Discretionary Funding Opportunity: Zero Emission Research Opportunity, 83923-83928 [2016-28069]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 225 / Tuesday, November 22, 2016 / Notices or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the meeting, contact Eran Segev at (617) 494–3174, eran.segev@ dot.gov, by Wednesday, November 30. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background The U.S. Secretary of Transportation established the PAR Working Group as a discretionary committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA, 5 U.S.C. App 2) on October 13, 2016, making it effective through October 13, 2018. The PAR Working Group provides advice and recommendations to the FMCSA Administrator on post-accident reporting requirements, specifically those in section 5306, operating in accordance with FACA. II. Meeting Participation Oral comments from the public will be heard throughout the meeting, at the discretion of the PAR chairman. Members of the public may submit written comments on the topics to be considered during the meeting by Wednesday, November 30, to Federal Docket Management System (FDMC) Docket Number FMCSA–2016–0412 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12–140, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Issued on: November 16, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2016–28015 Filed 11–21–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0012] Hours of Service of Drivers: American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA) Exemption; FAST Act Extension of Compliance Date Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Nov 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 ACTION: Notice; extension of exemption. FMCSA announces the extension of the exemption from the 30minute rest break requirement granted to the American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA) on August 21, 2015, on behalf of motor carriers whose drivers transport security-sensitive hazardous materials (HM) requiring constant attendance on the vehicle. The Agency extends the expiration date from August 21, 2015 to August 20, 2020, in response to section 5206(b)(2)(A) of the ‘‘Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act’’ (FAST Act), which extends hours-ofservice (HOS) exemptions in effect on the date of enactment to 5 years from their date of issuance. The ATA rest break exemption is limited to drivers transporting HM loads requiring placarding under the HM regulations or select agents and toxins identified in the HM regulations that do not require placarding, and who have filed security plans requiring constant attendance of HM. The Agency previously determined that the CMV operations of drivers under this exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be obtained in the absence of the exemption. DATES: This limited exemption is effective from August 21, 2015, through August 20, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 614–942–6477. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Legal Basis FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register [49 CFR 381.315(a)]. Section 5206(b)(2)(A) of the FAST Act requires FMCSA to extend any exemption from any provision of the HOS regulations under 49 CFR part 395 that was in effect on the date of enactment of the Act to a period of 5 years from the date the exemption was granted. The exemption may be renewed. Because this action merely implements a statutory mandate that took effect on the date of enactment of the FAST Act, notice and comment are not required. ATA Exemption ATA, a trade association, applied for a limited exemption from the mandatory PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 83923 rest break requirement of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) on behalf of all motor carriers whose drivers transport HM loads subject to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s security plan requirement. FMCSA reviewed ATA’s application and the public comments and concluded that motor carriers may only use this exemption when their drivers are actually transporting HM that requires placarding or includes a select agent or toxin identified in § 172.800(b)(13), and for which a security plan has been filed under § 172.800–804. A Notice of Final Determination granting this ATA exemption was published on August 21, 2015 [80 FR 50912]. The substance of the exemption is not affected by this extension. The exemption covers only the 30-minute break requirement [49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)]. The exemption is restricted to drivers transporting HM loads requiring placarding under 49 CFR part 172, subpart F, or select agents and toxins identified in § 172.800(b)(13) that do not require placarding, and who have filed security plans requiring constant attendance of HM in accordance with §§ 172.800–804. On each trip, the drivers will be allowed to use 30 minutes or more of ‘‘attendance time’’ to meet the requirements for a rest break in the manner provide in 49 CFR 395.1(q) provided they perform no other on-duty activities during the rest break. The FMCSA does not believe the safety record of any driver operating under this exemption will deteriorate. However, should deterioration in safety occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public interest, including revocation of the exemption. The FMCSA has the authority to terminate the exemption at any time the Agency has the data/information to conclude that safety is being compromised. Issued on: November 9, 2016. T.F. Scott Darling, III, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2016–28014 Filed 11–21–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration Discretionary Funding Opportunity: Zero Emission Research Opportunity Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\22NON1.SGM 22NON1 83924 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 225 / Tuesday, November 22, 2016 / Notices Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and Request for Proposals (RFP). ACTION: This competitive solicitation is for the Zero Emission Research Opportunity (ZERO), administered by the Federal Transit Administration. Available funding is $2.75 million in FTA research funds and this solicitation also will establish eligibility for possible future funding, subject to Congressional appropriations and FTA funding approval, for ZERO. The purpose of the program is to facilitate the advancement, production, and deployment of zero emission public transportation vehicle technology and related infrastructure. FTA intends to select, and enter into cooperative agreements with, multiple (up to 3) nonprofit consortia to continue building on past research innovation and development efforts to facilitate the deployment of zero emission vehicles and associated advanced technology. Eligibility for future ZERO funding opportunities in fiscal years 2017–2020 will be limited to those nonprofit consortia selected under this fiscal year 2017 notice. Potential research partners such as transit agencies, other nonprofits, vendors, suppliers and systems integrators may work with multiple consortia. The Federal cost share of a project carried out under ZERO shall not exceed 80 percent. DATES: Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV ‘‘APPLY’’ function by 11:59 EST on February 21, 2017. Prospective applicants should initiate the process by registering on the GRANTS.GOV Web site promptly to ensure completion of the application process before the submission deadline. This announcement is also available at FTA’s Web site at: https:// www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/ notices and in the ‘‘FIND’’ module of GRANTS.GOV. The funding opportunity ID is FTA–2016–009–TRI– ZERO and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for Section 5312 is 20.514. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sean Ricketson, FTA Office of Research Demonstration and Innovation, (202) 366–6678 or ZERO.FTA@dot.gov. A TDD is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 1–800–877– 8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: Table of Contents A. Program Description B. Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Nov 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 D. Application and Submission Information E. Application Review F. Federal Award Administration G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts H. Other Information A. Program Description 1. Background Advances in technology are enabling substantial changes in vehicle propulsion, transportation operations, and transportation service delivery. These changes are creating opportunities for our nation’s transportation system to deliver higher levels of service at lower cost and with fewer externalities, benefitting all Americans. Opportunity for change also carries risk, however. Through the Zero Emission Research Opportunity (ZERO), FTA seeks to work with the public transportation industry to solve challenges, increase efficiency, and reduce the costs and risks of deploying zero emission vehicles in transit service. In implementing ZERO, FTA intends to use a cooperative research model similar to FTA’s successful National Fuel Cell Bus Program. Under this model, research and demonstration projects are defined and conducted by pre-selected non-profit third parties (non-profit consortia as defined in 49 U.S.C. 5312(e)(2)(B)) that, under FTA direction, assemble and manage teams of departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Federal Government, including federal laboratories; state and local governmental entities; providers of public transportation; private or nonprofit organizations; institutions of higher education; and technical and community colleges. The model introduces an enhanced level of research management, program continuity, and flexibility to federallyfunded transit research. It also provides a higher degree of innovation and resiliency, resulting in more successful projects. Through ZERO, FTA seeks to refine this research model with the goal of creating a research environment which results in greater industry involvement and more innovative and successful projects. 