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FY 2017 Competitive Funding Opportunity: Low or No Emission Grant Program

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses

FY 2017 Competitive Funding Opportunity: Low or No Emission Grant Program

Matthew J. Welbes
Federal Transit Administration
27 April 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 80 (Thursday, April 27, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19447-19453]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-08489]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


FY 2017 Competitive Funding Opportunity: Low or No Emission Grant 
Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of funding opportunity (NOFO).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
opportunity to apply for $55 million in FY 2017 funds for the Low or No 
Emission Bus Discretionary Grant Program (Low-No Program; Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 20.526), subject to funding 
availability. Only $31.5 million is available under the Continuing 
Resolution that expires on April 28, 2017. As required by Federal 
transit law (49 U.S.C. 5339(c)) and subject to funding availability, 
funds will be awarded competitively for the purchase or lease of low or 
no emission vehicles that use advanced technologies for transit revenue 
operations, including related equipment or facilities. Projects may 
include costs incidental to the acquisition of buses or to the 
construction of facilities, such as the costs of related workforce 
development and training activities, and project administration 
expenses. FTA may award additional funding that is made available to 
the program prior to the announcement of project selections.

[[Page 19448]]


DATES: Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the 
GRANTS.GOV ``APPLY'' function by June 26, 2017. Prospective applicants 
should initiate the process by registering on the GRANTS.GOV Web site 
promptly to ensure completion of the application process before the 
submission deadline. Instructions for applying can be found on FTA's 
Web site at http://transit.dot.gov/howtoapply and in the ``FIND'' 
module of GRANTS.GOV. The funding opportunity ID is FTA-2017-003-LowNo. 
Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tara Clark, FTA Office of Program 
Management, 202-366-2623, or tara.clark@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

A. Program Description
B. Federal Award Information
C. Eligibility
D. Application and Submission Information
E. Application Review
F. Federal Award Administration
G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts
H. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information

A. Program Description

    Section 5339(c) of Title 49, United States Code, as amended by the 
Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, (Pub. L. 114-94, 
Dec. 4, 2015), authorizes FTA to award grants for low or no emission 
buses through a competitive process, as described in this notice. The 
Low or No Emission Bus Program (Low-No Program) provides funding to 
State and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of 
zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, 
construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities such as 
recharging, refueling, and maintenance facilities. FTA recognizes that 
a significant transformation is occurring in the transit bus industry, 
with the increasing availability of low and zero emission bus vehicles 
for transit revenue operations.

B. Federal Award Information 5339(c) Low or No Emission Discretionary 
Program

    Federal transit law authorizes $55 million in FY 2017 for grants 
under the Low-No Program. In FY 2016, the program received applications 
for 101 projects requesting a total of $446 million. Twenty projects 
were funded at a total of $55 million.
    FTA will grant pre-award authority starting on the date of project 
announcement for the FY 2017 awards. Funds are available for obligation 
until September 30, 2020. Funds are only available for projects that 
have not incurred costs.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

    Eligible applicants include designated recipients, States, local 
governmental authorities, and Indian Tribes. Except for projects 
proposed by Indian Tribes, proposals for funding projects in rural 
(non-urbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated State 
proposal. To be considered eligible, applicants must be able to 
demonstrate the requisite legal, financial and technical capabilities 
to receive and administer Federal funds under this program. States and 
other eligible applicants also may submit consolidated proposals for 
projects in urbanized areas. Proposals may contain projects to be 
implemented by the recipient or its eligible subrecipients. Eligible 
subrecipients are entities that are otherwise eligible recipients under 
this program.
    An eligible recipient may submit an application in partnership with 
other entities that intend to participate in the implementation of the 
project, including, but not limited to, specific vehicle manufacturers, 
equipment vendors, owners or operators of related facilities, or 
project consultants. If an application that involves such a partnership 
is selected for funding, the competitive selection process will be 
deemed to satisfy the requirement for a competitive procurement under 
49 U.S.C. 5325(a) for the named entities. Applicants are advised that 
any changes to the proposed partnership will require advance FTA 
written approval, must be consistent with the scope of the approved 
project, and may necessitate a competitive procurement.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    All eligible expenses under the Low-No Program are attributable to 
compliance with the Clean Air Act. Therefore, under the provisions of 
49 U.S.C. 5323(i), the maximum Federal participation in the costs of 
leasing or acquiring a transit bus financed under the Low-No Program is 
85 percent of the total transit bus cost. The proposer may request a 
lower Federal contribution. Further, the maximum Federal participation 
in the cost of leasing or acquiring low or no emission bus-related 
equipment and facilities under the Low-No Program, such as recharging 
or refueling facilities, is 90 percent of the net project cost of the 
equipment or facilities that are attributable to compliance with the 
Clean Air Act.
    Eligible sources of local match include the following: cash from 
non-Government sources other than revenues from providing public 
transportation services; revenues derived from the sale of advertising 
and concessions; amounts received under a service agreement with a 
State or local social service agency or private social service 
organization; revenues generated from value capture financing 
mechanisms; funds from an undistributed cash surplus; replacement or 
depreciation cash fund or reserve; new capital; or in-kind 
contributions. In addition, transportation development credits or 
documentation of in-kind match may substitute for local match if 
identified in the application.

