Research, Technical Assistance, and Training Programs: Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines, 19396-19399 [2015-08246]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 19396 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 69 / Friday, April 10, 2015 / Notices County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 1.400 mgd; Approval Date: January 14, 2015. 20. Carrizo (Marcellus), LLC, Pad ID: Solanick 5H, ABR–201007007.R1, Washington Township, Wyoming County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 1.400 mgd; Approval Date: January 14, 2015. 21. Chief Oil & Gas LLC, Pad ID: Squier Drilling Pad #1, ABR– 201007008.R1, Springville Township, Susquehanna County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 2.000 mgd; Approval Date: January 16, 2015. 22. Pennsylvania General Energy Company, LLC, Pad ID: COP Tract 729 Pad C, ABR–201008051.R1, Cummings Township, Lycoming County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 3.000 mgd; Approval Date: January 16, 2015. 23. Pennsylvania General Energy Company, LLC, Pad ID: COP Tract 729 Pad D, ABR–201008052.R1, Cummings Township, Lycoming County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 3.000 mgd; Approval Date: January 16, 2015. 24. Pennsylvania General Energy Company, LLC, Pad ID: Shannon Todd Pad A, ABR–201009006.R1, Todd Township, Huntingdon County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 3.000 mgd; Approval Date: January 16, 2015. 25. Inflection Energy (PA), LLC, Pad ID: Fox Well Site, ABR–201501004, Eldred Township, Lycoming County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 4.000 mgd; Approval Date: January 29, 2015. 26. Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, Pad ID: Yengo, ABR–20100206.R1, Cherry Township, Sullivan County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 7.500 mgd; Approval Date: January 30, 2015. 27. Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, Pad ID: Allford, ABR–20100412.R1, Smithfield Township, Bradford County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 7.500 mgd; Approval Date: January 30, 2015. 28. Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, Pad ID: A&M, ABR–201501005, Wilmot Township, Bradford County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 7.500 mgd; Approval Date: January 30, 2015. 29. Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, Pad ID: Samantha, ABR–201501006, Forkston Township, Wyoming County, Pa.; Consumptive Use of Up to 7.500 mgd; Approval Date: January 30, 2015. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Authority: Pub. L. 91–575, 84 Stat. 1509 et seq., 18 CFR parts 806, 807, and 808. DOT. Dated: April 2, 2015. Stephanie L. Richardson, Secretary to the Commission. BILLING CODE P 7040–01–P 20:09 Apr 09, 2015 Notice of Availability of a Record of Decision for the Trunk Highway 41 River Crossing Tier I Final Environmental Impact Statement Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: On March 16, 2015, the Minnesota Division of the FHWA signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Trunk Highway 41 River Crossing Tier I Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The ROD states the FHWA decision to declare the modified Alternative C–2 corridor as the selected alternative. The selected alternative involves the construction of a new eastwest freeway connection between US 169 and US 212 within the modified Alternative C–2 corridor. The selected alternative is the environmentallypreferred alternative. The Tier I FEIS was made available to the public on December 12, 2014, through an NOA in the Federal Register (79 FR 73890) with a comment period that ended on January 12, 2015. See FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT to request a copy of the ROD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Philip Forst, Environmental Specialist, Federal Highway Administration, Minnesota Division, 380 Jackson Street, Ste. 500, Saint Paul, MN 55101, (651) 291–6110. SUMMARY: Authority: 40 CFR 1505.2 Issued on: March 31, 2015. David J. Scott, Acting Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration. [FR Doc. 2015–08186 Filed 4–9–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA–2014–0017] Research, Technical Assistance, and Training Programs: Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, Notice of availability of final circular. ACTION: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the docket and on its Web site, guidance in the form of an updated circular to assist SUMMARY: [FR Doc. 2015–08253 Filed 4–9–15; 8:45 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Highway Administration Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 applicants and recipients in implementing research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects, technical assistance projects, standards development projects, and human resources and training projects. The purpose of this circular is to provide FTA recipients updated instructions and guidance on application procedures and project management responsibilities. The revisions to FTA Circular 6100.1D are a result of changes made to FTA’s Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Program (Section 5312), its Technical Assistance and Standards Development Program (Section 5314), and its Human Resources and Training Program (Section 5322) as authorized or amended by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP– 21), Public Law 112–141. DATES: Effective Date: The final circular becomes effective May 11, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program questions contact Mackenzie Thiessen, Office of Research, Demonstration, and Innovation, phone: (202) 366–0290 or email: mackenzie.thiessen@dot.gov. For legal questions, please contact Linda Sorkin, Office of Chief Counsel, phone: 202– 366–0959 or email: linda.sorkin@ dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Overview II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis A. Chapter I—Introduction and Background B. Chapter II—Program Overview C. Chapter III—Application Instructions D. Chapter IV—Project Administration E. Chapter V—Financial Management F. Chapter VI—FTA Oversight G. Appendices I. Overview This circular updates FTA Circular 6100.1D, ‘‘Research, Technical Assistance and Training Programs: Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines,’’ last revised in 2011, in order to incorporate changes in the MAP–21. MAP–21 has made a number of changes to FTA’s research, technical assistance, human resources, and training programs. This circular reflects these updates to Federal law, includes policy determinations, clarifies FTA’s requirements and processes, and restructures FTA Circular 6100.1D for clarity and ease of use. On August 13, 2014, FTA issued a notice of availability of proposed FTA Circular 6100.1E in the Federal Register (78 FR 47514) and requested public E:\FR\FM\10APN1.SGM 10APN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 69 / Friday, April 10, 2015 / Notices comment. The comment period closed on October 14, 2014. Four non-profit organizations and one trade association responded to FTA’s notice. A combination of three non-profits sent a single combined response with comments, and one non-profit organization sent separate comments. The trade association stated that it had ‘‘no substantive comments or recommended changes.’’ This notice addresses the comments received. In addition to the MAP–21 revisions addressed above and outlined below, this circular updates the organization and wording of the previous circular to improve clarity and consistency with FTA’s other circulars and to reflect other changes in the law. Notably, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its final guidance, ‘‘Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,’’ 2 CFR part 200, on December 26, 2013. The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is implementing the new OMB requirements through a new Common Rule, U.S. DOT regulations, ‘‘Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,’’ 2 CFR part 1201. These U.S. DOT regulations (Common Rule) supersede and apply in lieu of U.S. DOT’s previous Common Rules, former 49 CFR parts 18 and 19, and the Federal Cost Principles Circulars, former 2 CFR parts 220, 225, and 230. The requirements of former 49 CFR parts 18 and 19, and the Federal Cost Principles Circulars, former 2 CFR parts 220, 225, and 230, apply to FTA Grants and Cooperative Agreements and Amendments thereto awarded before December 26, 2014, to the extent applicable. The requirements of the new U.S. DOT regulations at 2 CFR part 1201 apply to FTA Grants and Cooperative Agreements and Amendments awarded on or after December 26, 2014 to any FTA Grants and Cooperative Agreements to the extent applicable. This document does not include the revised circular; however, an electronic version is available on FTA’s Web site, at www.fta.dot.gov. Paper copies may be obtained by contacting FTA’s Administrative Services Help Desk, at (202) 366–4865. II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis A. Chapter I: Introduction and Background This chapter provides a general introduction to FTA that is included in all new and revised program circulars VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:09 Apr 09, 2015 Jkt 235001 for the orientation of readers new to FTA programs. FTA did not receive any substantive comments on this chapter. B. Chapter II: Program Overview As in FTA Circular 6100.1D, Chapter II of FTA Circular 6100.1E provides an overview of FTA’s research programs. Chapter II is divided into four sections. As proposed, we have moved or amended some of the content to reflect program changes and to improve the organization and readability of this circular. This chapter covers various programs and their statutory authorities, including: 1. The research, development, demonstration, deployment, innovation, evaluation, and low or no emissions programs authorized by 49 U.S.C. 5312, 2. The transit cooperative research program authorized by 49 U.S.C. 5313, 3. The technical assistance and standards development program authorized by 49 U.S.C. 5314, and 4. The human resources program, innovative workforce development program, and the National Transit Institute (NTI) program authorized by 49 U.S.C. 5322. Repealed Programs: MAP–21 repealed a number of public transportation programs authorized under the previous authorizing legislation. Funds that were authorized under these programs remain available for obligation in a Grant, Cooperative Agreement, or Other Agreement until the applicable statutory period of availability expires, or until the funds are fully expended, rescinded by Congress, or otherwise reallocated. Entities that are awarded FY 2012 or a previous fiscal year funding should check with their FTA Program Manager for the requirements that accompany that funding. This chapter clarifies the civil rights requirements with which the Recipient must when receiving Federal assistance. As proposed, we have reorganized the content, although the content remains substantially similar to FTA Circular 6100.1D. As in FTA Circular 6100.1D, this chapter also points out that FTA recipients must comply with all applicable Federal laws, regulations, and directives unless FTA determines otherwise in writing. We also added a hyperlink to sample