National perspective review of brownfields proposals
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National Perspective Review Of Brownfields Proposals. EPA Region 4. The United States Environmental Protection Agency. Overview. Grant Programs Background Purpose And Intent Impact Of History General Suggestions For A Better Proposal Going Beyond The Criteria. Background.

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National Perspective Review Of Brownfields Proposals

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National PerspectiveReview Of Brownfields Proposals

EPA Region 4

The United States Environmental Protection Agency


  • Grant Programs Background

    • Purpose And Intent

    • Impact Of History

  • General Suggestions For A Better Proposal

  • Going Beyond The Criteria


  • Overall Vision and Plan for Project, from Assessment thru Cleanup and Redevelopment

    • Give Us Reasons To Believe Overall Project/Vision Will Be Completed

      • Schedule, Cost Estimates All Project Phases

      • Funds

      • Thought Out


  • Evidence Of Local Commitment

    • Budget, In-Kind, Man-hours

    • Leveraging

  • Local Partners, “Ground Swell”

    • Community Groups, Environmental Groups, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development District/Department, School Boards, Transit Authority, Banks, Local Business, Churches


  • Assessment Grant

    • Local Program Seed Money

      • Technical Work, Use Contractor (Assessment, Cleanup Planning, Cleanup)

      • Work Applicant Can Do - Limit Contractor Use (Outreach, Reporting)

        • If Possible, Make Activities In-Kind


  • Strong Relationship with State

  • Cleanups Are Overseen And Approved by State

  • Private Projects Should Have Public Benefits


  • EPA Has Seen Local Programs Struggle

    • Lack of Political Support

    • Assessment, Access

    • RLF, Loans Do Not Occur

  • Criteria Worth Extra Effort

    • Community Need and Involvement

    • Budget

    • Reduction of Threats to Human Health/Environment

    • Greenspace

  • Experience Counts

    • History of Success on Related Projects or Partnering

Key Terms

  • Collaboration, Coordination, Voluntary

  • Partners: Local, State, Federal, Private, Non-Profit

  • Stakeholders, Community

  • Outreach, Meaningful Public Participation

  • Commitment

  • Vision

  • Incentives

  • Transform, Change Catalyst, Revitalize

  • Innovative

Potential Red Flags

  • Superfund Sites

  • Marketing, except RLF

  • Contingencies

  • Fund Raising

  • Lobbying

  • Enforcement Action/Order

  • Administrative, Indirect

General Suggestions

  • Read Guidelines!

  • All Criteria Matter, If Not Applicable - Say So

  • Respond to All Parts of Each Criterion

    • Get Clarification Of Any Not Fully Understood

  • Reviewer Knows Only What You Tell Them

  • Be Specific But Not Overly Detailed

  • Be Specific And Thorough But Brief

  • Provide Project Specifics

    • If Not Possible Provide Area Wide Specifics

General Suggestions

  • Adhere To Format (page limit, font size, budget)

    • Proposal With Pages Less Than Limit – OK!

  • Copy Ready

  • Budget Versus All Project Activities Discussed in Proposal – Who Is Paying?

    • If Not Planning To Charge Activity To Grant, Show As In-Kind Or Leverage In Budget Narrative or Table

    • Examples: Community Involvement, Cleanup Planning

General Suggestions

  • Know And Explain Community

    • Strengths

      • Unique Programs Or Characteristics

        • Vision 2025, Main Street/Downtown Program, Railroad City, Heritage Rivers

    • Weaknesses (help justify funds)

      • Recognized By Outside Sources

        • University or Environmental Groups studies, Sierra Club

General Suggestions

  • Know What Activities Are Allowable Grant Expenses, When in Doubt - Ask

  • Non-Allowable Costs Red-Flags

    • Administrative Cost Ban

      • Examples: Indirect, “Admin-type” Activities, Supervision, Management

    • Various Planned Grant Activities

      • Examples: Redevelopment Costs, Unjustified Demolition for Cleanup/RLF, Land Acquisition

General Suggestions

  • Applying For Both Assessment and Cleanup Grants - For Same Project, At Same Time - Viewed Unfavorably

  • Quality of Proposal and Project Both Matter

General Suggestions

  • Be Clear About

    • Total Amount Of Federal Funds Requested

    • Type Of Proposal, Assessment Only

      • Community Wide

      • Site Specific

    • Type Of Funds Requested

      • Hazardous

      • Petroleum

General SuggestionsPut Yourself in Reviewer’s Shoes

  • Do Not Make Reviewer Hunt For Answers

    • Organize Proposal by Criteria, Use Number System

  • Describe All Unique or Local Terms Used

  • Reviewer Does Not Know Your Area

    • Briefly Explain All Local and State Programs

  • Avoid Reiterating entire Criteria in Response

  • Don’t Reiterate General Brownfields Concepts, Except As They Relate To Your Vision

General SuggestionsPut Yourself in Reviewer’s Shoes,cont.

