grants.gov.
    (b) You must also provide information on:
    (1) Your match commitment in the project statement under ``Match 
and Other Contributions;'' and
    (2) A subgrantee's or other third party's match commitment in the 
project statement under ``Match and Other Contributions'' and by 
attaching to the application package a letter signed by the third 
party's authorized representative.
    (c) In providing the information required at paragraphs (b)(1) and 
(2) of this section, you must:
    (1) State the amount of matching cash;
    (2) Describe any matching in-kind contributions;
    (3) State the estimated value of any in-kind contributions; and
    (4) Explain the basis of the estimated value.

[[Page 18779]]

Sec.  86.34  What if a partner is not willing or able to follow through 
on a match commitment?

    (a) If you discover that a partner is not willing or able to meet a 
match commitment, you must either:
    (1) Replace the original partner with another partner and provide 
us with a letter of commitment from the new partner; or
    (2) Provide either cash or an in-kind contribution that at least 
equals the value and achieves the same objective as the partner's 
original commitment of cash or in-kind contribution.
    (b) You must notify us of any changes in your application related 
to partners before a grant award. Failure to notify us that a 
contributing partner has withdrawn its support may make your project 
ineligible.
    (c) You must notify us of any changes in partner contributions 
after an award following the provisions at Sec.  86.100.
    (d) If you discover that a partner is not willing or able to meet a 
match commitment and you do not have enough money to complete the 
project, you must follow the requirements at Sec. Sec.  86.73 and 
86.100.

Subpart D--Application for a Grant


Sec.  86.40  What are the differences between BIG Basic grants and BIG 
Competitive grants?

             Comparison of BIG Basic and Competitive Grants
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    BIG basic          BIG competitive
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a) What activities are       Those listed at Sec.  Those listed at Sec.
 eligible for funding?           86.11.                86.11.
(b) What is the amount of     Each year we make at  Up to $1.5 million.
 Federal funds I can receive   least $100,000
 in one BIG grant?             available to each
                               State. States may
                               request any amount
                               up to the annual
                               funding limit. We
                               decide annual
                               funding limits
                               based on the total
                               funds available for
                               BIG. We announce
                               each year in http://www.grants.gov the
                               amount of Federal
                               funds you can
                               receive.
(c) How many applications     We will accept only   No limit.
 can I submit each year?       one per State, but
                               it may contain
                               multiple projects.
(d) How does the Service      We fund one eligible  We score each
 choose applications for       grant per State up    application
 funding?                      to the maximum        according to
                               annual amount         ranking criteria at
                               available.            Sec.   86.51. We
                                                     recommend
                                                     applications with
                                                     the highest scores
                                                     to the Director.
                                                     The Director
                                                     selects the
                                                     applications for
                                                     award.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  86.41  How do I apply for a grant?

    (a) You apply for a grant by submitting an application to:
    (1) http://www.grants.gov, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
(CFDA) 15.622; or
    (2) Regional Director, at the address listed in the annual RFA and 
available at http://www.grants.gov for the Regional Office responsible 
for Service activities in the State where your project is located.
    (b) Regional Office addresses are in the annual RFA at http://www.grants.gov, CFDA 15.622.
    (c) If you send an application to the Regional Director, you may 
send it by any means authorized in the annual RFA at http://www.grants.gov.
    (d) The director of your agency or an authorized representative 
must certify all standard forms submitted in the application process, 
in the format designated by the Service.
    (e) If your State supports Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental 
Review of Federal Programs, you must send copies of all standard forms 
and supporting information to the State Clearinghouse or Single Point 
of Contact before sending it to the Regional Director.


Sec.  86.42  What do I have to include in an application?

    (a) When you submit a BIG application you must include standard 
forms, budget information, a BIG project statement, documents, maps, 
images, and other information asked for in the annual RFA at http://www.grants.gov, CFDA 15.622 in the format requested.
    (b) After we review your application, any responses to our requests 
to give more information or to clarify information become part of the 
application.
    (c) After we award your project, you must include supporting 
documentation explaining how the proposed work complies with applicable 
laws and regulations and identify permits, evaluations, and reviews you 
will need to obtain in order to complete the project.
    (d) Substantial misrepresentations of the information you give in 
an application may be a reason for us to:
    (1) Consider your application ineligible; or
    (2) Terminate your grant agreement.


