Notice of Funding Opportunity for FY 2017 Positive Train Control Grant Funds, 50047-50052 [2016-17943]

Download as PDF asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 146 / Friday, July 29, 2016 / Notices Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the Public Participation heading below. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets, or go to the street address listed above. Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement for the Federal Docket Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316), or you may visit http:// edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdfE8794.pdf. Public Participation: The Federal eRulemaking Portal is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can obtain electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the ‘‘help’’ section of the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site. If you want us to notify you that we received your comments, please include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope or postcard, or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments online. Comments received after the comment closing date will be included in the docket and will be considered to the extent practicable. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Vincent Babich, Office of Enforcement and Compliance, Hazardous Materials Division, Department of Transportation, FMCSA, West Building 6th Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202–366–4871; email vincent.babich@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: The data for the Transportation of Hazardous Materials; Highway Routing ICR is collected under authority of 49 U.S.C. 5112 and 5125. Specifically, 49 U.S.C. 5112(c) requires that the Secretary, in coordination with the States, ‘‘shall update and publish periodically a list of currently effective hazardous material highway route designations.’’ VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Jul 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 In 49 CFR 397.73, the FMCSA requires that each State and Indian tribe, through its routing agency, provide information identifying new, or changes to existing, hazardous materials routing designations within its jurisdiction within 60 days after their establishment (or 60 days of the change). That information is collected and consolidated by FMCSA and published annually, in whole or as updates, in the Federal Register. Title: Transportation of Hazardous Materials, Highway Routing. OMB Control Number: 2126–0014. Type of Request: Extension of a currently-approved information collection. Respondents: The reporting burden is shared by 50 States, the District of Columbia, Indian tribes with designated routes, and U.S. Territories including; Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Estimated Number of Respondents: 57 [36 States and the District of Columbia, with designated hazardous materials highway routes + 20 States/U.S. Territories without designated hazardous materials highway routes + 1 Indian tribe with a designated route = 57]. Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes. Expiration Date: None. Frequency of Response: Once every two years. Estimated Total Annual Burden: 7 hours [57 annual respondents × 1 response per 2 years × 15 minutes per response/60 minutes per response = 7.125 hours rounded to 7 hours]. Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the performance of FMCSA’s functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize or include your comments in the request for OMB’s clearance of this information collection. Issued under the authority of 49 CFR 1.87 on: July 21, 2016. Kelly Regal, Associate Administrator for Office of Research and Information Technology. [FR Doc. 2016–17974 Filed 7–28–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50047 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration Federal Transit Administration Notice of Funding Opportunity for FY 2017 Positive Train Control Grant Funds Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice details the application requirements and procedures to obtain funding for the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) systems required under the Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008, as amended by the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015. The opportunities described in this notice are available under Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number 20.321, ‘‘Positive Train Control.’’ FRA will review applications for funding under this NOFO and will select the projects for funding. FTA will award the grant funds and administer and manage the grants after award. FRA will help FTA monitor the PTC implementation and progress of the grantees. In addition, applicants should contact FRA with PTC technical questions. DATES: Applications for funding under this solicitation are due no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, September 27, 2016. Applications for funding received after 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 27, 2016 will not be considered for funding. See Section 4 of this notice for additional information on the application process. ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted via Grants.gov. For any required or supporting application materials that an applicant is unable to submit via Grants.gov (such as oversized engineering drawings), an applicant may submit an original and two (2) copies to Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W36–412, Washington, DC 20590. However, due to delays caused by enhanced screening of mail delivered via the U.S. Postal Service, applicants are advised to use other means of conveyance (such as courier service) to assure timely receipt of materials. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have a PTC project related question, you may contact Dr. Mark Hartong, Senior Scientific Technical Advisor, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1 50048 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 146 / Friday, July 29, 2016 / Notices Federal Railroad Administration (phone: (202) 493–1332; email: mark.hartong@dot.gov), or Mr. Devin Rouse, Program Manager, Federal Railroad Administration (phone: (202) 493–6185, email: devin.rouse@dot.gov). Grant application submission and processing questions should be addressed to Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration (1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W36–412, Washington, DC 20590; email: amy.houser@dot.gov). For questions regarding FTA administration of grants awarded under this competition, contact Mr. Eric Hu, Office of Program Management, Federal Transit Administration (phone: (202) 366–0870; email: eric.hu@dot.gov). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice to applicants: FRA and FTA recommend applicants read this notice in its entirety prior to preparing application materials. There are several administrative prerequisites described herein that applicants must comply with to submit an application and specific eligibility requirements applicants must meet. Additionally, applicants should note that the required Project Narrative component of the application package may not exceed 25 pages in length (including any appendices). Table of Contents 1. Program Description 2. Federal Award Information 3. Eligibility Information 4. Application and Submission Information 5. Application Review 6. Federal Award Administration 7. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Section 1: Program Description The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications for grants to assist financing the installation of PTC systems required under 49 U.S.C. 20157 (Implementation of positive train control systems). The maximum $197.01 million of funding available under this NOFO after approximately $2 million is set aside for program oversight is authorized by section 3028 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Public Law 114–94). All projects that receive funding under this notice must comply with the applicable requirements of 49 U.S.C. 20157 and 49 CFR part 236, subpart I, including 236.1005 (Requirements for Positive Train Control Systems). The funding described in this notice is authorized to be appropriated for Federal Fiscal Year 2017 beginning October 1, 2016. Funding allocations made under this VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Jul 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 notice are subject to the availability of funds. Section 2: Federal Award Information The maximum funding authorized under this NOFO is $197.01 million after approximately $2 million is set aside for program oversight per the FAST Act. Per the FAST Act, FRA anticipates selecting multiple projects for the funding made available in this notice, and is not predetermining any minimum or maximum dollar amounts for awards. However, given the limited amount of funding currently available, applicants are encouraged to identify scalable project phases or elements that would result in the installation of components necessary for the deployment of a PTC system required under 49 U.S.C. 20157, because FRA may choose to make project selections for less than the total amount requested in the application. Section 3: Eligibility Information This section of the notice explains the requirements for submitting an eligible grant application. Applications that do not meet the requirements in this section will be considered ineligible for funding. Instructions for conveying eligibility information to FRA are detailed in Section 4 of this NOFO. 3.1 Applicant Eligibility Eligible applicants for PTC system funding under this notice are entities that are recipients of funds under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53. a. This includes, but is not limited to, the following entities: i. Public transit agencies operating commuter railroads; and ii. State and local governments. b. Applicants must: i. Have submitted a revised Positive Train Control Implementation Plan (PTCIP) to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a); or ii. Be tenants on one or more host railroads