Denali Commission Fiscal Year 2011 Draft Work Plan, 35426-35430 [2011-15051]

Download as PDF 35426 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 117 / Friday, June 17, 2011 / Notices Dated: June 14, 2011. David B. Olson, Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. [FR Doc. 2011–15084 Filed 6–16–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P DENALI COMMISSION Denali Commission Fiscal Year 2011 Draft Work Plan Denali Commission. Notice AGENCY: ACTION: The Denali Commission (Commission) is an independent federal agency based on an innovative federalstate partnership designed to provide critical utilities, infrastructure and support for economic development and in training in Alaska by delivering federal services in the most costeffective manner possible. The Commission was created in 1998 with passage of the October 21, 1998 Denali Commission Act (Act) (Title III of Pub. L. 105–277, 42 USC 3121). The Denali Commission Act requires that the Commission develop proposed work plans for future spending and that the annual Work Plan be published in the Federal Register, providing an opportunity for a 30-day period of public review and written comment. This Federal Register notice serves to announce the 30-day opportunity for public comment on the Denali Commission Draft Work Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2011. DATES: Comments and related material to be received by July 13, 2011. ADDRESSES: Submit comments to the Denali Commission, Attention: Sabrina Hoppas, 510 L Street, Suite 410, Anchorage, AK 99501. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sabrina Hoppas, Denali Commission, 510 L Street, Suite 410, Anchorage, AK 99501. Telephone: (907) 271–1414. Email: shoppas@denali.gov. Background: The Denali Commission (Commission) is an independent federal agency based on an innovative federalstate partnership designed to provide critical utilities, infrastructure and support for economic development and training in Alaska by delivering federal services in the most cost-effective manner possible. The Commission was created in 1998 with passage of the October 21, 1998, Denali Commission Act (Act) (Title III of Pub. L. 105–277, 42 U.S.C. 3121). The Commission’s mission is to partner with tribal, federal, state, and local governments and collaborate with emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:39 Jun 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 all Alaskans to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government services, to develop a welltrained labor force employed in a diversified and sustainable economy, and to build and ensure the operation and maintenance of Alaska’s basic infrastructure. By creating the Commission, Congress mandated that all parties involved partner together to find new and innovative solutions to the unique infrastructure and economic development challenges in America’s most remote communities. Pursuant to the Denali Commission Act, as amended, the Commission determines its own basic operating principles and funding criteria on an annual federal fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) basis. The Commission outlines these priorities and funding recommendations in an annual Work Plan. The Work Plan is adopted on an annual basis in the following manner, which occurs sequentially as listed: • Commissioners first forward an approved draft version of the Work Plan to the Federal Co-Chair. • The Federal Co-Chair approves the draft Work Plan for publication in the Federal Register providing an opportunity for a 30-day period of public review and written comment. During this time, the draft Work Plan is also disseminated widely to Commission program partners including, but not limited to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and the United States Department of Agriculture—Rural Development (USDA–RD). • Public comment concludes and Commission staff provides the Federal Co-Chair with a summary of public comment and recommendations, if any, associated with the draft Work Plan. • If no revisions are made to the draft, the Federal Co-Chair provides notice of approval of the Work Plan to the Commissioners, and forwards the Work Plan to the Secretary of Commerce for approval; or, if there are revisions the Federal Co-Chair provides notice of modifications to the Commissioners for their consideration and approval, and upon receipt of approval from Commissioners, forwards the Work Plan to the Secretary of Commerce for approval. • The Secretary of Commerce approves the Work Plan. The Work Plan authorizes the Federal Co-Chair to enter into grant agreements, award grants and contracts and obligate the federal funds identified by appropriation in the chart below. PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FY 11 Appropriations Summary The Denali Commission has historically received several federal funding sources (identified by the varying colors in the table below). These fund sources are governed by the following general principles: • In FY 2011 no project specific earmarks were directed. • The Energy and Water Appropriation is eligible for use in all programs, but has historically been used substantively to fund the Energy Program. • The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established new authorities for the Commission’s Energy Program, with an emphasis on renewable and alternative energy projects. No new funding accompanied the Energy Policy Act, and prior fiscal year Congressional direction has indicated that the Commission should fund renewable and alternative Energy Program activities from the available Energy and Water appropriation. • All other funds outlined below may be used only for the specific program area and may not be used across programs. For instance, Federal Transit Administration funding, which has in the past been appropriated for the Transportation Program, may not be moved to the Energy Program. • Final transportation funds received may be reduced due to agency modifications, reductions and fees determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Final program available figures may not be provided until later this spring. • All Energy and Water Appropriation funds, including operational funds, designated as ‘‘up to’’ may be reassigned to the Legacy Energy Program, Bulk Fuel and Rural Power System Upgrades, if they are not fully expended in a program component area or a specific project. • Total FY 2011 Budgetary Resources Provided in the Continuing Resolution These are the figures that appear in the rows entitled ‘‘FY 2011 Appropriation’’ and are the original appropriations amounts which do not include Commission overhead deductions. These funds are identified by their source name (i.e., Energy and Water Appropriation, USDA–RUS, etc.). The grand total for all appropriations appears at the end of the FY 2011 Funding Table. • Total FY 11 Program Available Funding These are the figures that appear in the rows entitled ‘‘FY 2011 Appropriations—Program Available’’ and are the amounts of funding E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1 35427 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 117 / Friday, June 17, 2011 / Notices available for program(s) activities after Commission overhead has been deducted. The grand total for all program available funds appears at the end of the FY 2011 Funding Table. • Program Funding These are the figures that appear in the rows entitled with the specific Program and Sub-Program area, and are the amounts of funding the Draft FY 2011 Work Plan recommends, within each program fund source for program components. • Subtotal of Program Funding These are the figures that appear in rows entitled ‘‘subtotal’’ and are the subtotals of all program funding within a given fund source. The subtotal must always equal the Total FY 2011 Program Available Funding. Denali Commission FY 2011 Funding Table Totals FY 2011 Energy & Water Appropriation ......................................................................................................................... FY 2011 Across the Board Reduction ............................................................................................................................ FY 2011 Energy & Water Appropriation—Administrative Funds ................................................................................... FY 2011 Energy & Water Appropriation—Program Available ....................................................................................... Energy Emerging Energy Technology Program ......................................................................................................................... Bulk Fuel/RPSU Planning, Design & Construction ........................................................................................................ Renewable Energy Technical Assistance ...................................................................................................................... Total Energy Projects ..................................................................................................................................................... Health .............................................................................................................................................................................. Training Program—emphasis on building maintenance for an array of facilities to include health clinics ................... Economic Development .................................................................................................................................................. Solid Waste Program ...................................................................................................................................................... Sponsorship Program ..................................................................................................................................................... Sub-total $ ............................................................................................................................................................... $10,700,000 $21,400 $2,558,250 $8,120,350 $2,400,000 $3,770,350 Up to $300,000 $6,470,350 $700,000 $500,000 $250,000 $100,000 $100,000 $8,120,350 FY 2011 USDA, Rural Utilities Service (RUS)—pending estimate ................................................................................ FY 2011 USDA, Rural Utilities Service (RUS)—Program Available (less 4% overhead) ............................................. Bulk Fuel/RPSU Planning, Design & Construction ........................................................................................................ $0–$5,350,000 $0–$5,136,000 $0–$5,136,000 Sub-total $ ............................................................................................................................................................... $0–$5,136,000 FY 2011 Trans Alaska Pipeline Liability (TAPL) Trust ................................................................................................... FY 2011 Trans Alaska Pipeline Liability (TAPL)—Program Available (less 5% overhead) .......................................... Bulk Fuel Planning, Design & Construction ................................................................................................................... $7,010,000 $6,659,500 $6,659,500 Sub-total $ ............................................................................................................................................................... $6,659,500 FY 2011 Federal Transit Administration (FTA)—Estimate ............................................................................................. $5,000,000 from section 3011 (FTA) for docks and harbors FY 2011 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)—Estimate ...................................................................................... For necessary, expenses for the Denali Access System Program as authorized under Section 1960 of Public Law 109–59 FY 2011 Transportation Program Available—(less 5% overhead)—Estimate .............................................................. Transportation Program: Docks & Harbors—Estimate .................................................................................................. Transportation Program: Roads—Estimate .................................................................................................................... $5,000,000 $18,073,750 $4,750,000 $13,323,750 Sub-total $ ............................................................................................................................................................... $18,073,750 Total FY 2011 Federal Program Available—Estimate ..................................................................................... emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES FY 11 Program Details & General Information The following section provides narrative discussion, by each of the Commission Programs identified for FY 08 funding in the table above, in the following categories: • Program History and Approach; • FY 2011 Project Description; • FY 2011 Project Selection Process; • FY 2011 Program and Project Policy Issues (as applicable). Government Coordination The Commission is charged with the special role of increasing the effectiveness of government programs by acting as a catalyst to coordinate the many federal and state programs that VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:39 Jun 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 serve Alaska. In FY 2011 the Commission will continue its role of coordinating State and Federal agencies and other partner organizations to accomplish its overall mission of developing Alaska’s communities. Particular focus will be given to the collaborative efforts of the Commission’s Federal and State Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the Sustainable Rural Communities initiative. Strategies and next steps for this effort will be formulated as the Denali Commission leads this unique collaborative effort. No funding is dedicated to this activity. PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 $14,025,000 $32,853,600–$37,989,600 Energy Program The Energy Program is the Commission’s original program and is identified as a ‘‘legacy’’ program. The program focuses on bulk fuel facilities (BFU) and rural power system upgrades/ power generation (RPSU) across rural Alaska. About 94% of electricity in rural communities is produced by diesel generators and about half the fuel storage in most villages is used for these power plants for distribution. Alternative means of generating power can reduce the capacity needed for fuel storage and ultimately reduce the cost of power to the community. E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1 35428 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 117 / Friday, June 17, 2011 / Notices Alternative/Renewable Program The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established new authorities for the Commission’s Energy Program with an emphasis on alternative and renewable energy projects. Although the 2005 Energy Policy Act did not include appropriations, the Commission is expected to carry out the intent of the Act through a portion of its Energy and Water Appropriation funding. To date, the Commission has co-funded a number of renewable projects and each year new initiatives are considered. In 2007, the State of Alaska passed legislation and funded the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) which modeled the project selection process set forth by the Commission’s early investment. Emerging Technologies With the advent of the REF, more resources to meet commercial-ready renewable technology needs are now available. The area of emerging technologies, meaning pre-commercial, yet post-research/development, has become an appropriate role for the Commission in keeping with the congressional direction in 2005. A solicitation was conducted in FY 2009 identifying over $50 million in project requests (and only $4 million in available funds). In FY 2010, the Commission provided $3.1 million in funding to the program and a solicitation process is currently underway. Similar to the REF, this initiative is a leveraging opportunity with State of Alaska’s recent legislation for an emerging technology fund that could accept funds from multiple sources to meet needs. The goal of the program is to fund demonstration projects for applied research and further technologies focusing on replication in rural Alaska so they are commercially viable. emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES Other Renewable Initiatives In addition to the emerging technology program, the Commission has funded energy efficiency efforts with the goal of energy cost reduction and leveraging of funding sources. For example, in FY 2009 the Commission provided match funding to tribes that submitted group applications to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program under the Department of Energy. The Commission received 8 eligible group applications, representing 106 Alaskan tribes, totaling $456,710 in Commission funding and leveraging over $4 million of federal funding. While the FY 2011 Work Plan allocates all renewable funds toward emerging technologies, it also VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:39 Jun 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 recommends that if funds become available to support efforts to incentivize energy efficiency or other coordination opportunities around energy for rural Alaska, it be considered allowable. No funds are currently set aside for these needs. The FY 2011 Work Plan outlines a strategy to balance the Energy Program in both legacy and renewable components, providing up to $2.4 million of available program funds specifically toward the emerging technology program pending state match. If match for this program is not