EPA Multipurpose Grant Application Helpful Hints
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The New FY24 EPA MARC Grant Application Guidelines Are Out!

FY24 APPLICATION DUE DATE: November 13, 2023
Your application(s) MUST be successfully received by Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

The TAB EZ grant writing software tool is currently being updated to reflect the new proposal guidelines. When updates are complete, an email will be sent to TAB EZ users. Users currently writing in TAB EZ should export their drafts to a MSWord file as soon as possible, using the button at bottom of the proposal outline screen. Once updates are complete, users should enter (or copy/paste) content into a new TAB EZ template created for the FY24 competition. Be sure to check your content against the new FY24 grant application instructions.

*You will need a KSU TAB account to use TAB EZ. New users who have not previously set up an account can do so by clicking the "Get a free account" link in the upper righthand side of the  www.ksutab.org webpage. (If you have questions, please contact Sheree Walsh,  chsr@ksu.edu, 785-200-7005.) Once you have an account,navigate to TAB EZ under “Online Tools” dropdown at top-of-page menu bar (at https://ksutab.org/tabez).

Go to the TAB EZ Homepage for additional information.

TAB can provide a free review of your draft EPA Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) proposals for those applying in EPA Regions 5, 6, 7 & 8 Please give us a one-week heads-up that you will be sending a draft to review. It generally takes us a few days to get the proposals back to you. Contact Maggie Belanger (maggiejessie@ksu.edu, 785-532-0782) to reserve your spot!

For other regions' TAB providers, contact:
EPA Region 1:The University of Connecticut
EPA Region 2: New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)
EPA Region 3: The West Virginia University Research Corporation
EPA Region 4: The International City/County Management Association
EPA Regions 9 and 10: Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR)

FY24 - Remember:

Some key documents include:

EPA webpage links:

EPA Brownfields & KSU TAB National Training Webinars:


The following Helpful Hints are to assist applicants in applying for

FY24  EPA Brownfield Multipurpose Grants

Should any information provided here differ from the multipurpose grant guidelines, the guidelines prevail.

Please Note: These helpful Hints are under review for updates that may be needed
based on any changes made to the guidelines for FY24.


III. B Threshold Criteria for Multipurpose Grants - Helpful Hints

Please note entities awarded FY22 Community-wide Assessment Grant for States and Tribes are not eligible to apply for an FY23 Multipurpose Grant. In addition, entities applying for an FY23 Multipurpose Grant may not apply for an FY23 Community-wide Assessment Grant, FY23 Assessment Coalition Grant, be a non-lead member of an FY23 Assessment Coalition Grant or a FY23 Cleanup Grant. Those entities with an existing Multipurpose Grant must have drawn down 70% of their Multipurpose Grant by October 1, 2022 in order to apply for FY23 Multipurpose Grant funding.

Your responses to items in the threshold eligibility criteria are required and must be included as an attachment to the Narrative.

Remember: Failing Threshold means your application will NOT go to Ranking. Therefore, if you have a question about whether you meet one of the threshold criteria or not, please ask. EPA staff can respond to questions regarding threshold eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the submission of the application, and requests for clarification about this announcement.

Section III. A Who Can Apply?

(From Multipurpose Grant Application Guidelines):

The following information indicates which entities are eligible to apply for a Multipurpose Grant. For more information, please refer to EPA Brownfields Guidelines FAQs.

You can also check with your EPA Regional Brownfields Contact listed in Section VII in the EPA Multipurpose Grant guidelines to discuss eligibility questions. The Regional Brownfield Contact is there to help you.

  • General Purpose Unit of Local Government. (For purposes of the EPA Brownfields Grant Program, a “local government” is defined as stated under 2 CFR § 200. 64.: Local government means a county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority (including any public and Indian housing agency under the United States Housing Act of 1937), school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments (whether or not incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under state law), any other regional or interstate government entity, or any agency or instrumentality of a local government.)
  • Land Clearance Authority or other quasi-governmental entity that operates under the supervision and control of, or as an agent of, a General Purpose Unit of Local Government.
  • Government Entity Created by the State Legislature.
  • Regional Council established under governmental authority or group of General Purpose Units of Local Government established under Federal, state or local law (e.g., councils of governments) to function as a single legal entity with authority to enter into binding agreements with the Federal Government.
  • Redevelopment Agency that is chartered or otherwise sanctioned by a state.
  • State.
  • Indian Tribe other than in Alaska. (The exclusion of Alaskan tribes from Brownfields Grant eligibility is statutory at CERCLA §104(k)(1). Intertribal Consortia, comprised of eligible Indian Tribes, are eligible for funding in accordance with EPA’s policy for funding intertribal consortia published in the Federal Register on November 4, 2002 at 67 Fed. Req. 67181. This policy also may be obtained from your Regional Brownfields Contact listed in Section VII of the Multipurpose Grant Guidelines.
  • Alaska Native Regional Corporation, Alaska Native Village Corporation, and Metlakatla Indian Community. Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Alaska Native Village Corporations are defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U. S. C. 1601 and following). For more information, please refer to the  FY23 EPA Brownfields Guidelines FAQs.
  • Nonprofit organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Limited liability corporation in which all managing members are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or limited liability corporations whose sole members are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
  • Limited partnership in which all general partners are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or limited corporations whose sole members are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
  • Qualified community development entity as defined in section 45D(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Note: individual entities, for-profit organizations, and nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that lobby are not eligible to receive Brownfields Grants.