whose host railroad(s) have submitted a revised PTCIP as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a). c. An applicant who has not submitted a revised PTCIP to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), and is not a tenant on one or more host railroads who have submitted a revised PTCIP as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), may be eligible for funding under this notice if the applicant can demonstrate to FRA’s satisfaction in the grant application that the: i. Applicant is not required to submit a revised PTCIP as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a); and ii. Proposed project will assist in financing the installation of a PTC system required under 49 U.S.C. 20157. PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3.2 Project Eligibility Projects eligible for funding under this NOFO must help install PTC systems required under 49 U.S.C. 20157. The capital costs of PTC systems installation would be eligible project activities including but not limited to: Back office systems; wayside, communications and onboard hardware equipment, software; equipment installation; and spectrum acquisition. Examples of eligible PTC system projects include the following: a. Installation of PTC systems; b. Installation of shared PTC system infrastructure (e.g., back office systems and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems); c. Advancement of PTC system interoperability related to installation, such as spectrum acquisition, spectrum sharing, and radio interference and desensitization; d. Installation of technologies that will lower costs, accelerate PTC implementation, increase interoperability between host and tenant operations, and improve reliability of PTC systems; and e. Installation of technologies that will eliminate PTC system communications interference, provide solutions to configuration management of multirailroad PTC software and firmware deployments, and provide host-tenant railroad PTC interoperability and PTC System Certification. These are examples of eligible projects, and FRA will evaluate any other projects meeting the criteria of this NOFO for eligibility and consideration for award. Preventive maintenance and overhaul costs, new vehicle procurement, real estate property acquisition, building construction and acquisition, and operating expenses are not eligible costs under this NOFO. 3.3 Cost Eligibility Funds awarded under this notice must not exceed 80 percent of the total cost of a project. The required 20 percent non-Federal share may be comprised of public sector (state or local) or private sector funding. However, FRA will not consider any other Federal grant funds, nor any nonFederal funds already expended (or otherwise encumbered), towards the matching requirement. FRA is limiting the method for calculating the nonFederal match to cash contributions only—FRA will not accept ‘‘in-kind’’ contributions and transportation development credits. FRA will consider non-Federal matching funds exceeding the minimum requirement when evaluating the merit of an application. E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 146 / Friday, July 29, 2016 / Notices Section 4: Application and Submission Information 4.1 Submission Dates and Times Applicants must submit complete applications to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, September 27, 2016. Delayed registration is not an acceptable reason for late submission. In order to apply for funding under this announcement, all applicants are expected to be registered as an organization with Grants.gov. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early to ensure that all materials are received before this deadline. Late applications that are the result of failure to register or comply with Grants.gov applicant requirements in a timely manner will not be considered. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 4.2 Application Content Applicants should read this section carefully and must submit all required information. Project Narrative This section describes the minimum content required in the Project Narrative component of grant applications (FRA also recommends the Project Narrative generally adhere to the following outline). These requirements must be satisfied through a narrative statement submitted by the applicant, and may be supported by spreadsheet documents, tables, maps, drawings, and other materials, as appropriate. The Project Narrative may not exceed 25 pages in length (including any appendices). FRA will not review or consider for award applications with Project Narratives exceeding the 25 page limitation. a. The Project Narrative must: i. Include a title page that lists the following elements in either a table or formatted list: Project title; location (i.e., city, State, Congressional district); applicant organization name; name of any co-applicants; amount of Federal funding requested; and proposed nonFederal match; ii. Designate a point of contact for the applicant and provide his or her name and contact information, including phone number, mailing address, and email address. The point of contact must be an employee of an eligible applicant; iii. Indicate the amount of Federal funding requested, the proposed nonFederal match, and total project cost. Additionally, identify any other sources of Federal funds committed to the project and any pending Federal requests. You must also note if the requested Federal funding must be obligated or spent by a certain date due to dependencies or relationships with VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Jul 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 other Federal or non-Federal funding sources, related projects, law, or other factors. Finally, specify whether you ever previously sought Federal funding for the project, and name the Federal program and fiscal year for the funding request; iv. Explain how the applicant meets the applicant eligibility criteria outlined in Section 3 of this notice; v. Provide a brief 4–6 sentence summary of the proposed project, capturing the PTC challenges the proposed project aims to address, as well as the intended outcomes and anticipated benefits that will result from the proposed project; vi. Include a detailed project description that expands upon the brief summary required above. This detailed description should provide, at a minimum, additional background on the PTC challenges the project aims to address, the expected users and beneficiaries of the project, the specific components and elements of the project, and any other information the applicant deems necessary to justify the proposed project. The detailed description should also clearly explain how the proposed project meets the project eligibility criteria in Section 3 of this notice; vii. Include a thorough discussion of how the proposed project meets all of the evaluation criteria for the respective project type, as outlined in Section 5 of this notice. Applicants should note that FRA reviews applications based upon the evaluation criteria. If an application does not sufficiently address the evaluation criteria, it is unlikely to be a competitive application. In responding to the criteria, applicants should clearly identify, quantify, and compare expected benefits and costs of proposed projects; viii. Describe proposed project implementation and project management arrangements. Include descriptions of the expected arrangements for project contracting, contract oversight, change-order management, risk management, and conformance to Federal requirements for project progress reporting. Additional Application Elements b. Applicants must: i. Submit a Statement of Work (SOW) that addresses the scope, schedule, and budget for the proposed project if it were selected for award. The SOW must contain sufficient detail so that FRA and FTA, and the applicant, can understand the expected outcomes of the proposed work to be performed and monitor progress toward completing project tasks and deliverables during a prospective grant’s period of PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50049 performance. FRA developed a standard SOW template that applicants must use to be considered for award. The SOW templates and other required forms are located at http://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/ P0021. ii. Describe anticipated environmental and historic preservation impacts associated with the proposed project, any environmental or historic preservation analyses that have been prepared, and progress toward completing any environmental documentation or clearance required for the proposed project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act, section 4(f) of the U.S. DOT Act, the Clean Water Act, and other applicable Federal or State laws such as the FCC requirements for antenna transmission. Applicants are encouraged to contact FTA and obtain preliminary direction regarding the appropriate NEPA action and required environmental documentation. Generally, projects will be ineligible to receive funding if they have begun construction activities prior to the applicant receiving written approval from FTA that all environmental and historical analyses have been completed. Additional information regarding FTA’s environmental processes and requirements are located at https:// www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-andguidance/environmental-programs/ environmental-analysis-review. iii. Submit an SF 424A—Budget Information for Non-Construction or SF 424C. iv. Budget Information for Construction; v. Submit an SF 424B—Assurances for Non-Construction or SF 424D— Assurances for Construction; and vi. Submit an SF LLL: Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. 4.3 Submission Instructions To apply for funding through Grants.gov, applicants must be properly registered. Complete instructions on how to register and submit an application can be found at Grants.gov. Registering with Grants.gov is a onetime process; however, it can take up to several weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation and a user password. FRA recommends that applicants start the registration process as early as possible to prevent delays that may preclude submitting an application package by the application deadline. Applications will not be accepted after the due date. Delayed registration is not an acceptable justification for an application extension. (Please note that if a Dun & E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1 50050 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 146 / Friday, July 29, 2016 / Notices Bradstreet (DUNS) number must be obtained or renewed, this may take a significant amount of time to complete.) Late applications that are the result of failure to register or comply with Grants.gov applicant requirements in a timely manner will not be considered. Required documents for the application package are outlined in the following paragraphs. Applicants must complete and submit all components of the application package. FRA welcomes the submission of other relevant supporting documentation that may have been developed by the applicant (planning, engineering and design documentation, and letters of support). In particular, applications accompanied by completed feasibility studies and cost estimates may be more favorably considered during the evaluation process, as they demonstrate that an applicant has a greater understanding of the scope and cost of the project. Applicants must submit all application materials through Grants.gov. For any required or supporting application materials that an applicant cannot submit via Grants.gov (such as oversized engineering drawings), an applicant may submit an original and two (2) copies to Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W36– 412, Washington, DC 20590. However, due to delays caused by enhanced screening of mail delivered via the U.S. Postal Service, FRA advises applicants to use other means of conveyance (such as courier service) to assure timely receipt of materials. Additionally, if documents can be obtained online, explaining to FRA how to access files on a referenced Web site may also be sufficient. 4.4 Funding Restrictions asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Use of Grant Funds for Federal Credit Assistance At the request of an eligible applicant under Section 3 of this NOFO, and subject to DOT approval and any applicable laws that may otherwise prohibit using Federal grant funds in such a manner, amounts awarded to an eligible applicant under this grant may be used to pay certain costs applicants incur under sections 502 through 504 of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 801, et seq.) (Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program). Requirements to use the grant money awarded under this NOFO for RRIF costs are explained further below. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Jul 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 In general, the RRIF program provides loans and loan guarantees to finance railroad and intermodal equipment and infrastructure, including PTC installation. Under the RRIF program, a RRIF loan applicant or other nonFederal source must pay a Credit Risk Premium (CRP) assessed based on the overall risk of each transaction. In addition, the RRIF applicant pays an evaluation charge to reimburse the Secretary for costs incurred to administer the program, including financial and legal advice (administrative costs). Eligible applicants may use amounts awarded under this NOFO to pay the RRIF CRP and/or administrative costs associated with a RRIF loan or loan guarantee made to finance the same PTC system installation project for which the grant under this NOFO was awarded. To be clear, the funds made available under this NOFO may only be used to finance the installation of PTC systems required under 49 U.S.C. 20157. Availability The grant funds made available under this NOFO must be obligated in a grant agreement no later than September 30, 2018. Therefore, for an eligible applicant to use grant funds to pay the CRP and/or administrative costs associated with a RRIF loan or loan guarantee, the applicable loan or loan guarantee must be executed by September 30, 2018. Subsidy and administrative costs associated with a RRIF loan or loan guarantee agreement that is not executed by September 30, 2018 are not eligible for funding under this NOFO. Section 5: Application Review FRA will conduct a three-part application review process, as follows: a. Screen applications for completeness and eligibility; b. Evaluate eligible applications (completed by technical panels applying the evaluation criteria); and c. Select projects for funding (completed by the FRA Administrator applying additional selection criteria). 5.1 Intake and Eligibility FRA first will screen each application for eligibility (eligibility requirements are outlined in Section 3 of this notice) and completeness (application documentation and submission requirements are outlined in Section 4 of this notice). FRA-led technical panels of subject-matter experts will evaluate all eligible and complete applications using the evaluation criteria outlined in this section. The FRA Administrator then will select for funding the projects PO 00000 Frm 00129 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 that are well-aligned with one or more of the evaluation and selection criteria. 5.2 Evaluation Criteria FRA will give preference to applicants that can demonstrate an ability to substantially complete the project work, or otherwise provide benefits to industry, prior to the statutory deadlines the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015 (PTCEI Act) established. The PTCEI Act extended the statutory deadline for implementation of PTC systems to at least December 31, 2018, and allows railroads to request approval from FRA for an extension beyond December 31, 2018, but no later than December 31, 2020, for implementation of certain operational, non-hardware aspects of PTC systems, upon completion of statutory prerequisites. FRA will review applications using the following four evaluation criteria: • Accrued safety benefits; • Expeditious PTC system deployment; • Technical merit; and • Project development approach. a. Accrued Safety Benefits FRA will consider a proposed project’s accrued safety benefits, including the following factors: i. The number of passengers for which the proposed project will improve safety by reducing the threat of train-to-train collisions, over speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through a misaligned switch; and ii. The number of miles of roadway work zones protected by the proposed project. b. Expeditious PTC System Deployment FRA will consider a proposed project’s achievement of expeditious PTC system deployment, including the following factors: i. The degree to which the proposed project expedites the installation of the PTC system; ii. The degree to which the proposed project expedites testing and certification of the PTC system; and iii. The ability for the proposed project to maintain the railroad’s PTC system implementation timeline or reduce/eliminate schedule risks. c. Technical Merit FRA will consider a proposed project’s technical merit, including the following factors: i. The degree to which the proposed project exhibits a sound scientific and engineering basis; ii. The degree to which the proposed project is practically applied in and E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 146 / Friday, July 29, 2016 / Notices compatible with the railroad’s operating environment and infrastructure; and iii. The likelihood of technical and practical success. d. Project Development Approach FRA will consider a proposed project’s project development approach, including the following factors: i. The technical qualifications and demonstrated experience of key personnel proposed to lead and perform the technical efforts, and the qualifications of the primary and supporting organizations to fully and successfully execute the proposed project within the proposed timeframe and budget; ii. The degree to which proposed project is supported by multiple entities (letters of support are encouraged); iii. The affordability and degree to which the proposed project is a good value for the amount of funding requested. Good value means the goods/ services received are worth the price paid. (Examples of the types of factors that may be considered include, but are not limited to, suitability, quality, skills, price, and life-cycle cost. The mix of these and other factors and the relevant importance of each will vary on a case by case basis); iv. The reasonableness of the proposed costs; and v. The extent of proposed cost sharing or cost participation (exclusive of the applicant’s prior investment). 5.3 Selection Criteria In addition to the evaluation criteria, the FRA Administrator will apply the following four selection criteria to further ensure that the projects selected for funding advance FRA’s current PTC mission and key priorities: • Alignment with DOT strategic goals and priorities; • Project delivery performance; • Region/location; and • Innovation/resource development. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES a. Alignment With DOT Strategic Goals and Priorities i. Improving transportation safety; ii. Maintaining transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair; iii. Promoting economic competitiveness; iv. Advancing environmentally sustainable transportation policies; v. Enhancing quality of life; and vi. Building ladders of opportunity to expand the middle class. Proposed projects that demonstrate the ability to provide reliable, safe and affordable transportation choices to connect economically disadvantaged populations, non-drivers, senior VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Jul 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 citizens, and persons with disabilities in disconnected communities with employment, training and education will receive particular consideration during project selection. b. Project Delivery Performance i. The applicant’s track record in successfully delivering previous DOT grants on time, on budget, and for the full intended scope; ii. The applicant’s means for achieving satisfactory continuing control over project assets in a timely manner, including public ownership of project assets or agreements with commuter railroad operators and infrastructure owners at the time of application; and iii. The extent to which the proposed project complements previous DOT awards. c. Region/Location i. The extent to which the proposed project increases the economic productivity of land, capital, or labor at specific locations, particularly in economically distressed areas; ii. Ensuring appropriate level of regional balance across the country; iii. Ensuring consistency with national transportation and rail network objectives; and iv. Ensuring integration with other rail services and transportation modes. d. Innovation/Resource Development i. Promoting innovations that demonstrate the value of new approaches to, among other things, transportation funding and finance, contracting, project delivery, congestion management, safety management, asset management, or long-term operations and maintenance. 6. Federal Award Administration 6.1 Federal Award Notice Final project selections will be posted on DOT, FRA, and FTA’s Web sites. 6.2 Award Administration Due to funding limitations, projects that are selected for funding may receive less than the amount originally requested. In those cases, applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are still viable and can be completed with the amount awarded. Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) Review Before making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold (see 2 CFR 200.88 Simplified PO 00000 Frm 00130 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50051 Acquisition Threshold), FTA will review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through the System for Award Management (SAM) (currently the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM. FTA will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205. 6.3 Administrative and National Policy Requirements a. Pre-Award Authority Once selected, FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding preaward authority at the time of selection. FTA does not provide pre-award authority for discretionary funds until projects are selected and even then there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs are incurred. For more information about FTA’s policy on preaward authority, please see the FY 2016 Apportionment Notice published on February 16, 2016. https:// www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-02-16/ pdf/2016-02821.pdf. b. Grant Requirements If selected, awardees will apply for a grant through FTA’s Transit Award Management System (TrAMS). Recipients of PTC Funding are subject to the requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53, including FTA’s Buy America requirements, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, and Planning Requirements. All recipients must follow the Grants Management Requirements of FTA Circular 5010.1D, the labor protections of 49 U.S.C. 5333(b), and the third party procurement requirements of FTA Circular 4220.1F. All discretionary grants, regardless of award amount, will be subject to the congressional notification and release process. Technical assistance regarding these requirements is available from each FTA regional office. E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1 50052 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 146 / Friday, July 29, 2016 / Notices c. Standard Assurances The applicant must assure it will comply with all applicable Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and other Federal administrative requirements in carrying out any project supported by the FTA grant. The applicant must acknowledge that it is under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The applicant understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and administrative practices might be modified from time to time and may affect the implementation of the project. The applicant must agree that the most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project, unless FTA issues a written determination otherwise. The applicant must submit the Certifications and Assurances before receiving a grant if it does not have current certifications on file. d. Reporting Post-award reporting requirements include submission of Federal Financial Reports and Milestone Progress Reports in TrAMS. e. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.’’ FRA will consider applications for funding only from eligible recipients as explained in Section 3. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 7. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts If you have a PTC technical project related question, you may contact Dr. Mark Hartong, Senior Scientific Technical Advisor (phone: (202) 493– 1332; email: mark.hartong@dot.gov), or Mr. Devin Rouse, Program Manager (phone: (202) 493–6185, email: devin.rouse@dot.gov.) Grant application submission and processing questions should be addressed to Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W36– 412, Washington, DC 20590; email: amy.houser@dot.gov. For questions relating to grant requirements, please contact Eric Hu, Program Manager, Urban Programs (phone: (202) 366–0870, email eric.hu@ dot.gov). FTA grantees may also contact their FTA regional office. Contact for FTA’s regional offices can be found on FTA’s Web site at: https:// www.transit.dot.gov/about/regionaloffices/regional-offices. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Jul 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 Information Collection: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the information collection associated with the PTC Grants Program. The approval number for this collection of information is OMB No. 2130–0587. Issued in Washington, DC on July 21, 2016. Carolyn Flowers, Acting Administrator, FTA. Sarah E. Feinberg, Administrator, FRA. [FR Doc. 2016–17943 Filed 7–28–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement Open Season Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice of open season for enrollment in the VISA program. AGENCY: The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announces that the open season for Fiscal Year 2017 applications for participation in the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program will run for 30 days beginning today and ending August 29, 2016. The purpose of this notice is to invite interested, qualified U.S.-flag vessel operators that are not currently enrolled in the VISA program to apply. This is the only planned enrollment period for carriers to join the VISA program and derive benefits for Department of Defense (DOD) peacetime contracts initiated during the period from October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017. Any U.S.-flag vessel operator organized under the laws of a state of the United States, or the District of Columbia, who is able and willing to commit militarily useful sealift assets and assume the related consequential risks of commercial disruption, may be eligible to participate in the VISA program. The mission of VISA is to provide commercial sealift and intermodal shipping services and systems, including access to vessels, vessel space, intermodal systems and equipment, terminal facilities, and related management services, to the Department of Defense (DOD), as necessary, to meet national defense contingency requirements or national emergencies. Carriers enrolled in the VISA program provide DOD with assured access to such services during contingencies. In return for their VISA commitment, DOD gives VISA SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00131 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 participants priority for carriage of peacetime cargos. DATES: VISA Program applications must be received on or before August 29, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit applications and questions related to this notice to William G. McDonald, Director, Office of Sealift Support, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William G. McDonald, Director, Office of Sealift Support, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone (202) 366–0688; Fax (202) 366–5904, electronic mail to william.g.mcdonald@dot.gov or visit http://www.marad.dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The VISA program was established pursuant to Section 708 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (DPA). The VISA program was created to provide for voluntary agreements for emergency preparedness programs. Pursuant to the DPA, voluntary agreements for preparedness programs, including the VISA program expire five (5) years after the date they became effective. The VISA program is open to U.S.-flag vessel operators of oceangoing militarily useful vessels. An operator is defined as an owner or bareboat charterer of a vessel. Operators include vessel owners and bareboat charter operators if satisfactory signed agreements are in place committing the assets of the owner to VISA. Voyage and space charterers are not considered U.S.-flag vessel operators for purposes of VISA eligibility. VISA Program The VISA program provides for the staged, time-phased availability of participants’ shipping services/systems through pre-negotiated contracts between the Government and participants. Such arrangements are jointly planned with the MARAD, the United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), and participants in peacetime to allow effective and best valued use of commercial sealift capacity, provide DOD assured contingency access, and to minimize commercial disruption. Throughout the activation of any stages of VISA, DOD may utilize voluntary commitment of sealift capacity or systems. Requests for volunteer capacity will be extended simultaneously to both participants and other carriers. First priority for E:\FR\FM\29JYN1.SGM 29JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 146 (Friday, July 29, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 50047-50052]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-17943]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

Federal Transit Administration


Notice of Funding Opportunity for FY 2017 Positive Train Control 
Grant Funds

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit 
Administration (FTA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice details the application requirements and 
procedures to obtain funding for the installation of Positive Train 
Control (PTC) systems required under the Railroad Safety Improvement 
Act of 2008, as amended by the Positive Train Control Enforcement and 
Implementation Act of 2015. The opportunities described in this notice 
are available under Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number 
20.321, ``Positive Train Control.''
    FRA will review applications for funding under this NOFO and will 
select the projects for funding. FTA will award the grant funds and 
administer and manage the grants after award. FRA will help FTA monitor 
the PTC implementation and progress of the grantees. In addition, 
applicants should contact FRA with PTC technical questions.

DATES: Applications for funding under this solicitation are due no 
later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, September 27, 2016. Applications for funding 
received after 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 27, 2016 will not be 
considered for funding. See Section 4 of this notice for additional 
information on the application process.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted via Grants.gov. For any 
required or supporting application materials that an applicant is 
unable to submit via Grants.gov (such as oversized engineering 
drawings), an applicant may submit an original and two (2) copies to 
Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W36-412, Washington, 
DC 20590. However, due to delays caused by enhanced screening of mail 
delivered via the U.S. Postal Service, applicants are advised to use 
other means of conveyance (such as courier service) to assure timely 
receipt of materials.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have a PTC project related 
question, you may contact Dr. Mark Hartong, Senior Scientific Technical 
Advisor,

[[Page 50048]]

Federal Railroad Administration (phone: (202) 493-1332; email: 
mark.hartong@dot.gov), or Mr. Devin Rouse, Program Manager, Federal 
Railroad Administration (phone: (202) 493-6185, email: 
devin.rouse@dot.gov). Grant application submission and processing 
questions should be addressed to Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program 
Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration (1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Room W36-412, Washington, DC 20590; email: amy.houser@dot.gov). For 
questions regarding FTA administration of grants awarded under this 
competition, contact Mr. Eric Hu, Office of Program Management, Federal 
Transit Administration (phone: (202) 366-0870; email: eric.hu@dot.gov).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Notice to applicants: FRA and FTA recommend applicants read this 
notice in its entirety prior to preparing application materials. There 
are several administrative prerequisites described herein that 
applicants must comply with to submit an application and specific 
eligibility requirements applicants must meet. Additionally, applicants 
should note that the required Project Narrative component of the 
application package may not exceed 25 pages in length (including any 
appendices).

Table of Contents

1. Program Description
2. Federal Award Information
3. Eligibility Information
4. Application and Submission Information
5. Application Review
6. Federal Award Administration
7. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

Section 1: Program Description

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications for grants to 
assist financing the installation of PTC systems required under 49 
U.S.C. 20157 (Implementation of positive train control systems). The 
maximum $197.01 million of funding available under this NOFO after 
approximately $2 million is set aside for program oversight is 
authorized by section 3028 of the Fixing America's Surface 
Transportation (FAST) Act (Public Law 114-94). All projects that 
receive funding under this notice must comply with the applicable 
requirements of 49 U.S.C. 20157 and 49 CFR part 236, subpart I, 
including 236.1005 (Requirements for Positive Train Control Systems). 
The funding described in this notice is authorized to be appropriated 
for Federal Fiscal Year 2017 beginning October 1, 2016. Funding 
allocations made under this notice are subject to the availability of 
funds.

Section 2: Federal Award Information

    The maximum funding authorized under this NOFO is $197.01 million 
after approximately $2 million is set aside for program oversight per 
the FAST Act. Per the FAST Act, FRA anticipates selecting multiple 
projects for the funding made available in this notice, and is not 
predetermining any minimum or maximum dollar amounts for awards. 
However, given the limited amount of funding currently available, 
applicants are encouraged to identify scalable project phases or 
elements that would result in the installation of components necessary 
for the deployment of a PTC system required under 49 U.S.C. 20157, 
because FRA may choose to make project selections for less than the 
total amount requested in the application.

Section 3: Eligibility Information

    This section of the notice explains the requirements for submitting 
an eligible grant application. Applications that do not meet the 
requirements in this section will be considered ineligible for funding. 
Instructions for conveying eligibility information to FRA are detailed 
in Section 4 of this NOFO.

3.1 Applicant Eligibility

    Eligible applicants for PTC system funding under this notice are 
entities that are recipients of funds under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53.
    a. This includes, but is not limited to, the following entities:
    i. Public transit agencies operating commuter railroads; and
    ii. State and local governments.
    b. Applicants must:
    i. Have submitted a revised Positive Train Control Implementation 
Plan (PTCIP) to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a); or
    ii. Be tenants on one or more host railroads whose host railroad(s) 
have submitted a revised PTCIP as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a).
    c. An applicant who has not submitted a revised PTCIP to FRA as 
required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), and is not a tenant on one or more host 
railroads who have submitted a revised PTCIP as required by 49 U.S.C. 
20157(a), may be eligible for funding under this notice if the 
applicant can demonstrate to FRA's satisfaction in the grant 
application that the:
    i. Applicant is not required to submit a revised PTCIP as required 
by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a); and
    ii. Proposed project will assist in financing the installation of a 
PTC system required under 49 U.S.C. 20157.

