Notice of Funding Opportunity for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements, 34283-34295 [2018-15412]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices burdens; (3) ways for the FHWA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized, including the use of electronic technology, without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB’s clearance of this information collection. Authority: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended; and 49 CFR 1.48. Issued on: July 13, 2018. Michael Howell, Information Collection Officer. [FR Doc. 2018–15426 Filed 7–18–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in California Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of Limitation on Claims for Judicial Review of Actions by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327. AGENCY: The FHWA, on behalf of Caltrans, is issuing this notice to announce actions taken by Caltrans that are final. The actions relate to a proposed highway project, U.S. 101 between post miles 8.2 and 8.7 in the County of Del Norte, State of California. Those actions grant licenses, permits, and approvals for the project. DATES: By this notice, the FHWA, on behalf of Caltrans, is advising the public of final agency actions subject to 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1). A claim seeking judicial review of the Federal agency actions on the highway project will be barred unless the claim is filed on or before December 17, 2018. If the Federal law that authorizes judicial review of a claim provides a time period of less than 150 days for filing such claim, then that shorter time period still applies. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kellie Eldridge, Environmental Planner, Caltrans, 1656 Union Street, Eureka, CA 95501, kellie.eldridge@dot.ca.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Effective July 1, 2007, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assigned, and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) assumed, environmental responsibilities for this project pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327. Notice is hereby given that Caltrans has sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 taken final agency actions subject to 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1) by issuing licenses, permits, and approvals for the following highway project in the State of California: The Hunter and Panther Creek Bridges Seismic Restoration Project located on U.S. 101 between post miles 8.2 and 8.7 in Del Norte County, State of California, would upgrade Hunter and Panther Creek Bridges to current seismic and design standards by (1) replacing the existing three-span structure with two pier walls at Hunter Creek with a two-span structure with one pier, and (2) by replacing the existing three-span structure with two multi-columned piers at Panther Creek with a singlespan, steel tied arch structure without piers. The project is expected to be completed within two years. The actions by the Federal agencies, and the laws under which such actions were taken, are described in the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the project, approved July 5, 2018, and in other documents in the Caltrans project records. The EA, FONSI, and other project records are available by contacting Caltrans at the address provided above. The Caltrans EA and FONSI can be viewed and downloaded from the project website at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/ hunter_panther/. This notice applies to all Federal agency decisions as of the issuance date of this notice and all laws under which such actions were taken, including but not limited to: 1. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 2. Clean Water Act 3. Endangered Species Act 4. Migratory Bird Treaty Act 5. Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 6. Civil Rights Act, Title VI 7. E.O. 11990 Protection of Wetlands 8. E.O. 11988 Floodplain Management (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) 34283 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Sunshine Act Meetings; Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors (UCR Board) and Subcommittee Meetings. AGENCY: The meetings will occur on the following schedule and will take place in the Mountain (Daylight) Time Zone: TIME AND DATE: Thursday, August 23, 2018 8:15 a.m.–9:00 a.m. Registration System Subcommittee 9:00 a.m.–12:00 Noon. UCR Board PLACE: These meetings will be open to the public at the Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown, 215 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, and via conference call. Those not attending the meetings in person may call tollfree; 1–877–422–1931, passcode 2855443940, to listen and participate in the meetings. STATUS: Open to the public. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: The Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors (the Board) will continue its work in developing and implementing the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement and to that end, may consider matters properly before the Board. An agenda for these meetings will be available no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, August 14, 2018 at: https://ucrplan.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Avelino Gutierrez, Chair, Unified Carrier Registration Board of Directors at (505) 827–4565. Issued on: July 16, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator, Office of Policy, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. [FR Doc. 2018–15603 Filed 7–17–18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration Authority: 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1). Tashia J. Clemons, Director, Planning and Environment, Federal Highway Administration, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2018–15419 Filed 7–18–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–RY–P PO 00000 Frm 00186 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Notice of Funding Opportunity for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT). AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 34284 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO or notice). ACTION: This notice details the application requirements and procedures to obtain grant 1 funding for eligible projects under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program. CRISI Program funding under this notice is provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, (2018 Appropriation). Funding for positive train control (PTC) systems deployment included in the 2018 Appropriation is provided under a different NOFO published on May 18, 2018 (CRISI PTC NOFO). Applicants may apply for funding for PTC system elements under this NOFO as well if such elements are otherwise eligible under the CRISI Program. The opportunities described in this notice are made available under Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 20.325, ‘‘Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements.’’ DATES: Applications for funding under this solicitation are due no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, September 17, 2018. Applications received after 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 17, 2018 will not be considered for funding. Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding. See Section D of this notice for additional information on the application process. ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted via www.Grants.gov. Only applicants who comply with all submission requirements described in this notice and submit applications through www.Grants.gov will be eligible for award. For any supporting application materials that an applicant is unable to submit via www.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 before the application deadline. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further project or program-related information in this notice, please contact Ms. Frances Bourne, Office of sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: 1 The term ‘‘grant’’ is used throughout this document and is intended to reference funding awarded through a grant agreement, as well as funding awarded through a cooperative agreement. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 Policy and Planning, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W38–207, Washington, DC 20590; email: frances.bourne@dot.gov; phone: 202– 493–6366. 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; phone: 202–493– 0303. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice to applicants: FRA recommends that applicants read this notice in its entirety prior to preparing application materials. A list providing the definitions of key terms used throughout the NOFO is in Section A(2) below. These key terms are capitalized throughout the NOFO. There are several administrative prerequisites and specific eligibility requirements described herein that applicants must comply with to submit an application. Additionally, applicants should note that the required Project Narrative component of the application package may not exceed 25 pages in length. Table of Contents A. Program Description B. Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information D. Application and Submission Information E. Application Review Information F. Federal Award Administration Information G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts A. Program Description 1. Overview This program provides a comprehensive solution to leverage private, state and local investments to support safety enhancements and general improvements to infrastructure for both intercity passenger and freight railroads. The U.S. rail network is central to the success of the American economy, carrying more than 1.6 billion tons of freight valued at nearly $600 billion annually, and over 31.3 million passengers on intercity rail passenger transportation services. Both services primarily operate over privately-owned and maintained infrastructure, allowing for strong private, capital market investment that generates public benefit, including public-private partnerships among other models. The Department is committed to addressing the unmet transportation infrastructure needs of rural areas. Underinvestment in rural transportation systems has allowed a slow and steady decline in the transportation routes that PO 00000 Frm 00187 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 connect rural American communities to each other and to the rest of the country, fraying the fabric of American interconnectivity. A majority of the nation’s rail route miles are in rural America. Investment is necessary to grow rural economies, facilitate freight movement, improve access to reliable and affordable transportation options and enhance health access and safety for residents. The Department also recognizes the importance of applying life cycle asset management principles throughout America’s infrastructure. It is important for rail infrastructure owners and operators, as well as those who may apply on their behalf, to plan for the maintenance and replacement of assets and the associated costs. In light of recent fatal passenger rail accidents, the Department particularly recognizes the opportunity to enhance safety in both track and equipment through this grant program. Congress authorized this grant program for the Secretary to invest in a wide range of projects within the United States to improve railroad safety, efficiency, and reliability; mitigate congestion at both intercity passenger and freight rail chokepoints; enhance multi-modal connections; and lead to new or substantially improved Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation corridors. Additionally, the program includes rail safety projects, such as grade crossing enhancements, and rail line relocations and improvements. Applicable work also includes: rail regional and corridor planning, environmental analyses, and research, workforce development, and training. The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications for the competitive CRISI Program funding provided in the 2018 Appropriation that was not included in the CRISI PTC NOFO. The CRISI Program is authorized under Section 11301 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Public Law 114–94 (2015); 49 U.S.C. 24407 and funds made available in this NOFO are provided in the 2018 Appropriation. 2. Definitions of Key Terms a. ‘‘Benefit-Cost Analysis’’ (or ‘‘CostBenefit Analysis’’) is a systematic, data driven, and transparent analysis comparing monetized project benefits and costs, using a no-build baseline and properly discounted present values, including concise documentation of the assumptions and methodology used to produce the analysis; a description of the baseline, data sources used to project outcomes, and values of key input parameters; basis of modeling including spreadsheets, technical E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices memos, etc.; and presentation of the calculations in sufficient detail and transparency to allow the analysis to be reproduced and for sensitivity of results evaluated by FRA. Please refer to the Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs prior to preparing a BCA at https:// www.transportation.gov/office-policy/ transportation-policy/benefit-costanalysis-guidance. In addition, please also refer to the BCA FAQs on FRA’s website for some rail specific examples of how to apply the BCA Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs to CRISI applications. b. ‘‘Capital Project’’ means a project for: Acquiring, constructing, improving, or inspecting rail equipment, track and track structures, or a rail facility; expenses incidental to the acquisition or Construction including pre-construction activities (such as designing, engineering, location surveying, mapping, acquiring rights-of-way) and related relocation costs, environmental studies, and all work necessary for FRA to approve the project under the National Environmental Policy Act and related environmental laws and regulations; highway-rail grade crossing improvements; communication and signalization improvements; and rehabilitating, remanufacturing or overhauling rail rolling stock and facilities. c. ‘‘Construction’’ means the production of fixed works and structures or substantial alterations to such structures or land and associated costs. d. ‘‘Final Design (FD)’’ means design activities following Preliminary Engineering, and at a minimum, includes the preparation of final Construction plans, detailed specifications, and estimates sufficiently detailed to inform project stakeholders (designers, reviewers, contractors, suppliers, etc.) of the actions required to advance the project from design through completion of Construction. e. ‘‘Improvement’’ means repair or enhancement to existing Rail Infrastructure, or Construction of new Rail Infrastructure, that results in efficiency of the rail system and the safety of those affected by the system. f. ‘‘Initiation’’ or ‘‘Initiate’’ means commencing service on a route that did not previously operate Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation. g. ‘‘Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation’’ means rail passenger transportation, except commuter rail passenger transportation. See 49 U.S.C. 24401(3). In this notice, ‘‘Intercity Passenger Rail Service’’ and ‘‘Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation’’ are VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 equivalent terms to ‘‘Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation.’’ h. ‘‘National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)’’ is a Federal law that requires Federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts of a proposed action in consultation with appropriate federal, state, and local authorities, and with the public. The NEPA class of action depends on the nature of the proposed action, its complexity, and the potential impacts. For purposes of this NOFO, NEPA also includes all related Federal laws and regulations including Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. (See FRA’s Environmental Procedures at: https:// www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L02561.) i. ‘‘Planning’’ means activities that support the development of a state or regional rail plan or a corridor service development plan. j. ‘‘Positive Train Control (PTC) system’’ is defined by 49 CFR 270.5 to mean a system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through a switch left in the wrong position, as described in 49 CFR part 236, subpart I. k. ‘‘Preliminary Engineering (PE)’’ means engineering design to: (1) Define a project, including identification of all environmental impacts, design of all critical project elements at a level sufficient to assure reliable cost estimates and schedules, (2) complete project management and financial plans, and (3) identify procurement requirements and strategies. The PE development process starts with specific project design alternatives that allow for the assessment of a range of rail improvements, specific alignments, and project designs—to be used concurrent with project or service level NEPA and related analyses. PE occurs prior to FD and Construction. l. ‘‘Rail Carrier’’ means a person providing common carrier railroad transportation for compensation, but does not include street, suburban, or interurban electric railways not operated as part of the general system of rail transportation. See 49 U.S.C. 10102(5). m. ‘‘Railroad Infrastructure’’ means intermodal or rail facilities, including track, bridges, tunnels, rail yards, buildings, passenger stations, and maintenance and repair shops. In this NOFO, ‘‘Rail Infrastructure’’ is an equivalent term to ‘‘Railroad Infrastructure.’’ PO 00000 Frm 00188 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34285 n. ‘‘Relocation’’ is defined by 49 CFR 262.3 to mean moving a rail line vertically or laterally to a new location. Vertical Relocation refers to raising above the current ground level or sinking below the current ground level of a rail line. Lateral Relocation refers to moving a rail line horizontally to a new location. o. ‘‘Restoration’’ means reinstating service to a route that formerly operated Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation. p. ‘‘Rural Project’’ means a project in which all or the majority of the project (determined by the geographic location or locations where the majority of the project funds will be spent) is located in a Rural Area. q. ‘‘Rural Area’’ is defined in 49 U.S.C. 24407(g)(2) to mean any area not in an urbanized area as defined by the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau defines Urbanized Area (UA) as an area with a population of 50,000 or more people.1 Updated lists of UAs as defined by the Census Bureau are available on the Census Bureau website at http:// www2.census.gov/geo/maps/dc10map/ UAUC_RefMap/ua/. r. ‘‘Tier 1 NEPA’’ includes the analysis and evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of an action at a broad level, such as a program concept for an entire corridor, and typically does not lead directly to project construction. It identifies the potential environmental impacts of the alternatives being considered for the program, as well as the mitigations that may be needed to address the impacts. The potential environmental impacts and mitigations must be incorporated into each alternative that is evaluated. These are generally Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) that result in the identification of a preferred alternative. s. ‘‘Tier 2 NEPA’’ includes the required analysis and evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of an action at a project-specific level of detail. Tier 2 NEPA should be sufficient to support Final Design and Construction activities and may include an EIS, an environmental assessment (EA), or a categorical exclusion (CE). B. Federal Award Information 1. Available Award Amount The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is $318,430,337 of which $35,547,000 will be for projects under 49 U.S.C. 24407(c)(2) that contribute to the Initiation or Restoration of Intercity Passenger Rail Service consistent with the 2018 1 See 74 FR 53030, 53043 (August 24, 2011) available at https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/ reference/fedreg/fedregv76n164.pdf. E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 34286 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices Appropriation. Of the CRISI funding made available in the 2018 Appropriation (including amounts available under this NOFO and the CRISI PTC NOFO) at least 25 percent, will be made available for Rural Projects as authorized under 49 U.S.C. 24407(g). After $5,925,470 is set aside for FRA award and program oversight, the balance of the 2018 Appropriation CRISI Program funding includes $250,000,000 set aside for certain PTC projects and $18,191,193 set aside for Special Transportation Circumstances. These funds were announced under separate NOFOs. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 2. Award Size There are no predetermined minimum or maximum dollar thresholds for awards. FRA anticipates making multiple awards with the available funding. FRA may not be able to award grants to all eligible applications, nor even to all applications that meet or exceed the stated evaluation criteria (see Section E, Application Review Information). Projects may require more funding than is available. FRA encourages applicants to propose projects or components of projects that have operational independence and that can be completed and implemented with CRISI funding as a piece of the total project cost together with other, non-federal sources. FRA strongly encourages applicants to identify and include other state, local, public, or private funding or financing to support the proposed project in order to maximize competitiveness. 3. Award Type FRA will make awards for projects selected under this notice through grant agreements and/or cooperative agreements. Grant agreements are used when FRA does not expect to have substantial Federal involvement in carrying out the funded activity. Cooperative agreements allow for substantial Federal involvement in carrying out the agreed upon investment, including technical assistance, review of interim work products, and increased program oversight. The funding provided under these cooperative agreements will be made available to grantees on a reimbursable basis. Applicants must certify that their expenditures are allowable, allocable, reasonable, and necessary to the approved project before seeking reimbursement from FRA. Additionally, the grantee is expected to expend matching funds at the required percentage alongside Federal funds throughout the life of the project. See an example of standard terms and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 conditions for FRA grant awards at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/ L19057. 4. Concurrent Applications As DOT and FRA are concurrently soliciting applications for transportation infrastructure projects for several financial assistance programs, applicants may submit applications requesting funding for a particular project to one or more of these programs. In the application for CRISI Program funding under this NOFO, applicants must indicate the other programs, and if applicable the other CRISI NOFOs, to which they submitted or plan to submit an application for funding the entire project or certain project components, as well as highlight new or revised information in the application responsive to this NOFO that differs from the application(s) for other federal financial assistance programs or other CRISI NOFOs. C. Eligibility Information This section of the notice explains applicant eligibility, cost sharing and matching requirements, project eligibility, and project component operational independence. Applications that do not meet the requirements in this section will be ineligible for funding. Instructions for submitting eligibility information to FRA are detailed in Section D of this NOFO. 1. Eligible Applicants The following entities are eligible applicants for all project types permitted under this notice: a. A State; b. A group of States; c. An Interstate Compact; d. A public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more States; 2 e. A political subdivision of a State; f. Amtrak or another Rail Carrier that provides Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation (as defined in 49 U.S.C. 24102); g. A Class II railroad or Class III railroad (as those terms are defined in 49 U.S.C. 20102); h. Any Rail Carrier or rail equipment manufacturer in partnership with at least one of the entities described in paragraph (a) through (e); 3 i. The Transportation Research Board together with any entity with which it contracts in the development of rail2 See Section D(2)(a)(iv) for supporting documentation required to demonstrate eligibility under this eligibility category. 3 See Section D(2)(a)(iv) for supporting information required to demonstrate eligibility under this eligibility category. PO 00000 Frm 00189 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 related research, including cooperative research programs; j. A University transportation center engaged in rail-related research; or k. A non-profit labor organization representing a class or craft of employees of Rail Carriers or Rail Carrier contractors. Applications must identify an eligible applicant as the lead applicant. The lead applicant serves as the primary point of contact for the application, and if selected, as the recipient of the CRISI Program grant award. Eligible applicants may reference entities that are not eligible applicants in an application as a project partner. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching The Federal share of total costs for projects funded under this notice will not exceed 80 percent, though FRA will provide selection preference to applications where the proposed Federal share of total project costs is 50 percent or less. The estimated total cost of a project must be based on the best available information, including engineering studies, studies of economic feasibility, environmental analyses, and information on the expected use of equipment and/or facilities. Additionally, in preparing estimates of total project costs, applicants should refer to FRA’s cost estimate guidance documentation, ‘‘Capital Cost Estimating: Guidance for Project Sponsors,’’ which is available at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0926. The minimum 20 percent non-Federal match may be comprised of public sector (e.g., state or local) and/or private sector funding. FRA will not consider any Federal financial assistance, nor any non-Federal funds already expended (or otherwise encumbered) that do not comply with 2 CFR 200.458, as applicable, toward the matching requirement. FRA is limiting the first 20 percent of the non-Federal match to cash contributions only. FRA will not accept ‘‘in-kind’’ contributions for the first 20 percent in matching funds. Eligible in-kind contributions may be accepted for any non-Federal matching beyond the first 20 percent. In-kind contributions, including the donation of services, materials, and equipment, may be credited as a project cost, in a uniform manner consistent with 2 CFR 200.306. Moreover, FRA encourages applicants to broaden their funding table in applications. Non-federal shares consisting of funding from multiple sources (e.g., a state, county, railroad, and university contributing to a grade crossing improvement) to demonstrate broad participation and cost sharing E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices from affected stakeholders, will be given preference. Amtrak or another Rail Carrier may use ticket and other non-Federal revenues generated from its operations and other sources as matching funds. Applicants must identify the source(s) of its matching and other funds, and must clearly and distinctly reflect these funds as part of the total project cost. Before applying, applicants should carefully review the principles for cost sharing or matching in 2 CFR 200.306. See Section D(2)(a)(iii) for required application information on non-Federal match and Section E for further discussion of FRA’s consideration of matching funds in the review and selection process. FRA will approve preaward costs consistent with 2 CFR 200.458, as applicable. See Section D(6). 3. Other sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES a. Project Eligibility The following rail projects within the United States that improve the safety, efficiency, and/or reliability of passenger and/or freight rail transportation systems are eligible for funding under 49 U.S.C. 24407 and this NOFO. i. Under 49 U.S.C. 24407(c)(1) deployment of non-PTC railroad safety technology and rail integrity inspection systems. Examples include: Broken rail detection and warning systems; track intrusion systems; and hot box detectors, wheel impact load detectors, and other safety improvements.5 ii. A capital project as defined in 49 U.S.C. 24401(2) relating to Intercity Passenger Rail Service, except that such projects under this NOFO are not required to be in a State rail plan. Examples include: Acquisition, improvement, or rehabilitation of railroad equipment (locomotives and rolling stock); Railroad Infrastructure (grade crossings, catenary, and signals); and rail facilities (yards, passenger stations, or maintenance and repair shops). iii. A Capital Project necessary to address congestion challenges affecting rail service. Examples include: Projects addressing congestion that increase rail capacity; add or upgrade the condition, clearances, and capacity of rail mainlines; enhance capacity and service with less conflict between freight and intercity passenger rail; reduce delays and risks associated with highway-rail 5 Only FD and Construction costs are eligible within this project eligibility category. Funding for PTC projects under 49 U.S.C. 24407(c)(1) are eligible under the CRISI PTC NOFO published on May 18, 2018, and such projects are not eligible for funding under this NOFO. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 grade crossings; and provide more effective rail equipment. iv. A Capital Project necessary to reduce congestion and facilitate ridership growth in Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation along heavily traveled rail corridors. Examples include: Projects addressing congestion that improve stations; increase rail capacity; reduce conflict between freight and intercity passenger rail; reduce delays and risks associated with highway-rail grade crossings; and provide more effective rail equipment. v. A highway-rail grade crossing improvement project, including installation, repair, or improvement of grade separations, railroad crossing signals, gates, and related technologies; highway traffic signalization; highway lighting and crossing approach signage; roadway improvements such as medians or other barriers; railroad crossing panels and surfaces; and safety engineering improvements to reduce risk in quiet zones or potential quiet zones. vi. A rail line Relocation and Improvement project. Examples include projects that: Improve the route or structure of a rail line by replacing degraded track; enhance/relocate railroad switching operations; add or lengthen passing tracks to increase capacity; improve interlockings; and relocate rail lines to alleviate congestion, and eliminate frequent rail service interruptions. vii. A Capital Project to improve short-line or regional Railroad Infrastructure. viii. The preparation of regional rail and corridor service development plans and corresponding environmental analyses. (See the examples under Track 1 and 2 below in Subsections C(3)(b)(i)– (ii) as they apply to regional and corridor rail Planning.) ix. A project necessary to enhance multimodal connections or facilitate service integration between rail service and other modes, including between Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation and intercity bus service or commercial air service. Examples include: Intermodal transportation facilities projects that encourage joint scheduling, ticketing, and/or baggage handling; freight rail intermodal connections; and rail projects improving access to ports. x. The development and implementation of a safety program or institute designed to improve rail safety. Examples include: Employee training; and public safety outreach and education. xi. Any research that the Secretary considers necessary to advance any PO 00000 Frm 00190 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34287 particular aspect of rail related capital, operations, or safety improvements. xii. Workforce development and training activities, coordinated to the extent practicable with the existing local training programs supported by the Department of Transportation, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Education. b. Project Tracks for Eligible Projects Applicants are not limited in the number of projects for which they seek funding. FRA will not limit eligible projects from consideration for funding for planning, environmental, engineering, design, and construction elements of the same project in the same application. Applicants are allowed to include multiple phases of a project in the same application. However, depending on the project, applications for multiple phases of project development may not contain sufficient detail with regards to scope, schedule, or budget for all phases of the application to compete well in the application review process.4 An applicant must identify one or more of the following four tracks for an eligible project: Track 1—Planning; Track 2—PE/NEPA; Track 3—FD/ Construction; or Track 4—Research, Safety Programs and Institutes. i. Track 1—Planning Track 1 consists of eligible rail Planning projects. Examples include the technical analyses and associated environmental analyses that support the development of state rail plans, regional rail plans, and corridor service development plans, including: Identification of alternatives, rail network Planning, market analysis, travel demand forecasting, revenue forecasting, railroad system design, railroad operations analysis and simulation, equipment fleet Planning, station and access analysis, conceptual engineering and capital programming, operating and maintenance cost forecasting, capital replacement and renewal analysis, railroad industry governance and organization, and economic analysis. ii. Track 2—PE/NEPA Track 2 consists of eligible PE/NEPA projects. PE examples include: PE drawings and specifications (scale 4 The scope, schedule, and budget necessary to implement a project, as well as the definition of the project’s potential benefits, are typically informed by the work conducted in prior phases of project development (e.g., the specific elements of an FD/ Construction project and their cost estimates are developed and refined through PE.) The evaluation criteria for the CRISI program (see Section E of this NOFO) considers the level of detail contained in the applicant’s proposed scope of work and readiness for the project to be implemented. E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 34288 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices drawings at the 30% design level, including track geometry as appropriate); design criteria, schematics and/or track charts that support the development of PE; and work that can be funded in conjunction with developing PE, such as operations modeling, surveying, project work/ management plans, preliminary cost estimates, and preliminary project schedules. NEPA examples include analysis and documentation related to a Tier 2 NEPA EIS, EA or CE. PE/NEPA projects funded under this NOFO must result in sufficiently developed product(s) to support FD or Construction activities. iii. Track 3—FD/Construction Track 3 consists of eligible projects consisting of FD, Construction, and project implementation and deployment activities. Applicants must complete all necessary Planning, PE and NEPA requirements for FD/Construction projects. FD funded under this track must: Resolve remaining uncertainties or risks associated with changes to design scope; address procurement processes; and update and refine plans for financing the project or program to reflect accurately the expected year-ofexpenditure costs and cash flow projections. Applicants selected for funding for FD/Construction must demonstrate the following to FRA’s satisfaction: (A) PE is completed for the proposed project, resulting in project designs that are reasonably expected to conform to all regulatory, safety, security, and other design requirements, including those under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); (B) NEPA is completed for the proposed project; (C) Signed agreements with key project partners, including infrastructure-owning entities; and (D) A project management plan is inplace for managing the implementation of the proposed project, including the management and mitigation of project risks. FD examples include: Drawings at the 100% Design Level, interim design drawings that support development (e.g., drawings at the 60% Design Level), project work/project management plan, cost estimates, project schedules, and right-of-way acquisition and relocation plans. Construction examples include: Additions, improvements, replacements, renovations and/or repairs to track, bridge, station, rail yard, signal, and communication system infrastructure, or other railroad safety technology. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 iv. Track 4—Research, Safety Programs and Institutes (Non-Railroad Infrastructure) Track 4 consists of projects not falling within Tracks 1–3 and for the development and implementation of workforce development activities, research, safety programs or institutes designed to improve rail safety that clearly demonstrate the expected positive impact on rail safety. Sufficient detail must be provided on what the project will accomplish, as well as the applicant’s capability to achieve the proposed outcomes. Examples include: Initiatives for improving rail safety, training, public outreach, and education. c. Project Component Operational Independence If an applicant requests funding for a project that is a component or set of components of a larger project, the project component(s) must be attainable with the award amount, together with other funds as necessary, obtain operational independence, and must comply with all eligibility requirements described in Section C. In addition, the component(s) must be capable of independent analysis and decision making, as determined by FRA, under NEPA (i.e., have independent utility, connect logical termini, if applicable, and not restrict the consideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable rail projects.) d. Rural Project FRA will consider a project to be in a Rural Area if all or the majority of the project (determined by geographic location(s) where the majority of the project funds will be spent) is located in a Rural Area. However, in the event FRA elects to fund a component of the project, then FRA will reexamine whether the project is in a Rural Area. D. Application and Submission Information Required documents for the application are outlined in the following paragraphs. Applicants must complete and submit all components of the application. See Section D(2) for the application checklist. FRA welcomes the submission of additional relevant supporting documentation, such as planning, engineering and design documentation, and letters of support from partnering organizations that will not count against the Project Narrative 25-page limit. PO 00000 Frm 00191 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1. Address To Request Application Package Applicants must submit all application materials in their entirety through www.Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, on September 17, 2018. FRA reserves the right to modify this deadline. General information for submitting applications through Grants.gov can be found at: https:// www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0270. For any 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 before the application deadline. Additionally, if documents can be obtained online, providing instructions to FRA on how to access files on a referenced website may also be sufficient. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission FRA strongly advises applicants to read this section carefully. Applicants must submit all required information and components of the application package to be considered for funding. Additionally, applicants selected to receive funding must generally satisfy the grant readiness checklist requirements on https:// www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0268 as a precondition to FRA issuing a grant award, as well as the requirements in 49 U.S.C. 24405 explained in part at https://www.fra.dot.gov/page/P0185. Required documents for an application package are outlined in the checklist below. i. Project Narrative (see D.2.a) ii. Statement of Work (see D.2.b.i) iii. Benefit-Cost Analysis (see D.2. b.ii) iv. SF424—Application for Federal Assistance v. Either: SF 424A—Budget Information for Non-Construction projects (required for Tracks 1, 2 and 4) or SF 424C—Budget Information for Construction (required for any application that includes Track 3) vi. Either: SF 424B—Assurances for Non-Construction projects (required for Tracks 1, 2 and 4) or SF 424D— Assurances for Construction (required E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices for any application that includes Track 3) vii. FRA’s Additional Assurances and Certifications viii. SF LLL—Disclosure of Lobbying Activities a. Project Narrative This section describes the minimum content required in the Project Narrative of the grant application. The Project Narrative must follow the basic outline below to address the program requirements and assist evaluators in locating relevant information. I. Cover Page ..................... See D.2.a.i. II. Project Summary ........... III. Project Funding ............ IV. Applicant Eligibility ....... V. Project Eligibility ............ VI. Detailed Project Description. VII. Project Location .......... VIII. Evaluation and Selection Criteria. IX. Project Implementation and Management. X. Planning Readiness ...... XI. Environmental Readiness. See See See See See D.2.a.ii. D.2.a.iii. D.2.a.iv. D.2.a.v. D.2.a.vi. See D.2.a.vii. See D.2.a.viii. See D.2.a.ix. See D.2.a.x. See D.2.a.xi. The above content must be provided in a narrative statement submitted by the applicant. The Project Narrative may not exceed 25 pages in length (excluding cover pages, table of contents, and supporting documentation). FRA will not review or consider for award applications with Project Narratives exceeding the 25-page limitation. If possible, applicants should submit supporting documents via website links rather than hard copies. If supporting documents are submitted, applicants must clearly identify the page number(s) of the relevant portion in the Project Narrative supporting documentation. The Project Narrative must adhere to the following outline. i. Cover Page: Include a cover page that lists the following elements in a table: Project Title ....................................................................................................................................................... Applicant ........................................................................................................................................................... Project Track ...................................................................................................................................................... Will this project contribute to the Restoration or Initiation of Intercity Passenger Rail Service? .............. Was a Federal grant application previously submitted for this project? ...................................................... If yes, state the name of the Federal grant program and title of the project in the previous application. If applicable, what stage of NEPA is the project in (e.g., EA, Tier 1 NEPA, Tier 2 NEPA, or CE)? ............ Is this a Rural Project? What percentage of the project cost is based in a Rural Area? ............................... City(ies), State(s) where the project is located ................................................................................................ Urbanized Area where the project is located .................................................................................................. Population of Urbanized Area .......................................................................................................................... Is the project currently programmed in the: ................................................................................................... State rail plan, State Freight Plan, TIP, STIP, MPO Long Range Transportation Plan, State Long Range Transportation Plan?. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES ii. Project Summary: Provide a brief 4–6 sentence summary of the proposed project and what the project will entail. Include challenges the proposed project aims to address, and summarize the intended outcomes and anticipated benefits that will result from the proposed project. iii. Project Funding: Indicate in table format the amount of Federal funding requested, the proposed non-Federal match, identifying contributions from the private sector if applicable, and total project cost. Describe the non-Federal VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 funding arrangement, including multiple sources of non-federal funding if applicable. Include funding commitment letters outlining funding agreements, as attachments or in an appendix. Identify any specific project components that the applicant proposes for partial project funding. If all or a majority of a project is located in a Rural Area, identify the Rural Area(s) and estimated percentage of project costs that will be spent in the Rural Area. Identify any previously incurred costs, as well as other sources of Federal funds PO 00000 Frm 00192 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34289 1,2,3 and/or 4. Yes/no. Yes/no. Federal Grant Program: Project Title: NEPA stage: Yes/no Percentage of total project cost: Yes/no (If yes, please specify in which plans the project is currently programmed). committed to the project and any pending Federal requests. Also, note if the requested Federal funding under this or other CRISI NOFOs or other programs must be obligated or spent by a certain date due to dependencies or relationships with other Federal or nonFederal funding sources, related projects, law, or other factors. If applicable, provide the type and estimated value of any proposed in-kind contributions, and demonstrate how the in-kind contributions meet the requirements in 2 CFR 200.306. E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices iv. Applicant Eligibility: Explain how the applicant meets the applicant eligibility criteria outlined in Section C of this notice, including references to creation or enabling legislation for public agencies and publicly chartered authorities established by one or more States. If the applicant is eligible under 49 U.S.C. 24407(b)(8) as a rail carrier or rail equipment manufacturer in partnership with at least one of the other eligible entities, the applicant should explain the partnership and each entity’s contribution to the partnership. v. Project Eligibility: Identify which project eligibility category the project is eligible under in Section C(3) of this notice, and explain how the project meets the project eligibility criteria. vi. Detailed Project Description: Include a detailed project description that expands upon the brief project summary. This detailed description should provide, at a minimum, background on the challenges the project aims to address; the expected users and beneficiaries of the project, including all railroad operators; the specific components and elements of the project; and any other information the applicant deems necessary to justify the proposed project. If applicable, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 explain how the project will benefit communities in Rural Areas. For all projects, applicants must provide information about proposed performance measures, as discussed in Section F(3)(c) and required in 2 CFR 200.301 and 49 U.S.C. 24407(f). (A) Grade crossing information, if applicable: For any project that includes grade crossing components, cite specific DOT National Grade Crossing Inventory information, including the railroad that owns the infrastructure (or the crossing owner, if different from the railroad), the primary railroad operator, the DOT crossing inventory number, and the roadway at the crossing. Applicants can search for data to meet this requirement at the following link: http:// safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ default.aspx. (B) Heavily traveled rail corridor information, if applicable: For any project eligible under the eligibility category in Subsection C(3)(a)(iv), that reduces congestion and facilitates ridership growth in Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation, describe how the project is located on a heavily traveled rail corridor. (C) PTC information, if applicable: For any project that includes deploying PTC systems, applicants must: PO 00000 Frm 00193 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1. Document submission of a revised Positive Train Control Implementation Plan (PTCIP) to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a); 2. Document that it is a tenant on one or more host railroads that submitted a revised PTCIP to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), which states the tenant railroad is equipping its rolling stock with a PTC system and provides all other information required under 49 CFR 236.1011 regarding the tenant railroad; or 3. Document why the applicant is not required to submit a revised PTCIP as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), and whether the proposed project will assist in the deployment (i.e., installation and/ or full implementation) of a PTC system required under 49 U.S.C. 20157. vii. Project Location: Include geospatial data for the project, as well as a map of the project’s location. On the map, include the Rural Area boundaries, if applicable, in which the project will take place. viii. Evaluation and Selection Criteria: Include a thorough discussion of how the proposed project meets all the evaluation criteria and selection criteria, as outlined in Section E of this notice. If an application does not sufficiently address the evaluation and selection E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 EN19JY18.001</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 34290 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices criteria, it is unlikely to be a competitive application. For the life-cycle cost selection criteria, applicants should demonstrate a credible plan to maintain their asset without having to rely on federal funding including a description of the applicants’ approach to ensuring operations and maintenance will not be underfunded in future years. ix. Project Implementation and Management: 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 (see https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0274). Describe past experience in managing and overseeing similar projects. x. Planning Readiness for Tracks 2 and 3 (PE/NEPA and FD/Construction Projects: Provide information about the planning process that analyzed the investment needs and service objectives of the project. If applicable, cite sources of this information from a Service Development Plan, State or regional rail plan, or similar planning document where the project has been identified for solving a specific existing transportation problem, and makes the case for investing in the proposed solution. xi. Environmental Readiness for Track 3 FD/Construction Projects: If the NEPA process is complete, an applicant should indicate the date of completion, and provide a website link or other reference to the documents demonstrating compliance with NEPA, which might include a final CE, Finding of No Significant Impact, or Record of Decision. If the NEPA process is not yet underway or is underway, but is not complete, the application should detail the type of NEPA review underway, where the project is in the process, and indicate the anticipated date of completion of all NEPA and related milestones. If the last agency action with respect to NEPA documents occurred more than three years before the application date, the applicant should describe why the project has been delayed and include a proposed approach for verifying, and if necessary, updating this information in accordance with applicable NEPA requirements. Additional information regarding FRA’s environmental processes and requirements are located at https:// www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L05286. b. Additional Application Elements Applicants must submit: i. A Statement of Work (SOW) addressing the scope, schedule, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 budget for the proposed project if it were selected for award. The SOW must contain sufficient detail so FRA, 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. Applicants must use FRA’s standard SOW template to be considered for award. The SOW template is located at https:// www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L18661. When preparing the budget as part of the SOW, the total cost of a project must be based on the best available information as indicated in cited references that include engineering studies, studies of economic feasibility, environmental analyses, and information on the expected use of equipment or facilities. ii. A Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA), as an appendix to the Project Narrative for each project submitted by an applicant. The BCA must demonstrate in economic terms the merits of investing in the proposed project. The BCA for Track 2—PE/NEPA projects should be for the underlying project, not the PE/NEPA work itself. The project narrative should summarize the project’s benefits. Benefits may apply to existing and new rail users, as well as users of other modes of transportation. In some cases, benefits may be applied to populations in the general vicinity of the project area. Improvements to multimodal connections and shared-use rail corridors may benefit all users involved. Benefits may be quantified for savings in safety costs, reduced costs from disruption of service, maintenance costs, reduced travel time, emissions reductions, and increases in capacity or ability to offer new types of freight or passenger services. Applicants may also describe other categories of benefits that are difficult to quantify such as noise reduction, environmental impact mitigation, improved quality of life, or reliability of travel times. All benefits claimed for the project must be clearly tied to the expected outcomes of the project. Please refer to the Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs prior to preparing a BCA at https://www.transportation.gov/ office-policy/transportation-policy/ benefit-cost-analysis-guidance. In addition, please also refer to the BCA FAQs on FRA’s website for some rail specific examples of how to apply the BCA Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs to CRISI applications. iii. For Tracks 1 and 4—Applicants are required to document project benefits. Any subjective estimates of benefits and costs should be quantified PO 00000 Frm 00194 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34291 whenever possible, and applicants should provide appropriate evidence to support their subjective estimates. Estimates of benefits should be presented in monetary terms whenever possible; if a monetary estimate is not possible, then a quantitative estimate (in physical, non-monetary terms, such as crash or employee casualty rates, ridership estimates, emissions levels, energy efficiency improvements, etc.) should be provided. At a minimum, qualitatively describe the project benefits. iv. SF 424—Application for Federal Assistance; v. SF 424A—Budget Information for Non-Construction or SF 424C—Budget Information for Construction; vi. SF 424B—Assurances for NonConstruction or SF 424D—Assurances for Construction; vii. FRA’s Additional Assurances and Certifications; and viii. SF LLL—Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. Forms needed for the electronic application process are at www.Grants.gov. c. Post-Selection Requirements See subsection F(2) of this notice for post-selection requirements. 3. Unique Entity Identifier, System for Award Management (SAM), and 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 www.Grants.gov. Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time 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. FRA may not make a grant award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and SAM requirements. (Please note that if a Dun & 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 a failure to register or comply with Grants.gov applicant requirements in a timely manner will not be considered. If an applicant has not fully E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 34292 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices complied with the requirements by the submission deadline, the application will not be considered. To submit an application through Grants.gov, applicants must: a. Obtain a DUNS Number A DUNS number is required for Grants.gov registration. The Office of Management and Budget requires that all businesses and nonprofit applicants for Federal funds include a DUNS number in their applications for a new award or renewal of an existing award. A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for the government in identifying and keeping track of entities receiving Federal funds. The identifier is used for tracking purposes and to validate address and point of contact information for Federal assistance applicants, recipients, and subrecipients. The DUNS number will be used throughout the grant life cycle. Obtaining a DUNS number is a free, one-time activity. Applicants may obtain a DUNS number by calling 1– 866–705–5711 or by applying online at http://www.dnb.com/us. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES b. Register With the SAM at www.SAM.Gov All applicants for Federal financial assistance must maintain current registrations in the SAM database. An applicant must be registered in SAM to successfully register in Grants.gov. The SAM database is the repository for standard information about Federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and sub recipients. Organizations that have previously submitted applications via Grants.gov are already registered with SAM, as it is a requirement for Grants.gov registration. Please note, however, that applicants must update or renew their SAM registration at least once per year to maintain an active status. Therefore, it is critical to check registration status well in advance of the application deadline. If an applicant is selected for an award, the applicant must maintain an active SAM registration with current information throughout the period of the award. Information about SAM registration procedures is available at www.sam.gov. c. Create a Grants.Gov Username and Password Applicants must complete an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) profile on www.Grants.gov and create a username and password. Applicants must use the organization’s DUNS number to complete this step. Additional information about the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 registration process is available at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/ applicants/organizationregistration.html. d. Acquire Authorization for your AOR From the E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC) The E-Biz POC at the applicant’s organization must respond to the registration email from Grants.gov and login at www.Grants.gov to authorize the applicant as the AOR. Please note there can be more than one AOR for an organization. e. Submit an Application Addressing All Requirements Outlined in This NOFO If an applicant experiences difficulties at any point during this process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Center Hotline at 1–800–518–4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (closed on Federal holidays). For information and instructions on each of these processes, please see instructions at: http:// www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/ apply-for-grants.html. Note: Please use generally accepted formats such as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx and .ppt, when uploading attachments. While applicants may embed picture files, such as .jpg, .gif, and .bmp, in document files, applicants should not submit attachments in these formats. Additionally, the following formats will not be accepted: .com, .bat, .exe, .vbs, .cfg, .dat, .db, .dbf, .dll, .ini, .log, .ora, .sys, and .zip. 4. Submission Dates and Times Applicants must submit complete applications to www.Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m.. EDT, September 17, 2018. FRA reviews www.Grants.gov information on dates/times of applications submitted to determine timeliness of submissions. Late applications will be neither reviewed nor considered. 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 all materials are received before this deadline. To ensure a fair competition of limited discretionary funds, the following conditions are not valid reasons to permit late submissions: (1) Failure to complete the Grants.gov registration process before the deadline; (2) failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on how to register and apply as posted on its website; (3) failure to follow all instructions in this NOFO; and (4) technical issues PO 00000 Frm 00195 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 experienced with the applicant’s computer or information technology environment. 5. Intergovernmental Review Executive Order 12372 requires applicants from State and local units of government or other organizations providing services within a State to submit a copy of the application to the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC), if one exists, and if this program has been selected for review by the State. Applicants must contact their State SPOC to determine if the program has been selected for State review. 6. Funding Restrictions FRA is prohibited under 49 U.S.C. 24405(f) from providing CRISI grants for commuter rail passenger transportation (as defined in 49 U.S.C. 24102(3)) FRA’s interpretation of this restriction is informed by the language in 49 U.S.C. 24407. FRA’s primary intent in funding passenger rail projects is to make reasonable investments in intercity passenger rail transportation. Such projects may be located on shared corridors where Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation and/or freight rail also benefit from the project. Consistent with 2 CFR 200.458, as applicable, FRA will only approve preaward costs if such costs are incurred pursuant to the negotiation and in anticipation of the grant agreement and if such costs are necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. Under 2 CFR 200.458, grant recipients must seek written approval from the administering agency for preaward activities to be eligible for reimbursement under the grant. Activities initiated prior to the execution of a grant or without written approval may not be eligible for reimbursement or included as a grantee’s matching contribution. 7. Other Submission Requirements If an applicant experiences difficulties at any point during this process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Center Hotline at 1–800–518–4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (closed on Federal holidays). For information and instructions on each of these processes, please see instructions at: http:// www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/ apply-for-grants.html. E. Application Review Information 1. Criteria a. Eligibility and Completeness Review FRA will first screen each application for applicant and project eligibility (eligibility requirements are outlined in E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Section C of this notice), completeness (application documentation and submission requirements are outlined in Section D of this notice), and the 20 percent minimum match in determining whether the application is eligible. FRA will then consider the applicant’s past performance in developing and delivering similar projects and previous financial contributions, and previous competitive grant technical evaluation ratings that the proposed project received under previous competitive grant programs administered by the DOT if applicable. b. Evaluation Criteria FRA subject-matter experts will evaluate all eligible and complete applications using the evaluation criteria outlined in this section to determine project benefits and technical merit. i. Project Benefits: FRA will evaluate the Benefit-Cost Analysis of the proposed project for the anticipated private and public benefits relative to the costs of the proposed project and the summary of benefits provided in response to subsection D(2)(a)(ii) including— (A) Effects on system and service performance; (B) Effects on safety, competitiveness, reliability, trip or transit time, and resilience; (C) Efficiencies from improved integration with other modes; and (D) Ability to meet existing or anticipated demand. ii. Technical Merit: FRA will evaluate application information for the degree to which— (A) The tasks and subtasks outlined in the SOW are appropriate to achieve the expected outcomes of the proposed project. (B) Applications indicate strong project readiness and meet requirements under the project track(s) designated by the applicant. (C) The technical qualifications and 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 are demonstrated. (D) The proposed project’s business plan considers potential private sector participation in the financing, construction, or operation of the proposed project. (E) The applicant has, or will have the legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out the proposed project; satisfactory continuing control over the use of the equipment or facilities; and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 34293 the capability and willingness to maintain the equipment or facilities.7 (F) The proposed project is consistent with planning guidance and documents set forth by DOT, including those required by law or State rail plans developed under Title 49, United State Code, Chapter 227. b. Evaluate eligible applications (completed by technical panels applying the evaluation criteria); and c. Select projects for funding (completed by the FRA Administrator applying the selection criteria). c. Selection Criteria Before making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold of $150,000 (see 2 CFR 200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), FRA will review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through 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. FRA 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. In addition to the eligibility and completeness review and the evaluation criteria outlined in this subsection, the FRA Administrator will select projects applying the following selection criteria: i. The Administrator will give preference to projects for which the: (A) Proposed Federal share of total project costs is 50 percent or less; (B) Proposed non-Federal share is comprised of more than one source, including private sources, demonstrating broad participation by affected stakeholders; and (C) Net benefits of the grant funds will be maximized considering the BenefitCost Analysis, including anticipated private and public benefits relative to the costs of the proposed project, and factoring in the other considerations in 49 U.S.C. 24407(e). ii. After applying the above preferences, the FRA Administrator will take into account the following key Departmental objectives: (A) Supporting economic vitality at the national and regional level; (B) Leveraging Federal funding to attract other, non-Federal sources of infrastructure investment; (C) Preparing for future operations and maintenance costs associated with their project’s life-cycle, as demonstrated by a credible plan to maintain assets without having to rely on future federal funding. (D) Using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and, (E) Holding grant recipients accountable for their performance and achieving specific, measurable outcomes identified by grant applicants. 2. Review and Selection Process FRA will conduct a three-part application review process, as follows: a. Screen applications for completeness and eligibility; 7 FRA will not preclude projects for the initiation or restoration of Intercity Passenger Rail Service under 49 U.S.C. 24407(c)(2) from consideration for funding due to a lack of agreement among the funding recipients, operator, and host railroad regarding access to and use of the host railroad facilities, if an agreement or order for the use of such facilities may occur under 49 U.S.C. 24308. PO 00000 Frm 00196 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3. Reporting Matters Related to Integrity and Performance F. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notice FRA will announce applications selected for funding in a press release and on the FRA website after the application review period. FRA will contact applicants with successful applications after announcement with information and instructions about the award process. This notification is not an authorization to begin proposed project activities. A formal cooperative agreement or grant agreement signed by both the grantee and the FRA, including an approved scope, schedule, and budget, is required to obligate the grant. For all projects, obligation occurs when a selected applicant and FRA enter a written project specific cooperative agreement or grant agreement and is after the applicant has satisfied applicable requirements. For Track 2 PE/NEPA projects, these requirements may include transportation planning. For Track 3 FD/Construction projects, these E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 34294 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices requirements may include transportation planning, PE and environmental reviews. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements 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 the proposed projects are still viable and can be completed with the amount awarded. Grantees and entities receiving funding from the grantee, must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Examples of administrative and national policy requirements include: 2 CFR part 200; procurement standards; compliance with Federal civil rights laws and regulations; requirements for disadvantaged business enterprises, debarment and suspension requirements, and drug-free workplace requirements; FRA’s and OMB’s Assurances and Certifications; Americans with Disabilities Act; safety requirements; NEPA; environmental justice requirements; performance measures under 49 U.S.C. 24407(f); 49 U.S.C. 24405, including the Buy America requirements and the provision deeming operators rail carriers for certain purposes. See an example of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards at https://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/ 14426. 3. Reporting a. Progress Reporting on Grant Activity Each applicant selected for a grant will be required to comply with all standard FRA reporting requirements, including quarterly progress reports, quarterly Federal financial reports, and interim and final performance reports, as well as all applicable auditing, monitoring and close out requirements. Reports may be submitted electronically. b. Additional Reporting Applicants selected for funding are required to comply with all reporting requirements in the standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards including 2 CFR 180.335 and 2 CFR 180.350. See an example of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/ Details/L19057. If the Federal share of any Federal award under this NOFO may include more than $500,000 over the period of performance, applicants are informed of the post award reporting requirements reflected in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII—Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters. c. Performance Reporting Each applicant selected for funding must collect information and report on the project’s performance using measures mutually agreed upon by FRA and the grantee to assess progress in achieving strategic goals and objectives. Examples of some rail performance measures are listed in the table below. The applicable measure(s) will depend upon the type of project. Applicants requesting funding for the acquisition of rolling stock must integrate at least one equipment/rolling stock performance measure, consistent with the grantee’s application materials and program goals. Unit measured Temporal Primary strategic goal Secondary strategic goal Description Slow Order Miles .. Miles ..................... Annual .................. State of Good Repair. Safety ................... Gross Ton ............. Gross Tons .......... Annual .................. Economic Competitiveness. State of Good Repair. Rail Track Grade Separation. Count ................... Annual .................. Economic Competitiveness. Safety ................... Passenger Counts Count ................... Annual .................. Economic Competitiveness. State of Good Repair. Travel Time .......... sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Rail measures Time/Trip .............. Annual .................. Economic Competitiveness. Quality of Life ....... The number of miles per year within the project area that have temporary speed restrictions (‘‘slow orders’’) imposed due to track condition. This is an indicator of the overall condition of track. This measure can be used for projects to rehabilitate sections of a rail line since the rehabilitation should eliminate, or at least reduce the slow orders upon project completion. The annual gross tonnage of freight shipped in the project area. Gross tons include freight cargo minus tare weight of the rail cars. This measure the volume of freight a railroad ships in a year. This measure can be useful for projects that are anticipated to increase freight shipments. The number of annual automobile crossings that are eliminated at an at-grade crossing as a result of a new grade separation. Count of the annual passenger boardings and alightings at stations within the project area. Point-to-point travel times between pre-determined station stops within the project area. This measure demonstrates how track improvements and other upgrades improve operations on a rail line. It also helps make sure the railroad is maintaining the line after project completion. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00197 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 34295 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Notices Unit measured Temporal Primary strategic goal Track weight capacity. Yes/No ................. One Time ............. State of Good Repair. Economic Competitiveness. Track Miles ........... Miles ..................... One Time ............. State of Good Repair. Economic Competitiveness. Rail measures Secondary strategic goal G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION For further information regarding this notice and the grants program, please contact 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; phone: 202–493– 0303, or Ms. Frances Bourne, Office of Policy and Planning, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W38–207, Washington, DC 20590; email: frances.bourne@dot.gov; phone: 202– 493–6366. Maritime Administration H. Other Information sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES All information submitted as part of or in support of any 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 application includes information the applicant considers to be a trade secret or confidential commercial or financial information, the applicant should do the following: (1) Note on the front cover that the submission ‘‘Contains Confidential Business Information (CBI)’’; (2) mark each affected page ‘‘CBI’’; and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI portions. DOT protects such information from disclosure to the extent allowed under applicable law. In the event DOT receives a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the information, DOT will follow the procedures described in its FOIA regulations at 49 CFR 7.17. Only information that is ultimately determined to be confidential under that procedure will be exempt from disclosure under FOIA. Issued in Washington, DC, on July 11, 2018. Ronald Louis Batory, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration. [FR Doc. 2018–15412 Filed 7–18–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 [Docket No. MARAD–2018–0111] Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel ACQUA BLU; Invitation for Public Comments Maritime Administration, DOT. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The Secretary of Transportation, as represented by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), is authorized to grant waivers of the U.S.build requirement of the coastwise laws under certain circumstances. A request for such a waiver has been received by MARAD. The vessel, and a brief description of the proposed service, is listed below. DATES: Submit comments on or before August 20, 2018. ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to docket number MARAD–2018–0111. Written comments may be submitted by hand or by mail to the Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. You may also send comments electronically via the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. All comments will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection and copying at the above address between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An electronic version of this document and all documents entered into this docket is available at http://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bianca Carr, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W23–453, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone 202– 366–9309, Email Bianca.carr@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: As described by the applicant the intended service of the vessel ACQUA BLU is: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00198 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Description If a project is upgrading a line to accommodate heavier rail cars (typically an increase from 263,000 lb. rail cars to 286,000 lb. rail cars.) The number of track miles that exist within the project area. This measure can be beneficial for projects building sidings or sections of additional main line track on a railroad. —Intended Commercial Use of Vessel: ‘‘Day charter operations in Miami, Florida’’ —Geographic Region: ‘‘Florida’’ The complete application is given in DOT docket MARAD–2018–0111 at http://www.regulations.gov. Interested parties may comment on the effect this action may have on U.S. vessel builders or businesses in the U.S. that use U.S.flag vessels. If MARAD determines, in accordance with 46 U.S.C. 12121 and MARAD’s regulations at 46 CFR part 388, that the issuance of the waiver will have an unduly adverse effect on a U.S.vessel builder or a business that uses U.S.-flag vessels in that business, a waiver will not be granted. Comments should refer to the docket number of this notice and the vessel name in order for MARAD to properly consider the comments. Comments should also state the commenter’s interest in the waiver application, and address the waiver criteria given in section 388.4 of MARAD’s regulations at 46 CFR part 388. Privacy Act In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT/MARAD solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT/MARAD posts these comments, without edit, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice, DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS, accessible through www.dot.gov/privacy. In order to facilitate comment tracking and response, we encourage commenters to provide their name, or the name of their organization; however, submission of names is completely optional. Whether or not commenters identify themselves, all timely comments will be fully considered. If you wish to provide comments containing proprietary or confidential information, please contact the agency for alternate submission instructions. (Authority: 49 CFR 1.93(a), 46 U.S.C. 55103, 46 U.S.C. 12121) * * * * Dated: July 16, 2018. E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 *