Remember: Eligible entities can apply for funds to assess publicly and privately-owned properties BUT private property owners cannot apply directly for grant funds.

For more information, please refer to EPA Brownfields Guidelines FAQs.

III.B.2 Community Involvement

Be specific in responding to this requirement.

  • How will you inform the community and other stakeholders of meetings, activities or events?
  • What events have you planned or do you anticipate? For example, email blasts, webpage postings, flyers in community spaces, local newspapers, social media, etc.
  • How will you involve the community and other stakeholders in the planning phase and during the implementation phase?
  • Describe the process you plan to use for community involvement. Be sure to mention if you already have a process in place which you’ve used successfully and plan to continue using it. Briefly explain why this process works for your community.

III.B.4 Affirmation of Brownfield Site Ownership

You must own at least one brownfield site in the target area by November 22, 2022. Make sure that this site meets the definition of a brownfield and is eligible for brownfield funding under CERCLA §104(k). EPA can be consulted on site eligibility questions.

III.B.5 Use of Grant Funds

Multipurpose Grant funds must be used to conduct both assessment and cleanup activities, and to develop an overall plan for revitalization of the target area if a plan does not already exist. You must conduct at least one Phase II environmental site assessment; remediate at least one site; and develop an overall plan for revitalization of the target area. Make sure the brownfield program you describe in your grant application, tasks and budget contains both assessment and cleanup activities and the development of such a plan or reference to an existing plan.

IV.B. Due Date and Submission Instructions

Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on November 22, 2022.

  • Register in www.grants.gov and make sure you have done everything needed to submit an application at least a month before the applications are due to be submitted to EPA.
  • Make sure you know who your organization’s Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is and that they have updated any information that needs updated and have access to www.grants.gov. Plan to have your application to them with enough time so they can successfully submit the application package.

IV.D Narrative Information Sheet

  • You have 3 pages for your Narrative Information Sheet – use them!
  • Make sure to include all of the information requested in the guidelines for the Narrative Information Sheet.
  • Make sure to use your official letterhead.
  • Use full sentences and make sure the information provided is clear and easy for the reviewer to locate and understand.
  • Double and triple check for typos and misspellings. Do not rely on spell-check alone!
  • See the Multipurpose Grant Application Checklist to make sure you have all required documentation/attachments to your application.
  • Do not respond to the ranking criteria in your Narrative Information Sheet. This is not the place to add that information and the information will not be considered when ranking your application.
  • Provide contact information directly to the person responsible for the application, not a generic phone number. EPA may contact the applicant for clarifying questions about threshold criteria and it is important they are able to reach you. Failure to reply to EPA’s outreach could result in disqualification.

The text you enter into TABEZ will appear in your draft Narrative Information Sheet when you export the Word document to your computer.

IV.D.7 Other Factors Checklist

  • EPA may consider the "Other Factors Checklist" when making final funding selection decisions (e.g., as a tie breaker for highly ranked applicants). Therefore, it’s important to identify ALL the other factors that apply to your application.
  • Include the checklist in the Narrative Information Sheet.
  • Please read the instructions on the form. If you indicate that a factor applies to you, make sure you reference the location (page number(s)) in your narrative that summarizes or shows how this factor applies to you. The information related to the Other Factors must be included in your application narrative, so make sure that it is.
  • If none of the “Other Factors” are applicable, include a statement that none apply to your project.
  • Additional points are not awarded for meeting one or more of the other factors.

IV.D.8 Letter from the State or Tribal Environmental Authority

  • Attach a current letter from the State or Tribal environmental authority acknowledging that you plan to conduct assessment and cleanup activities and that you plan to apply for FY23 federal brownfields grant funds. Do not submit a letter from previous years, even if your project goals did not change.
  • Contact your State or Tribal environmental authority early – do not wait until the last minute to get this letter! It is often helpful to provide your State or Tribal environmental authority with a sample letter with specifics about the intended use of the grant funding.
  • If applying for multiple types of grants, you need to obtain only one letter acknowledging the relevant grant activities. However, this letter MUST be attached to every single grant application.
  • Write a statement that the letter is attached.

