Notice of Solicitation for Estuary Habitat Restoration Program, 33453-33457 [05-11358]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 109 / Wednesday, June 8, 2005 / Notices • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Corporation, including whether the information will have practical utility; • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • Propose ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses. Comments A 60-day public comment Notice was published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2004. This comment period ended on March 29, 2005. No public comments were received. Description: The State Performance Report is the Corporation’s first comprehensive effort at presenting disaggregated performance data by state and program. The AmeriCorps Member Activity Collection Form will use email and telephone correspondence to solicit information annually from State Service Commissions about the programs in their portfolio, including competitive, formula, and commission Education Award Only Programs. The purpose of this request is to seek approval for a new information collection for the annual State Performance Report using the AmeriCorps Member Activity Collection Form. The Corporation will use the information collected in the AmeriCorps Member Activity Collection Form to identify where AmeriCorps members are serving specifically, including the site address and zip code and in what capacity they are serving. This information is currently not required of our grantees to report to us, and is not available in our data systems. Collecting this information on an annual basis will allow the Corporation to assess how community needs are being met on a more comprehensive level and conduct more sophisticated policy analysis. Type of Review: New. Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service. Title: AmeriCorps Member Activity Collection Form. OMB Number: None. Agency Number: None. VerDate jul<14>2003 18:08 Jun 07, 2005 Jkt 205001 Affected Public: Non-profit institutions, Government. Total Respondents: 52. Frequency: Annual. Average Time Per Response: 20 hours. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1040 hours. Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None. Total Burden Cost (operating/ maintenance): None. Dated: May 25, 2005. Robert Grimm, Director, Research and Policy Development. [FR Doc. 05–11355 Filed 6–7–05; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Availability for Non-Exclusive, Exclusive, or Partially Exclusive Licensing of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Concerning System and Method for Evaluating Data Sets Over a Communications Network Department of the Army, DoD. Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: In accordance with 37 CFR 404.6 and 404.7, announcement is made of the availability for licensing of the invention set forth in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/ 634,987 entitled ‘‘System and Method for Evaluating Data Sets Over a Communications Network,’’ filed December 13, 2004. The United States Government, as represented by the Secretary of the Army, has rights in this invention. ADDRESSES: Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, ATTN: Command Judge Advocate, MCMR–ZA–J, 504 Scott Street, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702–5012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For patent issues, Ms. Elizabeth Arwine, Patent Attorney, (301) 619–7808. For licensing issues, Dr. Paul Mele, Office of Research & Technology Assessment, (301) 619–6664, both at telefax (301) 619–5034. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The present invention relates to computerimplemented data analysis systems and methods. In particular, the present invention is related to a system and method for analyzing large time-series and non time-series data files stored on a server by collaborative researchers who are located at remote locations but PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 who are in data communication with the server. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 05–11357 Filed 6–7–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–08–M DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Notice of Solicitation for Estuary Habitat Restoration Program Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of solicitation for project applications. AGENCY: BILLING CODE 6050–$$–P ACTION: 33453 Sfmt 4703 SUMMARY: Congress has appropriated limited funds to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to implement the Estuary Habitat Restoration Program as authorized in Section 104 of the Estuary Restoration Act of 2000, Title I of the Estuaries and Clean Waters Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106–457) (accessible at http:// restoration.nos.noaa.gov/pdfs/ act_s835.pdf). On behalf of the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council (Council), the Corps is soliciting proposals for estuary habitat restoration projects. This document describes project criteria and evaluation criteria the Council will use to determine which projects to recommend. Recommended projects must provide ecosystem benefits, have scientific merit, be technically feasible, and be cost-effective. Proposals selected for Estuary Habitat Restoration Program funding will be implemented in accordance with a cost-share agreement with the Corps. This is not a grants program. Proposals must be received on or before July 25, 2005. ADDRESSES: Proposal forms may be accessed at http://www.usace.army.mil/ civilworks/cecwp/estuary_act/ or by contacting the individuals listed in the following section. Project proposals may be submitted electronically, by mail, or by courier. Electronic submissions are preferred and will facilitate processing. Please follow the detailed instructions provided in section IX. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Ellen Cummings, Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC 20314–1000, (202) 761–4750, e-mail: Ellen.M.Cummings@usace.army.mil; or Ms. Cynthia Garman-Squier, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), Washington, DC (703) DATES: E:\FR\FM\08JNN1.SGM 08JNN1 33454 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 109 / Wednesday, June 8, 2005 / Notices 695–6791, e-mail: Cynthia.GarmanSquier@hqda.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction Under the Estuary Habitat Restoration Program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is authorized to carry out estuary habitat restoration projects. However, the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council (Council) is responsible for soliciting, reviewing and evaluating project proposals. The Corps may only fund projects on the prioritized list provided by the Council. The Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy prepared by the Council contains introductory information about the program and provides the context in which projects will be evaluated and the program will be conducted. The Strategy was published in the Federal Register, 67 FR 71942, December 3, 2002. It is also accessible at http:// www.usace.army.mil/civilworks/cecwp/ estuary_act/. An emphasis will be placed on achieving cost-effective restoration of ecosystems while promoting increased partnerships among agencies and between public and private sectors. Projects funded under this program will contribute to the Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy goal of restoring 1,000,000 acres of estuary habitat. For purposes of this program, estuary is defined as ‘‘a part of a river or stream or other body of water that has an unimpaired connection with the open sea and where the sea water is measurably diluted with fresh water from land drainage.’’ Estuary also includes the ‘‘* * * near coastal waters and wetlands of the Great Lakes that are similar in form and function to estuaries * * *.’’ For this program, estuary is considered to extend from the head of tide to the boundary with the open sea (to downstream terminus features or structures such as barrier islands, reefs, sand bars, mud flats, or headlands in close proximity to the connection with the open sea). In the Great Lakes, riparian and nearshore areas will be considered to be estuaries. Estuary habitat includes the estuary and its associated ecosystems, such as: salt, brackish, and fresh water coastal marshes; coastal forested wetlands and other coastal wetlands; maritime forests; coastal grasslands; tidal flats; natural shoreline areas; shellfish beds; sea grass meadows; kelp beds; river deltas; and river and stream corridors under tidal influence. II. Eligible Restoration Activities Section 103 of the Estuary Restoration Act of 2000 (the Act) defines the term VerDate jul<14>2003 18:08 Jun 07, 2005 Jkt 205001 estuary habitat restoration activity to mean ‘‘an activity that results in improving degraded estuaries or estuary habitat or creating estuary habitat (including both physical and functional restoration), with the goal of attaining a self-sustaining system integrated into the surrounding landscape.’’ Projects funded under this program will be consistent with this definition. Eligible habitat restoration activities include re-establishment of chemical, physical, hydrologic, and biological features and components associated with an estuary. Restoration may include, but is not limited to, improvement of estuarine wetland tidal exchange or reestablishment of historic hydrology; dam or berm removal; improvement or reestablishment of fish passage; appropriate reef/substrate/ habitat creation; planting of native estuarine wetland and submerged aquatic vegetation; reintroduction of native species; control of invasive species; and establishment of riparian buffer zones in the estuary. Cleanup of pollution for the benefit of estuary habitat may be considered, as long as it does not meet the definition of excluded activities under the Act (see section III, Excluded Activities, below). In general, proposed projects should clearly demonstrate anticipated benefits to habitats such as those habitats listed in the Introduction. Although the Council recognizes that water quality and land use issues may impact habitat restoration efforts and must be considered in project planning, the Estuary Habitat Restoration Program is intended to fund physical habitat restoration projects, not measures such as storm water detention ponds, wastewater treatment plant upgrades or combined sewer outfall improvements. III. Excluded Activities Estuary Habitat Restoration Program funds will not be used for any activity that constitutes mitigation required under any Federal or State law for the adverse effects of an activity regulated or otherwise governed by Federal or State law, or that constitutes restoration for natural resource damages required under any Federal or State law. Estuary Habitat Restoration Program funds will not be used for remediation of any hazardous substances regulated under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (42 U.S.C. 9601–9675). Additionally, Estuary Habitat Restoration Program funds will not be used to carry out projects on Federal lands. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 IV. Project Sponsor and Cost Sharing The non-Federal sponsor may be a State, a political subdivision of a State, a Tribe, or a regional or interstate agency. A nongovernmental organization may serve as a non-Federal sponsor as determined by the Secretary of the Army (Secretary) in consultation with appropriate State and local governmental agencies and Tribes. The Federal share of the cost of an estuary habitat restoration project shall not exceed 65 percent except that the Federal share shall be 85 percent of the incremental additional cost of pilot testing or demonstration of an innovative technology having the potential for improved costeffectiveness. Innovative technology is defined as novel processes, techniques and/or materials to restore habitat, or the use of existing processes, techniques, and/or materials in a new restoration application. Prior to initiation of a project, the non-Federal sponsor must enter into a written agreement with the Corps in which the non-Federal sponsor agrees to provide its share of the project cost. The non-Federal sponsor shall provide lands, easements, rights-of-way, and relocations and may provide services and in-kind contributions for credit toward its share of the project cost. Credit for the value of in-kind contributions is subject to satisfactory compliance with applicable Federal labor laws covering non-Federal construction, including but not limited to the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. 276a et seq.), the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (40 U.S.C. 327 et seq.), and the Copeland Anti-Kickback Act (40 U.S.C. 276c). Credit may be afforded for the value of required work undertaken by volunteers, using the hourly value in common usage for grants program but not to exceed the Federal estimate of the cost of activity. The non-Federal sponsor shall also be responsible for all costs associated with operating, maintaining, replacing, repairing, and rehabilitating these projects as well as for the required postconstruction monitoring. Other Federal funds, i.e., funds appropriated to agencies other than the Corps, may not be used by the nonFederal sponsor to meet its share of the project cost unless the other Federal agency verifies in writing that expenditure of funds for such purpose is expressly authorized by statute. Otherwise, other Federal funds may be used for the proposed project if consistent with the other agency’s authorities and will count as part of the Federal share of the project cost. Any E:\FR\FM\08JNN1.SGM 08JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 109 / Wednesday, June 8, 2005 / Notices non-Federal funds or contributions used as a match for these other Federal funds or any other Federal program may be used toward the project but will not be considered in determining the nonFederal share in relation to the Corps’ costs. Credit will be provided only for work necessary for the specific project being funded with Estuary Habitat Restoration Program funds. For example, a nonFederal entity is engaged in the removal of ten dams, has removed six dams, and now seeks assistance for the removal of the remaining four dams as an Estuary Habitat Restoration Program project. None of the costs associated with the removal of the six dams is creditable as part of the non-Federal share of the project for removal of four dams. This is not a grants program. The Corps will not transfer funds to the nonFederal sponsor. The Corps will implement (construct) some portion of the proposed project. To the extent possible the Corps will use the planning, evaluation, and design products provided by the applicant. However, the Corps will be responsible for assuring compliance with Federal environmental statutes, assuring the project is designed to avoid adverse impacts on other properties and that the project can reasonably be expected to provide the desired benefits, and managing construction activities not performed by the non-Federal sponsor as in-kind contribution. These Corps activities will be part of the Federal cost of the project, and the non-Federal sponsor should consider these costs in developing the project cost estimate. V. Funding Availability Limited funds have been appropriated for implementation of projects under the Estuary Habitat Restoration Program. The Council will not accept proposals that indicate an estimated Federal cost of less than $25,000 or more than $1,000,000. There is no guarantee that sufficient funds will be available to fund all eligible proposals. The number of proposals funded as a result of this notice will depend on the number of eligible proposals received, the estimated amount of funds required for each selected project, and the merit and ranking of the proposals. The exact amount of the Federal and non-Federal cost share for each selected project will be specified in the written agreement discussed in Project Cost Sharing, Section IV above. Projects selected for funding must be capable of producing the ecosystem benefits described in the proposal in the absence of Federal funding beyond that established in the cost-share agreement. VerDate jul<14>2003 18:08 Jun 07, 2005 Jkt 205001 VI. Proposal Review Process Proposals will be screened as discussed in section VII. A. below to determine eligibility. The staff of the agencies represented on the Council will conduct a technical review of the eligible proposals in accordance with the criteria described in section VII. B. below. Agency scientists involved in estuarine research or the development and application of innovative methods for restoring estuary habitats will also review proposals that indicate the use of innovative technologies. Each agency will score and rank the proposals; the staff of the five agencies will use these rankings as the basis for a consolidated recommendation. The Council will consider the staff recommendation, the items discussed in sections VII. C. and D. below, and possibly other factors when preparing its prioritized list of recommended projects for the Secretary’s use. VII. Proposal Review Criteria This section describes the criteria that will be used to review and select projects to be recommended to the Secretary for funding under the Act. It will benefit applicants to ensure that project proposals clearly address the criteria set forth under the following four subsections: Initial Screening of Project