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 139 (Thursday, July 19, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34283-34295]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-15412]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration


Notice of Funding Opportunity for Consolidated Rail 
Infrastructure and Safety Improvements

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

[[Page 34284]]


ACTION: Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO or notice).

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SUMMARY: This notice details the application requirements and 
procedures to obtain grant \1\ funding for eligible projects under the 
Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) 
Program. CRISI Program funding under this notice is provided by the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, (2018 Appropriation). Funding 
for positive train control (PTC) systems deployment included in the 
2018 Appropriation is provided under a different NOFO published on May 
18, 2018 (CRISI PTC NOFO). Applicants may apply for funding for PTC 
system elements under this NOFO as well if such elements are otherwise 
eligible under the CRISI Program. The opportunities described in this 
notice are made available under Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
(CFDA) number 20.325, ``Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety 
Improvements.''
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    \1\ The term ``grant'' is used throughout this document and is 
intended to reference funding awarded through a grant agreement, as 
well as funding awarded through a cooperative agreement.

DATES: Applications for funding under this solicitation are due no 
later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, September 17, 2018. Applications received 
after 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 17, 2018 will not be considered for 
funding. Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding. 
See Section D of this notice for additional information on the 
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application process.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted via www.Grants.gov. Only 
applicants who comply with all submission requirements described in 
this notice and submit applications through www.Grants.gov will be 
eligible for award. For any supporting application materials that an 
applicant is unable to submit via www.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 before the application deadline.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further project or program-related 
information in this notice, please contact Ms. Frances Bourne, Office 
of Policy and Planning, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Room W38-207, Washington, DC 20590; email: 
[email protected]; phone: 202-493-6366. 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: 
[email protected]; phone: 202-493-0303.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Notice to applicants: FRA recommends that applicants read this 
notice in its entirety prior to preparing application materials. A list 
providing the definitions of key terms used throughout the NOFO is in 
Section A(2) below. These key terms are capitalized throughout the 
NOFO. There are several administrative prerequisites and specific 
eligibility requirements described herein that applicants must comply 
with to submit an application. Additionally, applicants should note 
that the required Project Narrative component of the application 
package may not exceed 25 pages in length.

Table of Contents

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

A. Program Description

1. Overview

    This program provides a comprehensive solution to leverage private, 
state and local investments to support safety enhancements and general 
improvements to infrastructure for both intercity passenger and freight 
railroads. The U.S. rail network is central to the success of the 
American economy, carrying more than 1.6 billion tons of freight valued 
at nearly $600 billion annually, and over 31.3 million passengers on 
intercity rail passenger transportation services. Both services 
primarily operate over privately-owned and maintained infrastructure, 
allowing for strong private, capital market investment that generates 
public benefit, including public-private partnerships among other 
models.
    The Department is committed to addressing the unmet transportation 
infrastructure needs of rural areas. Underinvestment in rural 
transportation systems has allowed a slow and steady decline in the 
transportation routes that connect rural American communities to each 
other and to the rest of the country, fraying the fabric of American 
interconnectivity. A majority of the nation's rail route miles are in 
rural America. Investment is necessary to grow rural economies, 
facilitate freight movement, improve access to reliable and affordable 
transportation options and enhance health access and safety for 
residents.
    The Department also recognizes the importance of applying life 
cycle asset management principles throughout America's infrastructure. 
It is important for rail infrastructure owners and operators, as well 
as those who may apply on their behalf, to plan for the maintenance and 
replacement of assets and the associated costs. In light of recent 
fatal passenger rail accidents, the Department particularly recognizes 
the opportunity to enhance safety in both track and equipment through 
this grant program.
    Congress authorized this grant program for the Secretary to invest 
in a wide range of projects within the United States to improve 
railroad safety, efficiency, and reliability; mitigate congestion at 
both intercity passenger and freight rail chokepoints; enhance multi-
modal connections; and lead to new or substantially improved Intercity 
Passenger Rail Transportation corridors. Additionally, the program 
includes rail safety projects, such as grade crossing enhancements, and 
rail line relocations and improvements. Applicable work also includes: 
rail regional and corridor planning, environmental analyses, and 
research, workforce development, and training. The purpose of this 
notice is to solicit applications for the competitive CRISI Program 
funding provided in the 2018 Appropriation that was not included in the 
CRISI PTC NOFO. The CRISI Program is authorized under Section 11301 of 
the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Public Law 114-
94 (2015); 49 U.S.C. 24407 and funds made available in this NOFO are 
provided in the 2018 Appropriation.

2. Definitions of Key Terms

    a. ``Benefit-Cost Analysis'' (or ``Cost-Benefit Analysis'') is a 
systematic, data driven, and transparent analysis comparing monetized 
project benefits and costs, using a no-build baseline and properly 
discounted present values, including concise documentation of the 
assumptions and methodology used to produce the analysis; a description 
of the baseline, data sources used to project outcomes, and values of 
key input parameters; basis of modeling including spreadsheets, 
technical

[[Page 34285]]

memos, etc.; and presentation of the calculations in sufficient detail 
and transparency to allow the analysis to be reproduced and for 
sensitivity of results evaluated by FRA. Please refer to the Benefit-
Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs prior to 
preparing a BCA at https://www.transportation.gov/office-policy/transportation-policy/benefit-cost-analysis-guidance. In addition, 
please also refer to the BCA FAQs on FRA's website for some rail 
specific examples of how to apply the BCA Guidance for Discretionary 
Grant Programs to CRISI applications.
    b. ``Capital Project'' means a project for: Acquiring, 
constructing, improving, or inspecting rail equipment, track and track 
structures, or a rail facility; expenses incidental to the acquisition 
or Construction including pre-construction activities (such as 
designing, engineering, location surveying, mapping, acquiring rights-
of-way) and related relocation costs, environmental studies, and all 
work necessary for FRA to approve the project under the National 
Environmental Policy Act and related environmental laws and 
regulations; highway-rail grade crossing improvements; communication 
and signalization improvements; and rehabilitating, remanufacturing or 
overhauling rail rolling stock and facilities.
    c. ``Construction'' means the production of fixed works and 
structures or substantial alterations to such structures or land and 
associated costs.
    d. ``Final Design (FD)'' means design activities following 
Preliminary Engineering, and at a minimum, includes the preparation of 
final Construction plans, detailed specifications, and estimates 
sufficiently detailed to inform project stakeholders (designers, 
reviewers, contractors, suppliers, etc.) of the actions required to 
advance the project from design through completion of Construction.
    e. ``Improvement'' means repair or enhancement to existing Rail 
Infrastructure, or Construction of new Rail Infrastructure, that 
results in efficiency of the rail system and the safety of those 
affected by the system.
    f. ``Initiation'' or ``Initiate'' means commencing service on a 
route that did not previously operate Intercity Rail Passenger 
Transportation.
    g. ``Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation'' means rail passenger 
transportation, except commuter rail passenger transportation. See 49 
U.S.C. 24401(3). In this notice, ``Intercity Passenger Rail Service'' 
and ``Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation'' are equivalent terms to 
``Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation.''
    h. ``National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)'' is a Federal law 
that requires Federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts of a 
proposed action in consultation with appropriate federal, state, and 
local authorities, and with the public. The NEPA class of action 
depends on the nature of the proposed action, its complexity, and the 
potential impacts. For purposes of this NOFO, NEPA also includes all 
related Federal laws and regulations including Section 4(f) of the 
Department of Transportation Act, Section 7 of the Endangered Species 
Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. (See 
FRA's Environmental Procedures at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L02561.)
    i. ``Planning'' means activities that support the development of a 
state or regional rail plan or a corridor service development plan.
    j. ``Positive Train Control (PTC) system'' is defined by 49 CFR 
270.5 to mean a system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, 
overspeed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, 
and the movement of a train through a switch left in the wrong 
position, as described in 49 CFR part 236, subpart I.
    k. ``Preliminary Engineering (PE)'' means engineering design to: 
(1) Define a project, including identification of all environmental 
impacts, design of all critical project elements at a level sufficient 
to assure reliable cost estimates and schedules, (2) complete project 
management and financial plans, and (3) identify procurement 
requirements and strategies. The PE development process starts with 
specific project design alternatives that allow for the assessment of a 
range of rail improvements, specific alignments, and project designs--
to be used concurrent with project or service level NEPA and related 
analyses. PE occurs prior to FD and Construction.
    l. ``Rail Carrier'' means a person providing common carrier 
railroad transportation for compensation, but does not include street, 
suburban, or interurban electric railways not operated as part of the 
general system of rail transportation. See 49 U.S.C. 10102(5).
    m. ``Railroad Infrastructure'' means intermodal or rail facilities, 
including track, bridges, tunnels, rail yards, buildings, passenger 
stations, and maintenance and repair shops. In this NOFO, ``Rail 
Infrastructure'' is an equivalent term to ``Railroad Infrastructure.''
    n. ``Relocation'' is defined by 49 CFR 262.3 to mean moving a rail 
line vertically or laterally to a new location. Vertical Relocation 
refers to raising above the current ground level or sinking below the 
current ground level of a rail line. Lateral Relocation refers to 
moving a rail line horizontally to a new location.
    o. ``Restoration'' means reinstating service to a route that 
formerly operated Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation.
    p. ``Rural Project'' means a project in which all or the majority 
of the project (determined by the geographic location or locations 
where the majority of the project funds will be spent) is located in a 
Rural Area.
    q. ``Rural Area'' is defined in 49 U.S.C. 24407(g)(2) to mean any 
area not in an urbanized area as defined by the Census Bureau. The 
Census Bureau defines Urbanized Area (UA) as an area with a population 
of 50,000 or more people.\1\ Updated lists of UAs as defined by the 
Census Bureau are available on the Census Bureau website at http://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/dc10map/UAUC_RefMap/ua/.
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    \1\ See 74 FR 53030, 53043 (August 24, 2011) available at 
https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/reference/fedreg/fedregv76n164.pdf.
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    r. ``Tier 1 NEPA'' includes the analysis and evaluation of the 
potential environmental impacts of an action at a broad level, such as 
a program concept for an entire corridor, and typically does not lead 
directly to project construction. It identifies the potential 
environmental impacts of the alternatives being considered for the 
program, as well as the mitigations that may be needed to address the 
impacts. The potential environmental impacts and mitigations must be 
incorporated into each alternative that is evaluated. These are 
generally Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) that result in the 
identification of a preferred alternative.
    s. ``Tier 2 NEPA'' includes the required analysis and evaluation of 
the potential environmental impacts of an action at a project-specific 
level of detail. Tier 2 NEPA should be sufficient to support Final 
Design and Construction activities and may include an EIS, an 
environmental assessment (EA), or a categorical exclusion (CE).

B. Federal Award Information

1. Available Award Amount

    The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is 
$318,430,337 of which $35,547,000 will be for projects under 49 U.S.C. 
24407(c)(2) that contribute to the Initiation or Restoration of 
Intercity Passenger Rail Service consistent with the 2018

[[Page 34286]]

Appropriation. Of the CRISI funding made available in the 2018 
Appropriation (including amounts available under this NOFO and the 
CRISI PTC NOFO) at least 25 percent, will be made available for Rural 
Projects as authorized under 49 U.S.C. 24407(g).
    After $5,925,470 is set aside for FRA award and program oversight, 
the balance of the 2018 Appropriation CRISI Program funding includes 
$250,000,000 set aside for certain PTC projects and $18,191,193 set 
aside for Special Transportation Circumstances. These funds were 
announced under separate NOFOs.

2. Award Size

    There are no predetermined minimum or maximum dollar thresholds for 
awards. FRA anticipates making multiple awards with the available 
funding. FRA may not be able to award grants to all eligible 
applications, nor even to all applications that meet or exceed the 
stated evaluation criteria (see Section E, Application Review 
Information). Projects may require more funding than is available. FRA 
encourages applicants to propose projects or components of projects 
that have operational independence and that can be completed and 
implemented with CRISI funding as a piece of the total project cost 
together with other, non-federal sources.
    FRA strongly encourages applicants to identify and include other 
state, local, public, or private funding or financing to support the 
proposed project in order to maximize competitiveness.

3. Award Type

    FRA will make awards for projects selected under this notice 
through grant agreements and/or cooperative agreements. Grant 
agreements are used when FRA does not expect to have substantial 
Federal involvement in carrying out the funded activity. Cooperative 
agreements allow for substantial Federal involvement in carrying out 
the agreed upon investment, including technical assistance, review of 
interim work products, and increased program oversight. The funding 
provided under these cooperative agreements will be made available to 
grantees on a reimbursable basis. Applicants must certify that their 
expenditures are allowable, allocable, reasonable, and necessary to the 
approved project before seeking reimbursement from FRA. Additionally, 
the grantee is expected to expend matching funds at the required 
percentage alongside Federal funds throughout the life of the project. 
See an example of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards 
at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L19057.

4. Concurrent Applications

    As DOT and FRA are concurrently soliciting applications for 
transportation infrastructure projects for several financial assistance 
programs, applicants may submit applications requesting funding for a 
particular project to one or more of these programs. In the application 
for CRISI Program funding under this NOFO, applicants must indicate the 
other programs, and if applicable the other CRISI NOFOs, to which they 
submitted or plan to submit an application for funding the entire 
project or certain project components, as well as highlight new or 
revised information in the application responsive to this NOFO that 
differs from the application(s) for other federal financial assistance 
programs or other CRISI NOFOs.

C. Eligibility Information

    This section of the notice explains applicant eligibility, cost 
sharing and matching requirements, project eligibility, and project 
component operational independence. Applications that do not meet the 
requirements in this section will be ineligible for funding. 
Instructions for submitting eligibility information to FRA are detailed 
in Section D of this NOFO.