Narrative Application/Ranking Criteria for Multipurpose Grants

IV.E.1 Project Area Description and Plans for Revitalization

IV.E.1.a Target Area and Brownfields

IV.E.1.a.i Overview of Brownfield Challenges and Description of Target Area

  • Be clear and concise!
  • Select at least one target area. Although you can select as many target areas as you want, more than three areas are difficult to describe with enough detail required to be successful within the page limits.
  • Describe the brownfields in the target area. Include all possible brownfields in this description, including properties like vacant lots, blighted or aging buildings, historic dry cleaners, historic gas stations, etc. Search your State or Tribal environmental databases for evidence of known releases or use the Platform for Exploring Environmental Records (PEER).
  • Describe the extent of the brownfield problem including the relationship between this area and the health and well-being of people in the target area, as well as in your city, town or geographic area as a whole. You really want to show that there are brownfield sites and they are significantly impacting your community or target area and the specific types of challenges/impacts they are causing to the community.
  •  Include information on the brownfields challenges and how they have impacted the community (blighted properties, higher crime rate, job loss, etc.) and how this grant will help alleviate and address those challenges.
  • Support your statements by highlighting any statistical information regarding the impacts and cite sources. 
  • Briefly state how this grant will help alleviate the challenges described.
  • Describe the location of your brownfields, i.e., are they in the center of town, outskirts, close to or in neighborhoods/schools or near other sensitive populations? Be sure your discussion includes the extent you plan to address these sites with the funding requested, i.e., will the funding be enough for one or more sites in the targeted areas.
Remember: Your grant will be reviewed by people not familiar with your area and the reviewer will not be familiar with your city or situation. A person from a different EPA region will review your application so as to prevent bias. This means someone from California could review a grant from Nebraska

IV.E.1.a.ii Description of the Priority Brownfield Site(s)

  • Clearly identify priority sites (at least one or more), why they are a priority, what are the current conditions and environmental issues, are there any existing structures, what is their condition and can they be reused and whether they are adjacent or near a body of water or federally designated floodplain (one of the Other Factors).
  • For example, is your site a priority because it represents a significant health hazard, the site has good redevelopment potential, or addresses some other community concern.
  • Bodies of water can be large or small and might include lakes, rivers, creeks, marshes, wetlands or floodplains.
  • How well you describe your sites, the number and extent of the problem, how clear it is why you have prioritized the sites or area you have, and whether it has existing structures can all help your application.
  • Be sure to mention if any priority sites are adjacent or near a body of water or federally designated floodplain, impacted by mine-scared lands or a recently closed/is closing coal-fired power plant or any of the Other Factors.

IV.E.1.b Revitalization of the Target Area

IV.E.1.b.i Overall Plan for Revitalization

  • Make sure you clearly describe the reuse strategy for the site or target area.
  • If possible, try to give the reviewer a strong sense that reuse/redevelopment is likely to happen after the assessment and/or cleanup is completed.
  • As you describe the project, make sure you indicate how the reuse strategy/plan aligns with the target area’s local government’s land use and revitalization plans. 
  • If there’s not already an overall brownfields revitalization plan in place then make sure you discuss what activities you plan to do to create one as part of the grant.
  • Describe how the community has been involved with comprehensive or master plans, reuse strategy, vision, or other decision making efforts.
  • The proposed cleanup and reuse of the site should align with challenges presented in Section IV.E.1.a.i Overview of Brownfield Challenges and Description of Target Area.
  • If possible, discuss how the reuse strategies align with environmental justice, climate action, and community resilience.