3. Eligible Projects

    Under 49 U.S.C. 5339 (c)(B), eligible projects include projects or 
programs of projects in an eligible area for: (1) Purchasing or leasing 
low or no emission buses; (2) acquiring low or no emission buses with a 
leased power source; (3) constructing or leasing facilities and related 
equipment for low or no emission buses; (4) constructing new public 
transportation facilities to accommodate low or no emission buses; (5) 
or rehabilitating or improving existing public transportation 
facilities to accommodate low or no emission buses. As specified under 
49 U.S.C. 5339(c)(5)(A), FTA will only consider eligible projects 
relating to the acquisition or leasing of low or no emission buses or 
bus facilities that make greater reductions in energy consumption and 
harmful emissions than comparable standard buses or other low or no 
emission buses. As specified under 49 U.S.C. 5339(c)(5)(B), all 
proposed projects must be part of the intended recipient's long-term 
integrated fleet management plan.
    If a single project proposal involves multiple public 
transportation providers, such as when an agency acquires vehicles that 
will be operated by another agency, the proposal must include a 
detailed statement regarding the role of each public transportation 
provider in the implementation of the project.
    Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(c)(1)(E), a low or no-emission bus is defined 
as ``a passenger vehicle used to provide public transportation that 
significantly reduces energy consumption or harmful emissions, 
including direct carbon emissions, when compared to a standard 
vehicle.'' The statutory definition includes zero-emission transit 
buses, which are defined as buses that

[[Page 19449]]

produce no direct carbon emissions and no particulate matter emissions 
under any and all possible operational modes and conditions. Examples 
of zero emission bus technologies include, but are not limited to, 
hydrogen fuel-cell buses and battery-electric buses. All new transit 
bus models procured with funds awarded under the Low-No Program must 
complete FTA bus testing for production transit buses pursuant to 49 
U.S.C. 5318. All transit vehicles must be procured from certified 
transit vehicle manufacturers in accordance with the Disadvantaged 
Business Enterprise (DBE) regulations at 49 CFR part 26. The 
development or deployment of prototype vehicles is not eligible for 
funding under the Low-No program.
    Recipients are permitted to use up to 0.5 percent of their 
requested grant award for workforce development activities eligible 
under 49 U.S.C 5314(b) and an additional 0.5 percent for costs 
associated with training at the National Transit Institute. Applicants 
must identify the proposed use of funds for these activities in the 
project proposal and identify them separately in the project budget.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application

    Applications must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV. 
General information for submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV can 
be found at www.fta.dot.gov/howtoapply along with specific instructions 
for the forms and attachments required for submission. Mail and fax 
submissions will not be accepted. A complete proposal submission 
consists of at least two forms: The SF424 Mandatory Form (downloaded 
from GRANTS.GOV) and the supplemental form for the FY 2017 Low-No 
Program (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV or the FTA Web site at 
www.transit.dot.gov/busprogram). Failure to submit the information as 
requested can delay review or disqualify the application.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

