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FY 2019 Competitive Funding Opportunity: Low or No Emission Grant Program


American Government Buses

FY 2019 Competitive Funding Opportunity: Low or No Emission Grant Program

K. Jane Williams
Federal Transit Administration
21 March 2019


[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 55 (Thursday, March 21, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10563-10569]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-05355]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


FY 2019 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 $85 million in competitive grants under the 
fiscal year (FY) 2019 Low or No Emission Grant Program (Low-No Program; 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 20.526). As 
required by Federal public transportation law, 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.

DATES: Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the 
GRANTS.GOV ``APPLY'' function by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on May 14, 
2019. Prospective applicants should initiate the process by registering 
on the GRANTS.GOV website promptly to ensure completion of the 
application process before the submission deadline. Instructions for 
applying can be found on FTA's website at http://transit.dot.gov/howtoapply and in the ``FIND'' module of GRANTS.GOV. The funding 
opportunity ID is FTA-2019-002-TPM-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:

[[Page 10564]]

Table of Contents

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

A. Program Description

    Section 5339(c) of Title 49, United States Code 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

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 appropriated $85 million 
in FY 2019 for grants under the Low-No Program, authorized by 49 U.S.C. 
5339(c). In FY 2018, the program received applications for 151 projects 
requesting a total of $558 million. Fifty-two projects were funded at a 
total of $84.45 million. FTA may cap the amount a single recipient or 
State may receive as part of the selection process. In FY 2018, for 
example, the largest amount awarded to a single applicant was $2.29 
million and no State received more than 5 percent of the total funding 
available.
    FTA will grant pre-award authority to incur costs for selected 
projects beginning on the date of project announcement for the FY 2019 
awards. Funds are available for obligation until September 30, 2022. 
Funds are only available for projects that have not incurred costs 
prior to the announcement of project selections.

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 FTA written 
approval, must be consistent with the scope of the approved project, 
and may necessitate a competitive procurement.
    Beginning in FY 2020, and not affecting the FY 2019 Low-No Program, 
FTA will no longer permit applicants to submit applications that 
include partnerships. Applicants in FY 2020 instead will be required to 
fulfill the competitive procurement requirement mandated under 49 
U.S.C. 5325(a). The special exemption from the competitive procurement 
requirement will be phased out because the low or no emission industry 
is becoming more mature, making more options available to applicants. 
Transit agencies should continue to research potential vendors and 
technologies during proposal development.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The maximum Federal share for projects that involve leasing or 
acquiring transit buses (including clean fuel or alternative fuel 
vehicles) for purposes of complying with or maintaining compliance with 
the Clean Air Act is 85 percent of the net project cost.
    The maximum Federal share for the cost of acquiring, installing, or 
constructing vehicle-related equipment or facilities (including clean 
fuel or alternative fuel vehicle-related equipment or facilities) for 
purposes of complying with or maintaining compliance with the Clean Air 
Act is 90 percent of the net project cost of such equipment or 
facilities that are attributable to compliance with the Clean Air Act. 
The award recipient must itemize the cost of specific, discrete, 
vehicle-related equipment associated with compliance with the Clean Air 
Act to be eligible for the maximum 90 percent Federal share for these 
costs.
    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. Transportation development credits or documentation of 
in-kind match may be used for local match if identified in the 
application.

3. Eligible Projects

    Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(c)(1)(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.
    Consistent with 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

[[Page 10565]]

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 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 must successfully complete 
FTA bus testing for production transit buses pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5318 
in order to be procured with funds awarded under the Low-No Program. 
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 two forms: The SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance 
(available at GRANTS.GOV) and the supplemental form for the FY 2019 
Low-No Program (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV or the FTA website at 
https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/lowno). Failure to submit 
the information as requested can delay review or disqualify the 
application.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

a. Proposal Submission
    A complete proposal submission consists of two forms: (1) The SF-
424 Application for Federal Assistance; and (2) the supplemental form 
for the FY 2019 Low-No Program. The supplemental form and any 
supporting documents must be attached to the ``Attachments'' section of 
the SF-424. The application must include responses to all sections of 
the SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance 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.
    FTA will accept only one supplemental form per SF-424 submission. 
FTA encourages States and other applicants to consider submitting a 
single supplemental form that includes multiple activities to be 
evaluated as a consolidated proposal. If a State or other applicant 
chooses to submit separate proposals for individual consideration by 
FTA, each proposal must be submitted using a separate SF-424 and 
supplemental form. Applicants may attach additional supporting 
information to the SF-424 submission, including but not limited to 
letters of support, project budgets, fleet status reports, or excerpts 
from relevant planning documents. 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 SF-424 and supplemental form. 
Applicants 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. Applicants 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.
b. Application Content
    The SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance and the supplemental 
form will prompt applicants for the required information, including:

i. Applicant name
ii. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number
iii. Key contact information (including contact name, address, email 
address, and phone)
iv. Congressional district(s) where project will take place
v. Project information (including title, an executive summary, and 
type)
vi. A detailed description of the need for the project
vii. A detailed description on how the project will support the Low-No 
Program objectives
viii. Evidence that the project is consistent with local and regional 
planning documents
ix. Evidence that the applicant can provide the local cost share
x. A description of the technical, legal, and financial capacity of the 
applicant
xi. A detailed project budget
xii. An explanation of the scalability of the project
xiii. Details on the local matching funds
xiv. 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 there is a 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.