IV.E.1.b.ii Outcomes and Benefits of Overall Plan for Revitalization

  • Describe how the reuse of the site/target area will stimulate economic development.
  • As much as you are able, provide specific anticipated outcomes and economic improvements, such as X% increase in tax base, number of jobs this project may create, etc. If you cannot be specific, provide a realistic estimate based on reliable resources.
  • If all sites get assessed and/or cleaned up, how many acres of reusable land will that create? How will that potentially affect the local economy?
  • If your project could lead to any sustainable reuse of buildings or structures, mention this even if it is not the focus of the project.
  • If your focus is on economic redevelopment, are you also helping to preserve greenfields? If so, mention it.
  • If applicable, explain how the proposed project will create/preserve or add to a park, greenway, undeveloped property, recreational property or other property used for non-profit purposes.
  • As much as you can, provide specific anticipated greenspace generation, such as X acres of greenspace will be created in a low-income neighborhood, X number of pocket parks in developed areas.
  • If you create or preserve greenspace, identify specific regulations, programs or policies that will provide long-term management and preservation of greenspace. This may include land use restrictions, zoning, and maintenance. If you don’t have any regulations, programs or policies yet, discuss any efforts or plans to develop these.
  • Can any of your effort be tied to anti-sprawl concepts? If so, describe/mention it here.
  • Will the project provide space for not-for-profit, governmental or charitable organizations? If so, describe the amount and type of space provided improving the livability of the community residents.
  • Be sure to mention if the reuse will facilitate renewable energy from wind, solar or geothermal energy or incorporate energy efficiency measures. Include information about how redevelopment will facilitate renewable energy or energy efficiency improvement projects. For example, will renewable energy be used as part of the site reuse, will building codes require certain energy efficiency measures or standards, etc.
  • Examples of funding resources include other federal funding (e.g. HUD, EDA, USDA, etc.), Opportunity Zone resources for Developers, State program (e.g. State Tax Credits), local funds (tax increment financing zones), philanthropic foundations, and traditional private financing.
If your proposed project may potentially cause the displacement of residents and/or businesses, describe any strategies you will employ to minimize the impact of the displacement.

IV.E.1.c Strategy for Leveraging Resources

IV.E.1.c.i Resources Needed for Site Reuse

  • Discuss eligibility and plans for leveraging funds from other sources in order to show commitment to reuse the property once it is assessed and any cleanup is accomplished.
  • Indicate any monetary funding you have already leveraged from other sources which will assist with the assessment, cleanup and redevelopment/reuse.
  • Information on non-monetary leveraging in the form of in-kind support will be reported under section IV.E.3.a Description of Tasks and Activities rather than in this section.
  • Don’t duplicate leveraged funds that are listed in IV. E. 3. a Description of Tasks and Activities.
  • Duplication of leveraged funding may cause you not to earn all the available points for this criteria
  • If you haven’t already leveraged funding, demonstrate that you have the ability to leverage funds. If applicable, describe funds you already have committed as well as those you are pursuing. Describe possible local, state, federal or regional resources. The more variety and the more directly linked to your projects, the better. Local commitments are especially important. Think about what your partners, if you have any, can contribute and discuss it here.
  • EPA and State targeted brownfields assessments (TBAs), completed or proposed, are examples of leveraging. These may come into play if you have too many sites to be covered with the grant funds. While still listing all the sites/areas you want to assess and cleanup (documenting need), discuss any efforts to also have TBAs from EPA and/or the State to help achieve your goal.
  • Use positive and active verbs, such as “we are working on…”, “we will commit…”, “we have applied for…”
  • All leveraged funding should be easily identifiable including the source of the funding, activity being funded, and amount. It is important to note leveraging resources that have been secured and those that are pending or being sought (e.g., applied for a grant.). Applications which demonstrate secured funding may be viewed more favorably.
  • Make it clear how the leveraged funding/resources you’ve identified are relevant or link to this project. In other words, don’t just list random funding received/sought, but make sure the reviewer can clearly see how it links to the multipurpose grant.

IV.E.1.c.ii Use of Existing Infrastructure

  • Include information about the reuse of existing infrastructure at the priority site(s) or target area.
  • Infrastructure can mean more than just roads and utilities (sewer, water, electricity, broadband, etc.). It can also include other transportation (bus, train or air transportation), other energy and telecommunications and even housing and business services needed to support redevelopment. Be as inclusive as possible. Specifically list each utility.
  • Describe the benefit of using existing infrastructure. Are there money and energy savings? Will the use of existing infrastructure avoid construction noise, dust and traffic issues that are common when building new infrastructure? If reusing existing infrastructure reduces the potential construction-related impact on adjacent residential areas, explain this benefit.
  • If additional infrastructure is needed discuss what is needed and how funding for it will be sought or provided. Basically, you need to explain how it will be covered and why it won’t hinder site reuse efforts.
  • Again, if your project can/will lead to any sustainable reuse of buildings or structures, mention this even if it is not the focus of the project.
  • If applicable, describe the environmental benefits of infrastructure upgrades, like replacement of lead pipes or updated septic or sewer systems.

IV.E.2 Community Need and Community Engagement

IV.E.2.a Community Need

IV.E.2.a.i The Community’s Need for Funding

  • Explain why you need these funds and describe how economic conditions limit the funding available for addressing your brownfields sites. If applicable, include why your community has the inability to draw on other resources because it either has a small population or low income. Use statistics to support your statements about small population, low income or other relevant demographics that show need.
  • Explain why the community has no other source of funding for the proposed assessment, remediation or redevelopment activities.
  • Describe how economic conditions limit funding available for addressing brownfields sites. Include the targeted community as well as the community, as a whole, to describe the economic impacts of your brownfields. (Note: if the inability to draw on funding is not due to having a small population and/or the low income of the community then your response may only earn up to two points for this criterion.)
  • Consider reviewing sales tax data, or assessed valuations of property to identify downward trends that demonstrate that brownfields have been a partial cause of financial impact to the target area and made other funding from taxes unavailable.
  • You may pull out and highlight this information for the target areas of the community to make your case, i.e., focus your census data and describe the adverse impact of brownfields on a subset of the population.