Proposals; Evaluation of Project Proposals; Priority Elements; and Other Factors. A. Initial Screening of Project Proposals Proposals will be screened according to the requirements listed in sections 104(b) and 104(c)(2) of the Act as described below. In addition, proposed projects must not include excluded activities as discussed in Section III above. Proposals that do not meet all of these initial screening criteria will not be evaluated further. To be accepted, the proposal must: (1) Originate from a non-Federal sponsor (section 104(b)); (2) Address restoration needs identified in an estuary habitat restoration plan (section 104 (c)(2)(A)). The Act defines ‘‘estuary habitat restoration plan’’ as any Federal or State plan for restoration of degraded estuary habitat that was developed with substantial participation of the public. (section 103(6)); (3) Be consistent with the Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy (section 104(c)(2)(B)) by: (a) Including eligible restoration activities that provide ecosystem benefits; (b) Addressing estuary habitat trends (including historic losses) in the project PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 33455 region, and indicating how these were considered in developing the project proposal; (c) Involving a partnership approach, and (d) Clearly describing the benefits expected to be realized by the proposed project; (4) Include a monitoring plan that is consistent with standards developed by NOAA under section 104(c)(2)(C)) (available at: http://era.noaa.gov/htmls/ era/era_monitoring.html, or from the contacts listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above), and; (5) Include satisfactory assurances that the non-Federal sponsor has adequate authority and resources to carry out items of local cooperation and properly maintain the project (section 104(c)(2)(D)). B. Evaluation of Project Proposals Proposals that meet the initial screening criteria in A. above will be eligible for further review using the criteria listed below. The following criteria are listed in order of relative importance with the most important criteria first. The first four criteria are the most important. If the reviewers find that a response to any of the first four criteria is completely inadequate, the proposal will be rejected. For each of the listed criteria, the focus will be on the factors mentioned below but other factors may also be considered. (1) Ecosystem Benefits— Proposals will be evaluated based on the extent of proposed habitat restoration activities and the type(s) of habitat(s) that will be restored. Following are specific factors that reviewers will consider as part of this criterion: (a) Prevention or reversal of estuary habitat loss or degradation in the project area and the nature and extent of the proposed project’s potential contribution to the long-term conservation of estuary habitat function, (b) Benefits for Federally listed endangered or threatened species, species proposed for Federal listing, recently delisted species or designated or proposed critical habitat in the project area, (c) Extent to which the project will provide, restore, or improve habitat important for estuary-dependent fish and/or migratory birds (e.g. breeding, spawning, nursery, foraging, or staging habitat), (d) Prevention or reduction of nonpoint source pollution or other contaminants to estuary habitats or restoration of estuary habitats that are already contaminated, and E:\FR\FM\08JNN1.SGM 08JNN1 33456 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 109 / Wednesday, June 8, 2005 / Notices (e) Benefits to nearby existing habitat areas, or contribution to the creation of wildlife/ecological corridors connecting existing habitat areas. (2) Cost-Effectiveness— Reviewers will evaluate the relationship between estimated project costs, including the costs of remaining planning, design, construction, required lands, and annual operation, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation and replacement and monitoring cost, to the monetary and non-monetary benefits described in the proposal. Clear quantitative and qualitative descriptions of the proposed outputs will facilitate this evaluation. Examples of units of measure include: Acres restored, flood damage reduction levels, changes in water quality parameters, increases in the productivity of various species, and presence and absence of certain species. The estimated persistence of the proposed project outputs will be considered. For example, will the area be maintained as a wetland, or allowed to erode or become upland? Will the proposed project produce additional benefits due to synergy between the proposed project and other ongoing or proposed projects? Reviewers will consider if the proposed project is a cost-effective way to achieve the proposed benefits. In some instances the costs and benefits of proposed projects may be compared to the costs and benefits of other similar projects in the area. The significance of the proposed outputs is also a factor to be considered as part of cost-effectiveness. The significance of restoration outputs should be recognized in terms of institutional (such as laws, adopted plans, or policy statements), public (such as support for the project), or technical (such as addresses scarcity, increases limiting habitat, or improves or increases biodiversity) importance. (3) Technical Feasibility— Reviewers will evaluate the extent to which, given current and projected environmental conditions of the restoration site—e.g., soils, flood regime, presence of invasive species, surrounding land use—the proposed project is likely to be successfully implemented. Consideration will also be given to: (a) Potential success of restoration techniques, based on history of successful implementation in field or pilot projects, (b) Implementation schedule, (c) Expected length of time before success can be demonstrated, (d) Proposed corrective actions using monitoring information, (e) Project management plans, and VerDate jul<14>2003 18:08 Jun 07, 2005 Jkt 205001 (f) Experience and qualifications of project personnel. (4) Scientific Merit— Reviewers will evaluate the extent to which the project design is based on sound ecological principles and is likely to meet project goals. This may be indicated by the following factors: (a) Goals of the project are reasonable considering the existing and former habitat types present at the site and other local influences, (b) Conceptual approach demonstrates an understanding of habitat function, and (c) Specific methods proposed (if successfully implemented—see criteria on technical feasibility) have a good chance of meeting project goals and achieving long-term sustainability. (5) Agency Coordination— Reviewers will evaluate the degree to which the project will encourage increased coordination and cooperation among Federal, State, and local government agencies. Some of the indicators used to evaluate coordination are: (a) The State, Federal, and local agencies involved in developing the project and their expected roles in implementation, (b) The nature of agency coordination, e.g., joint funding, periodic multiagency review of the project, collaboration on adaptive management decisions, joint monitoring, opportunities for future collaboration, etc., and (c) Whether a formal agreement, such as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), exists between/among agencies as part of the project. (6) Public/Private Partnerships— One of the focuses of the Act is the encouragement of new public/private partnerships. Reviewers will evaluate the degree to which the project will foster public/private partnerships and uses Federal resources to encourage increased private sector involvement. Indicators of the success at meeting this criterion follow. How will the project promote collaboration or create partnerships among public and private entities, including potential for future new or expanded public/private partnerships? What mechanisms are being used to establish the partnership, e.g., joint funding, shared monitoring, joint decision-making on adaptive management strategies? Is there a formal agreement, such as an MOU, between/ among the partners as part of the project? Also important is the extent to which the project creates an opportunity for long-term partnerships among public and private entities. (7) Level of Contribution— PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Reviewers will consider the level and type (cash or in-kind) of non-Federal contribution. Providing more than the minimum 35-percent share will be rated favorably. (8) Monitoring Plan— Reviewers will consider the following factors in evaluating the quality of the monitoring plan: (a) Linkage between the monitoring methods and the project goals, including success