Master Agreements on FTA’s Web site. The FTA received comments recommending that FTA provide funding for projects that support women employed or seeking employment in skilled trades. The FTA also received comments recommending that FTA use PO 00000 Frm 00122 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19397 some of its resources for projects to support its recipients’ efforts to integrate transportation, housing, infrastructure, and disaster resiliency. Although Federal law authorizes FTA to consider support for women in trades and efforts to integrate transportation, housing, infrastructure, and disaster resiliency, FTA cautions that its resources are limited and that it may not be able to undertake the specific programs to the extent commenters have recommended. Nevertheless, FTA encourages interested parties to check FTA’s notices of funding availability for programs of interest to them. The FTA did not receive any other substantive comments on this chapter. C. Chapter III: Application Instructions This chapter describes the processes and procedures that must be followed in submitting applications to FTA. The following changes have been made: 1. This chapter now includes an ‘‘Agreement Life Cycle,’’ section, listing the stages in the life cycle of an application for Federal assistance to highlight the following matters: implementation, management and oversight of activities supported by the Agreement, period of performance completed, final reports, independent evaluation, and other reports delivered to FTA, excess equipment and property acquired with Federal assistance and disposed of, and the final Federal Financial Report, budget revision, and actual milestones accomplished recorded in FTA’s electronic award and management system, 2. The FTA has deleted the former section on Central Contractor Registration and replaced it with requirements to register in the System for Award Management (SAM) and to review and update SAM information at least annually during the life of the Agreement, 3. The FTA has made the following changes to its proposal and preapplication procedures: a. The FTA has substituted the term ‘‘project narrative’’ for the former term ‘‘white paper,’’ and b. The FTA has increased the size limitation for competitive proposals from 5 to 15 pages, 4. The FTA has made several changes to its formal application procedures: a. The FTA has deleted the former reference to scope code 70 for projects undertaken by universities as this code is rarely used. Likewise, we have deleted the ‘‘University Budget Example.’’ Using scope code 55 for most research-type projects will facilitate retrieving aggregate information about E:\FR\FM\10APN1.SGM 10APN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 19398 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 69 / Friday, April 10, 2015 / Notices such projects from the electronic award and management system regardless of the type of entity performing the work, b. The FTA deleted the requirement for a literature review as inapplicable to most projects FTA has been funding under the programs covered by this circular. If FTA deems a literature search is essential to a research project authorized by Section 5312(b), the solicitation will require the review, c. The FTA has added this section explaining what to do if an applicant is located in a State that does not have a single point of contact for Intergovernmental Review, d. The FTA has deleted the option of submitting documents to FTA on paper (hard copy) to reflect FTA’s commitment to electronic award and management for all recipients, because there should be few, if any, instances when a recipient is unable to submit certifications electronically, e. Since typical projects covered by this circular would not require a formal environmental impact statement (EIS), FTA has updated, clarified and moved material in the previous environmental discussion, as proposed, and f. The FTA has edited the former version describing Davis-Bacon Act requirements for clarification without substantive change, 5. The FTA has added a discussion of peer review and independent evaluation to implement a new MAP–21 statutory requirement for a comprehensive evaluation of the success or failure of projects funded under 49 U.S.C. 5312(d), 6. The FTA has deleted the public hearing requirement, formerly in FTA Circular 5010.1D, because that requirement was repealed by MAP–21, 7. The FTA has revised the cost sharing provisions because MAP–21 requires a 20 percent local share for some projects, see 49 U.S.C. 5312(f) and 5314(d); MAP–21 also requires a 50 percent local share for Section 5322(a) and (b) projects, see 49 U.S.C. 5322(c), 8. The FTA has added new information regarding possible uses of program income when authorized by law, regulation, guidance or special condition, and 9. In its discussion of project approval, FTA has amended the instructions on reimbursement procedures to describe the DELPHI eInvoicing System, which has superseded the former ACH system. The following matters are substantially similar to those included in FTA Circular 6100.1D: 1. Overview, 2. Use of FTA’s electronic award and management system. Nevertheless, VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:09 Apr 09, 2015 Jkt 235001 because FTA is considering adopting a new electronic award and management system to replace its Transportation Electronic Award Management (TEAM) system, FTA has changed references to ‘‘TEAM’’ to the more generic ‘‘current electronic award and management system,’’ and 3. In its discussion of project approval, FTA has made the following changes: a. The FTA has made edits to the Notification provisions to clarify and