IV.E.2.a.ii Threats to Sensitive Populations

For each of the following criteria [(1), (2), & (3)]:

  • Include demographic statistics (percent of population that are women, children or low income; infant disease/mortality rates) to support your statements about how the grant will reduce threats to sensitive populations in the target area.
  • Include data from EPA’s EJSCREEN Tool or other EJ-focused tools, including the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), on sensitive populations and environmental justice.
  • See Statistics, Demographic and Census Data Informationand the weblinks found on pages 21-24 of the FY23 FAQs for helpful weblinks that provide statistics, demographics and Census information to help you. 
  • Consider using demographic statistics for census tracts around priority brownfields if those localized statistics demonstrate a greater need than the entire target area.
  • Review the FY23 EPA Brownfields Guidelines FAQs for information on sensitive populations and environmental justice.

IV.E.2.a.ii.1 Health or Welfare of Sensitive

  • Describe the threats to the health and welfare of sensitive populations.
  • Discuss the proximity of residential areas, hospitals, schools, daycare facilities or elder care and assisted living facilities to brownfield sites or potential sources of contamination. For example, are the brownfield sites near neighborhoods with sensitive populations where exposure to contamination can potentially occur.
  • Contact your local health department to see if they have any statistics available that might help you. Include the targeted community as well as the community as a whole to describe the impacts of your brownfields.
  • Make sure you include information about how assessing, cleaning up and reusing these sites will reduce the threats to these sensitive populations.
  • You may need to pull out information/data from your target area or the larger community to make your point. Make sure you carry those specific areas throughout the entire application. If data is not available at the target area level, explain why and explain how the data used (e.g. city or county level data) is representative of the target area.
  • For smaller communities use any and all available information to provide a picture of the impact brownfields have on your community and why you do not have the resources to address these sites affecting your sensitive populations. Note that the information you provide needs to tie back to the information you provided in the description of your target area. It may even be the basis for how you prioritized your site(s) or determined your target area.
  • Consider climate vulnerability as a threat to sensitive populations with tools like: https://resilience.climate.gov/  or Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST).

IV.E.2.a.ii.2 Greater Than Normal Incidence of Disease and Adverse Health Conditions

  • Describe how you have and/or will prioritize assessment and cleanup of brownfields that contribute to impacts on residents who are already experiencing cumulative public health threats or where there is greater than normal incidence of disease or adverse health conditions. For example, if a community is potentially impacted by proximity to a power plant or heavily used highway, as well as proximity to brownfields, explain this situation and the urgency for alleviating impacts from the brownfield(s) sites. Make sure you indicate that this grant will allow you to identify and address those issues for those residents impacted.
  • Work with the local or state health department to gather data on incidence of disease and adverse health conditions for your target area. Use numbers or percentages to demonstrate negative health impacts to in your target area in order to make your case.
  • To the degree you can, make a clear connection or linkage with those experiencing greater than normal health impact such as cancer, asthma or birth defects with the brownfield sites in your target area.
  • If the population in the target area(s) do not suffer from greater-than-normal incidence of diseases or conditions (including cancer, asthma, or birth defects) then the response may only earn up to two points

IV.E.2.a.ii.3 Promoting Environmental Justice

  • Discuss how the brownfields in your community have disproportionately impacted those in your community especially as related to environmental justice.
  • Try to be specific and link those impacts to the brownfield sites especially those brownfield sites in the target area. If you can, use statistics to make the case for your community by citing high unemployment, low median incomes, etc. in the area near your brownfield sites/target area or where the community has had a disproportional share of negative environmental consequences such as hazardous waste site, landfills, illegal dumping, etc.
  • Indicate how the grant funding will help by identifying and removing a source of pollution and blight from further impacting this population while adding jobs and contributing toward economic growth while reducing health threats.

IV.E.2.b. Community Engagement

IV.E.2.bi. Prior/Ongoing Community Involvement

  • Discuss how you have intentionally involved and engaged the community with regards to the brownfield sites in the target area. Mention all the ways you have engaged them in both the assessment, cleanup and reuse of the area.