criteria, (b) How results will be evaluated (statistical comparison to baseline or reference condition, trend analysis, or other quantitative or qualitative approach), (c) How baseline conditions will be established for the parameters to be measured, (d) If applicable, the use and selection of reference sites, where they are located, how they were chosen, and whether they represent target conditions for the habitat or conditions at the site without restoration, (e) The appropriateness of the nature, frequency, and timing of measurements and which areas will be sampled, (f) Provisions for adaptive management, and data reporting, and (g) whether the length of the proposed monitoring plan is appropriate for the project goals (should be at least five years). (9) Multiple Benefits— In addition to the ecosystem benefits discussed in criterion (1) above, restored estuary habitats may provide additional benefits. Among those the reviewers will consider are: flood damage reduction, protection from storm surge, water quality and/or quantity for human uses, recreational opportunities, and benefits to commercial fisheries. (10) Dedicated Funding Source— Reviewers will consider if the State in which the proposed project will be located has a dedicated source of funding to acquire or restore estuary habitat, natural areas, and open spaces for the benefit of estuary habitat restoration or protection. (11) Supports Regional Restoration Goals— Reviewers will evaluate the extent to which the proposed project contributes to meeting and/or strengthening the needs, goals, objectives and restoration priorities contained in regional restoration plans, and the means that will be used to measure such progress. (12) Supports Federal Plan— If the proposed project supports a Federal plan (examples of Federal plans are listed in section 103(6)(B) of the Act), reviewers will consider the extent to which the project would contribute to meeting and/or strengthening the plan’s E:\FR\FM\08JNN1.SGM 08JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 109 / Wednesday, June 8, 2005 / Notices needs, goals, objectives and restoration priorities, and the means that will be used to measure such progress. C. Priority Elements Section 104(c)(4) of the Act directs the Secretary to give priority consideration to a project that merits selection based on the above criteria if it: (1) Occurs within a watershed where there is a program being implemented that addresses sources of pollution and other activities that otherwise would adversely affect the restored habitat; or (2) Includes pilot testing or demonstration of an innovative technology having the potential to achieve better restoration results than other technologies in current practice, or comparable results at lower cost in terms of energy, economics, or environmental impacts. The Council will also consider these priority elements in ranking proposals. D. Other Factors In addition to considering the composite ratings developed in the evaluation process and the priority elements listed in C. above, the Council will consider other factors when preparing its prioritized list for the Secretary’s use. These factors include (but may not be limited to) the following: (1) Readiness of the project for implementation. Among the factors to be considered when evaluating readiness are the steps that must be taken prior to project implementation, potential delays to project implementation, and the status of real estate acquisition. (2) Balance between large and small projects, as defined in the Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy. (3) Geographic distribution of the projects. sharing agreements and schedules for project implementation. Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22311, (703) 681–4909. IX. Application Process Proposal application forms are available at http://www.usace.army.mil/ civilworks/cecwp/estuary_act/ or by contacting Ms. Ellen Cummings, Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC 20314–1000, (202) 761–4750, e-mail: Ellen.M.Cummings@usace.army.mil; or Ms. Cynthia Garman-Squier, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), Washington, DC (703) 695–6791, e-mail: Cynthia.GarmanSquier@hqda.army.mil. The application form has been approved by OMB in compliance with the Paper Work Reduction Act and is OMB No. 0710– 0014 with an expiration date of 04/30/ 2008. Electronic submissions are preferred and should be sent to estuary.restoration@usace.army.mil. Questions may also be sent to this email address. Hard copy submissions may be sent or delivered to HQUSACE, ATTN: CECW–PC, 7701 Telegraph Road #3D72, Alexandria, VA 22315–3860. The narrative portion of a nomination should be no more than twelve doublespaced pages, using a 10 or 12-point font. Paper copies should be printed on one side only of an 8.5 in. x 11 in. page and not bound. A PC-compatible floppy disk or CD–ROM in either Microsoft Word or WordPerfect format may accompany the paper copy. Nominations for multiple projects submitted by the same applicant must be submitted in separate e-mail messages and/or envelopes. Correction In the Federal Register of May 25, 2005, in FR Doc. 05–10399, on page 30090, in the first column, correct the DATES caption to read: DATES: The meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 15, 2005, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 05–11358 Filed 6–7–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–92–P VIII. Project Selection and Notification The Secretary will select projects for funding from the Council’s prioritized list of recommended projects after considering the criteria contained in section 104(c) of the Act, availability of funds and any reasonable additional factors. It is expected that the Secretary will select proposals for implementation approximately 100 days after the close of this solicitation or 30 days after receiving the list from the Council, whichever is later. The non-Federal sponsor of each proposal will be notified of its status at the conclusion of the selection process. Staff from the appropriate Corps Districts will work with the non-Federal sponsor of each selected project to develop the cost- Department of the Navy 18:08 Jun 07, 2005 Jkt 205001 Dated: June 3, 2005. S. K. Melancon, Paralegal Specialist, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Alternate Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 05–11446 Filed 6–7–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810–FF–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Department of Education. The Leader, Information Management Case Services Team, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of the Chief Information Officer invites comments on the submission for OMB review as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 8, 2005. DATES: Written comments should be addressed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Carolyn Lovett, Desk Officer, Department of Education, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street, NW., Room 10235, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503 or faxed to (202) 395–6974. ADDRESSES: Section 3506 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35) requires that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provide interested Federal agencies and the public an early opportunity to comment on information collection requests. OMB may amend or waive the requirement for public consultation to the extent that public participation in the approval process would defeat the purpose of the information collection, violate State or Federal law, or substantially interfere with any agency’s ability to perform its statutory obligations. The Leader, Information Management Case Services Team, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of the Chief Information Officer, publishes that notice containing proposed information SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE VerDate jul<14>2003 33457 Meeting of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Executive Panel; Correction Department of the Navy, DoD. Notice of closed meeting; correction. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Department of the Navy published a document in the Federal Register of May 25, 2005, announcing a closed meeting of the CNO Executive Panel. The document contained incorrect date and time. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lieutenant Commander Christopher Corgnati, CNO Executive Panel, 4825 PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\08JNN1.SGM 08JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 109 (Wednesday, June 8, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33453-33457]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-11358]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers


Notice of Solicitation for Estuary Habitat Restoration Program

AGENCY: Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of solicitation for project applications.

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SUMMARY: Congress has appropriated limited funds to the U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers (Corps) to implement the Estuary Habitat Restoration 
Program as authorized in Section 104 of the Estuary Restoration Act of 
2000, Title I of the Estuaries and Clean Waters Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 
106-457) (accessible at http://restoration.nos.noaa.gov/pdfs/act_
s835.pdf). On behalf of the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council 
(Council), the Corps is soliciting proposals for estuary habitat 
restoration projects. This document describes project criteria and 
evaluation criteria the Council will use to determine which projects to 
recommend. Recommended projects must provide ecosystem benefits, have 
scientific merit, be technically feasible, and be cost-effective. 
Proposals selected for Estuary Habitat Restoration Program funding will 
be implemented in accordance with a cost-share agreement with the 
Corps. This is not a grants program.

DATES: Proposals must be received on or before July 25, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Proposal forms may be accessed at http://www.usace.army.mil/
civilworks/cecwp/estuary_act/ or by contacting the individuals listed 
in the following section. Project proposals may be submitted 
electronically, by mail, or by courier. Electronic submissions are 
preferred and will facilitate processing. Please follow the detailed 
instructions provided in section IX. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Ellen Cummings, Headquarters, U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC 20314-1000, (202) 761-4750, e-
mail: Ellen.M.Cummings@usace.army.mil; or Ms. Cynthia Garman-Squier, 
Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), 
Washington, DC (703)

[[Page 33454]]

695-6791, e-mail: Cynthia.Garman-Squier@hqda.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    Under the Estuary Habitat Restoration Program, the U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers (Corps) is authorized to carry out estuary habitat 
restoration projects. However, the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council 
(Council) is responsible for soliciting, reviewing and evaluating 
project proposals. The Corps may only fund projects on the prioritized 
list provided by the Council. The Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy 
prepared by the Council contains introductory information about the 
program and provides the context in which projects will be evaluated 
and the program will be conducted. The Strategy was published in the 
Federal Register, 67 FR 71942, December 3, 2002. It is also accessible 
at http://www.usace.army.mil/civilworks/cecwp/estuary_act/.
    An emphasis will be placed on achieving cost-effective restoration 
of ecosystems while promoting increased partnerships among agencies and 
between public and private sectors. Projects funded under this program 
will contribute to the Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy goal of 
restoring 1,000,000 acres of estuary habitat.
    For purposes of this program, estuary is defined as ``a part of a 
river or stream or other body of water that has an unimpaired 
connection with the open sea and where the sea water is measurably 
diluted with fresh water from land drainage.'' Estuary also includes 
the ``* * * near coastal waters and wetlands of the Great Lakes that 
are similar in form and function to estuaries * * *.'' For this 
program, estuary is considered to extend from the head of tide to the 
boundary with the open sea (to downstream terminus features or 
structures such as barrier islands, reefs, sand bars, mud flats, or 
headlands in close proximity to the connection with the open sea). In 
the Great Lakes, riparian and nearshore areas will be considered to be 
estuaries. Estuary habitat includes the estuary and its associated 
ecosystems, such as: salt, brackish, and fresh water coastal marshes; 
coastal forested wetlands and other coastal wetlands; maritime forests; 
coastal grasslands; tidal flats; natural shoreline areas; shellfish 
beds; sea grass meadows; kelp beds; river deltas; and river and stream 
corridors under tidal influence.

II. Eligible Restoration Activities

    Section 103 of the Estuary Restoration Act of 2000 (the Act) 
defines the term estuary habitat restoration activity to mean ``an 
activity that results in improving degraded estuaries or estuary 
habitat or creating estuary habitat (including both physical and 
functional restoration), with the goal of attaining a self-sustaining 
system integrated into the surrounding landscape.'' Projects funded 
under this program will be consistent with this definition.
    Eligible habitat restoration activities include re-establishment of 
chemical, physical, hydrologic, and biological features and components 
associated with an estuary. Restoration may include, but is not limited 
to, improvement of estuarine wetland tidal exchange or reestablishment 
of historic hydrology; dam or berm removal; improvement or 
reestablishment of fish passage; appropriate reef/substrate/habitat 
creation; planting of native estuarine wetland and submerged aquatic 
vegetation; reintroduction of native species; control of invasive 
species; and establishment of riparian buffer zones in the estuary. 
Cleanup of pollution for the benefit of estuary habitat may be 
considered, as long as it does not meet the definition of excluded 
activities under the Act (see section III, Excluded Activities, below).
    In general, proposed projects should clearly demonstrate 
anticipated benefits to habitats such as those habitats listed in the 
Introduction. Although the Council recognizes that water quality and 
land use issues may impact habitat restoration efforts and must be 
considered in project planning, the Estuary Habitat Restoration Program 
is intended to fund physical habitat restoration projects, not measures 
such as storm water detention ponds, wastewater treatment plant 
upgrades or combined sewer outfall improvements.