provided, this funding shall be reallocated to legacy projects. FY 2011 Program & Project Policy Issues Cost Share Match The approved FY 2008 Denali Commission Policy Document requires and prioritizes cost share match for funded projects. In implementing this policy, 10%, match was required in FY 2010. In FY 2011, in anticipation of mandated match language through one version of the appropriations process, Energy Advisory Committee (EAC) concurred with this direction of 50% for non-distressed and 20% for distressed communities. Since that language was not included in the final passed Continuing Resolution, the minimum 10% match will be required and projects with greater match may be prioritized for funding as in prior years. It is expected that future year appropriations will statutorily require match in the amounts of 50% for nondistressed and 20% for distressed communities. Sustainability Policy All energy construction grants will proceed after business plans are reviewed and approved by Commission staff. Additionally, Commission staff is expected to be engaged throughout the planning process of projects to assure policy requirements are adhered to earlier in the process. Construction Contingency Pool The Commission has historically handled construction cost overruns on an ongoing basis, with the requirement that those in excess of 10% be reported to Commissioners via an ‘‘exceptions report’’. No funding for contingency is recommended for FY 2011. FY 2011 Project Selection Process The Energy Advisory Committee (EAC) provides guidance to Commissioners and staff on the program, and is comprised of members involved in energy development in PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Alaska. Members include representatives of Associated General Contractors, Alaska AFL–CIO, Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Lab, the University of Alaska Institute of Northern Engineering, USDA, Kotzebue Electric Association and two public members representing rural Alaska. The EAC provided general recommendations supporting the ongoing priority for funding Bulk Fuel/Rural Power System Upgrade planning, design and construction, providing match funding for the emerging energy technology program and for renewable energy regional planning in coordination with the Alaska Energy Authority’s initiative to meet statewide energy infrastructure needs for all of the above. Legacy Program (Bulk Fuel/RPSU) Due to the nature of the due diligence requirement of energy projects, seasonal logistics in Alaska and funding restrictions (i.e. TAPL funds may only be used for bulk fuel projects)—a project may not progress as quickly as another. Given the late timing of funding in FY 2011, summer construction grants are not anticipated. A final project list will be developed based on available funds, project readiness, available match and other due diligence. EAC feedback on a final project list will be solicited prior to final grant execution. Emerging Technologies Program Newly passed state legislation creates a project selection process involving a Governor-appointed technical advisory committee to develop selection criteria and review proposals. Final project/ grant approval for Commission funds is subject to final approvalby the Federal Co-Chair. FY 2011 Energy Funding Strategy The energy funding strategy for the Energy Program allows for an estimated range of funds available for this legacy program with other areas fixed. Commissioners recommended funding strategy including $3,770,350 (Base), $5,136,000 (pending RUS) and $6,659,500 (TAPL) for legacy program. Following summarizes the total energy program funding strategy: Bulk Fuel and RPSU Legacy Program. Renewable Energy Planning. Emerging Technology Fund. Total Estimated Energy Funds. E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1 $10.4M–$15.6M $300K (up to) $2.4M ∼$13.1M– $18.3M 35429 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 117 / Friday, June 17, 2011 / Notices Health Facilities Program The Denali Commission Act was amended in 1999 to provide for the ‘‘planning, constructing and equipping of health facilities.’’ Since 1999, the Health Facilities Program has been methodically investing in the planning, design and construction of primary care clinics across Alaska. Primary care clinics have remained the ‘‘legacy’’ priority for the Program. However, in 2003 the ‘‘Other Than’’ primary care component of the Program was adopted in response to Congressional direction to fund a mix of other health and social service related facility needs. Over time, the Program has developed Program sub-areas such as Behavioral Health Facilities, Domestic Violence Facilities, Elder Housing, Primary Care in Hospitals, Emergency Medical Services Equipment and Hospital Designs. The Program has utilized a ‘‘universe of need’’ model for primary care and a competitive selection process for other sub-program areas. In 1999 the Program created a deficiency list for primary care clinics, which totaled 288 communities statewide in need of clinic replacement, expansion and/or renovation. Over the course of its history, the Commission has invested approximately $300 million in health projects, contributing to the repair, renovation or replacement of more than 115 clinics. This substantial investment represents progress in meeting the universe of needs; however, the facility work accomplished to date leaves a number of projects with the greatest need, limited local capacity, and in many cases low population. The Program is guided by the Health Steering Committee, an advisory body comprised of the following membership organizations: The State of Alaska, Alaska Primary Care Association, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, the Alaska Native Health Board, the Indian Health Service, the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Primary care clinics Fiscal year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 ..................................................................................... ..................................................................................... ..................................................................................... ..................................................................................... ..................................................................................... emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES Training Program Consistent with the Commission’s sustainability policy, the Training Program was instituted in 1999 as a core focus area of the Commission to ensure local residents were trained to construct, maintain and operate Commission investments in rural Alaska. The Training Advisory Committee (TrAC) provides guidance to Commissioners and staff on the program, and is comprised of members involved in rural job training. Members include representatives of Associated General Contractors, Department of Labor, Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, State of Alaska Office of Economic Development, Alaska AFL– CIO, Alaska Native Coalition on Employment and Training, and the University of Alaska. Primary Training Goals The Training Program is based on two primary goals. First, the Training Program supports the Denali Commission’s Sustainability Policy through workforce development. In rural Alaska, jobs are seasonal and rural VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:39 Jun 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 Primary care in hospitals $37,119,040 23,319,040 14,758,102 7,267,400 700,000 $2,500,000 4,000,000 1,526,746 734,700 0 Home Association, and the University of Alaska. Consistent with the decrease in funding, the Health Program proposes one major project in FY 2011: Small Clinic Program Partner: Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Several small communities and villages across Alaska remain identified with prioritized health facility needs. High energy costs and small populations create a dilemma for these communities that need new clinics. The newly developed small clinic prototypes (all under 1,000 SF) are suitable for many of these communities. The Health Program will provide technical assistance, planning and design for a small number of communities. Funding Summary For historical context, the following reflects the past allocations of Health Facilities Program appropriations across the program component areas: Elder supportive housing $0 5,840,890 1,901,420 805,000 0 Behavioral health $5,063,000 5,000,000 1,017,831 492,900 0 Other program areas $637,000 0 0 0 0 residents are versatile in taking on a wide range of job types based on availability. Often rural residents move from construction to administration to allied health and other lines of work to sustain their families and remain in their community. It has been a longstanding goal of the Commission to create and sustain local jobs as a result of infrastructure development. The second goal is to assure rural training systems can