1. Eligible Applicants

    The following entities are eligible applicants for all project 
types permitted under this notice:
    a. A State;
    b. A group of States;
    c. An Interstate Compact;
    d. A public agency or publicly chartered authority established by 
one or more States; \2\
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    \2\ See Section D(2)(a)(iv) for supporting documentation 
required to demonstrate eligibility under this eligibility category.
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    e. A political subdivision of a State;
    f. Amtrak or another Rail Carrier that provides Intercity Rail 
Passenger Transportation (as defined in 49 U.S.C. 24102);
    g. A Class II railroad or Class III railroad (as those terms are 
defined in 49 U.S.C. 20102);
    h. Any Rail Carrier or rail equipment manufacturer in partnership 
with at least one of the entities described in paragraph (a) through 
(e); \3\
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    \3\ See Section D(2)(a)(iv) for supporting information required 
to demonstrate eligibility under this eligibility category.
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    i. The Transportation Research Board together with any entity with 
which it contracts in the development of rail-related research, 
including cooperative research programs;
    j. A University transportation center engaged in rail-related 
research; or
    k. A non-profit labor organization representing a class or craft of 
employees of Rail Carriers or Rail Carrier contractors.
    Applications must identify an eligible applicant as the lead 
applicant. The lead applicant serves as the primary point of contact 
for the application, and if selected, as the recipient of the CRISI 
Program grant award. Eligible applicants may reference entities that 
are not eligible applicants in an application as a project partner.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The Federal share of total costs for projects funded under this 
notice will not exceed 80 percent, though FRA will provide selection 
preference to applications where the proposed Federal share of total 
project costs is 50 percent or less. The estimated total cost of a 
project must be based on the best available information, including 
engineering studies, studies of economic feasibility, environmental 
analyses, and information on the expected use of equipment and/or 
facilities. Additionally, in preparing estimates of total project 
costs, applicants should refer to FRA's cost estimate guidance 
documentation, ``Capital Cost Estimating: Guidance for Project 
Sponsors,'' which is available at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0926.
    The minimum 20 percent non-Federal match may be comprised of public 
sector (e.g., state or local) and/or private sector funding. FRA will 
not consider any Federal financial assistance, nor any non-Federal 
funds already expended (or otherwise encumbered) that do not comply 
with 2 CFR 200.458, as applicable, toward the matching requirement. FRA 
is limiting the first 20 percent of the non-Federal match to cash 
contributions only. FRA will not accept ``in-kind'' contributions for 
the first 20 percent in matching funds. Eligible in-kind contributions 
may be accepted for any non-Federal matching beyond the first 20 
percent. In-kind contributions, including the donation of services, 
materials, and equipment, may be credited as a project cost, in a 
uniform manner consistent with 2 CFR 200.306. Moreover, FRA encourages 
applicants to broaden their funding table in applications. Non-federal 
shares consisting of funding from multiple sources (e.g., a state, 
county, railroad, and university contributing to a grade crossing 
improvement) to demonstrate broad participation and cost sharing

[[Page 34287]]

from affected stakeholders, will be given preference.
    Amtrak or another Rail Carrier may use ticket and other non-Federal 
revenues generated from its operations and other sources as matching 
funds. Applicants must identify the source(s) of its matching and other 
funds, and must clearly and distinctly reflect these funds as part of 
the total project cost.
    Before applying, applicants should carefully review the principles 
for cost sharing or matching in 2 CFR 200.306. See Section D(2)(a)(iii) 
for required application information on non-Federal match and Section E 
for further discussion of FRA's consideration of matching funds in the 
review and selection process. FRA will approve pre-award costs 
consistent with 2 CFR 200.458, as applicable. See Section D(6).

3. Other

a. Project Eligibility
    The following rail projects within the United States that improve 
the safety, efficiency, and/or reliability of passenger and/or freight 
rail transportation systems are eligible for funding under 49 U.S.C. 
24407 and this NOFO.
    i. Under 49 U.S.C. 24407(c)(1) deployment of non-PTC railroad 
safety technology and rail integrity inspection systems. Examples 
include: Broken rail detection and warning systems; track intrusion 
systems; and hot box detectors, wheel impact load detectors, and other 
safety improvements.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Only FD and Construction costs are eligible within this 
project eligibility category. Funding for PTC projects under 49 
U.S.C. 24407(c)(1) are eligible under the CRISI PTC NOFO published 
on May 18, 2018, and such projects are not eligible for funding 
under this NOFO.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ii. A capital project as defined in 49 U.S.C. 24401(2) relating to 
Intercity Passenger Rail Service, except that such projects under this 
NOFO are not required to be in a State rail plan. Examples include: 
Acquisition, improvement, or rehabilitation of railroad equipment 
(locomotives and rolling stock); Railroad Infrastructure (grade 
crossings, catenary, and signals); and rail facilities (yards, 
passenger stations, or maintenance and repair shops).
    iii. A Capital Project necessary to address congestion challenges 
affecting rail service. Examples include: Projects addressing 
congestion that increase rail capacity; add or upgrade the condition, 
clearances, and capacity of rail mainlines; enhance capacity and 
service with less conflict between freight and intercity passenger 
rail; reduce delays and risks associated with highway-rail grade 
crossings; and provide more effective rail equipment.
    iv. A Capital Project necessary to reduce congestion and facilitate 
ridership growth in Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation along 
heavily traveled rail corridors. Examples include: Projects addressing 
congestion that improve stations; increase rail capacity; reduce 
conflict between freight and intercity passenger rail; reduce delays 
and risks associated with highway-rail grade crossings; and provide 
more effective rail equipment.
    v. A highway-rail grade crossing improvement project, including 
installation, repair, or improvement of grade separations, railroad 
crossing signals, gates, and related technologies; highway traffic 
signalization; highway lighting and crossing approach signage; roadway 
improvements such as medians or other barriers; railroad crossing 
panels and surfaces; and safety engineering improvements to reduce risk 
in quiet zones or potential quiet zones.
    vi. A rail line Relocation and Improvement project. Examples 
include projects that: Improve the route or structure of a rail line by 
replacing degraded track; enhance/relocate railroad switching 
operations; add or lengthen passing tracks to increase capacity; 
improve interlockings; and relocate rail lines to alleviate congestion, 
and eliminate frequent rail service interruptions.
    vii. A Capital Project to improve short-line or regional Railroad 
Infrastructure.
    viii. The preparation of regional rail and corridor service 
development plans and corresponding environmental analyses. (See the 
examples under Track 1 and 2 below in Subsections C(3)(b)(i)-(ii) as 
they apply to regional and corridor rail Planning.)
    ix. A project necessary to enhance multimodal connections or 
facilitate service integration between rail service and other modes, 
including between Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation and intercity 
bus service or commercial air service. Examples include: Intermodal 
transportation facilities projects that encourage joint scheduling, 
ticketing, and/or baggage handling; freight rail intermodal 
connections; and rail projects improving access to ports.
    x. The development and implementation of a safety program or 
institute designed to improve rail safety. Examples include: Employee 
training; and public safety outreach and education.
    xi. Any research that the Secretary considers necessary to advance 
any particular aspect of rail related capital, operations, or safety 
improvements.
    xii. Workforce development and training activities, coordinated to 
the extent practicable with the existing local training programs 
supported by the Department of Transportation, the Department of Labor, 
and the Department of Education.
b. Project Tracks for Eligible Projects
    Applicants are not limited in the number of projects for which they 
seek funding. FRA will not limit eligible projects from consideration 
for funding for planning, environmental, engineering, design, and 
construction elements of the same project in the same application. 
Applicants are allowed to include multiple phases of a project in the 
same application. However, depending on the project, applications for 
multiple phases of project development may not contain sufficient 
detail with regards to scope, schedule, or budget for all phases of the 
application to compete well in the application review process.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The scope, schedule, and budget necessary to implement a 
project, as well as the definition of the project's potential 
benefits, are typically informed by the work conducted in prior 
phases of project development (e.g., the specific elements of an FD/
Construction project and their cost estimates are developed and 
refined through PE.) The evaluation criteria for the CRISI program 
(see Section E of this NOFO) considers the level of detail contained 
in the applicant's proposed scope of work and readiness for the 
project to be implemented.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    An applicant must identify one or more of the following four tracks 
for an eligible project: Track 1--Planning; Track 2--PE/NEPA; Track 3--
FD/Construction; or Track 4--Research, Safety Programs and Institutes.
    i. Track 1--Planning
    Track 1 consists of eligible rail Planning projects. Examples 
include the technical analyses and associated environmental analyses 
that support the development of state rail plans, regional rail plans, 
and corridor service development plans, including: Identification of 
alternatives, rail network Planning, market analysis, travel demand 
forecasting, revenue forecasting, railroad system design, railroad 
operations analysis and simulation, equipment fleet Planning, station 
and access analysis, conceptual engineering and capital programming, 
operating and maintenance cost forecasting, capital replacement and 
renewal analysis, railroad industry governance and organization, and 
economic analysis.
    ii. Track 2--PE/NEPA
    Track 2 consists of eligible PE/NEPA projects. PE examples include: 
PE drawings and specifications (scale

[[Page 34288]]

drawings at the 30% design level, including track geometry as 
appropriate); design criteria, schematics and/or track charts that 
support the development of PE; and work that can be funded in 
conjunction with developing PE, such as operations modeling, surveying, 
project work/management plans, preliminary cost estimates, and 
preliminary project schedules. NEPA examples include analysis and 
documentation related to a Tier 2 NEPA EIS, EA or CE. PE/NEPA projects 
funded under this NOFO must result in sufficiently developed product(s) 
to support FD or Construction activities.
    iii. Track 3--FD/Construction
    Track 3 consists of eligible projects consisting of FD, 
Construction, and project implementation and deployment activities. 
Applicants must complete all necessary Planning, PE and NEPA 
requirements for FD/Construction projects. FD funded under this track 
must: Resolve remaining uncertainties or risks associated with changes 
to design scope; address procurement processes; and update and refine 
plans for financing the project or program to reflect accurately the 
expected year-of-expenditure costs and cash flow projections. 
Applicants selected for funding for FD/Construction must demonstrate 
the following to FRA's satisfaction:
    (A) PE is completed for the proposed project, resulting in project 
designs that are reasonably expected to conform to all regulatory, 
safety, security, and other design requirements, including those under 
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
    (B) NEPA is completed for the proposed project;
    (C) Signed agreements with key project partners, including 
infrastructure-owning entities; and
    (D) A project management plan is in-place for managing the 
implementation of the proposed project, including the management and 
mitigation of project risks.
    FD examples include: Drawings at the 100% Design Level, interim 
design drawings that support development (e.g., drawings at the 60% 
Design Level), project work/project management plan, cost estimates, 
project schedules, and right-of-way acquisition and relocation plans. 
Construction examples include: Additions, improvements, replacements, 
renovations and/or repairs to track, bridge, station, rail yard, 
signal, and communication system infrastructure, or other railroad 
safety technology.
    iv. Track 4--Research, Safety Programs and Institutes (Non-Railroad 
Infrastructure)
    Track 4 consists of projects not falling within Tracks 1-3 and for 
the development and implementation of workforce development activities, 
research, safety programs or institutes designed to improve rail safety 
that clearly demonstrate the expected positive impact on rail safety. 
Sufficient detail must be provided on what the project will accomplish, 
as well as the applicant's capability to achieve the proposed outcomes. 
Examples include: Initiatives for improving rail safety, training, 
public outreach, and education.
c. Project Component Operational Independence
    If an applicant requests funding for a project that is a component 
or set of components of a larger project, the project component(s) must 
be attainable with the award amount, together with other funds as 
necessary, obtain operational independence, and must comply with all 
eligibility requirements described in Section C.
    In addition, the component(s) must be capable of independent 
analysis and decision making, as determined by FRA, under NEPA (i.e., 
have independent utility, connect logical termini, if applicable, and 
not restrict the consideration of alternatives for other reasonably 
foreseeable rail projects.)
d. Rural Project
    FRA will consider a project to be in a Rural Area if all or the 
majority of the project (determined by geographic location(s) where the 
majority of the project funds will be spent) is located in a Rural 
Area. However, in the event FRA elects to fund a component of the 
project, then FRA will reexamine whether the project is in a Rural 
Area.
D. Application and Submission Information
    Required documents for the application are outlined in the 
following paragraphs. Applicants must complete and submit all 
components of the application. See Section D(2) for the application 
checklist. FRA welcomes the submission of additional relevant 
supporting documentation, such as planning, engineering and design 
documentation, and letters of support from partnering organizations 
that will not count against the Project Narrative 25-page limit.

1. Address To Request Application Package

    Applicants must submit all application materials in their entirety 
through www.Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, on September 17, 
2018. FRA reserves the right to modify this deadline. General 
information for submitting applications through Grants.gov can be found 
at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0270.
    For any 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 before 
the application deadline. Additionally, if documents can be obtained 
online, providing instructions to FRA on how to access files on a 
referenced website may also be sufficient.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    FRA strongly advises applicants to read this section carefully. 
Applicants must submit all required information and components of the 
application package to be considered for funding. Additionally, 
applicants selected to receive funding must generally satisfy the grant 
readiness checklist requirements on https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0268 
as a precondition to FRA issuing a grant award, as well as the 
requirements in 49 U.S.C. 24405 explained in part at https://www.fra.dot.gov/page/P0185.
    Required documents for an application package are outlined in the 
checklist below.
    i. Project Narrative (see D.2.a)
    ii. Statement of Work (see D.2.b.i)
    iii. Benefit-Cost Analysis (see D.2. b.ii)
    iv. SF424--Application for Federal Assistance
    v. Either: SF 424A--Budget Information for Non-Construction 
projects (required for Tracks 1, 2 and 4) or SF 424C--Budget 
Information for Construction (required for any application that 
includes Track 3)
    vi. Either: SF 424B--Assurances for Non-Construction projects 
(required for Tracks 1, 2 and 4) or SF 424D--Assurances for 
Construction (required

[[Page 34289]]

for any application that includes Track 3)
    vii. FRA's Additional Assurances and Certifications
    viii. SF LLL--Disclosure of Lobbying Activities
a. Project Narrative
    This section describes the minimum content required in the Project 
Narrative of the grant application. The Project Narrative must follow 
the basic outline below to address the program requirements and assist 
evaluators in locating relevant information.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I. Cover Page.............................  See D.2.a.i.
II. Project Summary.......................  See D.2.a.ii.
III. Project Funding......................  See D.2.a.iii.
IV. Applicant Eligibility.................  See D.2.a.iv.
V. Project Eligibility....................  See D.2.a.v.
VI. Detailed Project Description..........  See D.2.a.vi.
VII. Project Location.....................  See D.2.a.vii.
VIII. Evaluation and Selection Criteria...  See D.2.a.viii.
IX. Project Implementation and Management.  See D.2.a.ix.
X. Planning Readiness.....................  See D.2.a.x.
XI. Environmental Readiness...............  See D.2.a.xi.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The above content must be provided in a narrative statement 
submitted by the applicant. The Project Narrative may not exceed 25 
pages in length (excluding cover pages, table of contents, and 
supporting documentation). FRA will not review or consider for award 
applications with Project Narratives exceeding the 25-page limitation. 
If possible, applicants should submit supporting documents via website 
links rather than hard copies. If supporting documents are submitted, 
applicants must clearly identify the page number(s) of the relevant 
portion in the Project Narrative supporting documentation. The Project 
Narrative must adhere to the following outline.
    i. Cover Page: Include a cover page that lists the following 
elements in a table:

 
 
 
Project Title..............................  ...........................
Applicant..................................  ...........................
Project Track..............................  1,2,3 and/or 4.
Will this project contribute to the          Yes/no.
 Restoration or Initiation of Intercity
 Passenger Rail Service?.
Was a Federal grant application previously   Yes/no.
 submitted for this project?.
If yes, state the name of the Federal grant  Federal Grant Program:
 program and title of the project in the
 previous application..
                                             Project Title:
If applicable, what stage of NEPA is the     NEPA stage:
 project in (e.g., EA, Tier 1 NEPA, Tier 2
 NEPA, or CE)?.
Is this a Rural Project? What percentage of  Yes/no Percentage of total
 the project cost is based in a Rural Area?.  project cost:
City(ies), State(s) where the project is     ...........................
 located.
Urbanized Area where the project is located  ...........................
Population of Urbanized Area...............  ...........................
Is the project currently programmed in the:  Yes/no (If yes, please
State rail plan, State Freight Plan, TIP,     specify in which plans the
 STIP, MPO Long Range Transportation Plan,    project is currently
 State Long Range Transportation Plan?.       programmed).
 

    ii. Project Summary: Provide a brief 4-6 sentence summary of the 
proposed project and what the project will entail. Include challenges 
the proposed project aims to address, and summarize the intended 
outcomes and anticipated benefits that will result from the proposed 
project.
    iii. Project Funding: Indicate in table format the amount of 
Federal funding requested, the proposed non-Federal match, identifying 
contributions from the private sector if applicable, and total project 
cost. Describe the non-Federal funding arrangement, including multiple 
sources of non-federal funding if applicable. Include funding 
commitment letters outlining funding agreements, as attachments or in 
an appendix. Identify any specific project components that the 
applicant proposes for partial project funding. If all or a majority of 
a project is located in a Rural Area, identify the Rural Area(s) and 
estimated percentage of project costs that will be spent in the Rural 
Area. Identify any previously incurred costs, as well as other sources 
of Federal funds committed to the project and any pending Federal 
requests. Also, note if the requested Federal funding under this or 
other CRISI NOFOs or other programs 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. 
If applicable, provide the type and estimated value of any proposed in-
kind contributions, and demonstrate how the in-kind contributions meet 
the requirements in 2 CFR 200.306.

[[Page 34290]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN19JY18.001

    iv. Applicant Eligibility: Explain how the applicant meets the 
applicant eligibility criteria outlined in Section C of this notice, 
including references to creation or enabling legislation for public 
agencies and publicly chartered authorities established by one or more 
States. If the applicant is eligible under 49 U.S.C. 24407(b)(8) as a 
rail carrier or rail equipment manufacturer in partnership with at 
least one of the other eligible entities, the applicant should explain 
the partnership and each entity's contribution to the partnership.
    v. Project Eligibility: Identify which project eligibility category 
the project is eligible under in Section C(3) of this notice, and 
explain how the project meets the project eligibility criteria.
    vi. Detailed Project Description: Include a detailed project 
description that expands upon the brief project summary. This detailed 
description should provide, at a minimum, background on the challenges 
the project aims to address; the expected users and beneficiaries of 
the project, including all railroad operators; the specific components 
and elements of the project; and any other information the applicant 
deems necessary to justify the proposed project. If applicable, explain 
how the project will benefit communities in Rural Areas.
    For all projects, applicants must provide information about 
proposed performance measures, as discussed in Section F(3)(c) and 
required in 2 CFR 200.301 and 49 U.S.C. 24407(f).
    (A) Grade crossing information, if applicable: For any project that 
includes grade crossing components, cite specific DOT National Grade 
Crossing Inventory information, including the railroad that owns the 
infrastructure (or the crossing owner, if different from the railroad), 
the primary railroad operator, the DOT crossing inventory number, and 
the roadway at the crossing. Applicants can search for data to meet 
this requirement at the following link: http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/default.aspx.
    (B) Heavily traveled rail corridor information, if applicable: For 
any project eligible under the eligibility category in Subsection 
C(3)(a)(iv), that reduces congestion and facilitates ridership growth 
in Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation, describe how the project is 
located on a heavily traveled rail corridor.
    (C) PTC information, if applicable: For any project that includes 
deploying PTC systems, applicants must:
    1. Document submission of a revised Positive Train Control 
Implementation Plan (PTCIP) to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a);
    2. Document that it is a tenant on one or more host railroads that 
submitted a revised PTCIP to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), 
which states the tenant railroad is equipping its rolling stock with a 
PTC system and provides all other information required under 49 CFR 
236.1011 regarding the tenant railroad; or
    3. Document why the applicant is not required to submit a revised 
PTCIP as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), and whether the proposed 
project will assist in the deployment (i.e., installation and/or full 
implementation) of a PTC system required under 49 U.S.C. 20157.
    vii. Project Location: Include geospatial data for the project, as 
well as a map of the project's location. On the map, include the Rural 
Area boundaries, if applicable, in which the project will take place.
    viii. Evaluation and Selection Criteria: Include a thorough 
discussion of how the proposed project meets all the evaluation 
criteria and selection criteria, as outlined in Section E of this 
notice. If an application does not sufficiently address the evaluation 
and selection

[[Page 34291]]

criteria, it is unlikely to be a competitive application. For the life-
cycle cost selection criteria, applicants should demonstrate a credible 
plan to maintain their asset without having to rely on federal funding 
including a description of the applicants' approach to ensuring 
operations and maintenance will not be underfunded in future years.
    ix. Project Implementation and Management: 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 (see 
https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0274). Describe past experience in 
managing and overseeing similar projects.
    x. Planning Readiness for Tracks 2 and 3 (PE/NEPA and FD/
Construction Projects: Provide information about the planning process 
that analyzed the investment needs and service objectives of the 
project. If applicable, cite sources of this information from a Service 
Development Plan, State or regional rail plan, or similar planning 
document where the project has been identified for solving a specific 
existing transportation problem, and makes the case for investing in 
the proposed solution.
    xi. Environmental Readiness for Track 3 FD/Construction Projects: 
If the NEPA process is complete, an applicant should indicate the date 
of completion, and provide a website link or other reference to the 
documents demonstrating compliance with NEPA, which might include a 
final CE, Finding of No Significant Impact, or Record of Decision. If 
the NEPA process is not yet underway or is underway, but is not 
complete, the application should detail the type of NEPA review 
underway, where the project is in the process, and indicate the 
anticipated date of completion of all NEPA and related milestones. If 
the last agency action with respect to NEPA documents occurred more 
than three years before the application date, the applicant should 
describe why the project has been delayed and include a proposed 
approach for verifying, and if necessary, updating this information in 
accordance with applicable NEPA requirements. Additional information 
regarding FRA's environmental processes and requirements are located at 
https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L05286.
b. Additional Application Elements
    Applicants must submit:
    i. A Statement of Work (SOW) addressing the scope, schedule, and 
budget for the proposed project if it were selected for award. The SOW 
must contain sufficient detail so FRA, 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. Applicants must use 
FRA's standard SOW template to be considered for award. The SOW 
template is located at https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L18661. 
When preparing the budget as part of the SOW, the total cost of a 
project must be based on the best available information as indicated in 
cited references that include engineering studies, studies of economic 
feasibility, environmental analyses, and information on the expected 
use of equipment or facilities.
    ii. A Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA), as an appendix to the Project 
Narrative for each project submitted by an applicant. The BCA must 
demonstrate in economic terms the merits of investing in the proposed 
project. The BCA for Track 2--PE/NEPA projects should be for the 
underlying project, not the PE/NEPA work itself. The project narrative 
should summarize the project's benefits.
    Benefits may apply to existing and new rail users, as well as users 
of other modes of transportation. In some cases, benefits may be 
applied to populations in the general vicinity of the project area. 
Improvements to multimodal connections and shared-use rail corridors 
may benefit all users involved. Benefits may be quantified for savings 
in safety costs, reduced costs from disruption of service, maintenance 
costs, reduced travel time, emissions reductions, and increases in 
capacity or ability to offer new types of freight or passenger 
services. Applicants may also describe other categories of benefits 
that are difficult to quantify such as noise reduction, environmental 
impact mitigation, improved quality of life, or reliability of travel 
times. All benefits claimed for the project must be clearly tied to the 
expected outcomes of the project. Please refer to the Benefit-Cost 
Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs prior to preparing a 
BCA at https://www.transportation.gov/office-policy/transportation-policy/benefit-cost-analysis-guidance. In addition, please also refer 
to the BCA FAQs on FRA's website for some rail specific examples of how 
to apply the BCA Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs to CRISI 
applications.
    iii. For Tracks 1 and 4--Applicants are required to document 
project benefits. Any subjective estimates of benefits and costs should 
be quantified whenever possible, and applicants should provide 
appropriate evidence to support their subjective estimates. Estimates 
of benefits should be presented in monetary terms whenever possible; if 
a monetary estimate is not possible, then a quantitative estimate (in 
physical, non-monetary terms, such as crash or employee casualty rates, 
ridership estimates, emissions levels, energy efficiency improvements, 
etc.) should be provided. At a minimum, qualitatively describe the 
project benefits.
    iv. SF 424--Application for Federal Assistance;
    v. SF 424A--Budget Information for Non-Construction or SF 424C--
Budget Information for Construction;
    vi. SF 424B--Assurances for Non-Construction or SF 424D--Assurances 
for Construction;
    vii. FRA's Additional Assurances and Certifications; and
    viii. SF LLL--Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.
    Forms needed for the electronic application process are at 
www.Grants.gov.
c. Post-Selection Requirements
    See subsection F(2) of this notice for post-selection requirements.

3. Unique Entity Identifier, System for Award Management (SAM), and 
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 www.Grants.gov. Registering with 
Grants.gov is a one-time 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.
    FRA may not make a grant award to an applicant until the applicant 
has complied with all applicable Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
and SAM requirements. (Please note that if a Dun & 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 a 
failure to register or comply with Grants.gov applicant requirements in 
a timely manner will not be considered. If an applicant has not fully

[[Page 34292]]

complied with the requirements by the submission deadline, the 
application will not be considered. To submit an application through 
Grants.gov, applicants must:
a. Obtain a DUNS Number
    A DUNS number is required for Grants.gov registration. The Office 
of Management and Budget requires that all businesses and nonprofit 
applicants for Federal funds include a DUNS number in their 
applications for a new award or renewal of an existing award. A DUNS 
number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal 
standard for the government in identifying and keeping track of 
entities receiving Federal funds. The identifier is used for tracking 
purposes and to validate address and point of contact information for 
Federal assistance applicants, recipients, and sub-recipients. The DUNS 
number will be used throughout the grant life cycle. Obtaining a DUNS 
number is a free, one-time activity. Applicants may obtain a DUNS 
number by calling 1-866-705-5711 or by applying online at http://www.dnb.com/us.
b. Register With the SAM at www.SAM.Gov
    All applicants for Federal financial assistance must maintain 
current registrations in the SAM database. An applicant must be 
registered in SAM to successfully register in Grants.gov. The SAM 
database is the repository for standard information about Federal 
financial assistance applicants, recipients, and sub recipients. 
Organizations that have previously submitted applications via 
Grants.gov are already registered with SAM, as it is a requirement for 
Grants.gov registration. Please note, however, that applicants must 
update or renew their SAM registration at least once per year to 
maintain an active status. Therefore, it is critical to check 
registration status well in advance of the application deadline. If an 
applicant is selected for an award, the applicant must maintain an 
active SAM registration with current information throughout the period 
of the award. Information about SAM registration procedures is 
available at www.sam.gov.
c. Create a Grants.Gov Username and Password
    Applicants must complete an Authorized Organization Representative 
(AOR) profile on www.Grants.gov and create a username and password. 
Applicants must use the organization's DUNS number to complete this 
step. Additional information about the registration process is 
available at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html.
d. Acquire Authorization for your AOR From the E-Business Point of 
Contact (E-Biz POC)
    The E-Biz POC at the applicant's organization must respond to the 
registration email from Grants.gov and login at www.Grants.gov to 
authorize the applicant as the AOR. Please note there can be more than 
one AOR for an organization.
e. Submit an Application Addressing All Requirements Outlined in This 
NOFO
    If an applicant experiences difficulties at any point during this 
process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Center Hotline at 1-800-
518-4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (closed on Federal holidays). 
For information and instructions on each of these processes, please see 
instructions at: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

    Note:  Please use generally accepted formats such as .pdf, .doc, 
.docx, .xls, .xlsx and .ppt, when uploading attachments. While 
applicants may embed picture files, such as .jpg, .gif, and .bmp, in 
document files, applicants should not submit attachments in these 
formats. Additionally, the following formats will not be accepted: 
.com, .bat, .exe, .vbs, .cfg, .dat, .db, .dbf, .dll, .ini, .log, 
.ora, .sys, and .zip.