(i) Proposal Submission
    A complete proposal submission consists of at least two forms: (1) 
The SF424 Mandatory Form; and (2) the supplemental form for the FY 2017 
Low-No Program. The application must include responses to all sections 
of the SF424 Mandatory Form and the supplemental form, unless indicated 
as optional. The information on the supplemental form will be used to 
determine applicant and project eligibility for the program, and to 
evaluate the proposal against the selection criteria described in part 
E of this notice.
    An applicant may submit multiple project proposals in a single 
submission, but must include all project proposals on a single 
supplemental form. To add additional projects, select the ``add 
project'' button and complete a separate ``project detail'' section for 
each project. FTA will only accept one supplemental form per 
submission.
    The supplemental form must be submitted as an attachment to the 
SF424 Mandatory Form. All project proposals will be evaluated 
separately, regardless of whether they are submitted as a single 
submission.
    An applicant may submit additional supporting documentation for 
each project proposal as attachments. Any supporting documentation must 
be described and referenced by file name in the appropriate response 
section of the supplemental form, or it may not be reviewed.
    Information such as proposer name, Federal amount requested, local 
match amount, description of areas served, etc. may be requested in 
varying degrees of detail on both the SF424 form and Supplemental Form. 
Proposers must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the forms. 
If information is copied into the supplemental form from another 
source, applicants should verify that pasted text is fully captured on 
the supplemental form and has not been truncated by the character 
limits built into the form. Proposers should use both the ``Check 
Package for Errors'' and the ``Validate Form'' validation buttons on 
both forms to check all required fields on the forms, and ensure that 
the federal and local amounts specified are consistent.
(ii) Application Content
    The SF424 Mandatory Form and the Supplemental Form will prompt 
applicants for the required information, including:

a. Applicant Name
b. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number
c. Key contact information (including contact name, address, email 
address, and phone)
d. Congressional district(s) where project will take place
e. Project Information (including title, an executive summary, and 
type)
f. A detailed description of the need for the project
g. A detailed description on how the project will support the Low-No 
program objectives
h. Evidence that the project is consistent with local and regional 
planning documents
i. Evidence that the applicant can provide the local cost share
j. A description of the technical, legal, and financial capacity of the 
applicant
k. A detailed project budget
l. An explanation of the scalability of the project
m. Details on the local matching funds
n. A detailed project timeline

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

    Each applicant is required to: (1) Be registered in SAM before 
submitting an application; (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier 
in its application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM 
registration with current information at all times during which the 
applicant has an active Federal award or an application or plan under 
consideration by FTA. These requirements do not apply if the applicant: 
(1) Is an individual; (2) is excepted from the requirements under 2 CFR 
25.110(b) or (c); or (3) has an exception approved by FTA under 2 CFR 
25.110(d). FTA may not make an Award until the applicant has complied 
with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements. If 
an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time 
FTA is ready to make an Award, FTA may determine that the applicant is 
not qualified to receive an Award and use that determination as a basis 
for making a Federal award to another applicant. All applicants must 
provide a unique entity identifier provided by SAM. Registration in SAM 
may take as little as 3-5 business days, but since there could be 
unexpected steps or delays (for example, if you need to obtain an 
Employer Identification Number), FTA recommends allowing ample time, up 
to several weeks, for completion of all steps. For additional 
information on obtaining a unique entity identifier, please visit 
www.sam.gov.

4. Submission Dates and Times

    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through 
GRANTS.GOV by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on June 26, 2017. GRANTS.GOV attaches a 
time stamp to each application at the time of submission. Proposals 
submitted after the deadline will only be considered under 
extraordinary circumstances not under the applicant's control. Mail and 
fax submissions will not be accepted.
    Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the 
applicant