Sec.  86.43  What information must I put in the project statement?

    You must put the following information in the project statement:
    (a) Need. Explain why the project is necessary and how it fulfills 
the purpose of BIG stated at Sec.  86.2. To support the need for the 
project you must:
    (1) Describe existing facilities available for eligible vessels 
near the proposed project. Include relevant details, such as the number 
of transient slips and the amenities for eligible users.
    (2) Describe how the proposed project fills a need or offers a 
benefit not offered by the existing facilities identified at paragraph 
(a)(1) of this section.
    (3) Give information to support the number of transient boats 
expected to use the area of the proposed project and show that the 
existing facilities identified at paragraph (a)(1) of this section are 
not enough to support them.
    (b) Purpose and objectives. State the purpose and objectives. The 
purpose states the desired outcome of the proposed project in general 
or abstract terms. The objectives state the desired outcome of the 
proposed project in terms that are specific and quantified.
    (c) Results or benefits expected. (1) Describe the capital 
improvement, services, or other products that will result from the 
project, and the purpose of each of these.
    (2) Describe how the structures, services, or other products will:
    (i) Satisfy the need described at paragraph (a) of this section; 
and
    (ii) Benefit eligible users.
    (d) Approach. (1) Describe the methods used to achieve the 
objectives. Show that you will use sound design and proper procedures. 
Include enough information for the Service to make a preliminary 
assessment of compliance needs.

[[Page 18780]]

    (2) Give the name, contact information, qualifications, and role of 
each known contractor or subgrantee.
    (3) Explain how you will exercise control to ensure the BIG-funded 
facility continues to fulfill its authorized purpose during the useful 
life of the BIG-funded project.
    (e) Useful life. State the useful life in years of the capital 
improvements for the proposed project. Explain how you determined the 
useful life of each capital improvement. You must reference a generally 
accepted method used to determine useful life of a capital improvement 
valued at $100,000 or more. See Sec. Sec.  86.74 and 86.75.
    (f) Geographic location. State the location using Global 
Positioning System (GPS) coordinates in the format requested in the 
annual RFA at http://www.grants.gov. State the local jurisdiction 
(county, town, city, or equivalent), street address, and water body 
associated with the project.
    (g) Budget narrative. Provide costs and additional information 
sufficient to show that the project will have benefits that justify the 
costs. State the percent of project costs that benefit eligible users. 
Describe any item that requires the Service's approval and estimate its 
cost or value. Examples are preaward costs and dredging.
    (h) Match and other partner contributions. See Sec. Sec.  86.32 and 
86.33 for required information.
    (i) Fees and program income, if applicable. (1) See Sec.  86.90 for 
the information that you must include on the estimated fees that an 
operator will charge during the useful life of the BIG-funded project.
    (2) See Sec. Sec.  86.78 and 86.79 for an explanation of how you 
may use program income. If you determine that your project will 
generate program income during the grant period, you must:
    (i) Estimate the amount of program income that the project is 
likely to generate; and
    (ii) Indicate how you will apply program income to Federal and non-
Federal outlays.
    (j) Multipurpose projects and equitable costs for BIG-funded 
facilities. You must explain the method used to divide costs equitably 
between estimated benefits for eligible and ineligible users. Your 
division of costs must be consistent with the requirements at Sec.  
86.19.
    (k) Relationship with other grants. Describe the relationship 
between this project and other work funded by Federal and non-Federal 
grants that is planned, expected, or in progress.
    (l) Timeline. Describe significant milestones in completing the 
project and any accomplishments to date.
    (m) Grantee's contact. Record the name, work address, and work-
telephone number of your representative for day-to-day issues on the 
project.


Sec.  86.44  What other documents and information must I include in a 
grant application?

    (a) You must include in all BIG applications:
    (1) Maps, such as:
    (i) A small State map that shows the general location of the 
project;
    (ii) A local map that shows the facility location and the nearest 
community, public road, and navigable water body; and
    (iii) Any other map that supports the information in the project 
statement.
    (2) For construction projects, support the description of your 
project by including images that show existing structures and 
facilities, the proposed BIG project, and information related to your 
project such as distances, number of slips, and functions.
    (3) Letters of commitment from partners, if applicable, using the 
guidance at Sec.  86.33. (4) Any other documents requested in the 
annual RFA or needed to support your proposed project.
    (b) In BIG Competitive applications, you must respond to each of 
the questions addressing the ranking criteria at Sec.  86.51 in the 
order in which the questions appear in the table. We publish the 
questions for these criteria in the annual RFA at http://www.grants.gov. In answering each question, you must include the 
information at Sec. Sec.  86.52 through 86.58 and any additional 
information requested in the annual RFA.


Sec.  86.45  What if my BIG project needs more than the awarded Federal 
share and required match to complete?

    (a) If you plan a project that you cannot complete with the amount 
of the Federal award and the required match, you may:
    (1) Find other sources of funds to complete the project;
    (2) Combine BIG Basic and BIG Competitive funding to complete a 
project at a single location; or
    (3) Divide your larger project into smaller, distinct, stand-alone 
projects and apply for more than one BIG grant, either in the same year 
or in different years. One project cannot depend on the completion of 
another.
    (b) For BIG Competitive grants, we review and rank each application 
individually, and each must compete with other applications for the 
same award year.
    (c) If you receive a BIG grant for one of your applications, we do 
not give preference to other applications you submit.


Sec.  86.46  If the Service does not select my application for funding, 
can I apply for the same project the following year?

    If we do not select your BIG application for funding, you can apply 
for the same project the following year or in later years.


Sec.  86.47  What changes can I make in an application after I submit 
it?

    (a) After you submit your application, you can add information or 
make changes up to the date and time that the applications are due.
    (b) After the due date of the applications and before we announce 
successful applicants, you can add information or make a change in your 
application only if it does not affect the scope of the project and 
would not affect the score of the application. If we discover that part 
of an application contains activities that we cannot fund with a BIG 
grant, we will determine on a case-by-case basis if we will consider 
the remainder of the application for funding. We may ask the applicant 
to change the useful life of the BIG project during this period 
following guidance at Sec.  86.75.
    (c) You must inform us of any incorrect information in an 
application as soon as you discover it, either before or after 
receiving an award.
    (d) We may ask you at any point in the application process to:
    (1) Clarify, correct, explain, or supplement data and information 
in the application;
    (2) Justify the eligibility of a proposed activity; or
    (3) Justify the allowability of proposed costs or in-kind 
contributions.
    (e) If you do not respond fully to our questions at paragraph (d) 
in this section in the time allotted, we will not consider your 
application for funding.
    (f) If funding is limited and we cannot fully fund your project, we 
may tell you the amount of available funds and ask you if you wish to 
adjust your application to reduce the amount of funding requested.

Subpart E--Project Selection


Sec.  86.50  Who ranks BIG Competitive applications?

    We assemble a panel of our professional staff to review, rank, and 
recommend applications for funding to the Director. This panel may 
include

[[Page 18781]]

representatives from our Regional Offices, with Washington Office staff 
overseeing the review, ranking, and recommendation process. Following 
the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. 
Appendix), the Director may invite nongovernmental organizations and 
other non-Federal entities to take part in an advisory panel to make 
recommendations to the Director.


Sec.  86.51  What criteria does the Service use to evaluate BIG 
Competitive applications?