4. Submission Dates and Times

    Applicants must submit complete applications to www.Grants.gov no 
later than 5:00 p.m.. EDT, September 17, 2018. FRA reviews 
www.Grants.gov information on dates/times of applications submitted to 
determine timeliness of submissions. Late applications will be neither 
reviewed nor considered. 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 all materials are received before this deadline.
    To ensure a fair competition of limited discretionary funds, the 
following conditions are not valid reasons to permit late submissions: 
(1) Failure to complete the Grants.gov registration process before the 
deadline; (2) failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on how to 
register and apply as posted on its website; (3) failure to follow all 
instructions in this NOFO; and (4) technical issues experienced with 
the applicant's computer or information technology environment.

5. Intergovernmental Review

    Executive Order 12372 requires applicants from State and local 
units of government or other organizations providing services within a 
State to submit a copy of the application to the State Single Point of 
Contact (SPOC), if one exists, and if this program has been selected 
for review by the State. Applicants must contact their State SPOC to 
determine if the program has been selected for State review.

6. Funding Restrictions

    FRA is prohibited under 49 U.S.C. 24405(f) from providing CRISI 
grants for commuter rail passenger transportation (as defined in 49 
U.S.C. 24102(3)) FRA's interpretation of this restriction is informed 
by the language in 49 U.S.C. 24407. FRA's primary intent in funding 
passenger rail projects is to make reasonable investments in intercity 
passenger rail transportation. Such projects may be located on shared 
corridors where Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation and/or freight 
rail also benefit from the project.
    Consistent with 2 CFR 200.458, as applicable, FRA will only approve 
pre-award costs if such costs are incurred pursuant to the negotiation 
and in anticipation of the grant agreement and if such costs are 
necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. 
Under 2 CFR 200.458, grant recipients must seek written approval from 
the administering agency for pre-award activities to be eligible for 
reimbursement under the grant. Activities initiated prior to the 
execution of a grant or without written approval may not be eligible 
for reimbursement or included as a grantee's matching contribution.

7. Other Submission Requirements

    If an applicant experiences difficulties at any point during this 
process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Center Hotline at 1-800-
518-4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (closed on Federal holidays). 
For information and instructions on each of these processes, please see 
instructions at: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

a. Eligibility and Completeness Review
    FRA will first screen each application for applicant and project 
eligibility (eligibility requirements are outlined in

[[Page 34293]]

Section C of this notice), completeness (application documentation and 
submission requirements are outlined in Section D of this notice), and 
the 20 percent minimum match in determining whether the application is 
eligible.
    FRA will then consider the applicant's past performance in 
developing and delivering similar projects and previous financial 
contributions, and previous competitive grant technical evaluation 
ratings that the proposed project received under previous competitive 
grant programs administered by the DOT if applicable.
b. Evaluation Criteria
    FRA subject-matter experts will evaluate all eligible and complete 
applications using the evaluation criteria outlined in this section to 
determine project benefits and technical merit.
    i. Project Benefits:
    FRA will evaluate the Benefit-Cost Analysis of the proposed project 
for the anticipated private and public benefits relative to the costs 
of the proposed project and the summary of benefits provided in 
response to subsection D(2)(a)(ii) including--
    (A) Effects on system and service performance;
    (B) Effects on safety, competitiveness, reliability, trip or 
transit time, and resilience;
    (C) Efficiencies from improved integration with other modes; and
    (D) Ability to meet existing or anticipated demand.
    ii. Technical Merit:
    FRA will evaluate application information for the degree to which--
    (A) The tasks and subtasks outlined in the SOW are appropriate to 
achieve the expected outcomes of the proposed project.
    (B) Applications indicate strong project readiness and meet 
requirements under the project track(s) designated by the applicant.
    (C) The technical qualifications and 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 are demonstrated.
    (D) The proposed project's business plan considers potential 
private sector participation in the financing, construction, or 
operation of the proposed project.
    (E) The applicant has, or will have the legal, financial, and 
technical capacity to carry out the proposed project; satisfactory 
continuing control over the use of the equipment or facilities; and the 
capability and willingness to maintain the equipment or facilities.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ FRA will not preclude projects for the initiation or 
restoration of Intercity Passenger Rail Service under 49 U.S.C. 
24407(c)(2) from consideration for funding due to a lack of 
agreement among the funding recipients, operator, and host railroad 
regarding access to and use of the host railroad facilities, if an 
agreement or order for the use of such facilities may occur under 49 
U.S.C. 24308.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (F) The proposed project is consistent with planning guidance and 
documents set forth by DOT, including those required by law or State 
rail plans developed under Title 49, United State Code, Chapter 227.
c. Selection Criteria
    In addition to the eligibility and completeness review and the 
evaluation criteria outlined in this subsection, the FRA Administrator 
will select projects applying the following selection criteria:
    i. The Administrator will give preference to projects for which 
the:
    (A) Proposed Federal share of total project costs is 50 percent or 
less;
    (B) Proposed non-Federal share is comprised of more than one 
source, including private sources, demonstrating broad participation by 
affected stakeholders;
    and
    (C) Net benefits of the grant funds will be maximized considering 
the Benefit-Cost Analysis, including anticipated private and public 
benefits relative to the costs of the proposed project, and factoring 
in the other considerations in 49 U.S.C. 24407(e).
    ii. After applying the above preferences, the FRA Administrator 
will take into account the following key Departmental objectives:
    (A) Supporting economic vitality at the national and regional 
level;
    (B) Leveraging Federal funding to attract other, non-Federal 
sources of infrastructure investment;
    (C) Preparing for future operations and maintenance costs 
associated with their project's life-cycle, as demonstrated by a 
credible plan to maintain assets without having to rely on future 
federal funding.
    (D) Using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite 
project delivery; and,
    (E) Holding grant recipients accountable for their performance and 
achieving specific, measurable outcomes identified by grant applicants.

2. Review and Selection Process

    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 the selection criteria).

3. Reporting Matters Related to Integrity and Performance

    Before making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share 
greater than the simplified acquisition threshold of $150,000 (see 2 
CFR 200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), FRA will review and 
consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated 
integrity and performance system accessible through 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.
    FRA 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.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notice

    FRA will announce applications selected for funding in a press 
release and on the FRA website after the application review period. FRA 
will contact applicants with successful applications after announcement 
with information and instructions about the award process. This 
notification is not an authorization to begin proposed project 
activities. A formal cooperative agreement or grant agreement signed by 
both the grantee and the FRA, including an approved scope, schedule, 
and budget, is required to obligate the grant.
    For all projects, obligation occurs when a selected applicant and 
FRA enter a written project specific cooperative agreement or grant 
agreement and is after the applicant has satisfied applicable 
requirements. For Track 2 PE/NEPA projects, these requirements may 
include transportation planning. For Track 3 FD/Construction projects, 
these

[[Page 34294]]

requirements may include transportation planning, PE and environmental 
reviews.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    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 the proposed projects are still 
viable and can be completed with the amount awarded.
    Grantees and entities receiving funding from the grantee, must 
comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Examples of 
administrative and national policy requirements include: 2 CFR part 
200; procurement standards; compliance with Federal civil rights laws 
and regulations; requirements for disadvantaged business enterprises, 
debarment and suspension requirements, and drug-free workplace 
requirements; FRA's and OMB's Assurances and Certifications; Americans 
with Disabilities Act; safety requirements; NEPA; environmental justice 
requirements; performance measures under 49 U.S.C. 24407(f); 49 U.S.C. 
24405, including the Buy America requirements and the provision deeming 
operators rail carriers for certain purposes.
    See an example of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant 
awards at https://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/14426.

3. Reporting

a. Progress Reporting on Grant Activity
    Each applicant selected for a grant will be required to comply with 
all standard FRA reporting requirements, including quarterly progress 
reports, quarterly Federal financial reports, and interim and final 
performance reports, as well as all applicable auditing, monitoring and 
close out requirements. Reports may be submitted electronically.
b. Additional Reporting
    Applicants selected for funding are required to comply with all 
reporting requirements in the standard terms and conditions for FRA 
grant awards including 2 CFR 180.335 and 2 CFR 180.350. See an example 
of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L19057.
    If the Federal share of any Federal award under this NOFO may 
include more than $500,000 over the period of performance, applicants 
are informed of the post award reporting requirements reflected in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII--Award Term and Condition for Recipient 
Integrity and Performance Matters.
c. Performance Reporting
    Each applicant selected for funding must collect information and 
report on the project's performance using measures mutually agreed upon 
by FRA and the grantee to assess progress in achieving strategic goals 
and objectives. Examples of some rail performance measures are listed 
in the table below. The applicable measure(s) will depend upon the type 
of project. Applicants requesting funding for the acquisition of 
rolling stock must integrate at least one equipment/rolling stock 
performance measure, consistent with the grantee's application 
materials and program goals.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Primary strategic     Secondary strategic
           Rail measures                Unit measured             Temporal                 goal                  goal                 Description
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Slow Order Miles..................  Miles................  Annual...............  State of Good Repair.  Safety..............  The number of miles per
                                                                                                                                year within the project
                                                                                                                                area that have temporary
                                                                                                                                speed restrictions
                                                                                                                                (``slow orders'')
                                                                                                                                imposed due to track
                                                                                                                                condition. This is an
                                                                                                                                indicator of the overall
                                                                                                                                condition of track. This
                                                                                                                                measure can be used for
                                                                                                                                projects to rehabilitate
                                                                                                                                sections of a rail line
                                                                                                                                since the rehabilitation
                                                                                                                                should eliminate, or at
                                                                                                                                least reduce the slow
                                                                                                                                orders upon project
                                                                                                                                completion.
Gross Ton.........................  Gross Tons...........  Annual...............  Economic               State of Good Repair  The annual gross tonnage
                                                                                   Competitiveness.                             of freight shipped in
                                                                                                                                the project area. Gross
                                                                                                                                tons include freight
                                                                                                                                cargo minus tare weight
                                                                                                                                of the rail cars. This
                                                                                                                                measure the volume of
                                                                                                                                freight a railroad ships
                                                                                                                                in a year. This measure
                                                                                                                                can be useful for
                                                                                                                                projects that are
                                                                                                                                anticipated to increase
                                                                                                                                freight shipments.
Rail Track Grade Separation.......  Count................  Annual...............  Economic               Safety..............  The number of annual
                                                                                   Competitiveness.                             automobile crossings
                                                                                                                                that are eliminated at
                                                                                                                                an at-grade crossing as
                                                                                                                                a result of a new grade
                                                                                                                                separation.
Passenger Counts..................  Count................  Annual...............  Economic               State of Good Repair  Count of the annual
                                                                                   Competitiveness.                             passenger boardings and
                                                                                                                                alightings at stations
                                                                                                                                within the project area.
Travel Time.......................  Time/Trip............  Annual...............  Economic               Quality of Life.....  Point-to-point travel
                                                                                   Competitiveness.                             times between pre-
                                                                                                                                determined station stops
                                                                                                                                within the project area.
                                                                                                                                This measure
                                                                                                                                demonstrates how track
                                                                                                                                improvements and other
                                                                                                                                upgrades improve
                                                                                                                                operations on a rail
                                                                                                                                line. It also helps make
                                                                                                                                sure the railroad is
                                                                                                                                maintaining the line
                                                                                                                                after project
                                                                                                                                completion.

[[Page 34295]]

 
Track weight capacity.............  Yes/No...............  One Time.............  State of Good Repair.  Economic              If a project is upgrading
                                                                                                          Competitiveness.      a line to accommodate
                                                                                                                                heavier rail cars
                                                                                                                                (typically an increase
                                                                                                                                from 263,000 lb. rail
                                                                                                                                cars to 286,000 lb. rail
                                                                                                                                cars.)
Track Miles.......................  Miles................  One Time.............  State of Good Repair.  Economic              The number of track miles
                                                                                                          Competitiveness.      that exist within the
                                                                                                                                project area. This
                                                                                                                                measure can be
                                                                                                                                beneficial for projects
                                                                                                                                building sidings or
                                                                                                                                sections of additional
                                                                                                                                main line track on a
                                                                                                                                railroad.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information regarding this notice and the grants 
program, please contact Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, 
Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W36-
412, Washington, DC 20590; email: [email protected]; phone: 202-493-
0303, or Ms. Frances Bourne, Office of Policy and Planning, Federal 
Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W38-207, 
Washington, DC 20590; email: [email protected]; phone: 202-493-
6366.

H. Other Information

    All information submitted as part of or in support of any 
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 application includes 
information the applicant considers to be a trade secret or 
confidential commercial or financial information, the applicant should 
do the following: (1) Note on the front cover that the submission 
``Contains Confidential Business Information (CBI)''; (2) mark each 
affected page ``CBI''; and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI 
portions.
    DOT protects such information from disclosure to the extent allowed 
under applicable law. In the event DOT receives a Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) request for the information, DOT will follow the 
procedures described in its FOIA regulations at 49 CFR 7.17. Only 
information that is ultimately determined to be confidential under that 
procedure will be exempt from disclosure under FOIA.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 11, 2018.
Ronald Louis Batory,
Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration.
[FR Doc. 2018-15412 Filed 7-18-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-06-P