[[Page 19450]]

should receive three email messages from GRANTS.GOV: (1) Confirmation 
of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV, (2) confirmation of 
successful validation by GRANTS.GOV, and (3) confirmation of successful 
validation by FTA. If confirmations of successful validation are not 
received or a notice of failed validation or incomplete materials is 
received, the applicant must address the reason for the failed 
validation, as described in the email notice, and resubmit before the 
submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any reason, include 
all original attachments regardless of which attachments were updated 
and check the box on the supplemental form indicating this is a 
resubmission.
    FTA urges proposers to submit applications at least 72 hours prior 
to the due date to allow time to receive the validation messages and to 
correct any problems that may have caused a rejection notification. 
GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the 
GRANTS.GOV Web site. Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled 
Web site maintenance.
    Proposers are encouraged to begin the process of registration on 
the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. 
Registration is a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to 
complete before an application can be submitted. Registered proposers 
may still be required to take steps to keep their registration up to 
date before submissions can be made successfully: (1) Registration in 
the System for Award Management (SAM) is renewed annually; and, (2) 
persons making submissions on behalf of the Authorized Organization 
Representative (AOR) must be authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to 
make submissions.

5. Funding Restrictions

    Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse applicants for 
otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to FTA award of a Grant 
Agreement until FTA has issued pre-award authority for selected 
projects through a notification in the Federal Register.

6. Other Submission Requirements

    Applicants are encouraged to identify scaled funding options in 
case insufficient funding is available to fund a project at the full 
requested amount. If an applicant indicates that a project is scalable, 
the applicant must provide an appropriate minimum funding amount that 
will fund an eligible project that achieves the objectives of the 
program and meets all relevant program requirements. The applicant must 
provide a clear explanation of how the project budget would be affected 
by a reduced award. FTA may award a lesser amount whether or not a 
scalable option is provided.

E. Application Review

    Projects will be evaluated primarily on the responses provided in 
the supplemental form. Additional information may be provided to 
support the responses; however, any additional documentation must be 
directly referenced on the supplemental form, including the file name 
where the additional information can be found. FTA will evaluate 
project proposals for the Low-No Program based on the criteria 
described in this notice.

i. Demonstration of Need

    Since the purpose of this program is to fund vehicles and 
facilities, applications will be evaluated based on the quality and 
extent to which they demonstrate how the proposed project will address 
an unmet need for capital investment in vehicles and/or supporting 
facilities. For example, an applicant may demonstrate that it requires 
additional or improved charging or maintenance facilities for low or no 
emission vehicles, that it intends to replace existing vehicles that 
have exceeded their minimum useful life, or that it requires additional 
vehicles to meet current ridership demands.
    FTA will consider an applicant's responses to the following 
criteria when assessing need for capital investment underlying the 
proposed project:
    a. Consistency With Long-Term Fleet Management Plan: As required by 
49 U.S.C. 5339(c)(5)(b), all project proposals must demonstrate that 
they are part of the intended recipient's long-term integrated fleet 
management plan, as demonstrated through an existing transit asset 
management program, fleet procurement plan, or similarly documented 
program or policy. These plans must be attached to the application. FTA 
will evaluate the consistency of the proposed project with the 
applicant's long-term fleet management plan, as well as the applicant's 
previous experience with the relevant low or no emissions vehicle 
technologies.
    b. For low or no emission bus projects (replacement and/or 
expansion): Applicants must provide information on the age, condition 
and performance of the vehicles to be replaced by the proposed project. 
Vehicles to be replaced must have met their minimum useful life at the 
time of application. For service expansion requests, applicants must 
provide information on the proposed service expansion and the benefits 
for transit riders and the community from the new service. For all 
vehicle projects, the proposal must address whether the project 
conforms to FTA's spare ratio guidelines. Low or no emission vehicles 
funded under this program are not exempted from FTA's standard spare 
ratio requirements which apply to and are calculated on the agency's 
entire fleet.
    c. For bus facility and equipment projects (replacement, 
rehabilitation, and/or expansion): Applicants must provide information 
on the age and condition of the asset to be rehabilitated or replaced 
relative to its minimum useful life.