2. Scope The purpose of ZERO is to work with U.S. industry to remove obstacles on the critical path to the wider adoption of zero emission technology in public transportation. Examples include improving charging standards for battery-electric transit vehicles, improved passenger compartment heating systems, or expanding hydrogen infrastructure. For purposes of this program, zero emission technology PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 refers to any technology that provides a pathway to the immediate or eventual adoption of transit vehicles that produce no harmful emissions in any, and all, operating modes. Battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology are typical examples. Not all pathways to zero emission vehicles have to be zero emission, but they have to be shown to be on an evolutionary pathway to zero emission. For example, hybrid technology is considered zero emission technology for the purposes of this program if it can be shown to advance the pathway to improved vehicle electrification. This program focuses on one aspect of transportation emissions—those of systems under the control of a typical domestic transit agency, such as vehicles and fueling or charging systems. With the exception of applications such as solar panels on a maintenance garage roof, emissions from energy production are not targeted in this program. Programs addressing the emissions of energy production are carried out by the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). FTA coordinates with the DoE and EPA to eliminate duplication of effort and to ensure strategic consistency. The projects under ZERO may address aspects of the following subject areas: a. Technology Research and Development—improving the efficiency, reducing costs, and improving the performance of vehicles, vehicle systems, and subsystems. b. Transit Fleet Operations— improving the efficiency, reducing costs, and improving the performance of vehicle fleets including maintenance and operations practices. c. Energy Infrastructure—addressing challenges of supporting zero emission technology including hydrogen fueling, electric charging, and relationships with suppliers and electric utilities. d. Standards and Policy—research to support standards development and testing protocols and to identify policies and policy changes to reduce costs and risks of adopting zero emission vehicle technology. e. Other—FTA is open to considering other research subjects or combinations of subjects to advance zero emission technology. B. Federal Award Information Section 5312 of title 49, United States Code (Section 5312), authorizes FTA’s Public Transportation Innovation program. Through this program, FTA may make grants, or enter into contracts, cooperative agreements and other agreements for research, development, E:\FR\FM\22NON1.SGM 22NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 225 / Tuesday, November 22, 2016 / Notices demonstration and deployment projects, and evaluation of research and technology of national significance to public transportation that the Secretary of Transportation determines will improve public transportation. ZERO is funded under Section 5312 program authority. A total of $2.75 million in funds from FY 2014 and 2015 appropriations are available for awards under this announcement. FTA intends to award multiple projects under this announcement. FTA may, at its discretion, provide additional funds for selections made under this announcement or for additional meritorious proposals from funds made available for 49 U.S.C. Section 5312. C. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants Eligible applicants and recipients under this program are limited to nonprofit organizations leading a consortium of entities as listed below. All consortia must include at least one provider of public transportation. As defined in Section 5312, the following entities may be part of a consortium: a. Departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Federal Government, including Federal laboratories; b. State and local governmental entities; c. Providers of public transportation; d. Private or non-profit organizations; e. Institutions of higher education; and f. Technical and community colleges. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching The federal share of project costs under this program is limited to 80 percent. Applicants may seek a lower Federal contribution. The applicant must provide the required local share in cash or in-kind, and must document in its application the source of the local share. Eligible sources of local share are detailed in FTA Research Circular 6100.1E. (available at http:// www.fta.dot.gov/legislation_law/12349_ 16434.html). sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 3. Eligible Projects Eligible projects include those defined under 49 U.S.C. 5312(c), (d), and (e) that will build on successful research, innovation, and development efforts to facilitate the deployment of low or no emission vehicles, zero emission vehicles, or associated advanced technology. Each consortium may propose up to three projects in its application. These are projects the consortium proposes for VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Nov 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 the first iteration of Federal funding under ZERO. For projects requesting more than $500,000, proposals should include one or more alternative funding schedules allowing the project to be funded incrementally in anticipation of additional future funding. However, given that future funding is not guaranteed, project proposals must provide meaningful deliverables for this first iteration of funding. The proposed projects must advance zero emission technology in public transportation by addressing one or more of the following subject areas: a. Technology Research and Development—improving the efficiency, reducing costs, and improving the performance of vehicles, vehicle systems, and subsystems. b. Transit Fleet Operations— improving the efficiency, reducing costs, and improving the performance of vehicle fleets including maintenance and operations practices. c. Energy Infrastructure—addressing challenges of supporting zero emission technology including hydrogen fueling, electric charging, and relationships with suppliers and electric utilities. d. Standards and Policy—research to support standards development and testing protocols and to identify policies and policy changes to reduce costs and risks of adopting zero emission vehicle technology. e. Other—FTA is open to considering other research subjects or combinations of subjects to advance zero emission technology. D. Application and Submission Information 1. Address and Form of Application Submission Project proposals must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV (www.grants.gov) by February 21, 2017. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. A complete proposal submission will consist of at least two files: (1) The SF–424 Mandatory form (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV) and (2) the Applicant and Proposal Profile for the ‘‘Zero Emission Research Opportunity’’ (ZERO Supplemental Form) found on GRANTS.GOV and the FTA Web site by clicking (or copying and pasting) the ZERO Program link at www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/ grant-programs/zero-emission-researchopportunity-ZERO. The Supplemental Form provides guidance and a consistent format for proposers to respond to the criteria outlined in this NOFO. PO 00000 Frm 00129 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 83925 2. Content and Form of Application Submission a. Proposal Submission A complete proposal submission consists of two forms: The SF–424 Mandatory Form, and the ZERO Supplemental Form. FTA will evaluate only complete applications. The Supplemental Form must be placed in the attachments section of the SF–424 Mandatory Form. Proposers must use the Supplemental Form designated for ZERO and attach it to the submission in GRANTS.GOV to successfully complete the application process. A proposal submission may contain additional supporting documentation as attachments. If an applicant elects to attach an additional narrative, it must not exceed 10 numbered pages. Submissions must be presentable and use standard fonts, font sizing, and at least one-inch margins so reviewers can easily read the information. Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the applicant should receive three email messages from GRANTS.GOV: (1) Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV, (2) confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV, and (3) confirmation of successful validation by FTA. If confirmations of successful validation are not received or a notice of failed validation or incomplete materials is received, the applicant must address the reason for the failed validation, as described in the email notice, and resubmit before the submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any reason, include all original attachments regardless of which attachments were updated and check the box on the Supplemental Form indicating this is a resubmission. FTA urges proposers to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the due date to allow time to receive the validation messages and to correct any problems that may have caused a rejection notification. FTA will not accept submissions after the stated deadline. GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV Web site. Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled Web site maintenance. Proposers are encouraged to begin the process of registration on the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. Registration is a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to complete before an application can be submitted. Registered proposers may be required to take steps to keep their registration up to date before submissions can be made E:\FR\FM\22NON1.SGM 22NON1 83926 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 225 / Tuesday, November 22, 2016 / Notices successfully: (1) Registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) is renewed annually; and, (2) persons making submissions on behalf of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions. Instructions on the GRANTS.GOV registration process are provided in the Appendix. Information such as the proposer’s name, Federal amount requested, local match amount, description of areas served, etc. may be requested in varying degrees of detail on both the SF–424 form and Supplemental Form. Proposers must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the forms. The Supplemental Form template supports pasting copied text with limited formatting from other documents; applicants should verify that pasted text is fully captured on the Supplemental Form and has not been truncated by the character limits built into the form. Proposers should use both the ‘‘Check Package for Errors’’ and the ‘‘Validate Form’’ validation buttons on both forms to check all required fields on the forms, and ensure that the Federal and local amounts specified are consistent. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES b. Application Content The SF–424 Mandatory Form and the Supplemental Form will prompt applicants for the required information, including the: (i) Applicant name; (ii) Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number if available. (Note: If selected, the applicant will be required to provide its DUNS number prior to award); (iii) Key contact information including contact name, address, email address, and phone number; (iv) Congressional district(s) of the applicant; (v) A list of consortium organizational members, by organization name and address; (vi) Documentation of membership of each organizational member of the consortium (e.g., memorandum of understanding, letter of commitment, or other documentation); (vii) A schedule outlining steps and milestones for each project; (viii) A detailed description of the consortium’s project experience, providing details of the projects the consortium has led and how those details support the evaluation criteria; (ix) A detailed description of the consortium’s experience working with zero emission technology and any related technology; VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Nov 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 (x) A detailed description of the consortium’s public transportation experience; (xi) A detailed description of the consortium’s experience working with the Federal research programs; (xii) A detailed description of the consortium’s experience functioning as a research organization; (xiii) Descriptions of up to three proposed projects, including project deliverables, schedule and budget; and (xiv) A detailed description of technical, financial and legal capacity to administer the proposed projects. Applicants may also support their applications by including an example of a statement of work, budget, or project plan from an existing or previously funded research project. c. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) Registration can take as little as 3–5 business days, but since there could be unexpected steps or delays (for example, if the applicant needs to obtain an Employer Identification Number), FTA recommends allowing ample time, up to several weeks, for completion of all steps. Step 1: Obtain DUNS Number If requested by phone (1–866–705– 5711) DUNS is provided immediately. If your organization does not have one, you will need to go to the Dun & Bradstreet Web site at http:// fedgov.dnb.com/webform to obtain the number. * Information for Foreign Registrants. * Webform requests take 1– 2 business days. Step 2: Register with SAM If you already have an Employer Identification Number, your SAM registration will take 3 to 5 business days to process. If you are applying for an Employer Identification Number please allow up to two weeks. Ensure that your organization is registered with the System for Award Management (SAM). If your organization is not registered, an authorizing official of your organization must register at www.sam.gov. Step 3: Username & Password Complete your AOR (Authorized Organization Representative) profile on GRANTS.GOV and create your username and password. You will need to use your organization’s DUNS Number to complete this step. https:// apply07.grants.gov/apply/OrcRegister. Step 4: AOR Authorization The E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC) at your organization must login to GRANTS.GOV to confirm you as an Authorized Organization PO 00000 Frm 00130 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Representative (AOR). Please note that there can be more than one AOR for your organization. In some cases the EBiz POC is also the AOR for an organization. * Time to complete this step depends on the responsiveness of your E-Biz POC. Step 5: Track AOR Status At any time, you can track your AOR status by logging in with your username and password. Login as an Applicant (enter your username & password you obtained in Step 3) using the following link: applicantlprofile.jsp. d. Submission Dates and Times Project proposals must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV by February 21, 2017. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. e. Funding Restriction FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-award authority at the time of selection. FTA does not provide pre-award authority for competitive funds until projects are selected and even then there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs are incurred. Preparation of proposals is not an eligible pre-award expense. E. Application Review 1. Evaluation Criteria FTA will use the following criteria when evaluating applications: a. Project Experience—Consortia will be evaluated based on their experience and track record in designing, leading and executing transportation research or demonstration projects. The applicant must demonstrate the experience and ability to bring together both private and public industry partners to design and execute research or demonstration projects with multi-million dollar budgets. b. Technology experience—Consortia will be evaluated based on their knowledge and experience working with zero emission technology, including in various public transportation modes. c. Public transportation experience— Consortia will be evaluated based on their experience and ability working with U.S. public transportation agencies, and in the field of public transportation. Applicants should name the public transportation agencies they have worked with in their applications. d. Federal Research or Demonstration Experience—Consortia will be evaluated based on their experience and ability managing Federal research or demonstration projects, and E:\FR\FM\22NON1.SGM 22NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 225 / Tuesday, November 22, 2016 / Notices understanding and meeting Federal requirements. e. Organizational Experience— Consortia will be evaluated based on their experience operating as a team with regard to the above areas. Where some consortia may have member organizations with experience and expertise, the expertise and experience of the consortium as a team working together is also important. This criterion addresses this issue. f. Proposed Projects (A consortium may submit up to three proposed projects) Applications will be evaluated based on the following: (i) The extent to which the proposed projects will advance zero emission technology in public transportation applications, and (ii) The effectiveness of the proposed project in advancing zero emission technology relative to the amount of FTA investment. 2. Review and Selection Process FTA staff will comprise the technical evaluation committee and will review applications against the described evaluation criteria. The technical evaluation committee reserves the right to evaluate proposals it receives and to seek clarification from any proposer about any statement that is made in a proposal that FTA finds ambiguous. FTA may also request additional documentation or information to be considered during the evaluation process. After the evaluation of all eligible proposals, the technical evaluation committee will provide recommendations to the FTA Administrator or designee. The FTA Administrator or designee will determine the final list of consortia and the amount of funding for each consortium’s proposed projects. FTA may choose to fund some, all, part, or none of a selected consortium’s proposed projects. To better evaluate technologies in a variety of conditions and locales, FTA may select a portfolio of geographically diverse projects. F. Federal Award Administration sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 1. Federal Award Notice Subsequent to an announcement by the FTA Administrator or designee of the final project selections posted on FTA’s Web site, FTA will publish a list of the selected projects, including Federal dollar amounts and recipients. All information submitted as part of or in support of a ZERO application shall use publicly available data or data that can be made public and methodologies that are accepted by industry practice and standards, to the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Nov 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 extent possible. If the submission includes information the applicant considers to be trade secret or confidential commercial or financial information, the applicant should do the following: (1) On the Supplemental Form, on every relevant page, select the button to affirm that the submission ‘‘Contains Confidential Business Information (CBI);’’ (2) On any other documentation, mark each affected page ‘‘CBI;’’ and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI portions. FTA protects such information from disclosure to the extent allowed under applicable law. In the event FTA receives a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the information, FTA will follow the procedures described in the U.S. DOT FOIA regulations at 49 CFR part 7. Only information that ultimately is determined to be confidential under the regulations will be exempt from disclosure under FOIA. Should FTA receive an order from a court of competent jurisdiction ordering the release of the information, FTA will provide the applicant timely notice of such order to allow the applicant the opportunity to challenge such an order. FTA will not challenge a court order on behalf of an applicant. 2. Award Administration Successful proposals will be awarded funding through FTA’s Transit Award Management System (TrAMS) as Cooperative Agreements. The FTA Research Office will manage those Cooperative Agreements. Apart from the specific terms and conditions within the Scope of Work, general terms and conditions for Grant Agreements and Cooperative Agreements are found at www.transit.dot.gov. Applicants must sign and submit current Certifications and Assurances before FTA may award funding under a Cooperative Agreement for a competitively selected project. If the applicant has already submitted its annual Certifications and Assurances for the fiscal year in which the award will be made in TrAMS, it does not need to be resubmitted. To enhance the value of the portfolio of the projects to be implemented, FTA reserves the right to request an adjustment of the project scope and budget of any proposal selected for funding. Such adjustments shall not constitute a material alteration of any aspect of the proposal that influenced the proposal evaluation or decision to fund the project. PO 00000 Frm 00131 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 83927 3. Administrative and National Policy Requirements Except as otherwise provided in this NOFO, cooperative agreements are subject to the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 5312 as described in the latest FTA Research Circular, currently 6100.1E, ‘‘Research, Technical Assistance and Training Program: Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines.’’ In particular, the recipient(s) of a ZERO award must submit quarterly Federal Financial Reports and Milestone Progress Reports in TrAMS. 4. Reporting, Data and Information Exchange, and Data Requirements In order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the impacts and implications of ZERO, FTA, or its designated independent evaluator, will require direct access to project data. Projects should include a data capture component that allows for the reliable and consistent collection of information relevant to gauging the impact and outcomes of the project. At any time during the period of performance, the project team may be requested to coordinate data collection activities in order to provide interim information under the requirements of this award. A project team may be asked to provide the data directly to FTA or to a designated independent evaluator. This information, if requested, will be used to conduct program evaluations during the execution of the project and after it has been completed. G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts For further information concerning this NOFO please contact the ZERO staff via email at ZERO.FTA@dot.gov, or call Sean Ricketson at 202–366–6678. A TDD is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 1–800–877– 8339. In addition, FTA will post answers to questions and requests for clarifications on FTA’s Web site at https://www.transit.dot.gov/about/ research-innovation/ZERO. To ensure applicants receive accurate information about eligibility or the program, the applicant is encouraged to contact DOT directly with questions, rather than through intermediaries or third parties. DOT staff may also conduct briefings on the ZERO selection and award process upon request. H. Other Information The applicant must assure that 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 E:\FR\FM\22NON1.SGM 22NON1 83928 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 225 / Tuesday, November 22, 2016 / Notices agreement. The applicant must acknowledge that it is under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the Cooperative Agreement it executes with FTA for its project. The applicant must acknowledge that it 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. Issued in Washington, DC, this sixteenth day of November 2016. Matthew Welbes, Executive Director. [FR Doc. 2016–28069 Filed 11–21–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–57–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket Number: FTA–2016–0044 ] Notice of Availability of Programmatic Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Transit Projects Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of availability; Request for comments. AGENCIES: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the availability of a draft Programmatic Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transit Projects (Programmatic Assessment) and an accompanying Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Estimator Tool (Estimator Tool). The purpose of the draft Programmatic Assessment is to: (1) Report on whether certain types of proposed transit projects merit detailed analysis of their GHG emissions at the project-level; and (2) provide a source of data and analysis for FTA and its grantees to reference in future environmental documents for projects where detailed, project-level GHG analysis would provide limited information beyond what is collected and considered in the assessment. The draft Programmatic Assessment presents estimates of GHG emissions generated from the construction, operations, and maintenance phases of projects across select transit modes, as well as an estimate of personal vehicle emissions displaced due to transit’s ‘‘ridership effect.’’ The associated Estimator Tool is a spreadsheet tool that allows users to calculate partial lifecycle GHG emissions estimates by transit mode sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Nov 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 based on limited data inputs. FTA’s draft Programmatic Assessment or Estimator Tool is not a requirement; agencies and states may use other methods for reporting GHG emissions related to state GHG reporting regulations, as needed and as appropriate. Use of FTA’s draft Programmatic Assessment or Estimator Tool is not a requirement, if agencies and states are utilizing other methods for reporting GHG emissions related to state GHG reporting regulations. The FTA requests public comments on the Programmatic Assessment and the Estimator Tool. DATES: Comments must be received by January 6, 2017. Late filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to Docket No. FTA–2016–0044 by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Fax: (202) 493–2251. Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit Administration) and the Docket Number of this notice at the beginning of your comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maya Sarna, Office of Environmental Programs, (202) 366–5811, or Christopher Van Wyk, Office of Environmental Programs, (202) 366– 1733; Helen Serassio, Office of Chief Counsel, (202) 366–1974. FTA is located at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background In August 2016, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released its Final Guidance for Federal PO 00000 Frm 00132 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Reviews. The guidance provides a framework for agencies to consider the effects of a proposed action on climate change, as indicated by its estimated GHG emissions. The CEQ guidance notes that an agency may decide, rather than analyze GHG emissions project-byproject, that it would be useful and efficient to provide an aggregate analysis of GHG emissions or climate change effects through programmatic analysis and then incorporate that analysis by reference into future NEPA reviews. FTA currently considers it practicable to assess the effects of GHG emissions and climate change for a variety of transit projects at a programmatic level. The purpose of the Programmatic Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transit Projects is to: (1) Report on whether certain types of proposed transit projects merit detailed analysis of their GHG emissions at the project-level; and (2) provide a source of data and analysis for FTA and its grantees to reference in future environmental documents for projects where detailed, project-level GHG analysis would provide only limited information beyond what is collected and considered in the assessment. The Programmatic Assessment presents results from an analysis to estimate direct and indirect GHG emissions generated from the construction, operations, and maintenance phases of projects across select transit modes. The findings provide a reference for FTA and its grantees to use in future NEPA documents to describe the potential effects of proposed transit investments on partial lifecycle GHG emissions. This assessment’s results can inform transit project sponsors who are considering the implications of GHG emissions of future transit investments or who might independently want to evaluate the greenhouse gas emissions benefits and cost of such investments. As part of the draft Programmatic Assessment, FTA developed the Estimator Tool. The Estimator Tool is a spreadsheet based tool that allows users to calculate partial lifecycle GHG emissions estimates by transit mode for the construction, maintenance, and operations phases of transit project development, as well as an estimate of personal vehicle emissions displaced due to transit’s ‘‘ridership effect.’’ FTA requests comments on the draft Programmatic Assessment and the accompanying Estimator Tool, which are available on the docket. Comments E:\FR\FM\22NON1.SGM 22NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 225 (Tuesday, November 22, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 83923-83928]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-28069]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Discretionary Funding Opportunity: Zero Emission Research 
Opportunity

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

[[Page 83924]]


ACTION: Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and Request for Proposals 
(RFP).

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

SUMMARY: This competitive solicitation is for the Zero Emission 
Research Opportunity (ZERO), administered by the Federal Transit 
Administration. Available funding is $2.75 million in FTA research 
funds and this solicitation also will establish eligibility for 
possible future funding, subject to Congressional appropriations and 
FTA funding approval, for ZERO. The purpose of the program is to 
facilitate the advancement, production, and deployment of zero emission 
public transportation vehicle technology and related infrastructure. 
FTA intends to select, and enter into cooperative agreements with, 
multiple (up to 3) nonprofit consortia to continue building on past 
research innovation and development efforts to facilitate the 
deployment of zero emission vehicles and associated advanced 
technology. Eligibility for future ZERO funding opportunities in fiscal 
years 2017-2020 will be limited to those nonprofit consortia selected 
under this fiscal year 2017 notice. Potential research partners such as 
transit agencies, other nonprofits, vendors, suppliers and systems 
integrators may work with multiple consortia. The Federal cost share of 
a project carried out under ZERO shall not exceed 80 percent.

DATES: Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the 
GRANTS.GOV ``APPLY'' function by 11:59 EST on February 21, 2017. 
Prospective applicants should initiate the process by registering on 
the GRANTS.GOV Web site promptly to ensure completion of the 
application process before the submission deadline. This announcement 
is also available at FTA's Web site at: https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/notices and in the ``FIND'' module of GRANTS.GOV. The 
funding opportunity ID is FTA-2016-009-TRI-ZERO and the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for Section 5312 is 20.514. 
Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sean Ricketson, FTA Office of Research 
Demonstration and Innovation, (202) 366-6678 or ZERO.FTA@dot.gov. A TDD 
is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 1-800-
877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

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

A. Program Description

1. Background

    Advances in technology are enabling substantial changes in vehicle 
propulsion, transportation operations, and transportation service 
delivery. These changes are creating opportunities for our nation's 
transportation system to deliver higher levels of service at lower cost 
and with fewer externalities, benefitting all Americans. Opportunity 
for change also carries risk, however. Through the Zero Emission 
Research Opportunity (ZERO), FTA seeks to work with the public 
transportation industry to solve challenges, increase efficiency, and 
reduce the costs and risks of deploying zero emission vehicles in 
transit service.
    In implementing ZERO, FTA intends to use a cooperative research 
model similar to FTA's successful National Fuel Cell Bus Program. Under 
this model, research and demonstration projects are defined and 
conducted by pre-selected non-profit third parties (non-profit 
consortia as defined in 49 U.S.C. 5312(e)(2)(B)) that, under FTA 
direction, assemble and manage teams of departments, agencies, and 
instrumentalities of the Federal Government, including federal 
laboratories; state and local governmental entities; providers of 
public transportation; private or non-profit organizations; 
institutions of higher education; and technical and community colleges. 
The model introduces an enhanced level of research management, program 
continuity, and flexibility to federally-funded transit research. It 
also provides a higher degree of innovation and resiliency, resulting 
in more successful projects. Through ZERO, FTA seeks to refine this 
research model with the goal of creating a research environment which 
results in greater industry involvement and more innovative and 
successful projects.