IV.E.2.b.ii. Project Involvement

  • Letters of Commitment from your partners are no longer required.
  • Listed partners should be local organizations that are relevant and have a key interest, commitment and role in the proposed project. For example, if your projected reuse is on housing then you should have a partner with relevant expertise in housing.
  • Include a diverse list of partners covering multiple aspects of your project. For example, there may be state organizations, governmental departments, health departments, local organizations and businesses, nonprofit organizations, community groups, etc.
  • The list of partners should include a community-based organization and/or community liaison representing residents directly affected by the project. (Note: a plan that doesn’t include at lease one relevant community-based organization or community liaison representing residents will be evaluated less favorably.)
  • If your community is small or remote enough that no local community organizations exist, make sure you address this in this section and show how your community is engaged with someone such as your local Chamber of Commerce, citizen groups, environmental organizations, etc. who may be considered as an acceptable substitute for community organizations in this unusual situation.

IV.E.2.b.iii. Project Roles

  • Use the sample format provided in the guidelines. This clearly and concisely provides the information requested by EPA and will facilitate those reviewing your application.
  • Make sure your partners had a chance to review and provide input on your application! EPA may sporadically check up on listed partners to make sure they are fully aware and knowledgeable of their role in the project.
  • Make sure each partners role in the project is clear.
  • Make sure you include community-based organizations or representatives directly affected by the brownfield sites you anticipate addressing

IV.E.2.b.iv Incorporating Community Input

  • Plan to have a clear, complete and robust community engagement program. This is an important aspect of your application as community involvement represents a core value for EPA.
  • Some examples of involving the affected/target community include holding public meetings where the progress/result of the assessment or cleanup project is explained, engage the community up front in site selection/prioritization and with cleanup and re-use planning for the sites and target area.
  • Public meetings, web sites, social media, newspaper and newsletters are mechanisms you can use to provide updates to the community and ask for feedback/comments.
  • Be sure to mention if you already have a process in place which you’ve successfully used in your community and plan to continue using it. Briefly explain why this process works for your community i.e., most of your community members work during the day so you schedule your meeting in the evening when more are available to attend, you offer childcare to encourage parents to attend, etc.
  • Be sure to indicate what alternative methods of getting community input you plan to employ given the event of social distancing or other restrictions as a result of COVID-19. Possibly offering more online or electronic mechanisms for meetings and feedback.
  • Address any language barriers that may exist within your targeted community, i.e., provide translation services (meeting invitations, meetings, documents) as needed. If all of your community speaks English, then be sure to mention this so the reviewer doesn’t think you’ve missed this aspect.
  • Address the needs of sensitive populations – for example, provide ADA accessible meeting space if your targeted community consists of a high percentage of seniors.
  • It is important here to discuss how you will seek comments from the community, how they will be considered/evaluated and how those comments will be addressed and responded to in a meaningful way so the community knows what happened regarding their comments.
  • For more information on community involvement activities see the "Resource" section of TAB EZ

IV.E.3 Task Descriptions, Cost Estimates, and Measuring Progress

IV.E.3.a Description of Tasks/Activities and Outputs

The following helpful hints apply to subsections a.i, a.ii, a.iii, a.iv and a.v.