ii. Demonstration of Benefits

    Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed project will support 
statutory requirements of 49 U.S.C. 5339(c)(5)(A). In particular, FTA 
will consider the quality and extent to which applications demonstrate 
how the proposed project will: (1) Reduce Energy Consumption; (2) 
Reduce Harmful Emissions; and (3) Reduce Direct Carbon Emissions.
    a. Reduce Energy Consumption: Applicants must describe how the 
proposed project will reduce energy consumption. FTA will evaluate 
applications based on the degree to which the proposed technology 
reduces energy as compared to more common vehicle propulsion 
technologies.
    b. Reduce Harmful Emissions: Applicants must demonstrate how the 
proposed vehicles or facility will reduce the emission of particulates 
that create local air pollution, which leads to local environmental 
health concerns, smog, and unhealthy ozone concentrations. FTA will 
evaluate the rate of particulate emissions by the proposed vehicles or 
vehicles to be supported by the proposed facility, compared to the 
emissions from the vehicles that will be replaced or moved to the spare 
fleet as a result of the proposed project, as well as comparable 
standard buses.
    c. Reduce Direct Carbon Emissions: Applicants should demonstrate 
how the proposed vehicles or facility will reduce emissions of 
greenhouse gases from transit vehicle operations. FTA will evaluate the 
rate of direct carbon emissions by the proposed vehicles or vehicles to 
be supported by the proposed facility, compared to the emissions from 
the vehicles that will be replaced or moved to the spare fleet as a 
result of the proposed project, as well as comparable standard buses.

[[Page 19451]]

iii. Planning and Local/Regional Prioritization

    Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed project is consistent 
with local and regional long range planning documents and local 
government priorities. FTA will evaluate applications based on the 
quality and extent to which they assess whether the project is 
consistent with the transit priorities identified in the long range 
plan; and/or contingency/illustrative projects included in that plan; 
or the locally-developed human services public transportation 
coordinated plan. Applicants are not required to submit copies of such 
plans, but FTA will consider how the project will support regional 
goals and may submit support letters from local and regional planning 
organizations attesting to the consistency of the proposed project with 
these plans.
    Evidence of additional local or regional prioritization may include 
letters of support for the project from local government officials, 
public agencies, and non-profit or private sector partners.

iv. Local Financial Commitment

    Applicants must identify the source of the local cost share and 
describe whether such funds are currently available for the project or 
will need to be secured if the project is selected for funding. FTA 
will consider the availability of the local cost share as evidence of 
local financial commitment to the project. Applicants should submit 
evidence of the availability of funds for the project, for example by 
including a board resolution, letter of support from the State, or 
other documentation of the source of local funds such as a budget 
document highlighting the line item or section committing funds to the 
proposed project. In addition, an applicant may propose a local cost 
share that is greater than the minimum requirement or provide 
documentation of previous local investments in the project, which 
cannot be used to satisfy local matching requirements, as evidence of 
local financial commitment. FTA will also note if an applicant proposes 
to use grant funds only for the incremental cost of new technologies 
over the cost of replacing vehicles with standard propulsion 
technologies.

v. Project Implementation Strategy

    FTA will rate projects higher if grant funds can be obligated 
within 12 months of selection and the project can be implemented within 
a reasonable time frame. In assessing when funds can be obligated FTA 
will consider whether the project qualifies for a Categorical Exclusion 
(CE), or whether the required environmental work has been initiated or 
completed for projects that require an Environmental Assessment (EA) or 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended. The proposal must state when if 
grant funds can be obligated and indicate the timeframe under which the 
Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and/or Statewide 
Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) can be amended to include the 
proposed project.
    In assessing whether the proposed implementation plans are 
reasonable and complete, FTA will review the proposed project 
implementation plan, including all necessary project milestones and the 
overall project timeline. For projects that will require formal 
coordination, approvals or permits from other agencies or project 
partners, the applicant must demonstrate coordination with these 
organizations and their support for the project, such as through 
letters of support.
    For project proposals that involve a partnership with a 
manufacturer, vendor, consultant, or other third party, applicants must 
identify by name any project partners, including but not limited to 
other transit agencies, bus manufacturers, owners or operators of 
related facilities, or any expert consultants. FTA will evaluate the 
experience and capacity of the named project partners to successfully 
implement the proposed project based on the partners' experience and 
qualifications. Applicants are advised to submit information on the 
partners' qualification and experience as a part of the application. 
Entities involved in the project that are not named in the application 
will be required to be selected through a competitive procurement.
    For project proposals that will require a competitive procurement, 
applicants must demonstrate familiarity with the current market 
availability of the proposed advanced vehicle propulsion technology.