to allow flexibility in the means of contacting the recipient, and b. The FTA has edited the Execution of the FTA Agreement for clarification with no substantive change. The FTA did not receive any substantive comments on this chapter. D. Chapter IV: Project Administration As proposed, FTA has made minor editorial changes to improve clarity throughout Chapter IV, without substantive changes in meaning. As proposed, FTA has relocated detailed instructions for filing Federal Financial Reports to Appendix A. The FTA did not receive any substantive comments on this chapter. E. Chapter V: Financial Management Chapter V is substantially similar to chapter V in FTA Circular 6100.1D. This chapter provides guidance on the proper use and management of Federal assistance that is unique to Research, Technical Assistance and Training programs. Changes to this chapter include the following: 1. The FTA has substituted ‘‘Local Share’’ for ‘‘Non-Federal Match,’’ and 2. The FTA has provided additional guidance on payment methods. In accordance with DOT guidelines, recipients of Cooperative Agreements must request Federal assistance using Delphi eInvoicing System. All documentation needed to support payment is required to be scanned within the eInvoicing System to assist the FTA Approving Official in authorizing reimbursement to the recipient. The FTA did not receive any substantive comments on this chapter. F. Chapter VI: FTA Oversight While much of the information in this Chapter is substantially similar to that of its predecessor, FTA Circular 6100.1D, FTA made the following changes: 1. The FTA has added a discussion to include the requirement that Financial Management Oversight (FMO) contractors conduct a series of interviews, full transaction reviews, and PO 00000 Frm 00123 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 appropriate substantive tests. It also describes the seven standards for financial management systems: Financial Reporting, Accounting Records, Internal Control, Budget Control, Allowable Costs, Source Documentation, and Cash Management, and 2. The FTA has added information to describe how FTA may perform a review with its project management oversight contractor to develop agreedupon procedures for oversight of certain aspects of the recipient’s financial management issues on a case-by-case basis. The FTA did not receive any substantive comments on this chapter. G. Appendices New Appendix A, ‘‘Instructions for Completing Federal Financial Report (FFR).’’ The information in this Appendix was formerly located in Section IV.3 of FTA Circular 6100.1D. As proposed, the text in Appendix A is substantially similar to that of Section IV.3 of FTA Circular 6100.1D. As proposed, FTA has deleted the former Appendix A of FTA Circular 6100.1D, consisting of a Table of FTA Circulars, because the list of FTA circulars in effect changes frequently and a current list is available on the FTA public Web site. Relocated Appendix B, ‘‘Cost Allocation Plans.’’ The information in Appendix B is substantially similar to that in Appendix C of FTA Circular 6100.1D. As proposed, FTA has deleted the former Appendix B, ‘‘Quarterly Narrative Report Example,’’ because it did not provide a useful format for a quarterly narrative report. As proposed, we have located this information in section IV.4.d. of this circular and revising it to clarify what should be in the type of comprehensive quarterly narrative report FTA seeks. Relocated Appendix C, ‘‘Request for Advance or Reimbursement (SF–270).’’ This information is the same as located in Appendix D of FTA Circular 6100.1D. New Appendix D, ‘‘Preparation Instructions for FTA Final Reports.’’ Appendix D is a near verbatim copy of the preparation instructions on the FTA Public Web site at http:// www.fta.dot.gov/documents/ Preparation_Instructions_for_FTA_ Final_Reports_June_2013.pdf. We have reformatted that document to adapt it as an Appendix (e.g., inserting numbered lists instead of bullets) but did not change the content. Former Appendix E, ‘‘FTA Regional and Metropolitan Contact Information.’’ As proposed, FTA has deleted this Appendix because this information is E:\FR\FM\10APN1.SGM 10APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 69 / Friday, April 10, 2015 / Notices subject to change. Current information is available on the FTA public Web site. The FTA did not receive any substantive comments on these appendices. Therese W. McMillan, Acting Administrator. BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Retooling Recalls Workshop National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Announcement of public workshop. AGENCY: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is announcing a workshop that will be held in Washington, DC on April 28, 2015 to discuss options to improve vehicle safety recall completion rates. The workshop will include brief NHTSA presentations outlining recent agency activities aimed at improving recall completion rates as well as recent examples of steps vehicle manufacturers have taken. Information on the date, time, location, and framework for this public event is included in this notice. Attendance requires prior registration; there will be no registration at the door. There are no fees to register or to attend this event. DATES: The workshop will be held on April 28, 2015, at the location indicated in the ADDRESSES section below. The workshop will start at 9:00 a.m. and is scheduled to continue until 5:00 p.m., local time. If you would like to register to attend the workshop, please contact the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT no later than April 21, 2015. Registrations may be accepted after that