  • Provide a detailed list of each task/activity required to implement your project. Utilize clear and precise task descriptions. Explain what personnel will be doing and who will be filling each role including who will be leading/overseeing each activity and who will be performing the task (i.e., applicant, qualified environmental professional, other).  Make sure these entities are appropriate for the roles they will be performing.
  • Use the sample format provided by EPA. This will ensure that its easy for the reviewer to find and evaluate the information.
  • Make sure the applicant is directing grant activities and that the local health agency is involved in health monitoring activities.
  • Your task/activities should represent a sound and efficient plan for performing the overall project.
  • If you anticipate hiring a contractor, explain what project activities the contractor will perform. Keep in mind that applicants will need to comply with procurement procedures in 2 CFR §200.318 for any contractors hired to support the grant.
  • It is not recommended to use acronyms like "ESA" or other acronyms specific to your organization. If you do use acronyms, spell them out on their first use.
  • Include information about how you plan to identify additional sites, prioritize, make sure they are eligible and whether or not they consider underserved communities.
  • Make sure each of the activities listed are necessary, relevant and appropriate for completing the project in the 5-year period of the grant.
  • Make sure you explain any activities that will occur beyond the priority sites or outside your target area, the timing for these, and why they need to occur in order to have a successful project.
  • If a key activity associated with your project is not going to be included in your budget, explain why. For example, if another part of your organization or project partners will be taking care of community involvement activities as an in-kind contribution and is not charging this to the grant, note that. Otherwise, reviewers may wonder how key activities will get accomplished and think you’ve failed to include key information.
  • Along these lines, make sure you discuss the extent that other resources such as in-kind assistance will bridge the gap between the EPA grant funds and the funds necessary to bring the project to successful completion.
  • While you should be thorough in describing necessary tasks/activities and in-kind services, do not duplicate sources listed in the Leveraging section of the application. Make sure the information is included once in the appropriate section.
  • Make sure to discuss participant support costs to pay for activities associated with a community liaison and that there is a sound process with good cost documentation.
  • Include a timeline/schedule of milestones demonstrating how you will complete the proposed activities within 5 years. Make sure the milestones are aggressive, but at the same time achievable. (Note: Multipurpose Grants will have a sufficient progress term and conditions requiring that 35% of grant funding be drawn down within 2 years of grant award and/or when sites are prioritized or an inventory has been initiated (if necessary), initial community involvement activities have taken place, relevant state or tribal pre-cleanup requirements are being addressed, an appropriate remediation plan is in place for at least one eligible brownfield site, institutional control development (if necessary) has commenced, institutional control development (if necessary) has commenced, and/or a solicitation for services has been issued.)
  • Make sure to include all key activities in your schedule such as procuring a Qualified Environmental Professional, inventory work, site access, community engagement, site selection, Phase Is, Phase IIs, cleanup planning, ABCA, cleanup, revitalization plan, etc.
  • In addition to the budget table, list and briefly describe outputs. Outputs are work products that are measurable and will be done on a set schedule or by a set date. For example, an output could be “conduct 3 community meetings” or “complete 10 Phase I assessments” or “complete 1 site cleanup.”
  • Make sure outputs correlate with the proposed project and are likely to be achieved in the 5-year grant period. If you proposed completing 5 Phase IIs, then you should have 5 Phase II reports at the end of the grant.
  • Research the Brownfields Program to identify the deliverables that will be required.  Examples of deliverables could include:
    - Generic and site specific quality assurance plans, as required by the EPA Region
    - Quarterly progress reports
    - Phase I and II reports
    - ABCA

IV.E.3.b Cost Estimates

  • Use the sample table in the guidelines to present your budget. It will clearly and concisely present your budget in a way that will facilitate review by the EPA reviewer.
  • Do not change the Budget Categories down the left-hand side of the table. These are the standard federal grant budget categories. If a budget category is not relevant, then leave it blank, but do not delete.
  • Feel free to add additional Tasks in the budget table if more than four Tasks are needed. Typical task categories may include: Program/Project Management; Brownfield Planning and Site Reuse Plan Development; Brownfield Inventory; Environmental Site Assessment; Cleanup Planning; Cleanup; Community Engagement, etc.
  • Link the budget amounts to specific tasks/activities that you described in Section IV.E.3.a. If you said you were going to procure a contractor to perform the environmental assessments, then make sure the budget table includes those costs.
  • Include the basis for each of your estimated costs. Make sure your basis for each cost is straightforward and easy to follow so that the reviewer can clearly see how you arrived at that number and that it is reasonable and realistic to implement the grant.
  • Include costs for BOTH assessment and cleanup tasks in your budget.
  • Keep in mind that grant applications that allocate at least 70% of the funds for tasks directly related to site specific work such as site assessments, remediation and associated tasks (with at least $200,000 designated for tasks directly associated with site remediation) will be reviewed more favorably.
  • Explain and justify any equipment and/or supply budget items.
  • Capital equipment over $5,000 is considered “equipment” and will require working with your EPA Project Officer for approval. It is highly unlikely that you would need to purchase equipment for a Multipurpose Grant. Equipment less than $5,000 is categorized as “supplies.”
  • DO NOT include leveraged funding in the budget table.
  • Check your MATH! Your budget needs to add up correctly otherwise it will reflect poorly on your application and your ability to get the project done.
  • Make sure your cost share is included and are eligible costs.
  • Double check that your proposed budget only includes eligible costs.
  • DO not request more than 5% of the budget in Administrative Costs.
  • Be realistic! Do not request unrealistic amounts of money for a task. The reviewer wants to see that you plan to use the funding prudently and efficiently. At the same time, include what you actually think it will cost based on past assessment or cleanup work in your area. For example, if you live in an area where costs generally run high, explain this and the reason why in your basis of cost statement.
Note: Travel to the EPA National Brownfields Conference, regional brownfields conferences and other related educational meetings/conferences are legitimate budget items under "Travel". Grantees are expected to attend the National Brownfields Conference.

IV.E.3.c Measuring Environmental Results

  • Clearly outline how you plan to track, measure and evaluate your progress in achieving project outputs, results and outcomes in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Make sure you address each of these elements: track, measure and evaluate.
  • Clearly show how you are doing the work and accomplishing things in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Examples of outputs are quarterly and annual financial reports, ACRES entries, completed work plans, etc.
  • Outcomes are not outputs. Outcomes include the number of jobs created/retained tax revenue increases and funding leveraged through the economic reuse of sites; the number of acres made ready for reuse; acres of greenspace created for communities; and the minimized exposure to contamination.