3.2 Project Eligibility

    Projects eligible for funding under this NOFO must help install PTC 
systems required under 49 U.S.C. 20157. The capital costs of PTC 
systems installation would be eligible project activities including but 
not limited to: Back office systems; wayside, communications and 
onboard hardware equipment, software; equipment installation; and 
spectrum acquisition.
    Examples of eligible PTC system projects include the following:
    a. Installation of PTC systems;
    b. Installation of shared PTC system infrastructure (e.g., back 
office systems and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems);
    c. Advancement of PTC system interoperability related to 
installation, such as spectrum acquisition, spectrum sharing, and radio 
interference and desensitization;
    d. Installation of technologies that will lower costs, accelerate 
PTC implementation, increase interoperability between host and tenant 
operations, and improve reliability of PTC systems; and
    e. Installation of technologies that will eliminate PTC system 
communications interference, provide solutions to configuration 
management of multi-railroad PTC software and firmware deployments, and 
provide host-tenant railroad PTC interoperability and PTC System 
Certification.
    These are examples of eligible projects, and FRA will evaluate any 
other projects meeting the criteria of this NOFO for eligibility and 
consideration for award.
    Preventive maintenance and overhaul costs, new vehicle procurement, 
real estate property acquisition, building construction and 
acquisition, and operating expenses are not eligible costs under this 
NOFO.

3.3 Cost Eligibility

    Funds awarded under this notice must not exceed 80 percent of the 
total cost of a project. The required 20 percent non-Federal share may 
be comprised of public sector (state or local) or private sector 
funding. However, FRA will not consider any other Federal grant funds, 
nor any non-Federal funds already expended (or otherwise encumbered), 
towards the matching requirement. FRA is limiting the method for 
calculating the non-Federal match to cash contributions only--FRA will 
not accept ``in-kind'' contributions and transportation development 
credits. FRA will consider non-Federal matching funds exceeding the 
minimum requirement when evaluating the merit of an application.

[[Page 50049]]

Section 4: Application and Submission Information

4.1 Submission Dates and Times

    Applicants must submit complete applications to Grants.gov no later 
than 5:00 p.m. EDT, September 27, 2016. Delayed registration is not an 
acceptable reason for late submission. In order to apply for funding 
under this announcement, all applicants are expected to be registered 
as an organization with Grants.gov. Applicants are strongly encouraged 
to apply early to ensure that all materials are received before this 
deadline. Late applications that are the result of failure to register 
or comply with Grants.gov applicant requirements in a timely manner 
will not be considered.

4.2 Application Content

    Applicants should read this section carefully and must submit all 
required information.
Project Narrative
    This section describes the minimum content required in the Project 
Narrative component of grant applications (FRA also recommends the 
Project Narrative generally adhere to the following outline). These 
requirements must be satisfied through a narrative statement submitted 
by the applicant, and may be supported by spreadsheet documents, 
tables, maps, drawings, and other materials, as appropriate. The 
Project Narrative may not exceed 25 pages in length (including any 
appendices). FRA will not review or consider for award applications 
with Project Narratives exceeding the 25 page limitation.
    a. The Project Narrative must:
    i. Include a title page that lists the following elements in either 
a table or formatted list: Project title; location (i.e., city, State, 
Congressional district); applicant organization name; name of any co-
applicants; amount of Federal funding requested; and proposed non-
Federal match;
    ii. Designate a point of contact for the applicant and provide his 
or her name and contact information, including phone number, mailing 
address, and email address. The point of contact must be an employee of 
an eligible applicant;
    iii. Indicate the amount of Federal funding requested, the proposed 
non-Federal match, and total project cost. Additionally, identify any 
other sources of Federal funds committed to the project and any pending 
Federal requests. You must also note if the requested Federal funding 
must be obligated or spent by a certain date due to dependencies or 
relationships with other Federal or non-Federal funding sources, 
related projects, law, or other factors. Finally, specify whether you 
ever previously sought Federal funding for the project, and name the 
Federal program and fiscal year for the funding request;
    iv. Explain how the applicant meets the applicant eligibility 
criteria outlined in Section 3 of this notice;
    v. Provide a brief 4-6 sentence summary of the proposed project, 
capturing the PTC challenges the proposed project aims to address, as 
well as the intended outcomes and anticipated benefits that will result 
from the proposed project;
    vi. Include a detailed project description that expands upon the 
brief summary required above. This detailed description should provide, 
at a minimum, additional background on the PTC challenges the project 
aims to address, the expected users and beneficiaries of the project, 
the specific components and elements of the project, and any other 
information the applicant deems necessary to justify the proposed 
project. The detailed description should also clearly explain how the 
proposed project meets the project eligibility criteria in Section 3 of 
this notice;
    vii. Include a thorough discussion of how the proposed project 
meets all of the evaluation criteria for the respective project type, 
as outlined in Section 5 of this notice. Applicants should note that 
FRA reviews applications based upon the evaluation criteria. If an 
application does not sufficiently address the evaluation criteria, it 
is unlikely to be a competitive application. In responding to the 
criteria, applicants should clearly identify, quantify, and compare 
expected benefits and costs of proposed projects;
    viii. Describe proposed project implementation and project 
management arrangements. Include descriptions of the expected 
arrangements for project contracting, contract oversight, change-order 
management, risk management, and conformance to Federal requirements 
for project progress reporting.
Additional Application Elements
    b. Applicants must:
    i. Submit a Statement of Work (SOW) that addresses the scope, 
schedule, and budget for the proposed project if it were selected for 
award. The SOW must contain sufficient detail so that FRA and FTA, and 
the applicant, can understand the expected outcomes of the proposed 
work to be performed and monitor progress toward completing project 
tasks and deliverables during a prospective grant's period of 
performance. FRA developed a standard SOW template that applicants must 
use to be considered for award. The SOW templates and other required 
forms are located at http://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0021.
    ii. Describe anticipated environmental and historic preservation 
impacts associated with the proposed project, any environmental or 
historic preservation analyses that have been prepared, and progress 
toward completing any environmental documentation or clearance required 
for the proposed project under the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act, section 4(f) of the 
U.S. DOT Act, the Clean Water Act, and other applicable Federal or 
State laws such as the FCC requirements for antenna transmission. 
Applicants are encouraged to contact FTA and obtain preliminary 
direction regarding the appropriate NEPA action and required 
environmental documentation. Generally, projects will be ineligible to 
receive funding if they have begun construction activities prior to the 
applicant receiving written approval from FTA that all environmental 
and historical analyses have been completed. Additional information 
regarding FTA's environmental processes and requirements are located at 
https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/environmental-programs/environmental-analysis-review.
    iii. Submit an SF 424A--Budget Information for Non-Construction or 
SF 424C.
    iv. Budget Information for Construction;
    v. Submit an SF 424B--Assurances for Non-Construction or SF 424D--
Assurances for Construction; and
    vi. Submit an SF LLL: Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.