date, space permitting. ADDRESSES: The April 28, 2015 workshop will be held in the Media Center of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you would like to attend the workshop, please contact Heather Laca by the date specified under DATES section above, at: Telephone (202) 366–2775; email address: heather.laca@dot.gov. Please provide her with the following information: Name, title, affiliation, address, email address, and telephone number, and indicate whether you mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: 20:09 Apr 09, 2015 NHTSA is hosting a public workshop to discuss options to improve vehicle safety recall completion rates. NHTSA marked a record year in 2014, with the highest number of vehicle recalls in more than three decades. Last year alone, there were 803 vehicle recalls involving 63.9 million vehicles, including two of the largest vehicle recalls in history. The sessions will focus on public education of the recall process; customer and dealership outreach; parts production challenges and recall repair rates. The input gathered by the working groups will be used to identify best practices and new approaches for improving the recall process. Workshop Procedures. NHTSA will conduct the workshop informally. Thus, technical rules of evidence will not apply. The workshop will include brief presentations and panel discussions with representatives from NHTSA, automobile manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers. There will be opportunities for attendees to ask questions of NHTSA and of the panelists. To attend this workshop, please register with NHTSA by the date specified under the DATES section above by sending the required information to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Registration is necessary for security and space limitation reasons. After registration, NHTSA will send attendees follow-up information regarding workshop day logistics (i.e., directions to the building, parking accommodations, etc.). For security purposes, photo identification is required to enter the Department of Transportation building. To allow sufficient time to clear security and enter the building, NHTSA recommends that workshop participants arrive 30 to 60 minutes prior to the start of the event. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [FR Doc. 2015–08246 Filed 4–9–15; 8:45 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 require accommodations such as a sign language interpreter or translator. If you are not a U.S. citizen, also provide your country of citizenship, date of birth, title or position, and passport or diplomatic ID number, along with expiration date. Jkt 235001 Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118–30120; 49 U.S.C. 30181–30182; 49 CFR 573 and 577. Dated: April 3, 2015. Mark R. Rosekind, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2015–08257 Filed 4–9–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P PO 00000 Frm 00124 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19399 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [Docket No. FD 35908] Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad Company—Trackage Rights Exemption—Norfolk Southern Railway Company Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR), pursuant to a written trackage rights agreement (Agreement) 1 dated February 1, 2015, has agreed to grant non-exclusive, overhead trackage rights to Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad Company (N&BE) over NSR’s line of railroad between milepost BR 194.2 at Lock Haven, Pa., and milepost BR 139.2 at Driftwood, Pa., a distance of 55 miles.2 The transaction may be consummated on or after April 26, 2015, the effective date of the exemption (30 days after the verified notice of exemption was filed). The purpose of the trackage rights is to allow N&BE to operate bridge train service for certain seasonal traffic. As a condition to this exemption, any employees affected by the acquisition of the trackage rights will be protected by the conditions imposed in Norfolk & Western Railway—Trackage Rights— Burlington Northern, Inc., 354 I.C.C. 605 (1978), as modified in Mendocino Coast Railway, Inc.—Lease & Operate— California Western Railroad, 360 I.C.C. 653 (1980), and any employees affected by the discontinuance of those trackage rights will be protected by the conditions set out in Oregon Short Line Railroad—Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). This notice is filed under 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(7). If the notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the exemption. Petitions for stay must be filed no later than April 17, 2015 (at least 7 days before the exemption becomes effective). 1 A redacted version of the Agreement between NSR and N&BE was filed with the notice of exemption. N&BE simultaneously filed a motion for protective order to protect the confidential and commercially sensitive information contained in the unredacted version of the Agreement, which N&BE submitted under seal in this proceeding. That motion will be addressed in a separate decision. 2 N&BE was previously authorized non-exclusive, temporary, overhead trackage rights over the 55 miles of rail line that expired on December 30, 2014. See Nittany & Bald Eagle R.R.—Temp. Trackage Rights Exemption—Norfolk S. Ry., FD 35793, (STB served Feb. 7, 2014). E:\FR\FM\10APN1.SGM 10APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 69 (Friday, April 10, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19396-19399]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-08246]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[Docket No. FTA-2014-0017]