2. Scope

    The purpose of ZERO is to work with U.S. industry to remove 
obstacles on the critical path to the wider adoption of zero emission 
technology in public transportation. Examples include improving 
charging standards for battery-electric transit vehicles, improved 
passenger compartment heating systems, or expanding hydrogen 
infrastructure. For purposes of this program, zero emission technology 
refers to any technology that provides a pathway to the immediate or 
eventual adoption of transit vehicles that produce no harmful emissions 
in any, and all, operating modes. Battery-electric and hydrogen fuel 
cell technology are typical examples. Not all pathways to zero emission 
vehicles have to be zero emission, but they have to be shown to be on 
an evolutionary pathway to zero emission. For example, hybrid 
technology is considered zero emission technology for the purposes of 
this program if it can be shown to advance the pathway to improved 
vehicle electrification.
    This program focuses on one aspect of transportation emissions--
those of systems under the control of a typical domestic transit 
agency, such as vehicles and fueling or charging systems. With the 
exception of applications such as solar panels on a maintenance garage 
roof, emissions from energy production are not targeted in this 
program. Programs addressing the emissions of energy production are 
carried out by the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA). FTA coordinates with the DoE and EPA to 
eliminate duplication of effort and to ensure strategic consistency.
    The projects under ZERO may address aspects of the following 
subject areas:
    a. Technology Research and Development--improving the efficiency, 
reducing costs, and improving the performance of vehicles, vehicle 
systems, and subsystems.
    b. Transit Fleet Operations--improving the efficiency, reducing 
costs, and improving the performance of vehicle fleets including 
maintenance and operations practices.
    c. Energy Infrastructure--addressing challenges of supporting zero 
emission technology including hydrogen fueling, electric charging, and 
relationships with suppliers and electric utilities.
    d. Standards and Policy--research to support standards development 
and testing protocols and to identify policies and policy changes to 
reduce costs and risks of adopting zero emission vehicle technology.
    e. Other--FTA is open to considering other research subjects or 
combinations of subjects to advance zero emission technology.

B. Federal Award Information

    Section 5312 of title 49, United States Code (Section 5312), 
authorizes FTA's Public Transportation Innovation program. Through this 
program, FTA may make grants, or enter into contracts, cooperative 
agreements and other agreements for research, development,

[[Page 83925]]

demonstration and deployment projects, and evaluation of research and 
technology of national significance to public transportation that the 
Secretary of Transportation determines will improve public 
transportation.
    ZERO is funded under Section 5312 program authority. A total of 
$2.75 million in funds from FY 2014 and 2015 appropriations are 
available for awards under this announcement. FTA intends to award 
multiple projects under this announcement.
    FTA may, at its discretion, provide additional funds for selections 
made under this announcement or for additional meritorious proposals 
from funds made available for 49 U.S.C. Section 5312.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

    Eligible applicants and recipients under this program are limited 
to non-profit organizations leading a consortium of entities as listed 
below. All consortia must include at least one provider of public 
transportation. As defined in Section 5312, the following entities may 
be part of a consortium:
    a. Departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Federal 
Government, including Federal laboratories;
    b. State and local governmental entities;
    c. Providers of public transportation;
    d. Private or non-profit organizations;
    e. Institutions of higher education; and
    f. Technical and community colleges.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The federal share of project costs under this program is limited to 
80 percent. Applicants may seek a lower Federal contribution. The 
applicant must provide the required local share in cash or in-kind, and 
must document in its application the source of the local share. 
Eligible sources of local share are detailed in FTA Research Circular 
6100.1E. (available at http://www.fta.dot.gov/legislation_law/12349_16434.html).

3. Eligible Projects

    Eligible projects include those defined under 49 U.S.C. 5312(c), 
(d), and (e) that will build on successful research, innovation, and 
development efforts to facilitate the deployment of low or no emission 
vehicles, zero emission vehicles, or associated advanced technology.
    Each consortium may propose up to three projects in its 
application. These are projects the consortium proposes for the first 
iteration of Federal funding under ZERO. For projects requesting more 
than $500,000, proposals should include one or more alternative funding 
schedules allowing the project to be funded incrementally in 
anticipation of additional future funding. However, given that future 
funding is not guaranteed, project proposals must provide meaningful 
deliverables for this first iteration of funding. The proposed projects 
must advance zero emission technology in public transportation by 
addressing one or more of the following subject areas:
    a. Technology Research and Development--improving the efficiency, 
reducing costs, and improving the performance of vehicles, vehicle 
systems, and subsystems.
    b. Transit Fleet Operations--improving the efficiency, reducing 
costs, and improving the performance of vehicle fleets including 
maintenance and operations practices.
    c. Energy Infrastructure--addressing challenges of supporting zero 
emission technology including hydrogen fueling, electric charging, and 
relationships with suppliers and electric utilities.
    d. Standards and Policy--research to support standards development 
and testing protocols and to identify policies and policy changes to 
reduce costs and risks of adopting zero emission vehicle technology.
    e. Other--FTA is open to considering other research subjects or 
combinations of subjects to advance zero emission technology.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address and Form of Application Submission

    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through 
GRANTS.GOV (www.grants.gov) by February 21, 2017. Mail and fax 
submissions will not be accepted. A complete proposal submission will 
consist of at least two files: (1) The SF-424 Mandatory form 
(downloaded from GRANTS.GOV) and (2) the Applicant and Proposal Profile 
for the ``Zero Emission Research Opportunity'' (ZERO Supplemental Form) 
found on GRANTS.GOV and the FTA Web site by clicking (or copying and 
pasting) the ZERO Program link at www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/grant-programs/zero-emission-research-opportunity-ZERO. The 
Supplemental Form provides guidance and a consistent format for 
proposers to respond to the criteria outlined in this NOFO.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

a. Proposal Submission
    A complete proposal submission consists of two forms: The SF-424 
Mandatory Form, and the ZERO Supplemental Form. FTA will evaluate only 
complete applications.
    The Supplemental Form must be placed in the attachments section of 
the SF-424 Mandatory Form. Proposers must use the Supplemental Form 
designated for ZERO and attach it to the submission in GRANTS.GOV to 
successfully complete the application process.
    A proposal submission may contain additional supporting 
documentation as attachments. If an applicant elects to attach an 
additional narrative, it must not exceed 10 numbered pages. Submissions 
must be presentable and use standard fonts, font sizing, and at least 
one-inch margins so reviewers can easily read the information.
    Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the 
applicant should receive three email messages from GRANTS.GOV: (1) 
Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV, (2) confirmation 
of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV, and (3) confirmation of 
successful validation by FTA. If confirmations of successful validation 
are not received or a notice of failed validation or incomplete 
materials is received, the applicant must address the reason for the 
failed validation, as described in the email notice, and resubmit 
before the submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any 
reason, include all original attachments regardless of which 
attachments were updated and check the box on the Supplemental Form 
indicating this is a resubmission.
    FTA urges proposers to submit applications at least 72 hours prior 
to the due date to allow time to receive the validation messages and to 
correct any problems that may have caused a rejection notification. FTA 
will not accept submissions after the stated deadline. GRANTS.GOV 
scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV 
Web site. Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled Web site 
maintenance.
    Proposers are encouraged to begin the process of registration on 
the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. 
Registration is a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to 
complete before an application can be submitted. Registered proposers 
may be required to take steps to keep their registration up to date 
before submissions can be made

[[Page 83926]]

successfully: (1) Registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) 
is renewed annually; and, (2) persons making submissions on behalf of 
the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be authorized in 
GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions. Instructions on the 
GRANTS.GOV registration process are provided in the Appendix.
    Information such as the proposer's name, Federal amount requested, 
local match amount, description of areas served, etc. may be requested 
in varying degrees of detail on both the SF-424 form and Supplemental 
Form. Proposers must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the 
forms. The Supplemental Form template supports pasting copied text with 
limited formatting from other documents; applicants should verify that 
pasted text is fully captured on the Supplemental Form and has not been 
truncated by the character limits built into the form. Proposers should 
use both the ``Check Package for Errors'' and the ``Validate Form'' 
validation buttons on both forms to check all required fields on the 
forms, and ensure that the Federal and local amounts specified are 
consistent.
b. Application Content
    The SF-424 Mandatory Form and the Supplemental Form will prompt 
applicants for the required information, including the:
    (i) Applicant name;
    (ii) Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System 
(DUNS) number if available. (Note: If selected, the applicant will be 
required to provide its DUNS number prior to award);
    (iii) Key contact information including contact name, address, 
email address, and phone number;
    (iv) Congressional district(s) of the applicant;
    (v) A list of consortium organizational members, by organization 
name and address;
    (vi) Documentation of membership of each organizational member of 
the consortium (e.g., memorandum of understanding, letter of 
commitment, or other documentation);
    (vii) A schedule outlining steps and milestones for each project;
    (viii) A detailed description of the consortium's project 
experience, providing details of the projects the consortium has led 
and how those details support the evaluation criteria;
    (ix) A detailed description of the consortium's experience working 
with zero emission technology and any related technology;
    (x) A detailed description of the consortium's public 
transportation experience;
    (xi) A detailed description of the consortium's experience working 
with the Federal research programs;
    (xii) A detailed description of the consortium's experience 
functioning as a research organization;
    (xiii) Descriptions of up to three proposed projects, including 
project deliverables, schedule and budget; and
    (xiv) A detailed description of technical, financial and legal 
capacity to administer the proposed projects.
    Applicants may also support their applications by including an 
example of a statement of work, budget, or project plan from an 
existing or previously funded research project.
c. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)
    Registration can take as little as 3-5 business days, but since 
there could be unexpected steps or delays (for example, if the 
applicant needs to obtain an Employer Identification Number), FTA 
recommends allowing ample time, up to several weeks, for completion of 
all steps.

Step 1: Obtain DUNS Number

    If requested by phone (1-866-705-5711) DUNS is provided 
immediately.
    If your organization does not have one, you will need to go to the 
Dun & Bradstreet Web site at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform to obtain 
the number. * Information for Foreign Registrants. * Webform requests 
take 1-2 business days.

Step 2: Register with SAM

    If you already have an Employer Identification Number, your SAM 
registration will take 3 to 5 business days to process. If you are 
applying for an Employer Identification Number please allow up to two 
weeks. Ensure that your organization is registered with the System for 
Award Management (SAM). If your organization is not registered, an 
authorizing official of your organization must register at www.sam.gov.

Step 3: Username & Password

    Complete your AOR (Authorized Organization Representative) profile 
on GRANTS.GOV and create your username and password. You will need to 
use your organization's DUNS Number to complete this step. https://apply07.grants.gov/apply/OrcRegister.

Step 4: AOR Authorization

    The E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC) at your organization 
must login to GRANTS.GOV to confirm you as an Authorized Organization 
Representative (AOR). Please note that there can be more than one AOR 
for your organization. In some cases the E-Biz POC is also the AOR for 
an organization. * Time to complete this step depends on the 
responsiveness of your E-Biz POC.

Step 5: Track AOR Status

    At any time, you can track your AOR status by logging in with your 
username and password. Login as an Applicant (enter your username & 
password you obtained in Step 3) using the following link: 
applicant_profile.jsp.
d. Submission Dates and Times
    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through 
GRANTS.GOV by February 21, 2017. Mail and fax submissions will not be 
accepted.
e. Funding Restriction
    FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-award 
authority at the time of selection. FTA does not provide pre-award 
authority for competitive funds until projects are selected and even 
then there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs are 
incurred. Preparation of proposals is not an eligible pre-award 
expense.