IV.E.4 Programmatic Capability and Past Performance

Don’t forget to mention how you plan to report progress to ACRES. You may use the KSU TAB Brownfields Inventory Tool (BIT) (see also BIT Instructions and Helpful Hints) to track your brownfields projects and report to ACRES. Note: You must be logged into your free ksutab.orgaccount to access BiT or TAB EZ.

IV.E.4.a Programmatic Capability

Sections IV.E.4.a.i, IV.E.4.a.ii and IV.E.4.a.ii can be consolidated into one response. This is often helpful since the information flows well together and otherwise may appear to overlap.

IV.E.4.a.i Organizational Capacity

  • Detail your organization's structure and capability to manage this grant by highlighting your organizational structure for managing key areas (technical, administrative and financial) and past grants/projects your organization has successfully completed.
  • Efficiency and effectiveness of your organization seems to be the operative words here. If there is any way to describe this concisely, then do that here. Make sure you communicate how the level of expertise/qualifications/experience of your key staff will result in timely and successful expenditure of funds as you complete all technical, administrative and financial requirements of the grant.
  • Describe stability of the organization, city/town, or department. Give the reviewer confidence that the organization or coalition can manage this grant by describing other federally funded programs, experience with similar programs, number of employees, etc.

IV.E.4.a.ii Organizational Structure

  • Detail your organization's structure to manage this grant by highlighting your organizational structure for managing key areas (technical, administrative and financial) and past grants/projects your organization has successfully completed.
  • Make sure you communicate how the level of expertise/qualifications/experience of your key staff will result in timely and successful expenditure of funds as you complete all technical, administrative and financial requirements of the grant.

IV.E.4.a.iii Description of Key Staff


  • Highlight information on staff availability, roles, expertise, qualifications and experience. Make sure to indicate how this level of expertise/qualification/experience will lead to efficient and successful administration of the grant.
  • Discuss contingency plans in the event there are key staff changes.

IV.E.4.a.iv Acquiring Additional Resources


  • Describe if you have experience in contracts and/or subrecipient agreements.
  • Present a plan for acquiring any additional resources (subrecipients and contractors) that you know you will need for successful completion of the proposed project.
  • If contractors are needed, state that you will follow required competitive Procurement Standards in 2 CFR 200.317-326 when hiring contractors.

IV.E.4.b Past Performance and Accomplishments

Respond to the subsectionthat applies to your organization.

IV.E.4.b.i Currently Has or Previously Received an EPA Brownfields Grant

  • If you have received an EPA Brownfield Assessment, Cleanup, Area-Wide Planning, Revolving Loan Fund, Multipurpose or 128(a) Grant then complete this subsection.
  • Identify and provide information on the performance of your past EPA grants for the grant types noted above.
  • State clearly that you did receive in the past or currently have an EPA brownfields grant. State the grant type, year received, amount, etc.
  • Describe progress toward achieving the expected outputs and outcomes. Make sure these accomplishments are reflected in ACRES. EPA is likely to check.
  • Clearly indicate your compliance with the workplan, schedule and terms and conditions of those grants.
  • Indicate your history of timely reporting both in ACRES and submitting quarterly reports.
  • If you have remaining funds on any of these grants, then explain why and how those funds are either already committed to ongoing eligible activities or will be expended by the end of the grant. If the grant is closed and there was remaining funds, then provide a reasonable explanation for why that happened.
  • Make sure you explain any anomalies related to past/current brownfield grants.


IV.E.4.b.ii Has Not Received an EPA Brownfields Grant but has Received Other Federal or Non-Federal Assistance Agreements

  • If you have not received an EPA Brownfield Assessment, Cleanup, Area-Wide Planning, Revolving Loan Fund, Multipurpose or 128(a) Grant, but you have received a federal or non-federal grant of similar size, scope or relevance to this project then complete this sub-section.
  • Identify the assistance agreements you received (not contracts). Do not include federal or non-federal assistance agreements where you were a subawardee or partner. You must have been the recipient of the assistance agreement.
  • Describe your history of managing federal and/or non-federal funds and accomplishments of that grant.
  • Include compliance with the workplan, schedule, terms and conditions, submitting progress reports and progress in meeting the expected results in a timely manner


IV.E.4.b.iii Never Received Any Type of Federal or Non-Federal Assistance Agreements

  • If you haven’t received either federal or non-federal grant before, then complete this sub-section by stating that your organization has never received any type of federal or non-federal assistance agreement.
  • Do not leave this section blank or you likely receive zero points for this criterion!