Research, Technical Assistance, and Training Programs: 
Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of availability of final circular.

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

SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the 
docket and on its Web site, guidance in the form of an updated circular 
to assist applicants and recipients in implementing research, 
development, demonstration, and deployment projects, technical 
assistance projects, standards development projects, and human 
resources and training projects. The purpose of this circular is to 
provide FTA recipients updated instructions and guidance on application 
procedures and project management responsibilities. The revisions to 
FTA Circular 6100.1D are a result of changes made to FTA's Research, 
Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Program (Section 5312), its 
Technical Assistance and Standards Development Program (Section 5314), 
and its Human Resources and Training Program (Section 5322) as 
authorized or amended by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st 
Century Act (MAP-21), Public Law 112-141.

DATES: Effective Date: The final circular becomes effective May 11, 
2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program questions contact 
Mackenzie Thiessen, Office of Research, Demonstration, and Innovation, 
phone: (202) 366-0290 or email: mackenzie.thiessen@dot.gov. For legal 
questions, please contact Linda Sorkin, Office of Chief Counsel, phone: 
202-366-0959 or email: linda.sorkin@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Overview
II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis
    A. Chapter I--Introduction and Background
    B. Chapter II--Program Overview
    C. Chapter III--Application Instructions
    D. Chapter IV--Project Administration
    E. Chapter V--Financial Management
    F. Chapter VI--FTA Oversight
    G. Appendices

I. Overview

    This circular updates FTA Circular 6100.1D, ``Research, Technical 
Assistance and Training Programs: Application Instructions and Program 
Management Guidelines,'' last revised in 2011, in order to incorporate 
changes in the MAP-21. MAP-21 has made a number of changes to FTA's 
research, technical assistance, human resources, and training programs. 
This circular reflects these updates to Federal law, includes policy 
determinations, clarifies FTA's requirements and processes, and 
restructures FTA Circular 6100.1D for clarity and ease of use.
    On August 13, 2014, FTA issued a notice of availability of proposed 
FTA Circular 6100.1E in the Federal Register (78 FR 47514) and 
requested public

[[Page 19397]]

comment. The comment period closed on October 14, 2014. Four non-profit 
organizations and one trade association responded to FTA's notice. A 
combination of three non-profits sent a single combined response with 
comments, and one non-profit organization sent separate comments. The 
trade association stated that it had ``no substantive comments or 
recommended changes.'' This notice addresses the comments received.
    In addition to the MAP-21 revisions addressed above and outlined 
below, this circular updates the organization and wording of the 
previous circular to improve clarity and consistency with FTA's other 
circulars and to reflect other changes in the law.
    Notably, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its 
final guidance, ``Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, 
and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,'' 2 CFR part 200, on 
December 26, 2013. The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is 
implementing the new OMB requirements through a new Common Rule, U.S. 
DOT regulations, ``Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,'' 2 CFR part 
1201. These U.S. DOT regulations (Common Rule) supersede and apply in 
lieu of U.S. DOT's previous Common Rules, former 49 CFR parts 18 and 
19, and the Federal Cost Principles Circulars, former 2 CFR parts 220, 
225, and 230. The requirements of former 49 CFR parts 18 and 19, and 
the Federal Cost Principles Circulars, former 2 CFR parts 220, 225, and 
230, apply to FTA Grants and Cooperative Agreements and Amendments 
thereto awarded before December 26, 2014, to the extent applicable. The 
requirements of the new U.S. DOT regulations at 2 CFR part 1201 apply 
to FTA Grants and Cooperative Agreements and Amendments awarded on or 
after December 26, 2014 to any FTA Grants and Cooperative Agreements to 
the extent applicable.
    This document does not include the revised circular; however, an 
electronic version is available on FTA's Web site, at www.fta.dot.gov. 
Paper copies may be obtained by contacting FTA's Administrative 
Services Help Desk, at (202) 366-4865.

II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis

A. Chapter I: Introduction and Background

    This chapter provides a general introduction to FTA that is 
included in all new and revised program circulars for the orientation 
of readers new to FTA programs.
    FTA did not receive any substantive comments on this chapter.