III. Excluded Activities

    Estuary Habitat Restoration Program funds will not be used for any 
activity that constitutes mitigation required under any Federal or 
State law for the adverse effects of an activity regulated or otherwise 
governed by Federal or State law, or that constitutes restoration for 
natural resource damages required under any Federal or State law. 
Estuary Habitat Restoration Program funds will not be used for 
remediation of any hazardous substances regulated under the 
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act 
(42 U.S.C. 9601-9675). Additionally, Estuary Habitat Restoration 
Program funds will not be used to carry out projects on Federal lands.

IV. Project Sponsor and Cost Sharing

    The non-Federal sponsor may be a State, a political subdivision of 
a State, a Tribe, or a regional or interstate agency. A nongovernmental 
organization may serve as a non-Federal sponsor as determined by the 
Secretary of the Army (Secretary) in consultation with appropriate 
State and local governmental agencies and Tribes.
    The Federal share of the cost of an estuary habitat restoration 
project shall not exceed 65 percent except that the Federal share shall 
be 85 percent of the incremental additional cost of pilot testing or 
demonstration of an innovative technology having the potential for 
improved cost-effectiveness. Innovative technology is defined as novel 
processes, techniques and/or materials to restore habitat, or the use 
of existing processes, techniques, and/or materials in a new 
restoration application.
    Prior to initiation of a project, the non-Federal sponsor must 
enter into a written agreement with the Corps in which the non-Federal 
sponsor agrees to provide its share of the project cost. The non-
Federal sponsor shall provide lands, easements, rights-of-way, and 
relocations and may provide services and in-kind contributions for 
credit toward its share of the project cost. Credit for the value of 
in-kind contributions is subject to satisfactory compliance with 
applicable Federal labor laws covering non-Federal construction, 
including but not limited to the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. 276a et 
seq.), the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (40 U.S.C. 327 
et seq.), and the Copeland Anti-Kickback Act (40 U.S.C. 276c). Credit 
may be afforded for the value of required work undertaken by 
volunteers, using the hourly value in common usage for grants program 
but not to exceed the Federal estimate of the cost of activity. The 
non-Federal sponsor shall also be responsible for all costs associated 
with operating, maintaining, replacing, repairing, and rehabilitating 
these projects as well as for the required post-construction 
monitoring.
    Other Federal funds, i.e., funds appropriated to agencies other 
than the Corps, may not be used by the non-Federal sponsor to meet its 
share of the project cost unless the other Federal agency verifies in 
writing that expenditure of funds for such purpose is expressly 
authorized by statute. Otherwise, other Federal funds may be used for 
the proposed project if consistent with the other agency's authorities 
and will count as part of the Federal share of the project cost. Any

[[Page 33455]]

non-Federal funds or contributions used as a match for these other 
Federal funds or any other Federal program may be used toward the 
project but will not be considered in determining the non-Federal share 
in relation to the Corps' costs.
    Credit will be provided only for work necessary for the specific 
project being funded with Estuary Habitat Restoration Program funds. 
For example, a non-Federal entity is engaged in the removal of ten 
dams, has removed six dams, and now seeks assistance for the removal of 
the remaining four dams as an Estuary Habitat Restoration Program 
project. None of the costs associated with the removal of the six dams 
is creditable as part of the non-Federal share of the project for 
removal of four dams.
    This is not a grants program. The Corps will not transfer funds to 
the non-Federal sponsor. The Corps will implement (construct) some 
portion of the proposed project. To the extent possible the Corps will 
use the planning, evaluation, and design products provided by the 
applicant. However, the Corps will be responsible for assuring 
compliance with Federal environmental statutes, assuring the project is 
designed to avoid adverse impacts on other properties and that the 
project can reasonably be expected to provide the desired benefits, and 
managing construction activities not performed by the non-Federal 
sponsor as in-kind contribution. These Corps activities will be part of 
the Federal cost of the project, and the non-Federal sponsor should 
consider these costs in developing the project cost estimate.

V. Funding Availability

    Limited funds have been appropriated for implementation of projects 
under the Estuary Habitat Restoration Program. The Council will not 
accept proposals that indicate an estimated Federal cost of less than 
$25,000 or more than $1,000,000. There is no guarantee that sufficient 
funds will be available to fund all eligible proposals. The number of 
proposals funded as a result of this notice will depend on the number 
of eligible proposals received, the estimated amount of funds required 
for each selected project, and the merit and ranking of the proposals. 
The exact amount of the Federal and non-Federal cost share for each 
selected project will be specified in the written agreement discussed 
in Project Cost Sharing, Section IV above. Projects selected for 
funding must be capable of producing the ecosystem benefits described 
in the proposal in the absence of Federal funding beyond that 
established in the cost-share agreement.

VI. Proposal Review Process

    Proposals will be screened as discussed in section VII. A. below to 
determine eligibility. The staff of the agencies represented on the 
Council will conduct a technical review of the eligible proposals in 
accordance with the criteria described in section VII. B. below. Agency 
scientists involved in estuarine research or the development and 
application of innovative methods for restoring estuary habitats will 
also review proposals that indicate the use of innovative technologies. 
Each agency will score and rank the proposals; the staff of the five 
agencies will use these rankings as the basis for a consolidated 
recommendation. The Council will consider the staff recommendation, the 
items discussed in sections VII. C. and D. below, and possibly other 
factors when preparing its prioritized list of recommended projects for 
the Secretary's use.

VII. Proposal Review Criteria

    This section describes the criteria that will be used to review and 
select projects to be recommended to the Secretary for funding under 
the Act. It will benefit applicants to ensure that project proposals 
clearly address the criteria set forth under the following four 
subsections: Initial Screening of Project Proposals; Evaluation of 
Project Proposals; Priority Elements; and Other Factors.