    Our panel of professional staff and an advisory panel of 
nongovernmental organizations evaluate BIG Competitive applications 
using the ranking criteria in the following table and assigning points 
within the range for each criterion. We may supplement these criteria 
in the annual RFA on http://www.grants.gov.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Ranking criteria                          Points
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a) Boating Infrastructure...........  50 percent of total possible
                                        points.
    (1) Will the proposed boating      0-30.
     infrastructure meet a need for
     more or improved facilities?.
    (2) Will the proposed boating      0-10.
     infrastructure accommodate
     boater access to significant
     destinations and services that
     support transient boater travel?.
    (3) Will eligible users receive    0-10.
     benefits from the proposed
     boating infrastructure that
     justify the cost of the project?.
(b) Partnerships.....................  30 percent of total possible
                                        points.
    (1) Will the proposed project      0-15.
     include private or public
     partnerships to develop,
     renovate, maintain, or operate
     facilities?.
    (2) Will the proposed project      0-15.
     include private, local, or other
     State funds greater than the
     required minimum match?.
(c) Environment......................  20 percent of total possible
                                        points.
    (1) Will the proposed project      0-10.
     improve or maintain the quality
     of the local environment?.
    (2) Will the proposed project      0-10.
     include physical components or
     activities that improve the
     environmental sustainability of
     the facility?
(d) Total possible points............  100.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  86.52   What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
on the need for more or improved boating infrastructure?

    In evaluating a proposed project under the criterion at Sec.  
86.51(a)(1) on the need for more or improved boating infrastructure 
facilities, we consider whether the project will:
    (a) Construct new boating infrastructure in an area that lacks 
these facilities, but where eligible vessels now travel or would travel 
if the project were completed;
    (b) Renovate a facility to:
    (1) Improve its physical condition;
    (2) Comply with local building codes;
    (3) Improve generally accepted safety standards; or
    (4) Adapt it to a new purpose for which there is a demonstrated 
need;
    (c) Expand an existing marina or mooring site that is unable to 
accommodate current or projected demand by eligible vessels; or
    (d) Produce other improvements to accommodate a demonstrated 
eligible need.


Sec.  86.53  What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
on boater access to significant destinations and services that support 
transient boater travel?

    In evaluating a proposed project under the criterion at Sec.  
86.51(a)(2) on boater access, we consider the degree of access that the 
BIG-funded facility will give, the significance of the destination, and 
the services available in the area to support eligible users.


Sec.  86.54  What does the Service consider on benefits to eligible 
users that justify the cost of the project?

    We consider these factors in evaluating a proposed project under 
the criterion at Sec.  86.51(a)(3) on benefits for eligible users that 
justify the cost of the project:
    (a) Total cost of the project;
    (b) Total benefits available to eligible users upon completion of 
the project; and
    (c) Credibility of the data and information used to determine 
benefits relative to costs.


Sec.  86.55  What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
for partnerships?

    (a) We consider the number of partners and the significance of each 
partner's contribution in evaluating a project under the criterion at 
Sec.  86.51(b)(1).
    (b) To qualify, a partner's contribution must be necessary to 
accomplish the eligible project objectives. The application must state 
specifically how the partnership helps construct, renovate, or maintain 
the project.
    (c) The following may qualify as partners for purposes of the 
ranking criterion:
    (1) A non-Federal entity, including a subgrantee, if it signs a 
letter that:
    (i) Commits to contributing match that is at least 1 percent of the 
BIG-funded project; and
    (ii) Follows the requirements at Sec.  86.33(b)(2) and (c).
    (2) A Federal or non-Federal entity that has taken or commits to 
take a voluntary action during the grant period. The action must 
contribute directly and substantively to the completion of the project. 
You must explain in the application how the action is necessary to 
complete the project.
    (3) A Federal or non-Federal entity that commits to the ongoing 
objectives of the project, such as providing a service or benefit on a 
routine basis during or after the grant period. You must explain in the 
application how the action will contribute, the length of the 
commitment, and how the commitment benefits the project and eligible 
users.
    (4) A governmental entity may be a partner unless its contribution 
to completing the project is a mandatory duty of the agency, such as 
reviewing a permit application.


Sec.  86.56  What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
that includes greater than the minimum match?

    When we evaluate a project under the criterion for match at Sec.  
86.51(b)(2), we consider cash and the value of allowable in-kind 
contributions of equipment, services, and supplies.


Sec.  86.57  What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
for improving or maintaining the quality of the local environment?

    In evaluating a proposed project under the criterion at Sec.  
86.51(c)(1), we consider whether the project will:
    (a) Restore, support, or create local habitat;

[[Page 18782]]

    (b) Compensate for the impacts of the project on the local 
environment; or
    (c) Eliminate an existing environmentally harmful practice or 
situation at or near the facility.


Sec.  86.58  What does the Service consider when evaluating a project 
for environmental sustainability?

    (a) In evaluating a proposed project under the criterion at Sec.  
86.51(c)(2), we consider whether the project includes equipment, 
supplies, practices, and other elements that will minimize the global 
impact or enhance the long-term sustainability of the project.
    (b) We may consider activities funded through other sources that 
benefit eligible users, but are not eligible BIG costs.


Sec.  86.59  What happens after the Director approves projects for 
funding?

    (a) After the Director approves projects for funding, we notify 
successful applicants of the:
    (1) Amount of the grant;
    (2) Forms or documents required, including those required for 
compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
    (3) Approvals needed; and
    (4) Time constraints.
    (b) After we receive the required forms and documents, we approve 
the terms of the grant and obligate the grant in the Federal financial 
management system.
    (c) BIG funds are available for Federal obligation for 3 Federal 
fiscal years, starting October 1 of the fiscal year that funds become 
available for award. We do not make a Federal obligation until you meet 
grant requirements. Funds not obligated within 3 fiscal years are no 
longer available.

Subpart F--Grant Administration


Sec.  86.70  What standards must I follow when constructing a BIG-
funded facility?

    (a) You must design and build a BIG-funded facility so that each 
structure meets Federal, State, and local standards.
    (b) You must provide documents to show that a licensed engineer or 
architect designed the project.


Sec.  86.71  How much time do I have to complete the work funded by a 
BIG grant?

    (a) We assign a grant period that is no longer than 3 years from 
the grant start date.
    (b) You must complete your project within the grant period unless 
you ask for and receive a grant extension.


Sec.  86.72  What if I cannot complete the project during the grant 
period?

    (a) If you cannot complete the project during the 3-year grant 
period, you may ask us for an extension. Your request must be in 
writing, and we must receive it before the end of the original grant 
period.
    (b) An extension is considered a revision of a grant and must 
follow guidance at Sec.  86.101.
    (c) We will approve a 1-year extension if your request:
    (1) Describes in detail the work you have completed and the work 
that you plan to complete during the extension;
    (2) Explains the reasons for delay;
    (3) Includes a report on the status of the project budget; and
    (4) Includes assurance that you have met or will meet all other 
terms and conditions of the grant.
    (d) If you cannot complete the project during the 1-year extension 
period, you may ask us for a second extension. Your request must be in 
writing, and we must receive it before the end of the first 1-year 
extension. Your request for a second extension must include all of the 
information required at paragraph (b) of this section and, it must show 
that:
    (1) The extension is justified;
    (2) The delay in completion is not due to inaction, poor planning, 
or mismanagement; and
    (3) You will achieve the project objectives by the end of the 
second extension.
    (e) We require that the Regional Director for your State and the 
Service's Assistant Director for the Wildlife and Sport Fish 
Restoration Program approve extensions beyond 2 years.


Sec.  86.73  What if I need more funds to finish a project?

    (a) If you need more money to finish a BIG Competitive project, you 
must:
    (1) Complete the project with funds from non-Federal sources; or
    (2) Request approval to change the scope of the grant by following 
guidance in subpart I of this part.
    (b) If you need more money to finish a BIG Basic project, you may:
    (1) Complete the project with funds from non-Federal sources;
    (2) Complete the project with funds from another annual BIG Basic 
grant; or
    (3) Request approval to change the scope of the grant by following 
guidance in subpart H of this part.
    (c) If you do not complete your project, we follow guidance found 
for non-compliance in 43 CFR 12.83, 43 CFR 12.962, and whatever other 
regulations may apply.


Sec.  86.74  How long must I operate and maintain a BIG-funded 
facility, and who is responsible for the cost of operation and 
maintenance?

    (a) You must operate and maintain a BIG-funded facility for its 
authorized purpose for the useful life of the BIG-funded project. See 
Sec. Sec.  86.3, 86.43(e), and 86.75.
    (b) Catastrophic events may shorten the identified useful life of a 
BIG project. You may provide appropriate insurance coverage for the BIG 
project in order to protect the investment should an event occur. If 
the event causes sufficient damage that it is not practical to repair 
or replace the BIG project, you may ask the Regional Director to amend 
the grant agreement to reduce your useful-life obligation.
    (c) You are responsible for the costs of the operation and 
maintenance of the BIG-funded project for its useful life.