B. Chapter II: Program Overview

    As in FTA Circular 6100.1D, Chapter II of FTA Circular 6100.1E 
provides an overview of FTA's research programs. Chapter II is divided 
into four sections. As proposed, we have moved or amended some of the 
content to reflect program changes and to improve the organization and 
readability of this circular.
    This chapter covers various programs and their statutory 
authorities, including:
    1. The research, development, demonstration, deployment, 
innovation, evaluation, and low or no emissions programs authorized by 
49 U.S.C. 5312,
    2. The transit cooperative research program authorized by 49 U.S.C. 
5313,
    3. The technical assistance and standards development program 
authorized by 49 U.S.C. 5314, and
    4. The human resources program, innovative workforce development 
program, and the National Transit Institute (NTI) program authorized by 
49 U.S.C. 5322.
    Repealed Programs: MAP-21 repealed a number of public 
transportation programs authorized under the previous authorizing 
legislation. Funds that were authorized under these programs remain 
available for obligation in a Grant, Cooperative Agreement, or Other 
Agreement until the applicable statutory period of availability 
expires, or until the funds are fully expended, rescinded by Congress, 
or otherwise reallocated. Entities that are awarded FY 2012 or a 
previous fiscal year funding should check with their FTA Program 
Manager for the requirements that accompany that funding.
    This chapter clarifies the civil rights requirements with which the 
Recipient must when receiving Federal assistance. As proposed, we have 
reorganized the content, although the content remains substantially 
similar to FTA Circular 6100.1D.
    As in FTA Circular 6100.1D, this chapter also points out that FTA 
recipients must comply with all applicable Federal laws, regulations, 
and directives unless FTA determines otherwise in writing. We also 
added a hyperlink to sample Master Agreements on FTA's Web site.
    The FTA received comments recommending that FTA provide funding for 
projects that support women employed or seeking employment in skilled 
trades. The FTA also received comments recommending that FTA use some 
of its resources for projects to support its recipients' efforts to 
integrate transportation, housing, infrastructure, and disaster 
resiliency. Although Federal law authorizes FTA to consider support for 
women in trades and efforts to integrate transportation, housing, 
infrastructure, and disaster resiliency, FTA cautions that its 
resources are limited and that it may not be able to undertake the 
specific programs to the extent commenters have recommended. 
Nevertheless, FTA encourages interested parties to check FTA's notices 
of funding availability for programs of interest to them.
    The FTA did not receive any other substantive comments on this 
chapter.

C. Chapter III: Application Instructions

    This chapter describes the processes and procedures that must be 
followed in submitting applications to FTA.
    The following changes have been made:
    1. This chapter now includes an ``Agreement Life Cycle,'' section, 
listing the stages in the life cycle of an application for Federal 
assistance to highlight the following matters: implementation, 
management and oversight of activities supported by the Agreement, 
period of performance completed, final reports, independent evaluation, 
and other reports delivered to FTA, excess equipment and property 
acquired with Federal assistance and disposed of, and the final Federal 
Financial Report, budget revision, and actual milestones accomplished 
recorded in FTA's electronic award and management system,
    2. The FTA has deleted the former section on Central Contractor 
Registration and replaced it with requirements to register in the 
System for Award Management (SAM) and to review and update SAM 
information at least annually during the life of the Agreement,
    3. The FTA has made the following changes to its proposal and pre-
application procedures:
    a. The FTA has substituted the term ``project narrative'' for the 
former term ``white paper,'' and
    b. The FTA has increased the size limitation for competitive 
proposals from 5 to 15 pages,
    4. The FTA has made several changes to its formal application 
procedures:
    a. The FTA has deleted the former reference to scope code 70 for 
projects undertaken by universities as this code is rarely used. 
Likewise, we have deleted the ``University Budget Example.'' Using 
scope code 55 for most research-type projects will facilitate 
retrieving aggregate information about

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such projects from the electronic award and management system 
regardless of the type of entity performing the work,
    b. The FTA deleted the requirement for a literature review as 
inapplicable to most projects FTA has been funding under the programs 
covered by this circular. If FTA deems a literature search is essential 
to a research project authorized by Section 5312(b), the solicitation 
will require the review,
    c. The FTA has added this section explaining what to do if an 
applicant is located in a State that does not have a single point of 
contact for Intergovernmental Review,
    d. The FTA has deleted the option of submitting documents to FTA on 
paper (hard copy) to reflect FTA's commitment to electronic award and 
management for all recipients, because there should be few, if any, 
instances when a recipient is unable to submit certifications 
electronically,
    e. Since typical projects covered by this circular would not 
require a formal environmental impact statement (EIS), FTA has updated, 
clarified and moved material in the previous environmental discussion, 
as proposed, and
    f. The FTA has edited the former version describing Davis-Bacon Act 
requirements for clarification without substantive change,
    5. The FTA has added a discussion of peer review and independent 
evaluation to implement a new MAP-21 statutory requirement for a 
comprehensive evaluation of the success or failure of projects funded 
under 49 U.S.C. 5312(d),
    6. The FTA has deleted the public hearing requirement, formerly in 
FTA Circular 5010.1D, because that requirement was repealed by MAP-21,
    7. The FTA has revised the cost sharing provisions because MAP-21 
requires a 20 percent local share for some projects, see 49 U.S.C. 
5312(f) and 5314(d); MAP-21 also requires a 50 percent local share for 
Section 5322(a) and (b) projects, see 49 U.S.C. 5322(c),
    8. The FTA has added new information regarding possible uses of 
program income when authorized by law, regulation, guidance or special 
condition, and
    9. In its discussion of project approval, FTA has amended the 
instructions on reimbursement procedures to describe the DELPHI 
eInvoicing System, which has superseded the former ACH system.
    The following matters are substantially similar to those included 
in FTA Circular 6100.1D:
    1. Overview,
    2. Use of FTA's electronic award and management system. 
Nevertheless, because FTA is considering adopting a new electronic 
award and management system to replace its Transportation Electronic 
Award Management (TEAM) system, FTA has changed references to ``TEAM'' 
to the more generic ``current electronic award and management system,'' 
and
    3. In its discussion of project approval, FTA has made the 
following changes:
    a. The FTA has made edits to the Notification provisions to clarify 
and to allow flexibility in the means of contacting the recipient, and
    b. The FTA has edited the Execution of the FTA Agreement for 
clarification with no substantive change.
    The FTA did not receive any substantive comments on this chapter.