stand-alone and/or are upheld by federal, state, regional and local collaboration. These training systems have augmented a community’s ability to remain competent on the management and operations of public facilities. The Commission continues to provide a nexus to federal, state, regional and local entities for improved coordination between project development and job training. facility operation, maintenance and management. • University of Alaska develops and facilitates the delivery of allied health training to rural communities via distant and on-site learning methods. • Alaska Works Partnership develops and facilitates the delivery of construction trade training and registered apprenticeship programs to rural Alaska. • Associated General Contractors/ Construction Education Foundation (CEF) is developing access to construction trades through the enhancement of construction career pathways and the development of Rural Construction Academies in Nome, Bethel, Kodiak and Bristol Bay. • First Alaskans facilitates a successful leadership development project for young Alaskans. Program Partners • Department of Labor and Workforce Development is the administrator of the Denali Training Fund (DTF), a public competitive grant opportunity targeted at training for Denali Commission projects, energy conservation and public Training Funding Strategy PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Commissioner recommendation for FY11 Training Program funding totals $500,000 of Energy & Water Appropriations. These funds are intended to accomplish the specific goal of protecting the Commission’s E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1 35430 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 117 / Friday, June 17, 2011 / Notices emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with NOTICES infrastructure investment by providing both training and financial support toward all phases of facility maintenance in rural Alaska. This activity shall include, but is not limited to, a focus on the ∼125 Commissionfunded health facilities, multi-use and community facilities, energy facilities or other rural infrastructure. The funds shall be allocated through a clear strategy that is not duplicative of existing programs, yet may identify existing programs that may be supplanted to accomplish this objective. The strategy may identify existing gaps in current systems while emphasizing protecting Commission-funded infrastructure through building maintenance and construction activities. Transportation Section 309 of the Denali Commission Act 1998 (amended), created the Commission’s Transportation Program, including the Transportation Advisory Committee. The advisory committee is composed of nine members appointed by the Governor of the State of Alaska including the Chairman of the Denali Commission; four members who represent existing regional native corporations, native nonprofit entities, or tribal governments, including one member who is a civil engineer; and four members who represent rural Alaska regions or villages, including one member who is a civil engineer. The Transportation Program addresses two areas of rural Alaska transportation infrastructure: Roads and waterfront development. There is consensus among agencies and communities that the program is successfully addressing improvements to local and regional transportation systems. This is largely a function of the TAC’s success at project selection and monitoring, and the success of the program’s project development partners. The program is generally a competitively-bid contractor or materials-based project opportunity grounded in Title 23 CFR. These strict project development and construction guidelines have presented some challenges to the Commission’s ability to respond quickly to targets of opportunity, but they have also had the positive effect of ensuring project design and construction is executed at a professional level. The program operates under a reimbursable payment system that requires local and program partner sponsors to pay close attention to accounting procedures prior to their payments to contractors and vendors. This system helps ensure project payments are eligible when submitted to the Commission. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:39 Jun 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 In FY 2011 the program will continue its focus on barge landings and mooring points in rural communities. These projects range from one or two mooring points to secure a barge, to small dock structures, depending on community size and barge operation characteristics. The value of these structures lies in improved fuel/freight transfer operations and improved worker and environmental safety. The Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will continue to work through the prioritized list of barge landing and mooring point projects which were identified in a formal analysis conducted in FY 2009 and FY 2010. The universe of need for the first generation of projects is in the range of $40,000,000. The TAC met on January 18–20, 2011 to select waterfront projects and March 3–4, 2011 to select road project priorities for FY 2011. Final project approvals and funding amounts have been approved by the Federal Co-Chair and are available on the Commission’s Web site. Economic Development One of the purposes of the Commission is to support economic development activities across Alaska. The Commission supports the development of public infrastructure upon which allows for job creation and strategic wealth reinvestment. Additionally, the Commission supports projects which can ensure that good business ideas have a chance to become long-term, self-sustaining enterprises. Over the history of the program, the Commission has supported and advanced a wide-array of Economic Development Program activities ranging from community profile mapping to supporting innovative models for lending, and equity investment in Alaska. The program is guided by Commission staff and the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), which provides general policy guidance and funding recommendations in broad categories. The EDAC met on April 20, 2011 to recommend projects and program funding amounts to the Commission for FY 2011. Other Program and Policy Issues Solid Waste Program In Fiscal Years 2004 through 2009, the Denali Commission received annual funding to address deficiencies in solid waste disposal sites threatening to contaminate rural drinking water supplies. Annual funding reached than $1.5 million in FY 2005. By FY 2008 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 program funding for the Solid Waste Program was $437,000. Solid waste continues to be a major health and safety issue in rural Alaska. In keeping with the Commission’s goal of intergovernmental coordination and leveraging of funding sources, an opportunity in FY 2011 to leverage funds for the Solid Waste Program has been identified. Through partnerships with the USDA-Rural Development, RuralCap, Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), funding in the amount of $250– 350k can be leveraged with $100k in match from the Commission. The FY 2011 Draft Work Plan document includes $100,000 in Energy and Water funding for this purpose. Grants will be awarded through a competitive Request For Proposal (RFP) process utilizing a multi-agency review panel to score and select projects to fund. Of note, this investment in solid waste may be an example for future Commission program funding. Historically, the solid waste projects were largely funded by the Commission. With this FY 2011 solid waste effort, the Commission funding will be a minority funder to the USDA community facilities program (which is one of few USDA programs that can be ‘‘matched’’ with other Federal funding sources). Sponsorship Program The Commission plans to continue conference sponsorships in FY 2011. Commissioners reinstated Conference sponsorship funding for events that were consistent with the Commission’s mission and values in 2006. Sponsorship activities provide a positive venue for communicating Commission activities. Sponsorship opportunities also provide Commission outreach to a wide variety of events and audiences. Events sponsored by the Commission promote key programmatic areas that are in alignment with the Commission’s values and mission, including efforts in alternativerenewable energy conferences, health, training and leadership and transportation. In FY 2011 this program will be funded in the amount of $100,000. Events funded will be in line with the major program areas at the Commission and will have a statewide focus. Corrine Eilo, Director of Administration. [FR Doc. 2011–15051 Filed 6–16–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3300–01–P E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 117 (Friday, June 17, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35426-35430]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-15051]