[[Page 10566]]

4. Submission Dates and Times

    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through 
GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on May 14, 2019. 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 should receive two email messages from GRANTS.GOV: (1) 
Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV, and (2) 
confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV. 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 applicants 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 website. Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled 
website maintenance.
    Applicants 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 applicants 
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.

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 regardless of whether 
a scalable option is provided.

E. Application Review

1. Criteria

    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 
proposals for the Low-No Program based on the criteria described in 
this notice.
a. 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 the need 
for capital investment underlying the proposed project:
    i. 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.
    ii. For low or no emission bus projects (replacement and/or 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 project completion. 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.
    iii. 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.
b. Demonstration of Benefits
    Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed project will support 
the 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.
    i. 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 consumption as compared to more common vehicle 
propulsion technologies.
    ii. 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

[[Page 10567]]

a result of the proposed project, as well as comparable standard buses.
    iii. 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.
c. 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 applicants 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.
d. 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. Additional consideration will be given to 
those projects that propose a larger local cost share. 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.
e. 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 
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' qualifications 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.
f. 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.

2. 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. In determining the 
allocation of program funds, FTA may consider geographic diversity, 
diversity in the size of the transit systems receiving funding, 
projects located in or that support public transportation service in a 
qualified opportunity zone designated pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 1400Z-1, 
the applicant's receipt of other competitive awards, and the percentage 
of the local share provided. FTA may consider capping the amount a 
single applicant may receive and prioritizing investments in rural 
areas. Projects that have a higher local financial commitment may also 
be prioritized.
    After applying the above criteria, the FTA Administrator will 
consider the following key Departmental objectives:
    a. Supporting economic vitality at the national and regional level;
    b. Utilizing alternative funding sources and innovative financing 
models to attract non-Federal sources of infrastructure investment;
    c. Accounting for the life-cycle costs of the project to promote 
the state of good repair;
    d. Using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite 
project delivery; and,
    e. Holding grant recipients accountable for their performance and 
achieving specific, measurable outcomes identified by grant applicants.

[[Page 10568]]

    Prior to making an award, FTA is required to review and consider 
any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity 
and performance system accessible through SAM (currently the Federal 
Award Performance and Integrity Information System). An applicant, at 
its option, may review information in the designated integrity and 
performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any 
information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously 
entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance 
system accessible through SAM. FTA will consider any comments by the 
applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated 
integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the 
applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under 
Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants 
as described in the 2 CFR 200.205 Federal awarding agency review of 
risk posed by applicants.

F. Federal Award Administration

    The FTA Administrator will announce the final project selections on 
the FTA website. Recipients should contact their FTA Regional Offices 
for additional information regarding allocations for projects under the 
Low-No Program. 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, applicants 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

a. 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 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 2018 Apportionment Notice published on 
July 16, 2018. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-07-16/pdf/2018-14989.pdf.
b. Grant Requirements
    If selected, awardees will apply for a grant through FTA's Transit 
Award Management System (TrAMS). All Low-No Emission Program recipients 
are subject to the grant requirements of the 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 5010.1 and the labor protections of 49 U.S.C. 5333(b). 
Technical assistance regarding these requirements is available from 
each FTA regional office.
c. Buy America
    FTA requires that all capital procurements meet FTA's Buy America 
requirements per 49 U.S.C. 5323(j), which require that all iron, steel, 
or manufactured products be produced in the United States. Federal 
public transportation law provides for a phased increase in the 
domestic content for rolling stock. For FY 2019, the cost of components 
and subcomponents produced in the United States must be more than 65 
percent of the cost of all components. For FY 2020 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 (81 FR 60278). 
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 in the application the items 
for which a waiver will be sought. 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 
applicable at the time the project is undertaken. Consistent with 
Executive Order 13858 Strengthening Buy-American Preferences for 
Infrastructure Projects, signed by President Trump on January 31, 2019, 
applicants should maximize the use of goods, products, and materials 
produced in the United States, in Federal procurements and through the 
terms and conditions of Federal financial assistance awards.
d. 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, or 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 retrofitting (e.g., replacing 
major components such as an engine to provide a ``like new'' vehicle), 
the vehicle remanufacturer is considered a transit vehicle manufacturer 
and must also comply with the DBE regulations.
    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.
e. Planning
    FTA encourages applicants to notify the appropriate State 
Departments of

[[Page 10569]]

Transportation and metropolitan planning organizations 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. As 
described under the evaluation criteria, FTA may consider whether a 
project is consistent with or already included in these plans when 
evaluating a project.
f. 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 Progress Reports in FTA's 
electronic grants management system.

G. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information

    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 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on May 14, 2019. 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 website at 
www.fta.dot.gov.

H. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information concerning this notice, please contact the 
Low-No Program manager, Tara Clark, by phone 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 website 
at https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/lowno. To ensure 
applicants receive accurate information about eligibility or the 
program, applicants are encouraged to contact FTA directly, rather than 
through intermediaries or third parties, with questions.
    FTA staff may also conduct briefings on the FY 2019 discretionary 
grants selection and award process upon request.

    Issued in Washington, DC.
K. Jane Williams,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-05355 Filed 3-20-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE P

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