A. Initial Screening of Project Proposals

    Proposals will be screened according to the requirements listed in 
sections 104(b) and 104(c)(2) of the Act as described below. In 
addition, proposed projects must not include excluded activities as 
discussed in Section III above. Proposals that do not meet all of these 
initial screening criteria will not be evaluated further. To be 
accepted, the proposal must:
    (1) Originate from a non-Federal sponsor (section 104(b));
    (2) Address restoration needs identified in an estuary habitat 
restoration plan (section 104 (c)(2)(A)). The Act defines ``estuary 
habitat restoration plan'' as any Federal or State plan for restoration 
of degraded estuary habitat that was developed with substantial 
participation of the public. (section 103(6));
    (3) Be consistent with the Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy 
(section 104(c)(2)(B)) by:
    (a) Including eligible restoration activities that provide 
ecosystem benefits;
    (b) Addressing estuary habitat trends (including historic losses) 
in the project region, and indicating how these were considered in 
developing the project proposal;
    (c) Involving a partnership approach, and
    (d) Clearly describing the benefits expected to be realized by the 
proposed project;
    (4) Include a monitoring plan that is consistent with standards 
developed by NOAA under section 104(c)(2)(C)) (available at: http://
era.noaa.gov/htmls/era/era_monitoring.html, or from the contacts 
listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above), and;
    (5) Include satisfactory assurances that the non-Federal sponsor 
has adequate authority and resources to carry out items of local 
cooperation and properly maintain the project (section 104(c)(2)(D)).

B. Evaluation of Project Proposals

    Proposals that meet the initial screening criteria in A. above will 
be eligible for further review using the criteria listed below. The 
following criteria are listed in order of relative importance with the 
most important criteria first. The first four criteria are the most 
important. If the reviewers find that a response to any of the first 
four criteria is completely inadequate, the proposal will be rejected. 
For each of the listed criteria, the focus will be on the factors 
mentioned below but other factors may also be considered.
    (1) Ecosystem Benefits--
    Proposals will be evaluated based on the extent of proposed habitat 
restoration activities and the type(s) of habitat(s) that will be 
restored. Following are specific factors that reviewers will consider 
as part of this criterion:
    (a) Prevention or reversal of estuary habitat loss or degradation 
in the project area and the nature and extent of the proposed project's 
potential contribution to the long-term conservation of estuary habitat 
function,
    (b) Benefits for Federally listed endangered or threatened species, 
species proposed for Federal listing, recently delisted species or 
designated or proposed critical habitat in the project area,
    (c) Extent to which the project will provide, restore, or improve 
habitat important for estuary-dependent fish and/or migratory birds 
(e.g. breeding, spawning, nursery, foraging, or staging habitat),
    (d) Prevention or reduction of nonpoint source pollution or other 
contaminants to estuary habitats or restoration of estuary habitats 
that are already contaminated, and

[[Page 33456]]

    (e) Benefits to nearby existing habitat areas, or contribution to 
the creation of wildlife/ecological corridors connecting existing 
habitat areas.
    (2) Cost-Effectiveness--
    Reviewers will evaluate the relationship between estimated project 
costs, including the costs of remaining planning, design, construction, 
required lands, and annual operation, maintenance, repair, 
rehabilitation and replacement and monitoring cost, to the monetary and 
non-monetary benefits described in the proposal. Clear quantitative and 
qualitative descriptions of the proposed outputs will facilitate this 
evaluation. Examples of units of measure include: Acres restored, flood 
damage reduction levels, changes in water quality parameters, increases 
in the productivity of various species, and presence and absence of 
certain species. The estimated persistence of the proposed project 
outputs will be considered. For example, will the area be maintained as 
a wetland, or allowed to erode or become upland? Will the proposed 
project produce additional benefits due to synergy between the proposed 
project and other ongoing or proposed projects? Reviewers will consider 
if the proposed project is a cost-effective way to achieve the proposed 
benefits. In some instances the costs and benefits of proposed projects 
may be compared to the costs and benefits of other similar projects in 
the area. The significance of the proposed outputs is also a factor to 
be considered as part of cost-effectiveness. The significance of 
restoration outputs should be recognized in terms of institutional 
(such as laws, adopted plans, or policy statements), public (such as 
support for the project), or technical (such as addresses scarcity, 
increases limiting habitat, or improves or increases biodiversity) 
importance.
    (3) Technical Feasibility--
    Reviewers will evaluate the extent to which, given current and 
projected environmental conditions of the restoration site--e.g., 
soils, flood regime, presence of invasive species, surrounding land 
use--the proposed project is likely to be successfully implemented. 
Consideration will also be given to:
    (a) Potential success of restoration techniques, based on history 
of successful implementation in field or pilot projects,
    (b) Implementation schedule,
    (c) Expected length of time before success can be demonstrated,
    (d) Proposed corrective actions using monitoring information,
    (e) Project management plans, and
    (f) Experience and qualifications of project personnel.
    (4) Scientific Merit--
    Reviewers will evaluate the extent to which the project design is 
based on sound ecological principles and is likely to meet project 
goals. This may be indicated by the following factors:
    (a) Goals of the project are reasonable considering the existing 
and former habitat types present at the site and other local 
influences,
    (b) Conceptual approach demonstrates an understanding of habitat 
function, and
    (c) Specific methods proposed (if successfully implemented--see 
criteria on technical feasibility) have a good chance of meeting 
project goals and achieving long-term sustainability.
    (5) Agency Coordination--
    Reviewers will evaluate the degree to which the project will 
encourage increased coordination and cooperation among Federal, State, 
and local government agencies. Some of the indicators used to evaluate 
coordination are:
    (a) The State, Federal, and local agencies involved in developing 
the project and their expected roles in implementation,
    (b) The nature of agency coordination, e.g., joint funding, 
periodic multi-agency review of the project, collaboration on adaptive 
management decisions, joint monitoring, opportunities for future 
collaboration, etc., and
    (c) Whether a formal agreement, such as a Memorandum of 
Understanding (MOU), exists between/among agencies as part of the 
project.
    (6) Public/Private Partnerships--
    One of the focuses of the Act is the encouragement of new public/
private partnerships. Reviewers will evaluate the degree to which the 
project will foster public/private partnerships and uses Federal 
resources to encourage increased private sector involvement. Indicators 
of the success at meeting this criterion follow. How will the project 
promote collaboration or create partnerships among public and private 
entities, including potential for future new or expanded public/private 
partnerships? What mechanisms are being used to establish the 
partnership, e.g., joint funding, shared monitoring, joint decision-
making on adaptive management strategies? Is there a formal agreement, 
such as an MOU, between/among the partners as part of the project? Also 
important is the extent to which the project creates an opportunity for 
long-term partnerships among public and private entities.
    (7) Level of Contribution--
    Reviewers will consider the level and type (cash or in-kind) of 
non-Federal contribution. Providing more than the minimum 35-percent 
share will be rated favorably.
    (8) Monitoring Plan--
    Reviewers will consider the following factors in evaluating the 
quality of the monitoring plan:
    (a) Linkage between the monitoring methods and the project goals, 
including success criteria,
    (b) How results will be evaluated (statistical comparison to 
baseline or reference condition, trend analysis, or other quantitative 
or qualitative approach),
    (c) How baseline conditions will be established for the parameters 
to be measured,
    (d) If applicable, the use and selection of reference sites, where 
they are located, how they were chosen, and whether they represent 
target conditions for the habitat or conditions at the site without 
restoration,
    (e) The appropriateness of the nature, frequency, and timing of 
measurements and which areas will be sampled,
    (f) Provisions for adaptive management, and data reporting, and
    (g) whether the length of the proposed monitoring plan is 
appropriate for the project goals (should be at least five years).
    (9) Multiple Benefits--
    In addition to the ecosystem benefits discussed in criterion (1) 
above, restored estuary habitats may provide additional benefits. Among 
those the reviewers will consider are: flood damage reduction, 
protection from storm surge, water quality and/or quantity for human 
uses, recreational opportunities, and benefits to commercial fisheries.
    (10) Dedicated Funding Source--
    Reviewers will consider if the State in which the proposed project 
will be located has a dedicated source of funding to acquire or restore 
estuary habitat, natural areas, and open spaces for the benefit of 
estuary habitat restoration or protection.
    (11) Supports Regional Restoration Goals--
    Reviewers will evaluate the extent to which the proposed project 
contributes to meeting and/or strengthening the needs, goals, 
objectives and restoration priorities contained in regional restoration 
plans, and the means that will be used to measure such progress.
    (12) Supports Federal Plan--
    If the proposed project supports a Federal plan (examples of 
Federal plans are listed in section 103(6)(B) of the Act), reviewers 
will consider the extent to which the project would contribute to 
meeting and/or strengthening the plan's

[[Page 33457]]

needs, goals, objectives and restoration priorities, and the means that 
will be used to measure such progress.

C. Priority Elements

    Section 104(c)(4) of the Act directs the Secretary to give priority 
consideration to a project that merits selection based on the above 
criteria if it:
    (1) Occurs within a watershed where there is a program being 
implemented that addresses sources of pollution and other activities 
that otherwise would adversely affect the restored habitat; or
    (2) Includes pilot testing or demonstration of an innovative 
technology having the potential to achieve better restoration results 
than other technologies in current practice, or comparable results at 
lower cost in terms of energy, economics, or environmental impacts.
    The Council will also consider these priority elements in ranking 
proposals.

D. Other Factors

    In addition to considering the composite ratings developed in the 
evaluation process and the priority elements listed in C. above, the 
Council will consider other factors when preparing its prioritized list 
for the Secretary's use. These factors include (but may not be limited 
to) the following:
    (1) Readiness of the project for implementation. Among the factors 
to be considered when evaluating readiness are the steps that must be 
taken prior to project implementation, potential delays to project 
implementation, and the status of real estate acquisition.
    (2) Balance between large and small projects, as defined in the 
Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy.
    (3) Geographic distribution of the projects.

VIII. Project Selection and Notification

    The Secretary will select projects for funding from the Council's 
prioritized list of recommended projects after considering the criteria 
contained in section 104(c) of the Act, availability of funds and any 
reasonable additional factors. It is expected that the Secretary will 
select proposals for implementation approximately 100 days after the 
close of this solicitation or 30 days after receiving the list from the 
Council, whichever is later. The non-Federal sponsor of each proposal 
will be notified of its status at the conclusion of the selection 
process. Staff from the appropriate Corps Districts will work with the 
non-Federal sponsor of each selected project to develop the cost-
sharing agreements and schedules for project implementation.

IX. Application Process

    Proposal application forms are available at http://
www.usace.army.mil/civilworks/cecwp/estuary_act/ or by contacting Ms. 
Ellen Cummings, Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, 
DC 20314-1000, (202) 761-4750, e-mail: Ellen.M.Cummings@usace.army.mil; 
or Ms. Cynthia Garman-Squier, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the 
Army (Civil Works), Washington, DC (703) 695-6791, e-mail: 
Cynthia.Garman-Squier@hqda.army.mil. The application form has been 
approved by OMB in compliance with the Paper Work Reduction Act and is 
OMB No. 0710-0014 with an expiration date of 04/30/2008. Electronic 
submissions are preferred and should be sent to 
estuary.restoration@usace.army.mil. Questions may also be sent to this 
e-mail address. Hard copy submissions may be sent or delivered to 
HQUSACE, ATTN: CECW-PC, 7701 Telegraph Road 3D72, Alexandria, 
VA 22315-3860. The narrative portion of a nomination should be no more 
than twelve double-spaced pages, using a 10 or 12-point font. Paper 
copies should be printed on one side only of an 8.5 in. x 11 in. page 
and not bound. A PC-compatible floppy disk or CD-ROM in either 
Microsoft Word or WordPerfect format may accompany the paper copy. 
Nominations for multiple projects submitted by the same applicant must 
be submitted in separate e-mail messages and/or envelopes.

Brenda S. Bowen,
Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 05-11358 Filed 6-7-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3710-92-P