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DENALI COMMISSION


Denali Commission Fiscal Year 2011 Draft Work Plan

AGENCY: Denali Commission.

ACTION: Notice

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SUMMARY: The Denali Commission (Commission) is an independent federal 
agency based on an innovative federal-state partnership designed to 
provide critical utilities, infrastructure and support for economic 
development and in training in Alaska by delivering federal services in 
the most cost-effective manner possible. The Commission was created in 
1998 with passage of the October 21, 1998 Denali Commission Act (Act) 
(Title III of Pub. L. 105-277, 42 USC 3121). The Denali Commission Act 
requires that the Commission develop proposed work plans for future 
spending and that the annual Work Plan be published in the Federal 
Register, providing an opportunity for a 30-day period of public review 
and written comment.
    This Federal Register notice serves to announce the 30-day 
opportunity for public comment on the Denali Commission Draft Work Plan 
for Federal Fiscal Year 2011.

DATES: Comments and related material to be received by July 13, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to the Denali Commission, Attention: Sabrina 
Hoppas, 510 L Street, Suite 410, Anchorage, AK 99501.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sabrina Hoppas, Denali Commission, 
510 L Street, Suite 410, Anchorage, AK 99501. Telephone: (907) 271-
1414. E-mail: shoppas@denali.gov.
    Background: The Denali Commission (Commission) is an independent 
federal agency based on an innovative federal-state partnership 
designed to provide critical utilities, infrastructure and support for 
economic development and training in Alaska by delivering federal 
services in the most cost-effective manner possible. The Commission was 
created in 1998 with passage of the October 21, 1998, Denali Commission 
Act (Act) (Title III of Pub. L. 105-277, 42 U.S.C. 3121).
    The Commission's mission is to partner with tribal, federal, state, 
and local governments and collaborate with all Alaskans to improve the 
effectiveness and efficiency of government services, to develop a well-
trained labor force employed in a diversified and sustainable economy, 
and to build and ensure the operation and maintenance of Alaska's basic 
infrastructure.
    By creating the Commission, Congress mandated that all parties 
involved partner together to find new and innovative solutions to the 
unique infrastructure and economic development challenges in America's 
most remote communities.
    Pursuant to the Denali Commission Act, as amended, the Commission 
determines its own basic operating principles and funding criteria on 
an annual federal fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) basis. The 
Commission outlines these priorities and funding recommendations in an 
annual Work Plan. The Work Plan is adopted on an annual basis in the 
following manner, which occurs sequentially as listed:
     Commissioners first forward an approved draft version of 
the Work Plan to the Federal Co-Chair.
     The Federal Co-Chair approves the draft Work Plan for 
publication in the Federal Register providing an opportunity for a 30-
day period of public review and written comment. During this time, the 
draft Work Plan is also disseminated widely to Commission program 
partners including, but not limited to the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
(BIA), the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and the United 
States Department of Agriculture--Rural Development (USDA-RD).
     Public comment concludes and Commission staff provides the 
Federal Co-Chair with a summary of public comment and recommendations, 
if any, associated with the draft Work Plan.
     If no revisions are made to the draft, the Federal Co-
Chair provides notice of approval of the Work Plan to the 
Commissioners, and forwards the Work Plan to the Secretary of Commerce 
for approval; or, if there are revisions the Federal Co-Chair provides 
notice of modifications to the Commissioners for their consideration 
and approval, and upon receipt of approval from Commissioners, forwards 
the Work Plan to the Secretary of Commerce for approval.
     The Secretary of Commerce approves the Work Plan.

The Work Plan authorizes the Federal Co-Chair to enter into grant 
agreements, award grants and contracts and obligate the federal funds 
identified by appropriation in the chart below.

FY 11 Appropriations Summary

    The Denali Commission has historically received several federal 
funding sources (identified by the varying colors in the table below). 
These fund sources are governed by the following general principles:
     In FY 2011 no project specific earmarks were directed.
     The Energy and Water Appropriation is eligible for use in 
all programs, but has historically been used substantively to fund the 
Energy Program.
     The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established new authorities 
for the Commission's Energy Program, with an emphasis on renewable and 
alternative energy projects. No new funding accompanied the Energy 
Policy Act, and prior fiscal year Congressional direction has indicated 
that the Commission should fund renewable and alternative Energy 
Program activities from the available Energy and Water appropriation.
     All other funds outlined below may be used only for the 
specific program area and may not be used across programs. For 
instance, Federal Transit Administration funding, which has in the past 
been appropriated for the Transportation Program, may not be moved to 
the Energy Program.
     Final transportation funds received may be reduced due to 
agency modifications, reductions and fees determined by the U.S. 
Department of Transportation. Final program available figures may not 
be provided until later this spring.
     All Energy and Water Appropriation funds, including 
operational funds, designated as ``up to'' may be reassigned to the 
Legacy Energy Program, Bulk Fuel and Rural Power System Upgrades, if 
they are not fully expended in a program component area or a specific 
project.
     Total FY 2011 Budgetary Resources Provided in the 
Continuing Resolution
    These are the figures that appear in the rows entitled ``FY 2011 
Appropriation'' and are the original appropriations amounts which do 
not include Commission overhead deductions. These funds are identified 
by their source name (i.e., Energy and Water Appropriation, USDA-RUS, 
etc.). The grand total for all appropriations appears at the end of the 
FY 2011 Funding Table.
     Total FY 11 Program Available Funding
    These are the figures that appear in the rows entitled ``FY 2011 
Appropriations--Program Available'' and are the amounts of funding

[[Page 35427]]