vi. Technical, Legal, and Financial Capacity

    Applicants must demonstrate that they have the technical, legal and 
financial capacity to undertake the project. FTA will review relevant 
oversight assessments and records to determine whether there are any 
outstanding legal, technical, or financial issues with the applicant 
that would affect the outcome of the proposed project.

vii. Review and Selection Process

    In addition to other FTA staff that may review the proposals, a 
technical evaluation committee will evaluate proposals based on the 
published evaluation criteria. Members of the technical evaluation 
committee and other FTA staff may request additional information from 
applicants, if necessary. Based on the findings of the technical 
evaluation committee, the FTA Administrator will determine the final 
selection of projects for program funding. FTA may consider geographic 
diversity, diversity in the size of the transit systems receiving 
funding, and/or the applicant's receipt of other competitive awards in 
determining the allocation of program funds. FTA may consider capping 
the amount a single applicant may receive.

F. Federal Award Administration

    Subsequent to an announcement by the FTA Administrator of the final 
project selections, which will be posted on the FTA Web site, FTA will 
publish a list of the selected projects, Federal award amounts, and 
recipients in the Federal Register. Project recipients should contact 
their FTA Regional Offices for additional information regarding 
allocations for projects under the Bus and Low-No Programs.
    At the time the project selections are announced, FTA will extend 
pre-award authority for the selected projects. There is no blanket pre-
award authority for these projects before announcement.

1. Federal Award Notices

    Funds under the Low-No Program are available to States, designated 
recipients, local governmental authorities and Indian Tribes. There is 
no minimum or maximum grant award amount; however, FTA intends to fund 
as many meritorious projects as possible. Only proposals from eligible 
recipients for eligible activities will be considered for funding. Due 
to funding limitations, proposers that are selected for funding may 
receive less than the amount originally requested. In those cases, 
applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are 
still viable and can be completed with the amount awarded.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

i. Pre-Award Authority
    FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-award 
authority at the time of selection. FTA does not provide pre-award 
authority for

[[Page 19452]]

discretionary funds until projects are selected and even then there are 
Federal requirements that must be met before costs are incurred. For 
more information about FTA's policy on pre-award authority, please see 
the FY 2016 Apportionment Notice published on February 16, 2016. 
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-02-16/pdf/2016-02821.pdf.
ii. Grant Requirements
    If selected, awardees will apply for a grant through FTA's Transit 
Award Management System (TrAMS). All Low-No Emission recipients are 
subject to the grant requirements of Section 5307 Urbanized Area 
Formula Grant program, including those of FTA Circular 9030.1E. All 
recipients must follow the Grants Management Requirements of FTA 
Circular 5010.1D or its latest version, and the labor protections of 49 
U.S.C. 5333(b). All discretionary grants, regardless of award amount, 
will be subject to the congressional notification and release process. 
Technical assistance regarding these requirements is available from 
each FTA regional office.
iii. Buy America
    FTA requires that all capital procurements meet FTA's Buy America 
requirements, which require that all iron, steel, or manufactured 
products be produced in the U.S. These requirements help create and 
protect manufacturing jobs in the U.S. The Low-No Program will have a 
significant economic impact on meeting the objectives of the Buy 
America law. The FAST Act amended the Buy America requirements to 
provide for a phased increase in the domestic content for rolling 
stock. For FY17, the cost of components and subcomponents produced in 
the United States must be more than 60 percent of the cost of all 
components. For FY18 and FY19, the cost of components and subcomponents 
produced in the United States must be more than 65 percent of the cost 
of all components. For FY20 and beyond, the cost of components and 
subcomponents produced in the United States must be more than 70 
percent of the cost of all components. There is no change to the 
requirement that final assembly of rolling stock must occur in the 
United States. FTA issued guidance on the implementation of the phased 
increase in domestic content on September 1, 2016. A copy of the policy 
guidance may be found in 81 FR 60278 (September 1, 2016). Applicants 
should read the policy guidance carefully to determine the applicable 
domestic content requirement for their project. Any proposal that will 
require a waiver must identify the items for which a waiver will be 
sought in the application. Applicants should not proceed with the 
expectation that waivers will be granted, nor should applicants assume 
that selection of a project under the Low-No Program that includes a 
partnership with a manufacturer, vendor, consultant, or other third 
party constitutes a waiver of the Buy America requirements for rolling 
stock applicable at the time the project is undertaken.
iv. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
    FTA requires that its recipients receiving planning, capital and/or 
operating assistance that will award prime contracts exceeding $250,000 
in FTA funds in a Federal fiscal year comply with the Disadvantaged 
Business Enterprise (DBE) program regulations at 49 CFR part 26. 
Applicants should expect to include any funds awarded, excluding those 
to be used for vehicle procurements, in setting their overall DBE goal. 
Note, however, that projects including vehicle procurements remain 
subject to the DBE program regulations. The rule requires that, prior 
to bidding on any FTA-assisted vehicle procurement, entities that 
manufacture vehicles, perform post-production alterations or 
retrofitting must submit a DBE Program plan and goal methodology to 
FTA. Further, to the extent that a vehicle remanufacturer is responding 
to a solicitation for new or remanufactured vehicles with a vehicle to 
which the remanufacturer has provided post-production alterations or 
retro-fitting (e.g., replacing major components such as engine to 
provide a ``like new'' vehicle), the vehicle remanufacturer is 
considered a transit vehicle manufacturer and must also comply with the 
DBE regulations.
    The FTA will then issue a transit vehicle manufacturer (TVM) 
concurrence/certification letter. Grant recipients must verify each 
entity's compliance with these requirements before accepting its bid. A 
list of compliant, certified TVMs is posted on FTA's Web page at 
https://www.fta.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/civil-rights-ada/eligible-tvms-list. Please note, that this list is nonexclusive and 
recipients must contact FTA before accepting bids from entities not 
listed on this web-posting. Recipients may also establish project 
specific DBE goals for vehicle procurements. FTA will provide 
additional guidance as grants are awarded. For more information on DBE 
requirements, please contact Janelle Hinton, Office of Civil Rights, 
202-366-9259, email: janelle.hinton@dot.gov.
v. Planning
    FTA encourages proposers to notify the appropriate State 
Departments of Transportation and MPOs in areas likely to be served by 
the project funds made available under these initiatives and programs. 
Selected projects must be incorporated into the long-range plans and 
transportation improvement programs of States and metropolitan areas 
before they are eligible for FTA funding.
vi. Standard Assurances
    The applicant assures that it will comply with all applicable 
Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, directives, FTA 
circulars, and other Federal administrative requirements in carrying 
out any project supported by the FTA grant. The applicant acknowledges 
that it is under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and 
conditions of the grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The 
applicant understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and 
administrative practices might be modified from time to time and may 
affect the implementation of the project. The applicant agrees that the 
most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project, unless FTA 
issues a written determination otherwise. The applicant must submit the 
Certifications and Assurances before receiving a grant if it does not 
have current certifications on file.

3. Reporting

    Post-award reporting requirements include the electronic submission 
of Federal Financial Reports and Milestone Reports in FTA's electronic 
grants management system.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.'' FTA will consider 
applications for funding only from eligible recipients for eligible 
projects listed in Section C. Complete applications must be submitted 
through GRANTS.GOV by 5:00 p.m. EDT June 26, 2017. For issues with 
GRANTS.GOV please contact GRANTS.GOV by phone at 1-800-518-4726 or by 
email at support@grants.gov. Contact information for FTA's regional 
offices can be found on FTA's Web site at www.fta.dot.gov.

H. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information

    For further information concerning this notice, please contact the 
Low-No Program manager Tara Clark by phone

[[Page 19453]]

at 202-366-2623, or by email at tara.clark@dot.gov. A TDD is available 
for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 800-877-8339. In 
addition, FTA will post answers to questions and requests for 
clarifications on FTA's Web site at http://transit.dot.gov/busprogram. 
To ensure applicants receive accurate information about eligibility or 
the program, the applicant is encouraged to contact FTA directly, 
rather than through intermediaries or third parties, with questions. 
FTA staff may also conduct briefings on the FY 2017 discretionary 
grants selection and award process upon request.

Matthew J. Welbes,
Executive Director.
[FR Doc. 2017-08489 Filed 4-26-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P

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