4.3 Submission Instructions

    To apply for funding through Grants.gov, applicants must be 
properly registered. Complete instructions on how to register and 
submit an application can be found at Grants.gov. Registering with 
Grants.gov is a onetime process; however, it can take up to several 
weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation and a user 
password. FRA recommends that applicants start the registration process 
as early as possible to prevent delays that may preclude submitting an 
application package by the application deadline. Applications will not 
be accepted after the due date. Delayed registration is not an 
acceptable justification for an application extension. (Please note 
that if a Dun &

[[Page 50050]]

Bradstreet (DUNS) number must be obtained or renewed, this may take a 
significant amount of time to complete.) Late applications that are the 
result of failure to register or comply with Grants.gov applicant 
requirements in a timely manner will not be considered.
    Required documents for the application package are outlined in the 
following paragraphs. Applicants must complete and submit all 
components of the application package. FRA welcomes the submission of 
other relevant supporting documentation that may have been developed by 
the applicant (planning, engineering and design documentation, and 
letters of support). In particular, applications accompanied by 
completed feasibility studies and cost estimates may be more favorably 
considered during the evaluation process, as they demonstrate that an 
applicant has a greater understanding of the scope and cost of the 
project.
    Applicants must submit all application materials through 
Grants.gov. For any required or supporting application materials that 
an applicant cannot submit via Grants.gov (such as oversized 
engineering drawings), an applicant may submit an original and two (2) 
copies to Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W36-412, Washington, 
DC 20590. However, due to delays caused by enhanced screening of mail 
delivered via the U.S. Postal Service, FRA advises applicants to use 
other means of conveyance (such as courier service) to assure timely 
receipt of materials. Additionally, if documents can be obtained 
online, explaining to FRA how to access files on a referenced Web site 
may also be sufficient.

4.4 Funding Restrictions

Use of Grant Funds for Federal Credit Assistance
    At the request of an eligible applicant under Section 3 of this 
NOFO, and subject to DOT approval and any applicable laws that may 
otherwise prohibit using Federal grant funds in such a manner, amounts 
awarded to an eligible applicant under this grant may be used to pay 
certain costs applicants incur under sections 502 through 504 of the 
Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 
801, et seq.) (Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) 
program). Requirements to use the grant money awarded under this NOFO 
for RRIF costs are explained further below.
    In general, the RRIF program provides loans and loan guarantees to 
finance railroad and intermodal equipment and infrastructure, including 
PTC installation. Under the RRIF program, a RRIF loan applicant or 
other non-Federal source must pay a Credit Risk Premium (CRP) assessed 
based on the overall risk of each transaction. In addition, the RRIF 
applicant pays an evaluation charge to reimburse the Secretary for 
costs incurred to administer the program, including financial and legal 
advice (administrative costs).
    Eligible applicants may use amounts awarded under this NOFO to pay 
the RRIF CRP and/or administrative costs associated with a RRIF loan or 
loan guarantee made to finance the same PTC system installation project 
for which the grant under this NOFO was awarded.
    To be clear, the funds made available under this NOFO may only be 
used to finance the installation of PTC systems required under 49 
U.S.C. 20157.
Availability
    The grant funds made available under this NOFO must be obligated in 
a grant agreement no later than September 30, 2018. Therefore, for an 
eligible applicant to use grant funds to pay the CRP and/or 
administrative costs associated with a RRIF loan or loan guarantee, the 
applicable loan or loan guarantee must be executed by September 30, 
2018. Subsidy and administrative costs associated with a RRIF loan or 
loan guarantee agreement that is not executed by September 30, 2018 are 
not eligible for funding under this NOFO.

Section 5: Application Review

    FRA will conduct a three-part application review process, as 
follows:
    a. Screen applications for completeness and eligibility;
    b. Evaluate eligible applications (completed by technical panels 
applying the evaluation criteria); and
    c. Select projects for funding (completed by the FRA Administrator 
applying additional selection criteria).

5.1 Intake and Eligibility

    FRA first will screen each application for eligibility (eligibility 
requirements are outlined in Section 3 of this notice) and completeness 
(application documentation and submission requirements are outlined in 
Section 4 of this notice). FRA-led technical panels of subject-matter 
experts will evaluate all eligible and complete applications using the 
evaluation criteria outlined in this section. The FRA Administrator 
then will select for funding the projects that are well-aligned with 
one or more of the evaluation and selection criteria.

5.2 Evaluation Criteria

    FRA will give preference to applicants that can demonstrate an 
ability to substantially complete the project work, or otherwise 
provide benefits to industry, prior to the statutory deadlines the 
Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015 
(PTCEI Act) established. The PTCEI Act extended the statutory deadline 
for implementation of PTC systems to at least December 31, 2018, and 
allows railroads to request approval from FRA for an extension beyond 
December 31, 2018, but no later than December 31, 2020, for 
implementation of certain operational, non-hardware aspects of PTC 
systems, upon completion of statutory prerequisites. FRA will review 
applications using the following four evaluation criteria:
     Accrued safety benefits;
     Expeditious PTC system deployment;
     Technical merit; and
     Project development approach.
a. Accrued Safety Benefits
    FRA will consider a proposed project's accrued safety benefits, 
including the following factors:
    i. The number of passengers for which the proposed project will 
improve safety by reducing the threat of train-to-train collisions, 
over speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, 
and the movement of a train through a misaligned switch; and
    ii. The number of miles of roadway work zones protected by the 
proposed project.
b. Expeditious PTC System Deployment
    FRA will consider a proposed project's achievement of expeditious 
PTC system deployment, including the following factors:
    i. The degree to which the proposed project expedites the 
installation of the PTC system;
    ii. The degree to which the proposed project expedites testing and 
certification of the PTC system; and
    iii. The ability for the proposed project to maintain the 
railroad's PTC system implementation timeline or reduce/eliminate 
schedule risks.
c. Technical Merit
    FRA will consider a proposed project's technical merit, including 
the following factors:
    i. The degree to which the proposed project exhibits a sound 
scientific and engineering basis;
    ii. The degree to which the proposed project is practically applied 
in and

[[Page 50051]]

compatible with the railroad's operating environment and 
infrastructure; and
    iii. The likelihood of technical and practical success.
d. Project Development Approach
    FRA will consider a proposed project's project development 
approach, including the following factors:
    i. The technical qualifications and demonstrated experience of key 
personnel proposed to lead and perform the technical efforts, and the 
qualifications of the primary and supporting organizations to fully and 
successfully execute the proposed project within the proposed timeframe 
and budget;
    ii. The degree to which proposed project is supported by multiple 
entities (letters of support are encouraged);
    iii. The affordability and degree to which the proposed project is 
a good value for the amount of funding requested. Good value means the 
goods/services received are worth the price paid. (Examples of the 
types of factors that may be considered include, but are not limited 
to, suitability, quality, skills, price, and life-cycle cost. The mix 
of these and other factors and the relevant importance of each will 
vary on a case by case basis);
    iv. The reasonableness of the proposed costs; and
    v. The extent of proposed cost sharing or cost participation 
(exclusive of the applicant's prior investment).