E. Application Review

1. Evaluation Criteria

    FTA will use the following criteria when evaluating applications:
    a. Project Experience--Consortia will be evaluated based on their 
experience and track record in designing, leading and executing 
transportation research or demonstration projects. The applicant must 
demonstrate the experience and ability to bring together both private 
and public industry partners to design and execute research or 
demonstration projects with multi-million dollar budgets.
    b. Technology experience--Consortia will be evaluated based on 
their knowledge and experience working with zero emission technology, 
including in various public transportation modes.
    c. Public transportation experience--Consortia will be evaluated 
based on their experience and ability working with U.S. public 
transportation agencies, and in the field of public transportation. 
Applicants should name the public transportation agencies they have 
worked with in their applications.
    d. Federal Research or Demonstration Experience--Consortia will be 
evaluated based on their experience and ability managing Federal 
research or demonstration projects, and

[[Page 83927]]

understanding and meeting Federal requirements.
    e. Organizational Experience--Consortia will be evaluated based on 
their experience operating as a team with regard to the above areas. 
Where some consortia may have member organizations with experience and 
expertise, the expertise and experience of the consortium as a team 
working together is also important. This criterion addresses this 
issue.
    f. Proposed Projects (A consortium may submit up to three proposed 
projects) Applications will be evaluated based on the following:
    (i) The extent to which the proposed projects will advance zero 
emission technology in public transportation applications, and
    (ii) The effectiveness of the proposed project in advancing zero 
emission technology relative to the amount of FTA investment.

2. Review and Selection Process

    FTA staff will comprise the technical evaluation committee and will 
review applications against the described evaluation criteria. The 
technical evaluation committee reserves the right to evaluate proposals 
it receives and to seek clarification from any proposer about any 
statement that is made in a proposal that FTA finds ambiguous. FTA may 
also request additional documentation or information to be considered 
during the evaluation process. After the evaluation of all eligible 
proposals, the technical evaluation committee will provide 
recommendations to the FTA Administrator or designee. The FTA 
Administrator or designee will determine the final list of consortia 
and the amount of funding for each consortium's proposed projects. FTA 
may choose to fund some, all, part, or none of a selected consortium's 
proposed projects. To better evaluate technologies in a variety of 
conditions and locales, FTA may select a portfolio of geographically 
diverse projects.

F. Federal Award Administration

1. Federal Award Notice

    Subsequent to an announcement by the FTA Administrator or designee 
of the final project selections posted on FTA's Web site, FTA will 
publish a list of the selected projects, including Federal dollar 
amounts and recipients.
    All information submitted as part of or in support of a ZERO 
application shall use publicly available data or data that can be made 
public and methodologies that are accepted by industry practice and 
standards, to the extent possible. If the submission includes 
information the applicant considers to be trade secret or confidential 
commercial or financial information, the applicant should do the 
following: (1) On the Supplemental Form, on every relevant page, select 
the button to affirm that the submission ``Contains Confidential 
Business Information (CBI);'' (2) On any other documentation, mark each 
affected page ``CBI;'' and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI 
portions. FTA protects such information from disclosure to the extent 
allowed under applicable law. In the event FTA receives a Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) request for the information, FTA will follow the 
procedures described in the U.S. DOT FOIA regulations at 49 CFR part 7. 
Only information that ultimately is determined to be confidential under 
the regulations will be exempt from disclosure under FOIA. Should FTA 
receive an order from a court of competent jurisdiction ordering the 
release of the information, FTA will provide the applicant timely 
notice of such order to allow the applicant the opportunity to 
challenge such an order. FTA will not challenge a court order on behalf 
of an applicant.

2. Award Administration

    Successful proposals will be awarded funding through FTA's Transit 
Award Management System (TrAMS) as Cooperative Agreements. The FTA 
Research Office will manage those Cooperative Agreements. Apart from 
the specific terms and conditions within the Scope of Work, general 
terms and conditions for Grant Agreements and Cooperative Agreements 
are found at www.transit.dot.gov.
    Applicants must sign and submit current Certifications and 
Assurances before FTA may award funding under a Cooperative Agreement 
for a competitively selected project. If the applicant has already 
submitted its annual Certifications and Assurances for the fiscal year 
in which the award will be made in TrAMS, it does not need to be 
resubmitted.
    To enhance the value of the portfolio of the projects to be 
implemented, FTA reserves the right to request an adjustment of the 
project scope and budget of any proposal selected for funding. Such 
adjustments shall not constitute a material alteration of any aspect of 
the proposal that influenced the proposal evaluation or decision to 
fund the project.

3. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    Except as otherwise provided in this NOFO, cooperative agreements 
are subject to the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 5312 as described in the 
latest FTA Research Circular, currently 6100.1E, ``Research, Technical 
Assistance and Training Program: Application Instructions and Program 
Management Guidelines.'' In particular, the recipient(s) of a ZERO 
award must submit quarterly Federal Financial Reports and Milestone 
Progress Reports in TrAMS.

4. Reporting, Data and Information Exchange, and Data Requirements

    In order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the impacts 
and implications of ZERO, FTA, or its designated independent evaluator, 
will require direct access to project data. Projects should include a 
data capture component that allows for the reliable and consistent 
collection of information relevant to gauging the impact and outcomes 
of the project.
    At any time during the period of performance, the project team may 
be requested to coordinate data collection activities in order to 
provide interim information under the requirements of this award. A 
project team may be asked to provide the data directly to FTA or to a 
designated independent evaluator. This information, if requested, will 
be used to conduct program evaluations during the execution of the 
project and after it has been completed.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information concerning this NOFO please contact the 
ZERO staff via email at ZERO.FTA@dot.gov, or call Sean Ricketson at 
202-366-6678. A TDD is available for individuals who are deaf or hard 
of hearing at 1-800-877-8339. In addition, FTA will post answers to 
questions and requests for clarifications on FTA's Web site at https://www.transit.dot.gov/about/research-innovation/ZERO. To ensure 
applicants receive accurate information about eligibility or the 
program, the applicant is encouraged to contact DOT directly with 
questions, rather than through intermediaries or third parties. DOT 
staff may also conduct briefings on the ZERO selection and award 
process upon request.

H. Other Information

    The applicant must assure that 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

[[Page 83928]]

agreement. The applicant must acknowledge that it is under a continuing 
obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the Cooperative 
Agreement it executes with FTA for its project. The applicant must 
acknowledge that it 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.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this sixteenth day of November 2016.
Matthew Welbes,
Executive Director.
[FR Doc. 2016-28069 Filed 11-21-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-57-P