available for program(s) activities after Commission overhead has been 
deducted. The grand total for all program available funds appears at 
the end of the FY 2011 Funding Table.
     Program Funding
    These are the figures that appear in the rows entitled with the 
specific Program and Sub-Program area, and are the amounts of funding 
the Draft FY 2011 Work Plan recommends, within each program fund source 
for program components.
     Subtotal of Program Funding
    These are the figures that appear in rows entitled ``subtotal'' and 
are the subtotals of all program funding within a given fund source. 
The subtotal must always equal the Total FY 2011 Program Available 
Funding.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Denali Commission FY 2011 Funding
               Table                               Totals
------------------------------------------------------------------------
FY 2011 Energy & Water              $10,700,000
 Appropriation.
FY 2011 Across the Board Reduction  $21,400
FY 2011 Energy & Water              $2,558,250
 Appropriation--Administrative
 Funds.
FY 2011 Energy & Water              $8,120,350
 Appropriation--Program Available.
Energy                              ....................................
Emerging Energy Technology Program  $2,400,000
Bulk Fuel/RPSU Planning, Design &   $3,770,350
 Construction.
Renewable Energy Technical          Up to $300,000
 Assistance.
Total Energy Projects.............  $6,470,350
Health............................  $700,000
Training Program--emphasis on       $500,000
 building maintenance for an array
 of facilities to include health
 clinics.
Economic Development..............  $250,000
Solid Waste Program...............  $100,000
Sponsorship Program...............  $100,000
                                   -------------------------------------
    Sub-total $...................  $8,120,350
                                   =====================================
FY 2011 USDA, Rural Utilities       $0-$5,350,000
 Service (RUS)--pending estimate.
FY 2011 USDA, Rural Utilities       $0-$5,136,000
 Service (RUS)--Program Available
 (less 4% overhead).
Bulk Fuel/RPSU Planning, Design &   $0-$5,136,000
 Construction.
                                   -------------------------------------
    Sub-total $...................  $0-$5,136,000
                                   =====================================
FY 2011 Trans Alaska Pipeline       $7,010,000
 Liability (TAPL) Trust.
FY 2011 Trans Alaska Pipeline       $6,659,500
 Liability (TAPL)--Program
 Available (less 5% overhead).
Bulk Fuel Planning, Design &        $6,659,500
 Construction.
                                   -------------------------------------
    Sub-total $...................  $6,659,500
                                   =====================================
FY 2011 Federal Transit             $5,000,000
 Administration (FTA)--Estimate.
$5,000,000 from section 3011 (FTA)
 for docks and harbors
FY 2011 Federal Highway             $14,025,000
 Administration (FHWA)--Estimate.
For necessary, expenses for the
 Denali Access System Program as
 authorized under Section 1960 of
 Public Law 109-59
FY 2011 Transportation Program      $18,073,750
 Available--(less 5% overhead)--
 Estimate.
Transportation Program: Docks &     $4,750,000
 Harbors--Estimate.
Transportation Program: Roads--     $13,323,750
 Estimate.
                                   -------------------------------------
    Sub-total $...................  $18,073,750
                                   =====================================
        Total FY 2011 Federal       $32,853,600-$37,989,600
         Program Available--
         Estimate.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

FY 11 Program Details & General Information

    The following section provides narrative discussion, by each of the 
Commission Programs identified for FY 08 funding in the table above, in 
the following categories:
     Program History and Approach;
     FY 2011 Project Description;
     FY 2011 Project Selection Process;
     FY 2011 Program and Project Policy Issues (as applicable).

Government Coordination

    The Commission is charged with the special role of increasing the 
effectiveness of government programs by acting as a catalyst to 
coordinate the many federal and state programs that serve Alaska. In FY 
2011 the Commission will continue its role of coordinating State and 
Federal agencies and other partner organizations to accomplish its 
overall mission of developing Alaska's communities. Particular focus 
will be given to the collaborative efforts of the Commission's Federal 
and State Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the Sustainable Rural 
Communities initiative. Strategies and next steps for this effort will 
be formulated as the Denali Commission leads this unique collaborative 
effort. No funding is dedicated to this activity.

Energy Program

    The Energy Program is the Commission's original program and is 
identified as a ``legacy'' program. The program focuses on bulk fuel 
facilities (BFU) and rural power system upgrades/power generation 
(RPSU) across rural Alaska. About 94% of electricity in rural 
communities is produced by diesel generators and about half the fuel 
storage in most villages is used for these power plants for 
distribution. Alternative means of generating power can reduce the 
capacity needed for fuel storage and ultimately reduce the cost of 
power to the community.

[[Page 35428]]

Alternative/Renewable Program

    The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established new authorities for the 
Commission's Energy Program with an emphasis on alternative and 
renewable energy projects. Although the 2005 Energy Policy Act did not 
include appropriations, the Commission is expected to carry out the 
intent of the Act through a portion of its Energy and Water 
Appropriation funding. To date, the Commission has co-funded a number 
of renewable projects and each year new initiatives are considered. In 
2007, the State of Alaska passed legislation and funded the Renewable 
Energy Fund (REF) which modeled the project selection process set forth 
by the Commission's early investment.

Emerging Technologies

    With the advent of the REF, more resources to meet commercial-ready 
renewable technology needs are now available. The area of emerging 
technologies, meaning pre-commercial, yet post-research/development, 
has become an appropriate role for the Commission in keeping with the 
congressional direction in 2005. A solicitation was conducted in FY 
2009 identifying over $50 million in project requests (and only $4 
million in available funds). In FY 2010, the Commission provided $3.1 
million in funding to the program and a solicitation process is 
currently underway. Similar to the REF, this initiative is a leveraging 
opportunity with State of Alaska's recent legislation for an emerging 
technology fund that could accept funds from multiple sources to meet 
needs. The goal of the program is to fund demonstration projects for 
applied research and further technologies focusing on replication in 
rural Alaska so they are commercially viable.

Other Renewable Initiatives

    In addition to the emerging technology program, the Commission has 
funded energy efficiency efforts with the goal of energy cost reduction 
and leveraging of funding sources. For example, in FY 2009 the 
Commission provided match funding to tribes that submitted group 
applications to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant 
program under the Department of Energy. The Commission received 8 
eligible group applications, representing 106 Alaskan tribes, totaling 
$456,710 in Commission funding and leveraging over $4 million of 
federal funding. While the FY 2011 Work Plan allocates all renewable 
funds toward emerging technologies, it also recommends that if funds 
become available to support efforts to incentivize energy efficiency or 
other coordination opportunities around energy for rural Alaska, it be 
considered allowable. No funds are currently set aside for these needs.
    The FY 2011 Work Plan outlines a strategy to balance the Energy 
Program in both legacy and renewable components, providing up to $2.4 
million of available program funds specifically toward the emerging 
technology program pending state match. If match for this program is 
not provided, this funding shall be reallocated to legacy projects.

FY 2011 Program & Project Policy Issues

Cost Share Match

    The approved FY 2008 Denali Commission Policy Document requires and 
prioritizes cost share match for funded projects. In implementing this 
policy, 10%, match was required in FY 2010. In FY 2011, in anticipation 
of mandated match language through one version of the appropriations 
process, Energy Advisory Committee (EAC) concurred with this direction 
of 50% for non-distressed and 20% for distressed communities. Since 
that language was not included in the final passed Continuing 
Resolution, the minimum 10% match will be required and projects with 
greater match may be prioritized for funding as in prior years. It is 
expected that future year appropriations will statutorily require match 
in the amounts of 50% for non-distressed and 20% for distressed 
communities.

Sustainability Policy

    All energy construction grants will proceed after business plans 
are reviewed and approved by Commission staff. Additionally, Commission 
staff is expected to be engaged throughout the planning process of 
projects to assure policy requirements are adhered to earlier in the 
process.