D. Chapter IV: Project Administration

    As proposed, FTA has made minor editorial changes to improve 
clarity throughout Chapter IV, without substantive changes in meaning.
    As proposed, FTA has relocated detailed instructions for filing 
Federal Financial Reports to Appendix A.
    The FTA did not receive any substantive comments on this chapter.

E. Chapter V: Financial Management

    Chapter V is substantially similar to chapter V in FTA Circular 
6100.1D. This chapter provides guidance on the proper use and 
management of Federal assistance that is unique to Research, Technical 
Assistance and Training programs. Changes to this chapter include the 
following:
    1. The FTA has substituted ``Local Share'' for ``Non-Federal 
Match,'' and
    2. The FTA has provided additional guidance on payment methods. In 
accordance with DOT guidelines, recipients of Cooperative Agreements 
must request Federal assistance using Delphi eInvoicing System. All 
documentation needed to support payment is required to be scanned 
within the eInvoicing System to assist the FTA Approving Official in 
authorizing reimbursement to the recipient.
    The FTA did not receive any substantive comments on this chapter.

F. Chapter VI: FTA Oversight

    While much of the information in this Chapter is substantially 
similar to that of its predecessor, FTA Circular 6100.1D, FTA made the 
following changes:
    1. The FTA has added a discussion to include the requirement that 
Financial Management Oversight (FMO) contractors conduct a series of 
interviews, full transaction reviews, and appropriate substantive 
tests. It also describes the seven standards for financial management 
systems: Financial Reporting, Accounting Records, Internal Control, 
Budget Control, Allowable Costs, Source Documentation, and Cash 
Management, and
    2. The FTA has added information to describe how FTA may perform a 
review with its project management oversight contractor to develop 
agreed-upon procedures for oversight of certain aspects of the 
recipient's financial management issues on a case-by-case basis.
    The FTA did not receive any substantive comments on this chapter.

G. Appendices

    New Appendix A, ``Instructions for Completing Federal Financial 
Report (FFR).'' The information in this Appendix was formerly located 
in Section IV.3 of FTA Circular 6100.1D. As proposed, the text in 
Appendix A is substantially similar to that of Section IV.3 of FTA 
Circular 6100.1D. As proposed, FTA has deleted the former Appendix A of 
FTA Circular 6100.1D, consisting of a Table of FTA Circulars, because 
the list of FTA circulars in effect changes frequently and a current 
list is available on the FTA public Web site.
    Relocated Appendix B, ``Cost Allocation Plans.'' The information in 
Appendix B is substantially similar to that in Appendix C of FTA 
Circular 6100.1D. As proposed, FTA has deleted the former Appendix B, 
``Quarterly Narrative Report Example,'' because it did not provide a 
useful format for a quarterly narrative report. As proposed, we have 
located this information in section IV.4.d. of this circular and 
revising it to clarify what should be in the type of comprehensive 
quarterly narrative report FTA seeks.
    Relocated Appendix C, ``Request for Advance or Reimbursement (SF-
270).'' This information is the same as located in Appendix D of FTA 
Circular 6100.1D.
    New Appendix D, ``Preparation Instructions for FTA Final Reports.'' 
Appendix D is a near verbatim copy of the preparation instructions on 
the FTA Public Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/Preparation_Instructions_for_FTA_Final_Reports_June_2013.pdf. We have 
reformatted that document to adapt it as an Appendix (e.g., inserting 
numbered lists instead of bullets) but did not change the content.
    Former Appendix E, ``FTA Regional and Metropolitan Contact 
Information.'' As proposed, FTA has deleted this Appendix because this 
information is

[[Page 19399]]

subject to change. Current information is available on the FTA public 
Web site.
    The FTA did not receive any substantive comments on these 
appendices.

Therese W. McMillan,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-08246 Filed 4-9-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE P