Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program, 57793-57802 [2018-25044]

Download as PDF amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 222 / Friday, November 16, 2018 / Notices document provides the public notice that on November 2, 2018, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the City of Aurora, Colorado, petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver of compliance from certain provisions of the Federal railroad safety regulations contained at 49 CFR part 222. FRA assigned the petition Docket Number FRA–2018–0098. Specifically, petitioners seek a waiver from the provisions of 49 CFR 222.35(b)(1) to establish a new quiet zone consisting of two public highwayrail grade crossings with active grade crossing warning devices comprising both flashing lights and gates that are not equipped with constant warning time devices. The crossing warning devices on the proposed ‘‘East Rail LineAurora Quiet Zone’’ on the RTD A-Line are primarily activated by a wireless crossing activation system (WCAS) using ‘‘GPS-determined train speed and location to predict how many seconds a train is from the crossing.’’ Petitioners assert that this information is communicated wirelessly to the crossing warning devices and seeks to provide constant warning times. Additionally, this system is supplemented by a conventional track warning system in case the WCAS is unavailable. A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications concerning the petition, is available for review online at www.regulations.gov and in person at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Docket Operations Facility, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Operations Facility is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing in connection with these proceedings since the facts do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested parties desire an opportunity for oral comment and a public hearing, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request. All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number and may be submitted by any of the following methods: • Website: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 New Jersey Avenue SE, W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Communications received by December 31, 2018 will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered if practicable. Anyone can search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). Under 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its processes. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at https:// www.transportation.gov/privacy. See also https://www.regulations.gov/ privacyNotice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov. Robert C. Lauby, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Chief Safety Officer. [FR Doc. 2018–25043 Filed 11–15–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO or notice). AGENCY: This notice details the application requirements and procedures to obtain grant 1 funding for eligible projects under the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program (Partnership Program) made available by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, Public Law 115–31, Div. K, Tit. I (2017 Appropriations Act) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, 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 to recipients through a cooperative agreement. PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57793 Div. L, Tit. I, Public Law 115–141 (2018 Appropriations Act; collectively the Appropriations Acts). The opportunity described in this notice is made available under Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 20.326, ‘‘Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair.’’ DATES: Applications for funding under this solicitation are due no later than 5 p.m. EDT, March 18, 2019. Applications for funding or supplemental material in support of an application received after 5 p.m. EDT, on March 18, 2019 will not be considered for funding. Incomplete applications for funding 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 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 regarding projectrelated information in this notice, please contact Bryan Rodda, Office of Policy and Planning, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W38–203, Washington, DC 20590; email: Bryan.Rodda@dot.gov; phone: 202–493– 0443. Grant application submission and processing questions should be addressed to 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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 are listed under E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 57794 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 222 / Friday, November 16, 2018 / Notices the Program Description in Section A(2). These key terms are capitalized throughout the NOFO. There are several administrative and 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 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES A. Program Description 1. Overview The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications for grants for capital projects within the United States to repair, replace, or rehabilitate Qualified Railroad Assets to reduce the state of good repair backlog and improve Intercity Passenger Rail performance under the Partnership Program. The Partnership Program provides a Federal funding opportunity to leverage private, state, and local investments to significantly improve American rail infrastructure. The Partnership Program is authorized in Sections 11103 and 11302 of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (Title XI of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Public Law 114–94 (2015)) and is funded by the Appropriations Acts. The Department 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. The Partnership Program is intended to benefit both the Northeast Corridor (‘‘NEC’’) and the large number of publicly-owned or Amtrak-owned infrastructure, equipment, and facilities located in other areas of the country, including strengthening transportation options for rural American communities. Applicants should note that different requirements apply to NEC and non-NEC Partnership projects, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 with certain eligibility requirements applying only to proposed projects located on the Northeast Corridor, as defined in Section A(2)(f) in this notice. These NEC-specific requirements are described in Section C(3)(b). Further, the Partnership Program has different planning and cost-sharing requirements for Qualified Railroad Assets between proposed NEC and non-NEC projects. These differences are described in detail in Section D(2)(a)(v–vi). 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 memos, etc., and presentation of the calculations in sufficient detail and transparency to allow the analysis to be reproduced and sensitivity of results evaluated by FRA. Please refer to the Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) 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 Partnership applications. b. ‘‘Capital Project’’ is defined to mean a project primarily intended to replace, rehabilitate, or repair major infrastructure assets utilized for providing Intercity Passenger Rail service, including tunnels, bridges, and stations; or a project primarily intended to improve Intercity Passenger Rail performance, including reduced trip times, increased train frequencies, and higher operating speeds consistent with 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(2). c. ‘‘Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation’’ means short-haul rail passenger transportation in metropolitan and suburban areas usually having reduced fare, multiple ride, and commuter tickets and morning and evening peak period operations. See 49 U.S.C. 24102(3). d. ‘‘Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation’’ is defined by 49 U.S.C. 24102(4) to mean rail passenger transportation, except Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation. In this notice, ‘‘Intercity Passenger Rail’’ is an PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 equivalent term to ‘‘Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation.’’ e. ‘‘Major Capital Project’’ means a Capital Project with a proposed total project cost of $300 million or more. f. ‘‘Northeast Corridor’’ (‘‘NEC’’) means the main rail line between Boston, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia; the branch rail lines connecting to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Springfield, Massachusetts, and Spuyten Duyvil, New York; and facilities and services used to operate and maintain these lines. g. A ‘‘Qualified Railroad Asset’’ is defined by 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5) to mean infrastructure, equipment, or a facility that: i. Is owned or controlled by an eligible Partnership Program applicant; ii. is contained in the Northeast Corridor Capital Investment Plan prepared under 49 U.S.C. 24904, or an equivalent planning document; and for which the Northeast Corridor Commuter and Intercity Rail Cost Allocation Policy developed under 49 U.S.C. 24905, or a similar cost-allocation policy has been developed; iii. was not in a State of Good Repair on December 4, 2015 (the date of enactment of the FAST Act). See Section D(2)(a), Project Narrative, for further details about the Qualified Railroad Asset requirements and application submission instructions related to Qualified Railroad Assets. h. ‘‘State of Good Repair’’ is defined by 49 U.S.C. 24102(12) to mean a condition in which physical assets, both individually and as a system, are performing at a level at least equal to that called for in their as-built or asmodified design specification during any period when the life cycle cost of maintaining the assets is lower than the cost of replacing them; and sustained through regular maintenance and replacement programs. B. Federal Award Information 1. Available Award Amount The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is $272,250,000 after $2,750,000 is set aside for FRA award and project management oversight as provided in the Appropriations Acts. 2. Award Size While there are no predetermined minimum or maximum dollar thresholds for awards, FRA anticipates making multiple awards with the available funding. FRA encourages applicants to propose projects or components of projects that can be completed and implemented with the level of funding available. Projects may E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 222 / Friday, November 16, 2018 / Notices amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES require more funding than is available. In these cases, applicants must identify and apply for specific project components that have operational independence and can be completed with the level of funding available. (See Section C(3)(c) for more information.) Applicants proposing a Major Capital Project are encouraged to identify and describe phases or elements that could be candidates for subsequent Partnership Program funding, if such funding becomes available. Applications for a Major Capital Project that would seek future funds beyond fiscal year 2017 and 2018 funding made available in this notice should indicate anticipated annual Federal funding requests from this program for the expected duration of the project. FRA may issue Letters of Intent to Partnership Program grantees proposing Major Capital Projects under 49 U.S.C. 24911(g); such Letters of Intent would serve to announce the FRA’s intention to obligate an amount from future available budget authority toward a grantee’s future project phases or elements. A Letter of Intent is not an obligation of the Federal government and is subject to the availability of appropriations for Partnership Program grants and subject to Federal laws in force or enacted after the date of the Letter of Intent. 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 under 2 CFR 200.24. 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 must expend matching funds at the required percentage alongside Federal funds throughout the life of the project. 4. Concurrent Applications As DOT and FRA may be concurrently soliciting applications for transportation infrastructure projects for several financial assistance programs, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 applicants may submit applications requesting funding for a particular project to one or more of these programs. In the application for Partnership Program funding, applicants must indicate the other programs 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 Partnership Program application that differs from the application(s) submitted for other financial assistance programs. 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: (1) A State (including the District of Columbia); (2) a group of States; (3) an Interstate Compact; (4) a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more States; 2 (5) a political subdivision of a State; (6) Amtrak, acting on its own behalf or under a cooperative agreement with one or more States; or (7) any combination of the entities described in (1) through (6). Selection preference will be provided for applications jointly submitted by multiple eligible applicants, as further discussed in Section E(1)(c). Joint applicants 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 Partnership Program grant award. Eligible applicants may reference entities that are not eligible applicants (e.g., private sector firms) in an application as a project partner. However, FRA will provide selection preference to joint applications submitted by multiple eligible applicants only. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching The Federal share of total costs for a project funded under the Partnership 2 See Section D(2)(a)(iv) for supporting documentation required to demonstrate eligibility under this eligibility category. PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57795 Program shall not exceed 80 percent, though FRA will provide selection preference to applications where the proposed Federal share of total project costs does not exceed 50 percent. 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 facilities. The minimum 20 percent nonFederal share may be comprised of public sector (e.g., state or local) or private sector funding. However, FRA will not consider any other Federal grants, nor any non-Federal funds already expended (or otherwise encumbered), that do not comply with 2 CFR 200.458 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 inkind 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. FRA strongly encourages applicants to identify and include other state, local, public agency or authority, or private funding or financing to support the proposed project. Non-federal shares consisting of funding from multiple sources to demonstrate broad participation and cost sharing from affected stakeholders, will be given preference. If Amtrak is an applicant, whether acting on its own behalf or as part of a joint application, Amtrak’s ticket and other non-Federal revenues generated from its business operations and other sources may be used as matching funds. Applicants must identify the source(s) of their matching and other funds, and must clearly and distinctly reflect these funds as part of the total project cost in the application budget. 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). Before submitting an application, applicants should carefully review the principles for cost sharing or matching in 2 CFR 200.306. FRA will approve pre-award costs consistent with 2 CFR 200.458. See Section D(6). Additionally, in preparing estimates of total project costs, applicants should refer to FRA’s cost estimate guidance, ‘‘Capital Cost Estimating: Guidance for Project E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 57796 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 222 / Friday, November 16, 2018 / Notices Sponsors,’’ which is available at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0926. 3. Other amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES a. Project Eligibility Eligible projects within the United States repair, replace, or rehabilitate Qualified Railroad Assets and improve Intercity Passenger Rail performance. Eligible Capital Projects include those that: (1) Replace existing assets in-kind; (2) Replace existing assets with assets that increase capacity or provide a higher level of service; (3) Ensure that service can be maintained while existing assets are brought to a State of Good Repair; and (4) Bring existing assets into a State of Good Repair. Qualified Railroad Assets, as further defined in Section A(2), are owned or controlled by an eligible applicant and may include: infrastructure, including track, ballast, switches and interlockings, bridges, communication and signal systems, power systems, highway-rail grade crossings, and other railroad infrastructure and support systems used in intercity passenger rail service; stations, including station buildings, support systems, signage, and track and platform areas; equipment, including passenger cars, locomotives, and maintenance-of-way equipment; and facilities, including yards and terminal areas and maintenance shops. Capital Projects, as further defined in Section A(2), may include final design; however, final design costs will only be eligible in conjunction with an award for project construction. Environmental and related clearances, including all work necessary for FRA to approve the project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and related statutes and regulations are not eligible for funding under this notice. (See Section D(2)(a)(ix) for additional information.) Eligible projects with completed environmental and engineering documents, and, for projects located on the NEC, where Amtrak and the public authorities providing Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation on the NEC are in compliance with the cost allocation policy required at 49 U.S.C. 24905(c)(2), indicate strong project readiness. This allows FRA to maximize the funds available in this notice (see Section E(1)(c) for more information on Selection Criteria). b. Additional Eligibility Requirements for Northeast Corridor (NEC) Projects This sub-section provides additional eligibility requirements for projects VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 where the proposed project location includes a portion of the NEC (NEC Projects). Applicants proposing nonNEC projects are not subject to the requirements in this sub-section, and may proceed to the next sub-section C(3)(c). In the Partnership Program, the NEC is defined as the main rail line between Boston, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, and the branch rail lines connecting to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Springfield, Massachusetts, and Spuyten Duyvil, New York. Passenger railroad owners and operators on the NEC are subject to a cost allocation policy under 49 U.S.C. 24905(c)(2), and, via the NEC Commission, are required to annually adopt a five-year Northeast Corridor Capital Investment Plan for the NEC under 49 U.S.C. 24904(a). When selecting projects on the NEC, FRA will consider the appropriate sequence and phasing of projects as contained in the currently approved Northeast Corridor Capital Investment Plan. NEC applicants must provide the status of compliance by Amtrak and the public authorities providing Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation at the eligible project location with the cost allocation policy required at 49 U.S.C. 24905(c)(2). FRA may not obligate a grant for a NEC Project unless each of the above service providers at the eligible project location are in compliance with that cost allocation policy. Such providers must maintain compliance with the cost allocation policy for the duration of the project. 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 and 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, and not restrict the consideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable rail projects.) Components must also generate independent utility and will be evaluated as such in the BCA. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 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 March 18, 2019. 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 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, explaining to FRA 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. • Project Narrative (see D.2.a). • Statement of Work (see D.2.b.i). • Benefit-Cost Analysis (see D.2.b.ii). • Environmental Compliance Documentation (see D.2.b.iii). • SF424—Application for Federal Assistance. • SF 424C—Budget Information for Construction, or, for an equipment E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 222 / Friday, November 16, 2018 / Notices procurement project without any construction costs, or SF 424A—Budget Information for Non-Construction. • SF 424D—Assurances for Construction, or, for an equipment procurement project without any construction costs, or SF 424B— Assurances for Non-Construction. • FRA’s Additional Assurances and Certifications. • SF LLL—Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. a. Project Narrative This section describes the minimum content required in the Project Narrative of grant applications. The Project Narrative must follow the basic outline below to address the program requirements and assist evaluators in locating relevant information. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES I. Cover Page .................... II. Project Summary ........... III. Project Funding ............ IV. Applicant Eligibility Criteria. V. Non-NEC Project Eligibility Criteria. VI. NEC Project Eligibility Criteria. VII. Detailed Project Description. VIII. Project Location ......... IX. Grade Crossing Information, if applicable. X. Evaluation and Selection Criteria. XI. Project Implementation and Management. XII. Environmental Readiness. See See See See D.2.a.i. D.2.a.ii. D.2.a.iii. D.2.a.iv. See D.2.a.v. See 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. See D.2.a.xii. These requirements must be satisfied through 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 relevant portion of the supporting document with the page numbers of the cited information in the Project Narrative. The Project Narrative must adhere to the following outline. i. Cover Page: Include a cover page that lists the following elements in either a table or formatted list: project title; location (e.g., city, State, Congressional district); lead applicant organization name; name of any coapplicants; amount of Federal funding requested; and proposed non-Federal match. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 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 the amount of Federal funding requested, the proposed non-Federal match, and total project cost. Identify the source(s) of matching and other funds, and clearly and distinctly reflect these funds as part of the total project cost in the application budget. Also, note if the requested Federal funding under this NOFO 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 inkind contributions, as well as substantiate how the in-kind contributions meet the requirements in 2 CFR 200.306. For a Major Capital Project that would seek future funds beyond fiscal years 2017 and 2018 funding made available in this notice, provide the anticipated annual Federal funding requests from this grant program for the expected duration of the project. Finally, specify whether Federal funding for the project has previously been sought, and identify the Federal program and fiscal year of the funding request(s), as well as highlight new or revised information in the Partnership Program application that differs from the application(s) to other financial assistance programs. iv. Applicant Eligibility Criteria: 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. Joint applications must include a description of the roles and responsibilities of each applicant, including budget and subrecipient information showing how the applicants will share project costs, and must be signed by an authorized representative of each. v. Non-NEC Project Eligibility Criteria: This sub-section provides project eligibility requirements for projects not on the NEC. (Applicants proposing NEC Projects may proceed to the next subsection D(2)(a)(vi).) For non-NEC projects, explain how the project meets the project eligibility criteria in Section C of this notice. Describe how the project is a Qualified Railroad Asset under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5), as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57797 (A) To demonstrate ownership or control by the applicant under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(A), show either: (1) The applicant owns or will, at project completion, have ownership of the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the project; or (2) The applicant controls or will, at project completion, have control over the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the project by agreement with the owner(s). An agreement should specify the extent of the applicant’s management and decision-making authority regarding the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the project. Agreements involving railroad rights-of-way projects should also demonstrate the applicant has dispatching rights for the right-of-way and maintenance-of-way responsibilities. (B) To demonstrate the planning requirement under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(B), show that the project is included in the applicant’s current State Rail Plan(s) and, as applicable, in the current Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP) or Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs (STIP) plan. (C) To demonstrate the cost-sharing requirement under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(B), the applicant must: (1) Be an operator or contributing funding partner of Intercity Rail Passenger transportation who is subject to the Cost Methodology Policy adopted under Section 209 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), Public Law 110–432, Oct. 16, 2008; or (2) demonstrate the applicant(s) involvement in a similar cost-sharing agreement for the project as described in (1). (D) To demonstrate the state of good repair requirement under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(B): (1) Describe the condition and performance of the infrastructure, equipment, or facility as of the time of enactment of the FAST Act (Dec. 4, 2015); (2) indicate how the infrastructure, equipment, or facility’s condition or performance falls short of the definition of ‘‘state of good repair’’ in Section A(2) (49 U.S.C. 24102(12) parts (A) and/or (B)); and (3) indicate, if known, when the infrastructure, equipment, or facility last received comprehensive repair, replacement, or rehabilitation work similar to the applicant’s proposed scope of work. vi. NEC Project Eligibility Criteria: This sub-section provides project eligibility requirements for NEC E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES 57798 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 222 / Friday, November 16, 2018 / Notices Projects. (Applicants proposing nonNEC projects may proceed to the next sub-section D(2)(a)(vii).) For NEC applicants, explain how the NEC Project meets the project eligibility criteria in Section C(3)(b) of this notice including the requirements in 49 U.S.C. 24911(e). Describe how the NEC Project is a Qualified Railroad Asset under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5), as follows: (A) To demonstrate ownership or control by the applicant under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(A), show either: (1) The applicant owns or will, at project completion, have ownership of the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the project; or (2) The applicant controls or will, at project completion, have control over the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the project by agreement with the owner(s). An agreement should specify the extent of the applicant’s management and decision-making authority regarding the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the project. Agreements involving railroad rights-of-way projects should also demonstrate the applicant has dispatching rights for the right-of-way and maintenance-of-way responsibilities. (B) To demonstrate the planning requirement under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(B), the NEC applicant must show that the infrastructure, equipment, or facility is included in the current approved Five-Year Capital Investment Plan prepared by the NEC Commission under 49 U.S.C. 24904(a). (C) To demonstrate the cost-sharing requirement under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(B), the infrastructure, equipment, or facility must be subject to the NEC Cost Allocation Policy developed under 49 U.S.C. 24905(c)(2). (D) To demonstrate the state of good repair requirement under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(C), the NEC applicant must: (1) Describe the condition and performance of the infrastructure, equipment, or facility as of the time of enactment of the FAST Act (Dec. 4, 2015); (2) indicate how the infrastructure, equipment, or facility’s condition or performance falls short of the definition of ‘‘state of good repair’’ in Section A(2) (49 U.S.C. 24102(12) parts (A) and/or (B)); and (3) indicate, if known, when the infrastructure, equipment, or facility last received comprehensive repair, replacement, or rehabilitation work similar to the applicant’s proposed scope of work. vii. Detailed Project Description: Include a detailed project description that expands upon the brief summary VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 required above. This detailed description must provide, at a minimum: Additional 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. Applicants with Major Capital Projects are encouraged to identify and describe project phases or elements that would be candidates for subsequent Partnership Program funding if such funding becomes available. Include information to demonstrate the project is reasonably expected to begin construction in a timely manner. For all projects, applicants must provide information about proposed performance measures, as described in Section F(3)(c) and required in 2 CFR 200.301. viii. Project Location: Include geospatial data for the project, as well as a map of the project’s location. Include the Congressional districts in which the project will take place. ix. 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: https:// safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ default.aspx. x. Evaluation and Selection Criteria: Include a thorough discussion of how the proposed project meets all of the evaluation and selection criteria, as outlined in Section E of this notice. If an application does not sufficiently address the evaluation criteria and the selection criteria, it is unlikely to be a competitive application. xi. 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. Describe past experience in managing and overseeing similar projects. For Major Capital Projects, explain plans for a rigorous project management and oversight approach. xii. Environmental Readiness: If the NEPA process is complete, indicate the PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 date of completion, and provide a website link or other reference to the final Categorical Exclusion, Finding of No Significant Impact, Record of Decision, and any other NEPA documents prepared. If the NEPA process is not complete, the application should detail the type of NEPA review underway, if applicable, where the project is in the process, and indicate the anticipated date of completion of all milestones and of the final NEPA determination. 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 why NEPA documents have not been updated and include a proposed approach for verifying and, if necessary, updating this material 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. For Major Capital Projects, the SOW must include annual budget estimates and anticipated Federal funding for the expected duration of the project. The SOW must contain sufficient detail so FRA, and the applicant, can understand the expected outcomes of the proposed work to be performed and can 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, the total cost of a project must be based on the best available information as indicated in cited references that include engineering studies, economic feasibility studies, environmental analyses, and information on the expected use of equipment or facilities. ii. A Benefit-Cost Analysis consistent with 49 U.S.C. 24911(d)(2)(A) that demonstrates the merit of investing in the proposed project. The analysis should be systematic, data driven, and examine the trade-offs between reasonably expected project costs and benefits. 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/ E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 222 / Friday, November 16, 2018 / Notices benefit-cost-analysis-guidance. In addition, please also refer to the BCA FAQs on FRA’s website (https:// www.fra.dot.gov/grants) for some railspecific examples of how to apply the Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs to Partnership applications. The complexity and level of detail in the Benefit-Cost Analysis prepared for the Partnership Program should reflect the scope and scale of the proposed project. iii. Environmental compliance documentation, if a website link is not cited in the Project Narrative. iv. SF 424—Application for Federal Assistance. v. SF 424C—Budget Information for Construction, or, for an equipment procurement project without any other construction elements, the SF 424A— Budget Information for NonConstruction. vi. SF 424D—Assurances for Construction, or, for an equipment procurement project without any other construction elements, the SF 424B— Assurances for Non-Construction. vii. FRA’s Additional Assurances and Certifications. viii. An SF LLL—Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. Forms needed for the electronic application process are at www.Grants.gov. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES 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 discretionary 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 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 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 https://www.dnb.com/us. b. Register With the SAM 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. PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57799 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/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: https:// 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, March 18, 2019. FRA reviews www.Grants.gov information on dates/times of applications submitted to determine timeliness of submissions. 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) E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 57800 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 222 / Friday, November 16, 2018 / Notices 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 the 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. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES 6. Funding Restrictions FRA will not fund any preliminary engineering, environmental work, or related clearances under this NOFO. FRA will only consider funding a project’s final design activities if the applicant is also seeking funding for construction activities. 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 consistent with 2 CFR 200.458. Under 2 CFR 200.458, grant recipients must seek written approval from FRA for preaward activities to be eligible for reimbursement under the grant. Activities initiated prior to the execution of a grant or without FRA’s written approval may not be eligible for reimbursement or included as a grantee’s matching contribution. FRA is prohibited under 49 U.S.C. 24405(f) 3 from providing Partnership Program grants for Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation. FRA’s interpretation of this provision is informed by the language in 49 U.S.C. 24911, and specifically the definitions of capital project in § 24911(2)(a) and (b). FRA’s primary intent in funding Partnership Program projects is to make reasonable investments in Capital Projects used in Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation. Such projects may be located on shared corridors where Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation also benefits from the project. 3 Under 49 U.S.C. 24911(i), Partnership grants are subject to the conditions in 49 U.S.C. 24405. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 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 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. b. Evaluation Criteria FRA subject-matter experts will evaluate all eligible and complete applications using the evaluation criteria outlined in this section to determine technical merit and project benefits. i. 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) The technical qualifications and demonstrated experience of key personnel proposed to lead and perform the technical efforts, and the qualifications of the primary and supporting organizations to fully and successfully execute the proposed project within the proposed timeframe and budget. (C) The proposed project’s business plan considers potential private sector participation in the financing, construction, or operation of the proposed project. (D) The applicant has, or will have the legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out the project; satisfactory continuing control over the use of the equipment or facilities; and the capability and willingness to maintain the equipment or facilities. (E) Eligible Projects have completed necessary pre-construction activities and indicate strong project readiness. (F) For NEC Projects, the sequence and phasing of the proposed project is consistent with the Five-Year Capital Investment Plan prepared by the NEC Commission under 49 U.S.C. 24904(a). (G) The project is consistent with planning guidance and documents set forth by the Secretary of Transportation or required by law. ii. Project Benefits: FRA will evaluate the benefit-cost analysis of the proposed PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 project for the anticipated private and public benefits relative to the costs of the proposed project 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. c. Selection Criteria In addition to the eligibility and completeness review and the evaluation criteria outlined in this subsection, the FRA Administrator will apply the following selection criteria. i. FRA will give preference to projects for which: (A) Amtrak is not the sole applicant; (B) Applications were submitted jointly by multiple applicants; (C) Proposed Federal share of total project costs does not exceed 50 percent; ii. After applying the above preferences, the FRA Administrator will take in account the following key Departmental priorities: (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. (F) Proposed non-Federal share is comprised of more than one source, including private sources, demonstrating broad participation by affected stakeholders; and (G) Applications indicate strong project readiness. 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). E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 222 / Friday, November 16, 2018 / Notices F. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notice Applications selected for funding will be announced in a press release and on FRA’s 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 grant agreement or cooperative agreement signed by both the grantee and the FRA, including an approved scope, schedule, and budget, is required before the award is considered complete. See an example of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards at https://www.fra.dot.gov/ Elib/Document/14426. 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. A non-exclusive list of administrative and national policy requirements that grantees must follow includes: 2 CFR part 200; procurement standards; compliance with Federal civil rights laws and regulations; disadvantaged business enterprises; debarment and suspension; drug-free workplace; FRA’s and OMB’s Assurances and Certifications; Americans with Disabilities Act; safety oversight; NEPA; environmental justice; and the requirements in 49 U.S.C. 24405 including the Buy America requirements and the provision deeming operators rail carriers and employers for certain purposes. 3. Reporting a. 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 $250,000 (see OMB M–18– 18, Implementing Statutory Changes to the Micro-Purchase and the Simplified Acquisition Thresholds for Financial Assistance, 2 CFR 200.88), 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. 57801 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. b. 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. The applicant must comply with all relevant requirements of 2 CFR part 200. 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 rolling stock must integrate at least one equipment/ rolling stock performance measure, consistent with the grantee’s application materials and program goals. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES PERFORMANCE MEASURE Primary strategic goal Secondary strategic goal Description State of Good Repair. Safety ............... Annual .............. Economic Competitiveness. Safety ............... Count ............... Annual .............. Time/Trip .......... Annual .............. Economic Competitiveness. Economic Competitiveness. State of Good Repair. Quality of Life ... Miles ................. One Time ......... State of Good Repair. Economic Competitiveness. 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 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. 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. Rail measures Unit measured Temporal Slow Order Miles Miles ................. Annual .............. Rail Track Grade Separation. Count ............... Passenger Counts. Travel Time ........ Track Miles ......... VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 57802 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 222 / Friday, November 16, 2018 / Notices G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts For further information regarding this notice and the grants program, please contact 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. Ronald L. Batory, Administrator. BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of Foreign Assets Control Notice of OFAC Sanctions Actions Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is publishing the names of four individuals that have been placed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List based on OFAC’s determination that one or more applicable legal criteria were satisfied. All property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction of these persons are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: OFAC: Associate Director for Global Targeting, tel.: 202–622–2420; Assistant Director for Sanctions Compliance & Evaluation, tel.: 202–622–2490; Assistant Director for Licensing, tel.: 202–622–2480; Assistant Director for Regulatory Affairs, tel.: 202–622–4855; or the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the General Counsel: Office of the Chief Counsel (Foreign Assets Control), tel.: 202–622–2410. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Electronic Availability amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES The Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List and additional information concerning OFAC sanctions 17:19 Nov 15, 2018 Notice of OFAC Actions On November 13, 2018, OFAC determined that the property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction of the following persons are blocked under the relevant sanctions authorities listed below. Individuals [FR Doc. 2018–25044 Filed 11–15–18; 8:45 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 programs are available on OFAC’s website (www.treasury.gov/ofac). Jkt 247001 1. AL–ZAYDI, Shibl Muhsin ‘Ubayd (a.k.a. AL ZAIDI, Shebl; a.k.a. AL ZAIDI, Shibl; a.k.a. AL–ZADI, Shibl Muhsin Ubayd; a.k.a. AL–ZAYDI, Hajji Shibl Muhsin; a.k.a. MAHDI, Ja’far Salih; a.k.a. ‘‘SHIBL, Hajji’’), Iraq; DOB 28 Oct 1968; POB Baghdad, Iraq; Additional Sanctions Information—Subject to Secondary Sanctions Pursuant to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations; alt. Additional Sanctions Information—Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male (individual) [SDGT] [IRGC] [IFSR] (Linked To: ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS (IRGC)–QODS FORCE; Linked To: HIZBALLAH). Designated pursuant to section 1(c) of Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ‘‘Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism’’ (E.O. 13224) for acting for or on behalf of ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS (IRGC)–QODS FORCE, an entity determined to be subject to E.O. 13224. Designated pursuant to section 1(d)(i) of Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ‘‘Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism’’ (E.O. 13224) for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of HIZBALLAH, an entity determined to be subject to E.O. 13224. 2. HASHIM, Yusuf (a.k.a. HASHIM, Yusef; a.k.a. ‘‘SADIQ, Hajji’’; a.k.a. ‘‘SADIQ, Sayyid’’), Al Zahrani, Lebanon; DOB 1962; POB Beirut, Lebanon; Additional Sanctions Information—Subject to Secondary Sanctions Pursuant to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations; Gender PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 Male (individual) [SDGT] (Linked To: HIZBALLAH). Designated pursuant to section 1(c) of Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ‘‘Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism’’ (E.O. 13224) for acting for or on behalf of HIZBALLAH, an entity determined to be subject to E.O. 13224. 3. FARHAT, Muhammad ‘Abd-AlHadi (a.k.a. FARHAT, Mohamad), Iraq; DOB 06 Apr 1967; POB Kuwait; nationality Lebanon; Additional Sanctions Information—Subject to Secondary Sanctions Pursuant to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations; Gender Male; Passport RL 2274078 (individual) [SDGT] (Linked To: HIZBALLAH). Designated pursuant to section 1(c) of Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ‘‘Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism’’ (E.O. 13224) for acting for or on behalf of HIZBALLAH, an entity determined to be subject to E.O. 13224. 4. KAWTHARANI, Adnan Hussein (a.k.a. AL–KAWTHARANI, Adnan; a.k.a. KAWTHARANI, Adnan Mahmud; a.k.a. KAWTHRANI, Adnan; a.k.a. KUTHERANI, Adnan), Al Zahrani, Lebanon; Najaf, Iraq; DOB 02 Sep 1954; POB Lebanon; Additional Sanctions Information—Subject to Secondary Sanctions Pursuant to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations; Gender Male (individual) [SDGT] (Linked To: HIZBALLAH). Designated pursuant to section 1(d)(i) of Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ‘‘Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism’’ (E.O. 13224) for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of HIZBALLAH, an entity determined to be subject to E.O. 13224. Dated: November 13, 2018. Andrea Gacki, Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control. [FR Doc. 2018–25068 Filed 11–15–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–AL–P E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 222 (Friday, November 16, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57793-57802]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-25044]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration


Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Federal-State Partnership 
for State of Good Repair Program

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

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 
Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program (Partnership 
Program) made available by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, 
Public Law 115-31, Div. K, Tit. I (2017 Appropriations Act) and the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, Div. L, Tit. I, Public Law 115-
141 (2018 Appropriations Act; collectively the Appropriations Acts). 
The opportunity described in this notice is made available under 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 20.326, ``Federal-
State Partnership for State of Good Repair.''
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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 to recipients through a cooperative 
agreement.

DATES: Applications for funding under this solicitation are due no 
later than 5 p.m. EDT, March 18, 2019. Applications for funding or 
supplemental material in support of an application received after 5 
p.m. EDT, on March 18, 2019 will not be considered for funding. 
Incomplete applications for funding 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 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 information regarding 
project-related information in this notice, please contact Bryan Rodda, 
Office of Policy and Planning, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W38-203, Washington, DC 20590; email: 
[email protected]; phone: 202-493-0443. Grant application submission 
and processing questions should be addressed to 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 are 
listed under

[[Page 57794]]

the Program Description in Section A(2). These key terms are 
capitalized throughout the NOFO. There are several administrative and 
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

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications for grants 
for capital projects within the United States to repair, replace, or 
rehabilitate Qualified Railroad Assets to reduce the state of good 
repair backlog and improve Intercity Passenger Rail performance under 
the Partnership Program. The Partnership Program provides a Federal 
funding opportunity to leverage private, state, and local investments 
to significantly improve American rail infrastructure. The Partnership 
Program is authorized in Sections 11103 and 11302 of the Passenger Rail 
Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (Title XI of the Fixing America's 
Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Public Law 114-94 (2015)) and is 
funded by the Appropriations Acts.
    The Department 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.
    The Partnership Program is intended to benefit both the Northeast 
Corridor (``NEC'') and the large number of publicly-owned or Amtrak-
owned infrastructure, equipment, and facilities located in other areas 
of the country, including strengthening transportation options for 
rural American communities. Applicants should note that different 
requirements apply to NEC and non-NEC Partnership projects, with 
certain eligibility requirements applying only to proposed projects 
located on the Northeast Corridor, as defined in Section A(2)(f) in 
this notice. These NEC-specific requirements are described in Section 
C(3)(b). Further, the Partnership Program has different planning and 
cost-sharing requirements for Qualified Railroad Assets between 
proposed NEC and non-NEC projects. These differences are described in 
detail in Section D(2)(a)(v-vi).

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 memos, etc., and presentation of the calculations in 
sufficient detail and transparency to allow the analysis to be 
reproduced and sensitivity of results evaluated by FRA. Please refer to 
the Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) 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 Partnership applications.
    b. ``Capital Project'' is defined to mean a project primarily 
intended to replace, rehabilitate, or repair major infrastructure 
assets utilized for providing Intercity Passenger Rail service, 
including tunnels, bridges, and stations; or a project primarily 
intended to improve Intercity Passenger Rail performance, including 
reduced trip times, increased train frequencies, and higher operating 
speeds consistent with 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(2).
    c. ``Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation'' means short-haul rail 
passenger transportation in metropolitan and suburban areas usually 
having reduced fare, multiple ride, and commuter tickets and morning 
and evening peak period operations. See 49 U.S.C. 24102(3).
    d. ``Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation'' is defined by 49 
U.S.C. 24102(4) to mean rail passenger transportation, except Commuter 
Rail Passenger Transportation. In this notice, ``Intercity Passenger 
Rail'' is an equivalent term to ``Intercity Rail Passenger 
Transportation.''
    e. ``Major Capital Project'' means a Capital Project with a 
proposed total project cost of $300 million or more.
    f. ``Northeast Corridor'' (``NEC'') means the main rail line 
between Boston, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia; the branch 
rail lines connecting to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Springfield, 
Massachusetts, and Spuyten Duyvil, New York; and facilities and 
services used to operate and maintain these lines.
    g. A ``Qualified Railroad Asset'' is defined by 49 U.S.C. 
24911(a)(5) to mean infrastructure, equipment, or a facility that:
    i. Is owned or controlled by an eligible Partnership Program 
applicant;
    ii. is contained in the Northeast Corridor Capital Investment Plan 
prepared under 49 U.S.C. 24904, or an equivalent planning document; and 
for which the Northeast Corridor Commuter and Intercity Rail Cost 
Allocation Policy developed under 49 U.S.C. 24905, or a similar cost-
allocation policy has been developed;
    iii. was not in a State of Good Repair on December 4, 2015 (the 
date of enactment of the FAST Act).
    See Section D(2)(a), Project Narrative, for further details about 
the Qualified Railroad Asset requirements and application submission 
instructions related to Qualified Railroad Assets.
    h. ``State of Good Repair'' is defined by 49 U.S.C. 24102(12) to 
mean a condition in which physical assets, both individually and as a 
system, are performing at a level at least equal to that called for in 
their as-built or as-modified design specification during any period 
when the life cycle cost of maintaining the assets is lower than the 
cost of replacing them; and sustained through regular maintenance and 
replacement programs.

B. Federal Award Information

1. Available Award Amount

    The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is 
$272,250,000 after $2,750,000 is set aside for FRA award and project 
management oversight as provided in the Appropriations Acts.

2. Award Size

    While there are no predetermined minimum or maximum dollar 
thresholds for awards, FRA anticipates making multiple awards with the 
available funding. FRA encourages applicants to propose projects or 
components of projects that can be completed and implemented with the 
level of funding available. Projects may

[[Page 57795]]

require more funding than is available. In these cases, applicants must 
identify and apply for specific project components that have 
operational independence and can be completed with the level of funding 
available. (See Section C(3)(c) for more information.)
    Applicants proposing a Major Capital Project are encouraged to 
identify and describe phases or elements that could be candidates for 
subsequent Partnership Program funding, if such funding becomes 
available. Applications for a Major Capital Project that would seek 
future funds beyond fiscal year 2017 and 2018 funding made available in 
this notice should indicate anticipated annual Federal funding requests 
from this program for the expected duration of the project. FRA may 
issue Letters of Intent to Partnership Program grantees proposing Major 
Capital Projects under 49 U.S.C. 24911(g); such Letters of Intent would 
serve to announce the FRA's intention to obligate an amount from future 
available budget authority toward a grantee's future project phases or 
elements. A Letter of Intent is not an obligation of the Federal 
government and is subject to the availability of appropriations for 
Partnership Program grants and subject to Federal laws in force or 
enacted after the date of the Letter of Intent.

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 under 2 CFR 
200.24. 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 must expend matching funds at the 
required percentage alongside Federal funds throughout the life of the 
project.

4. Concurrent Applications

    As DOT and FRA may be 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 Partnership Program funding, applicants must indicate the other 
programs 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 Partnership Program 
application that differs from the application(s) submitted for other 
financial assistance programs.