Construction Contingency Pool

    The Commission has historically handled construction cost overruns 
on an ongoing basis, with the requirement that those in excess of 10% 
be reported to Commissioners via an ``exceptions report''. No funding 
for contingency is recommended for FY 2011.

FY 2011 Project Selection Process

    The Energy Advisory Committee (EAC) provides guidance to 
Commissioners and staff on the program, and is comprised of members 
involved in energy development in Alaska. Members include 
representatives of Associated General Contractors, Alaska AFL-CIO, 
Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Lab, the University of 
Alaska Institute of Northern Engineering, USDA, Kotzebue Electric 
Association and two public members representing rural Alaska. The EAC 
provided general recommendations supporting the ongoing priority for 
funding Bulk Fuel/Rural Power System Upgrade planning, design and 
construction, providing match funding for the emerging energy 
technology program and for renewable energy regional planning in 
coordination with the Alaska Energy Authority's initiative to meet 
statewide energy infrastructure needs for all of the above.

Legacy Program (Bulk Fuel/RPSU)

    Due to the nature of the due diligence requirement of energy 
projects, seasonal logistics in Alaska and funding restrictions (i.e. 
TAPL funds may only be used for bulk fuel projects)--a project may not 
progress as quickly as another. Given the late timing of funding in FY 
2011, summer construction grants are not anticipated. A final project 
list will be developed based on available funds, project readiness, 
available match and other due diligence. EAC feedback on a final 
project list will be solicited prior to final grant execution.

Emerging Technologies Program

    Newly passed state legislation creates a project selection process 
involving a Governor-appointed technical advisory committee to develop 
selection criteria and review proposals. Final project/grant approval 
for Commission funds is subject to final approvalby the Federal Co-
Chair.

FY 2011 Energy Funding Strategy

    The energy funding strategy for the Energy Program allows for an 
estimated range of funds available for this legacy program with other 
areas fixed. Commissioners recommended funding strategy including 
$3,770,350 (Base), $5,136,000 (pending RUS) and $6,659,500 (TAPL) for 
legacy program. Following summarizes the total energy program funding 
strategy:


Bulk Fuel and RPSU Legacy Program......  $10.4M-$15.6M
Renewable Energy Planning..............  $300K (up to)
Emerging Technology Fund...............  $2.4M
                                        --------------------------------
    Total Estimated Energy Funds.......  ~$13.1M-$18.3M
                                        --------------------------------
 


[[Page 35429]]

Health Facilities Program

    The Denali Commission Act was amended in 1999 to provide for the 
``planning, constructing and equipping of health facilities.'' Since 
1999, the Health Facilities Program has been methodically investing in 
the planning, design and construction of primary care clinics across 
Alaska.
    Primary care clinics have remained the ``legacy'' priority for the 
Program. However, in 2003 the ``Other Than'' primary care component of 
the Program was adopted in response to Congressional direction to fund 
a mix of other health and social service related facility needs. Over 
time, the Program has developed Program sub-areas such as Behavioral 
Health Facilities, Domestic Violence Facilities, Elder Housing, Primary 
Care in Hospitals, Emergency Medical Services Equipment and Hospital 
Designs. The Program has utilized a ``universe of need'' model for 
primary care and a competitive selection process for other sub-program 
areas. In 1999 the Program created a deficiency list for primary care 
clinics, which totaled 288 communities statewide in need of clinic 
replacement, expansion and/or renovation. Over the course of its 
history, the Commission has invested approximately $300 million in 
health projects, contributing to the repair, renovation or replacement 
of more than 115 clinics. This substantial investment represents 
progress in meeting the universe of needs; however, the facility work 
accomplished to date leaves a number of projects with the greatest 
need, limited local capacity, and in many cases low population.
    The Program is guided by the Health Steering Committee, an advisory 
body comprised of the following membership organizations: The State of 
Alaska, Alaska Primary Care Association, the Alaska Native Tribal 
Health Consortium, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, the Alaska 
Native Health Board, the Indian Health Service, the Alaska State 
Hospital and Nursing Home Association, and the University of Alaska.
    Consistent with the decrease in funding, the Health Program 
proposes one major project in FY 2011:

Small Clinic Program

Partner: Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC)
    Several small communities and villages across Alaska remain 
identified with prioritized health facility needs. High energy costs 
and small populations create a dilemma for these communities that need 
new clinics. The newly developed small clinic prototypes (all under 
1,000 SF) are suitable for many of these communities. The Health 
Program will provide technical assistance, planning and design for a 
small number of communities.

Funding Summary

    For historical context, the following reflects the past allocations 
of Health Facilities Program appropriations across the program 
component areas:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       Elder
           Fiscal year             Primary care    Primary care     supportive      Behavioral     Other program
                                      clinics      in hospitals       housing         health           areas
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2007............................     $37,119,040      $2,500,000              $0      $5,063,000        $637,000
2008............................      23,319,040       4,000,000       5,840,890       5,000,000               0
2009............................      14,758,102       1,526,746       1,901,420       1,017,831               0
2010............................       7,267,400         734,700         805,000         492,900               0
2011............................         700,000               0               0               0               0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Training Program

    Consistent with the Commission's sustainability policy, the 
Training Program was instituted in 1999 as a core focus area of the 
Commission to ensure local residents were trained to construct, 
maintain and operate Commission investments in rural Alaska. The 
Training Advisory Committee (TrAC) provides guidance to Commissioners 
and staff on the program, and is comprised of members involved in rural 
job training. Members include representatives of Associated General 
Contractors, Department of Labor, Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, 
State of Alaska Office of Economic Development, Alaska AFL-CIO, Alaska 
Native Coalition on Employment and Training, and the University of 
Alaska.

Primary Training Goals

    The Training Program is based on two primary goals. First, the 
Training Program supports the Denali Commission's Sustainability Policy 
through workforce development. In rural Alaska, jobs are seasonal and 
rural residents are versatile in taking on a wide range of job types 
based on availability. Often rural residents move from construction to 
administration to allied health and other lines of work to sustain 
their families and remain in their community. It has been a 
longstanding goal of the Commission to create and sustain local jobs as 
a result of infrastructure development.
    The second goal is to assure rural training systems can stand-alone 
and/or are upheld by federal, state, regional and local collaboration. 
These training systems have augmented a community's ability to remain 
competent on the management and operations of public facilities. The 
Commission continues to provide a nexus to federal, state, regional and 
local entities for improved coordination between project development 
and job training.