5.3 Selection Criteria

    In addition to the evaluation criteria, the FRA Administrator will 
apply the following four selection criteria to further ensure that the 
projects selected for funding advance FRA's current PTC mission and key 
priorities:
     Alignment with DOT strategic goals and priorities;
     Project delivery performance;
     Region/location; and
     Innovation/resource development.
a. Alignment With DOT Strategic Goals and Priorities
    i. Improving transportation safety;
    ii. Maintaining transportation infrastructure in a state of good 
repair;
    iii. Promoting economic competitiveness;
    iv. Advancing environmentally sustainable transportation policies;
    v. Enhancing quality of life; and
    vi. Building ladders of opportunity to expand the middle class.
    Proposed projects that demonstrate the ability to provide reliable, 
safe and affordable transportation choices to connect economically 
disadvantaged populations, non-drivers, senior citizens, and persons 
with disabilities in disconnected communities with employment, training 
and education will receive particular consideration during project 
selection.
b. Project Delivery Performance
    i. The applicant's track record in successfully delivering previous 
DOT grants on time, on budget, and for the full intended scope;
    ii. The applicant's means for achieving satisfactory continuing 
control over project assets in a timely manner, including public 
ownership of project assets or agreements with commuter railroad 
operators and infrastructure owners at the time of application; and
    iii. The extent to which the proposed project complements previous 
DOT awards.
c. Region/Location
    i. The extent to which the proposed project increases the economic 
productivity of land, capital, or labor at specific locations, 
particularly in economically distressed areas;
    ii. Ensuring appropriate level of regional balance across the 
country;
    iii. Ensuring consistency with national transportation and rail 
network objectives; and
    iv. Ensuring integration with other rail services and 
transportation modes.
d. Innovation/Resource Development
    i. Promoting innovations that demonstrate the value of new 
approaches to, among other things, transportation funding and finance, 
contracting, project delivery, congestion management, safety 
management, asset management, or long-term operations and maintenance.

6. Federal Award Administration

6.1 Federal Award Notice

    Final project selections will be posted on DOT, FRA, and FTA's Web 
sites.

6.2 Award Administration

    Due to funding limitations, projects that are selected for funding 
may receive less than the amount originally requested. In those cases, 
applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are 
still viable and can be completed with the amount awarded.
Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) 
Review
    Before making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share 
greater than the simplified acquisition threshold (see 2 CFR 200.88 
Simplified Acquisition Threshold), FTA will review and consider any 
information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and 
performance system accessible through the System for Award Management 
(SAM) (currently the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity 
Information System (FAPIIS)) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313).
    An applicant, at its option, may review information in the 
designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and 
comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency 
previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and 
performance system accessible through SAM.
    FTA will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the 
other information in the designated integrity and performance system, 
in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, 
and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the 
review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205.

6.3 Administrative and National Policy Requirements

a. Pre-Award Authority
    Once selected, FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients 
regarding pre-award authority at the time of selection. FTA does not 
provide pre-award authority for discretionary funds until projects are 
selected and even then there are Federal requirements that must be met 
before costs are incurred. For more information about FTA's policy on 
pre-award authority, please see the FY 2016 Apportionment Notice 
published on February 16, 2016. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-02-16/pdf/2016-02821.pdf.
b. Grant Requirements
    If selected, awardees will apply for a grant through FTA's Transit 
Award Management System (TrAMS). Recipients of PTC Funding are subject 
to the requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53, including FTA's Buy 
America requirements, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, and Planning 
Requirements. All recipients must follow the Grants Management 
Requirements of FTA Circular 5010.1D, the labor protections of 49 
U.S.C. 5333(b), and the third party procurement requirements of FTA 
Circular 4220.1F. All discretionary grants, regardless of award amount, 
will be subject to the congressional notification and release process. 
Technical assistance regarding these requirements is available from 
each FTA regional office.

[[Page 50052]]

c. Standard Assurances
    The applicant must assure it will comply with all applicable 
Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and 
other Federal administrative requirements in carrying out any project 
supported by the FTA grant. The applicant must acknowledge that it is 
under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions 
of the grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The applicant 
understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and 
administrative practices might be modified from time to time and may 
affect the implementation of the project. The applicant must agree that 
the most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project, unless 
FTA issues a written determination otherwise. The applicant must submit 
the Certifications and Assurances before receiving a grant if it does 
not have current certifications on file.
d. Reporting
    Post-award reporting requirements include submission of Federal 
Financial Reports and Milestone Progress Reports in TrAMS.
e. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information
    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.'' FRA will consider 
applications for funding only from eligible recipients as explained in 
Section 3.

7. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    If you have a PTC technical project related question, you may 
contact Dr. Mark Hartong, Senior Scientific Technical Advisor (phone: 
(202) 493-1332; email: mark.hartong@dot.gov), or Mr. Devin Rouse, 
Program Manager (phone: (202) 493-6185, email: devin.rouse@dot.gov.) 
Grant application submission and processing questions should be 
addressed to Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal 
Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W36-412, 
Washington, DC 20590; email: amy.houser@dot.gov.
    For questions relating to grant requirements, please contact Eric 
Hu, Program Manager, Urban Programs (phone: (202) 366-0870, email 
eric.hu@dot.gov). FTA grantees may also contact their FTA regional 
office. Contact for FTA's regional offices can be found on FTA's Web 
site at: https://www.transit.dot.gov/about/regional-offices/regional-offices.
    Information Collection: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
approved the information collection associated with the PTC Grants 
Program. The approval number for this collection of information is OMB 
No. 2130-0587.

    Issued in Washington, DC on July 21, 2016.
Carolyn Flowers,
Acting Administrator, FTA.

Sarah E. Feinberg,
Administrator, FRA.
[FR Doc. 2016-17943 Filed 7-28-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-06-P