Sec.  86.75  How do I determine the useful life of a project?

    (a) To determine and justify the useful life of a project you must:
    (1) Identify each capital improvement for your project. The capital 
improvement must be a structure or system that meets the definition at 
Sec.  86.3 and serves an identified purpose, such as a building, dock 
system, breakwater, seawall, dredge project, fuel station, or pumpout 
system.
    (2) Show the expected useful life and how you determined the useful 
life for each capital improvement identified following paragraph (a)(1) 
of this section.
    (3) Use a generally accepted method to determine the useful life of 
a capital improvement valued at $100,000 or more.
    (4) Determine useful life based on the functional purpose of the 
capital improvement. For example, if a dock system has a concrete base 
that will last at least 50 years, but you expect the overall useful 
life of the dock system to be 20 years, use 20 years.
    (b) We may reject your application if you do not adequately justify 
your determination for the useful life of each capital improvement.
    (c) We may adjust the proposed useful life of the BIG project in 
consultation with you and any subgrantees. We may ask you to justify 
and change the useful life at any time between receiving your 
application and when the Regional Office issues the award.


Sec.  86.76  How should I credit the BIG program?

    (a) You must use the Sport Fish Restoration logo to show the source 
of BIG funding:

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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28MR12.001

    (b) Examples of language you may use to credit the BIG program are:
    (1) A Sport Fish Restoration--Boating Infrastructure Grant funded 
this facility thanks to your purchase of fishing equipment and 
motorboat fuel.
    (2) A Sport Fish Restoration--Boating Infrastructure Grant is 
funding this construction thanks to your purchase of fishing equipment 
and motorboat fuel.
    (3) A Sport Fish Restoration--Boating Infrastructure Grant funded 
this pamphlet thanks to your purchase of fishing equipment and 
motorboat fuel.


Sec.  86.77  How can I use the logo for the BIG program?

    (a) You must use the Sport Fish Restoration logo on:
    (1) BIG-funded facilities;
    (2) Printed or Web-based material or other visual representations 
of BIG projects or accomplishments; and
    (3) BIG-funded or BIG-related educational and informational 
material.
    (b) You must require a subgrantee to display the logo in the places 
and on materials described at paragraph (a) of this section.
    (c) The Director or Regional Director may authorize other persons, 
organizations, agencies, or governments that are not grant recipients 
to use the logo for purposes related to the BIG program by entering 
into a written agreement with the user. The user must state how it 
intends to use the logo, to what it will attach the logo, and the 
relationship to the BIG program.
    (d) The Service and the Department of the Interior make no 
representation or endorsement whatsoever by the display of the logo as 
to the quality, utility, suitability, or safety of any product, 
service, or project associated with the logo.
    (e) The user of the logo must indemnify and defend the United 
States and hold it harmless from any claims, suits, losses, and damages 
from:
    (1) Any allegedly unauthorized use of any patent, process, idea, 
method, or device by the user in connection with its use of the logo, 
or any other alleged action of the user; and
    (2) Any claims, suits, losses, and damages arising from alleged 
defects in the articles or services associated with the logo.
    (f) No one may use any part of the logo in any other manner unless 
the Director or Regional Director authorizes it. Unauthorized use of 
the logo is a violation of 18 U.S.C. 701 and subjects the violator to 
possible fines and imprisonment.


Sec.  86.78  How must I treat program income?

    (a) You must follow the applicable program income requirements at 
43 CFR 12.65 or 12.924.
    (b) We authorize the following options in the regulations cited in 
paragraph (a) of this section:
    (1) You may deduct the costs of generating program income from the 
gross income as long as you did not charge these costs to the grant. An 
example of costs that may qualify for deduction is maintenance of the 
BIG-funded facility that generated the program income.
    (2) Use the addition alternative for program income only if:
    (i) You describe the source and amount of program income in the 
project statement according to Sec.  86.43(i)(2); and
    (ii) We approve your proposed use of the program income, which must 
be for one or more of the activities eligible for funding in Sec.  
86.11.
    (3) Use the deduction alternative for program income that does not 
qualify under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
    (c) We do not authorize the cost-sharing or matching alternative in 
the regulations cited in paragraph (a) of this section.
    (d) For BIG Basic grants that include multiple projects:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                If . . .                            Then . . .
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) The State subgrants one or more      (i) The State must verify to
 projects and an individual subgrantee    the WSFR Regional Office that
 project is completed.                    its agreement with the
                                          subgrantee has been satisfied.
                                         (ii) The Regional Office will
                                          review and approve completion
                                          of the project.
                                         (iii) The Regional Office will
                                          instruct the State to apply
                                          any program income earned by
                                          the subgrantee as described at
                                          Sec.   86.78(b). The
                                          subgrantee will have no
                                          further responsibilities for
                                          program income.
                                         (iv) The State grant will stay
                                          open to allow for completion
                                          of other projects, as
                                          applicable.
(2) The State will complete one or more  (i) The State must notify the
 projects and an individual State         WSFR Regional Office that it
 project is completed.                    has completed one of the
                                          projects in the grant.
                                         (ii) The Regional Office must
                                          require the State to apply
                                          program income to the grant,
                                          but may allow the State to
                                          apply program income as
                                          described in Sec.   86.78(b).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  86.79  How must I treat income earned after the grant period?

    You are not accountable to us for income earned by you or a 
subgrantee after the grant period as a result of the grant except as 
required at Sec. Sec.  86.90 and 86.91.

Subpart G--Facility Operations and Maintenance


Sec.  86.90  How much must an operator of a BIG-funded facility charge 
for using the facility?

    (a) An operator of a BIG-funded facility must charge a reasonable 
fee for using the facility based on prevailing rates at other publicly 
and privately owned local facilities offering a similar service or 
amenity.
    (b) We review fees as part of the application process. Awarding 
your grant includes approval of proposed fees unless we indicate 
otherwise.


Sec.  86.91  May an operator of a BIG-funded facility increase or 
decrease user fees during the useful life of the BIG-funded project?

    An operator of a BIG-funded facility may increase or decrease user 
fees during the useful life of the BIG-funded

[[Page 18784]]

project if they are consistent with prevailing market rates.


Sec.  86.92  May an operator of a BIG-funded facility limit public 
access?

    (a) An operator of a BIG-funded facility must not limit public 
access to any part of the facility during the useful life of the BIG-
funded project, except as permitted at paragraphs (d) and (e) of this 
section, unless you describe these limits in the approved application. 
Public access in this section means access by eligible users, other 
types of boaters, and the general public.
    (b) The site of a BIG-funded facility must be:
    (1) Accessible to the public; and
    (2) Open for reasonable periods.
    (c) The public must have access to the shore and related facility 
features such as fuel stations and restrooms.
    (d) An operator may temporarily limit public access to all or part 
of the BIG-funded facility due to an emergency, repairs, construction, 
or as a safety precaution.
    (e) An operator may limit public access when seasonally closed for 
business.


Sec.  86.93  May I prohibit overnight use by eligible vessels at a BIG-
funded facility?

    You may prohibit overnight use at a BIG-funded facility if you 
state in the approved application that the facility is only for day 
use.


Sec.  86.94  Do I have to include informational signs for eligible 
users at BIG-funded facilities?

    (a) You must include clearly visible signs at BIG-funded facilities 
that:
    (1) Direct eligible users to the BIG-funded facility;
    (2) Include fees, restrictions, operating periods, and contact 
information; and
    (3) Restrict ineligible use at any part of the BIG-funded project 
designated only for eligible use.
    (b) You must credit BIG as a source of the funding.
    (c) When crediting the BIG program you must follow the requirements 
at Sec. Sec.  86.76 and 86.77.

Subpart H--Revisions and Appeals


Sec.  86.100   Can I change the information in an application after I 
receive a grant?