  • Know Your Reviewer (Scientists, Engineers, Environmentalists)

    • Cleanup Plan Description

      • Get Technical Professional Help

      • Specifics

    • All Environmental Impacts, Direct and Indirect

    • Discuss Other Area Environmental Projects

    • Specifics Preferred

    • Details Generally Preferred, Don’t Overdo

    • Provide Numbers, If Possible

    • Use Simple Legible Charts/Tables

      • Examples: Demographics, Contaminant Levels, Grant History

General SuggestionsPut Yourself in Reviewer’s Shoes,cont.

  • Overall Proposal Check

    • Unnecessary Redundancy?

    • Unusual Activities? Explained? Justified?

      • “Media Services For Site Project”

      • “Offsite Planning”

    • Understandable? Readable?

      • Ask Third Party to Read Proposal

General Suggestions Proposal Attachments

  • Summarize and Refer to All Attachments

  • Mandatory Attachments

    • State Letter(s)

    • Petroleum determination by State

    • RLF Legal Opinion

    • Excluded or Property-Specific Site Information

  • Attach Community Notice Documentation

  • Attach Site Access Agreement, Assessment Site Specific Only

  • Think Minimal Attachments, Value Added?

General SuggestionsProposal Attachments, continued

  • Maps (81/2 x 11, copy ready)

  • Include Index

  • Support Letters Are Encouraged

    • From Sub-Jurisdictions, If Proposal Covers Multiple Jurisdictions

    • From Local Community Based Groups

    • From Partners Discussed In Proposal

      • Letters Should Include Discussion Of Partner’s Specific Contributions, If Any

Specific Criteria Suggestions Above and Beyond, Extra Points

  • Community Need

    • Compare Demographics To State/National

      • Primary: Race, Unemployment, Poverty, Income

      • Other: Crime, Disabled, Food Stamps, Renters, High School Graduate, Unmarried Mothers, Infant Mortality

    • Think Sensitive Populations (Children, Elderly)

    • Any Special Designation of Need

      • Empowerment Zone, Enterprise Community, Renewal Community, Treasury Hot Zone, Health & Human Services Underserved Medical Community, Weed & Seed

Specific Criteria Suggestions Above and Beyond, Extra Points

  • Budget

    • Realistic Environmental Costs

      • Ph I, $2,000-5,000

      • Ph II, highly variable, $20,000 +

      • Ph III/Cleanup Plan, highly variable, $10,000 +

    • Explain all Personnel Costs

      • What Will Staff Do On Project?

    • Do Environmental Work With Federal Funds

    • Be Clear About Your Intent - What Will Be Charged To Grant? In-Kind? Donated?

Specific Criteria Suggestions Above and Beyond, Extra Points

  • Community Involvement

    • Early and Often, Never Too Soon To Build Relationship

    • Plan to Provide Translators

    • Conduct Design Charette, if appropriate

    • Hold Public Meetings

    • Use Internet

    • Go Overboard, Have an Aggressive Plan

    • Community Based Group List, Residents, “Grass Roots”, Business, Neighborhood Groups

      • Are They Actual Partners? How Are They Involved?

    • Use Citizen Advisory Committee

      • Form Before Proposal Submission or Plan to Form

Specific Criteria Suggestions Above and Beyond, Extra Points

  • Leveraging

    • Explain How Funds Will Be Used In Project

    • Research Identify Potential Funding Sources

      • Private, Foundations

      • Federal

        • EDA for Redevelopment; HUD for BEDI, CDBG; COE

      • State

        • Bonds, Park Funds

      • Local

        • Tax, Community Development Block Grant

Specific Criteria Suggestions Above and Beyond, Extra Points

  • Ability to Manage Grants

    • Refer to Grant Requirements

      • Progress Reports

      • Financial Reports

      • Minority/Women Owned Business Reports

      • Quality Assurance

        • Quality Management Plan – Before Award

        • Quality Assurance Project Plans – Before Sampling

Specific Criteria Suggestions Above and Beyond, Extra Points

  • Site Selection – Assessment

    • Site Specific, Attach Access Consent

    • Access For Private Sites

      • Refer to Written Agreement

      • Attach Example of Written Agreement

      • Past Experience Getting Access


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