Program Partners

     Department of Labor and Workforce Development is the 
administrator of the Denali Training Fund (DTF), a public competitive 
grant opportunity targeted at training for Denali Commission projects, 
energy conservation and public facility operation, maintenance and 
management.
     University of Alaska develops and facilitates the delivery 
of allied health training to rural communities via distant and on-site 
learning methods.
     Alaska Works Partnership develops and facilitates the 
delivery of construction trade training and registered apprenticeship 
programs to rural Alaska.
     Associated General Contractors/Construction Education 
Foundation (CEF) is developing access to construction trades through 
the enhancement of construction career pathways and the development of 
Rural Construction Academies in Nome, Bethel, Kodiak and Bristol Bay.
     First Alaskans facilitates a successful leadership 
development project for young Alaskans.

Training Funding Strategy

    Commissioner recommendation for FY11 Training Program funding 
totals $500,000 of Energy & Water Appropriations. These funds are 
intended to accomplish the specific goal of protecting the Commission's

[[Page 35430]]

infrastructure investment by providing both training and financial 
support toward all phases of facility maintenance in rural Alaska. This 
activity shall include, but is not limited to, a focus on the ~125 
Commission-funded health facilities, multi-use and community 
facilities, energy facilities or other rural infrastructure. The funds 
shall be allocated through a clear strategy that is not duplicative of 
existing programs, yet may identify existing programs that may be 
supplanted to accomplish this objective. The strategy may identify 
existing gaps in current systems while emphasizing protecting 
Commission-funded infrastructure through building maintenance and 
construction activities.

Transportation

    Section 309 of the Denali Commission Act 1998 (amended), created 
the Commission's Transportation Program, including the Transportation 
Advisory Committee. The advisory committee is composed of nine members 
appointed by the Governor of the State of Alaska including the Chairman 
of the Denali Commission; four members who represent existing regional 
native corporations, native nonprofit entities, or tribal governments, 
including one member who is a civil engineer; and four members who 
represent rural Alaska regions or villages, including one member who is 
a civil engineer.
    The Transportation Program addresses two areas of rural Alaska 
transportation infrastructure: Roads and waterfront development. There 
is consensus among agencies and communities that the program is 
successfully addressing improvements to local and regional 
transportation systems. This is largely a function of the TAC's success 
at project selection and monitoring, and the success of the program's 
project development partners. The program is generally a competitively-
bid contractor or materials-based project opportunity grounded in Title 
23 CFR. These strict project development and construction guidelines 
have presented some challenges to the Commission's ability to respond 
quickly to targets of opportunity, but they have also had the positive 
effect of ensuring project design and construction is executed at a 
professional level. The program operates under a reimbursable payment 
system that requires local and program partner sponsors to pay close 
attention to accounting procedures prior to their payments to 
contractors and vendors. This system helps ensure project payments are 
eligible when submitted to the Commission.
    In FY 2011 the program will continue its focus on barge landings 
and mooring points in rural communities. These projects range from one 
or two mooring points to secure a barge, to small dock structures, 
depending on community size and barge operation characteristics. The 
value of these structures lies in improved fuel/freight transfer 
operations and improved worker and environmental safety. The Commission 
and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will continue to work 
through the prioritized list of barge landing and mooring point 
projects which were identified in a formal analysis conducted in FY 
2009 and FY 2010. The universe of need for the first generation of 
projects is in the range of $40,000,000.
    The TAC met on January 18-20, 2011 to select waterfront projects 
and March 3-4, 2011 to select road project priorities for FY 2011. 
Final project approvals and funding amounts have been approved by the 
Federal Co-Chair and are available on the Commission's Web site.

Economic Development

    One of the purposes of the Commission is to support economic 
development activities across Alaska. The Commission supports the 
development of public infrastructure upon which allows for job creation 
and strategic wealth reinvestment. Additionally, the Commission 
supports projects which can ensure that good business ideas have a 
chance to become long-term, self-sustaining enterprises.
    Over the history of the program, the Commission has supported and 
advanced a wide-array of Economic Development Program activities 
ranging from community profile mapping to supporting innovative models 
for lending, and equity investment in Alaska.
    The program is guided by Commission staff and the Economic 
Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), which provides general policy 
guidance and funding recommendations in broad categories. The EDAC met 
on April 20, 2011 to recommend projects and program funding amounts to 
the Commission for FY 2011.

Other Program and Policy Issues

Solid Waste Program

    In Fiscal Years 2004 through 2009, the Denali Commission received 
annual funding to address deficiencies in solid waste disposal sites 
threatening to contaminate rural drinking water supplies. Annual 
funding reached than $1.5 million in FY 2005. By FY 2008 program 
funding for the Solid Waste Program was $437,000. Solid waste continues 
to be a major health and safety issue in rural Alaska.
    In keeping with the Commission's goal of intergovernmental 
coordination and leveraging of funding sources, an opportunity in FY 
2011 to leverage funds for the Solid Waste Program has been identified. 
Through partnerships with the USDA-Rural Development, RuralCap, Rural 
Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) and the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA), funding in the amount of $250-350k can be 
leveraged with $100k in match from the Commission. The FY 2011 Draft 
Work Plan document includes $100,000 in Energy and Water funding for 
this purpose. Grants will be awarded through a competitive Request For 
Proposal (RFP) process utilizing a multi-agency review panel to score 
and select projects to fund. Of note, this investment in solid waste 
may be an example for future Commission program funding. Historically, 
the solid waste projects were largely funded by the Commission. With 
this FY 2011 solid waste effort, the Commission funding will be a 
minority funder to the USDA community facilities program (which is one 
of few USDA programs that can be ``matched'' with other Federal funding 
sources).

Sponsorship Program

    The Commission plans to continue conference sponsorships in FY 
2011. Commissioners reinstated Conference sponsorship funding for 
events that were consistent with the Commission's mission and values in 
2006.
    Sponsorship activities provide a positive venue for communicating 
Commission activities. Sponsorship opportunities also provide 
Commission outreach to a wide variety of events and audiences. Events 
sponsored by the Commission promote key programmatic areas that are in 
alignment with the Commission's values and mission, including efforts 
in alternative-renewable energy conferences, health, training and 
leadership and transportation.
    In FY 2011 this program will be funded in the amount of $100,000. 
Events funded will be in line with the major program areas at the 
Commission and will have a statewide focus.

Corrine Eilo,
Director of Administration.
[FR Doc. 2011-15051 Filed 6-16-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3300-01-P