    (a) To change information in an application after you receive a 
grant, you must propose a revision of the grant and we must approve it.
    (b) We may approve a proposed revision if it:
    (1) Involves process, materials, logistics, or other items that 
have no effect on the factors used to decide score;
    (2) Would not significantly decrease the benefits of the project; 
and
    (3) Would not increase Federal funds.
    (c) We may approve a decrease in the Federal funds requested in the 
application subject to paragraph (b) of this section.
    (d) The Regional Director must review and the Assistant Director 
for the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program must approve any 
changes after we award a grant.


Sec.  86.101  How do I ask for a revision of a grant?

    (a) You must ask for a revision of a grant by sending us the 
following documents:
    (1) The standard form used to apply for Federal assistance, which 
is available at http://www.grants.gov. You must use this form to update 
or ask for a change in the information that you included in the 
approved application. The authorized representative of your agency must 
certify this form.
    (2) A statement attached to the standard form at paragraph (a)(1) 
of this section that explains:
    (i) How the revision would affect the information that you 
submitted with the original grant application; and
    (ii) Why the revision is necessary.
    (b) You must send any revision of the scope to your State 
Clearinghouse or Single Point of Contact if your State supports this 
process under Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of 
Federal Programs.


Sec.  86.102  Can I appeal a decision?

    You can appeal the Director's or Regional Director's decision on 
any matter subject to this part.
    (a) You must send the appeal to the Director within 30 days of the 
date that the Director or Regional Director mails or otherwise informs 
you of a decision.
    (b) You may appeal the Director's decision under paragraph (a) of 
this section to the Secretary within 30 days of the date that the 
Director mailed the decision. An appeal to the Secretary must follow 
procedures in 43 CFR part 4, subpart G, ``Special Rules Applicable to 
other Appeals and Hearings,'' or any regulations that replace or 
supplement subpart G.


Sec.  86.103  Can the Director authorize an exception to this part?

    The Director can authorize an exception to any requirement of this 
part that is not explicitly required by law if it does not conflict 
with other laws or regulations or the policies of the Department of the 
Interior or the OMB.

Subpart I--Information Collection


Sec.  86.110  What are the information-collection requirements of this 
part?

    (a) This part requires each applicant in the BIG program to:
    (1) Give us information on Standard Form 424, Application for 
Federal Assistance (OMB control number 4040-0004).
    (2) Certify on Standard Form 424 B, Assurances for Nonconstruction 
Programs, or Standard Form 424 D, Assurances for Construction Programs, 
or both if applicable, (OMB control numbers 4040-0007 and 4040-0009) 
that it:
    (i) Has the authority to apply for the grant;
    (ii) Has the ability to complete the project; and
    (iii) Will follow the laws, regulations, and policies applicable to 
construction projects, nonconstruction projects, or both.
    (3) Complete a project statement that describes the need, 
objectives, results expected, approach, location, cost explanation, and 
other information that shows that the project is eligible under the 
authorizing legislation and meets the requirements of the Federal Cost 
Principles and the laws, regulations, and policies applicable to the 
grant program (OMB control number 1018-0109).
    (b) This part requires each grantee in the BIG program to:
    (1) Update information given to the Service in an earlier approved 
application (OMB control number 1018-0109).
    (2) Report on a Standard Form 425, Federal Financial Report, on the 
status of Federal grant funds and any program income earned (OMB 
control number 0348-0061).
    (3) Report on progress in completing the grant-funded project (OMB 
control number 1018-0109).
    (4) Report real property status or request agency instructions on 
real property on Standard Form 429, Real Property Status Report (OMB 
control number 3090-0296).
    (5) Follow any future requirements for reporting financial and 
performance activities of a grant using additional forms or formats for 
inputting information.
    (c) The authorizations for information collection under this part 
are in OMB Circular A-102, ``Grants and Cooperative Agreements with 
State and Local Government,'' and in 43 CFR 12, subpart C, ``Uniform 
Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to 
State and Local Governments.''

[[Page 18785]]

    (d) Send comments on the information collection requirements to: 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Information Collection Clearance 
Officer, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM, Arlington, VA 22203.

    Dated: March 12, 2012.
Rachel Jacobson,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2012-6994 Filed 3-27-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P