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:
    (1) A State (including the District of Columbia);
    (2) a group of States;
    (3) an Interstate Compact;
    (4) a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by 
one or more States; \2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See Section D(2)(a)(iv) for supporting documentation 
required to demonstrate eligibility under this eligibility category.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (5) a political subdivision of a State;
    (6) Amtrak, acting on its own behalf or under a cooperative 
agreement with one or more States; or
    (7) any combination of the entities described in (1) through (6).
    Selection preference will be provided for applications jointly 
submitted by multiple eligible applicants, as further discussed in 
Section E(1)(c). Joint applicants 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 Partnership Program grant award. Eligible applicants may reference 
entities that are not eligible applicants (e.g., private sector firms) 
in an application as a project partner. However, FRA will provide 
selection preference to joint applications submitted by multiple 
eligible applicants only.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The Federal share of total costs for a project funded under the 
Partnership Program shall not exceed 80 percent, though FRA will 
provide selection preference to applications where the proposed Federal 
share of total project costs does not exceed 50 percent. 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 facilities. The minimum 20 percent non-Federal 
share may be comprised of public sector (e.g., state or local) or 
private sector funding. However, FRA will not consider any other 
Federal grants, nor any non-Federal funds already expended (or 
otherwise encumbered), that do not comply with 2 CFR 200.458 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.
    FRA strongly encourages applicants to identify and include other 
state, local, public agency or authority, or private funding or 
financing to support the proposed project. Non-federal shares 
consisting of funding from multiple sources to demonstrate broad 
participation and cost sharing from affected stakeholders, will be 
given preference. If Amtrak is an applicant, whether acting on its own 
behalf or as part of a joint application, Amtrak's ticket and other 
non-Federal revenues generated from its business operations and other 
sources may be used as matching funds. Applicants must identify the 
source(s) of their matching and other funds, and must clearly and 
distinctly reflect these funds as part of the total project cost in the 
application budget.
    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). Before 
submitting an application, applicants should carefully review the 
principles for cost sharing or matching in 2 CFR 200.306. FRA will 
approve pre-award costs consistent with 2 CFR 200.458. See Section 
D(6). Additionally, in preparing estimates of total project costs, 
applicants should refer to FRA's cost estimate guidance, ``Capital Cost 
Estimating: Guidance for Project

[[Page 57796]]

Sponsors,'' which is available at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0926.

3. Other

a. Project Eligibility
    Eligible projects within the United States repair, replace, or 
rehabilitate Qualified Railroad Assets and improve Intercity Passenger 
Rail performance. Eligible Capital Projects include those that:
    (1) Replace existing assets in-kind;
    (2) Replace existing assets with assets that increase capacity or 
provide a higher level of service;
    (3) Ensure that service can be maintained while existing assets are 
brought to a State of Good Repair; and
    (4) Bring existing assets into a State of Good Repair.
    Qualified Railroad Assets, as further defined in Section A(2), are 
owned or controlled by an eligible applicant and may include: 
infrastructure, including track, ballast, switches and interlockings, 
bridges, communication and signal systems, power systems, highway-rail 
grade crossings, and other railroad infrastructure and support systems 
used in intercity passenger rail service; stations, including station 
buildings, support systems, signage, and track and platform areas; 
equipment, including passenger cars, locomotives, and maintenance-of-
way equipment; and facilities, including yards and terminal areas and 
maintenance shops.
    Capital Projects, as further defined in Section A(2), may include 
final design; however, final design costs will only be eligible in 
conjunction with an award for project construction. Environmental and 
related clearances, including all work necessary for FRA to approve the 
project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and related 
statutes and regulations are not eligible for funding under this 
notice. (See Section D(2)(a)(ix) for additional information.) Eligible 
projects with completed environmental and engineering documents, and, 
for projects located on the NEC, where Amtrak and the public 
authorities providing Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation on the NEC 
are in compliance with the cost allocation policy required at 49 U.S.C. 
24905(c)(2), indicate strong project readiness. This allows FRA to 
maximize the funds available in this notice (see Section E(1)(c) for 
more information on Selection Criteria).
b. Additional Eligibility Requirements for Northeast Corridor (NEC) 
Projects
    This sub-section provides additional eligibility requirements for 
projects where the proposed project location includes a portion of the 
NEC (NEC Projects). Applicants proposing non-NEC projects are not 
subject to the requirements in this sub-section, and may proceed to the 
next sub-section C(3)(c).
    In the Partnership Program, the NEC is defined as the main rail 
line between Boston, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, and 
the branch rail lines connecting to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 
Springfield, Massachusetts, and Spuyten Duyvil, New York.
    Passenger railroad owners and operators on the NEC are subject to a 
cost allocation policy under 49 U.S.C. 24905(c)(2), and, via the NEC 
Commission, are required to annually adopt a five-year Northeast 
Corridor Capital Investment Plan for the NEC under 49 U.S.C. 24904(a). 
When selecting projects on the NEC, FRA will consider the appropriate 
sequence and phasing of projects as contained in the currently approved 
Northeast Corridor Capital Investment Plan.
    NEC applicants must provide the status of compliance by Amtrak and 
the public authorities providing Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation 
at the eligible project location with the cost allocation policy 
required at 49 U.S.C. 24905(c)(2). FRA may not obligate a grant for a 
NEC Project unless each of the above service providers at the eligible 
project location are in compliance with that cost allocation policy. 
Such providers must maintain compliance with the cost allocation policy 
for the duration of the project.
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 and 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, and not restrict the 
consideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable rail 
projects.) Components must also generate independent utility and will 
be evaluated as such in the BCA.

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 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 March 18, 2019. 
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 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, explaining to FRA 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.
     Project Narrative (see D.2.a).
     Statement of Work (see D.2.b.i).
     Benefit-Cost Analysis (see D.2.b.ii).
     Environmental Compliance Documentation (see D.2.b.iii).
     SF424--Application for Federal Assistance.
     SF 424C--Budget Information for Construction, or, for an 
equipment

[[Page 57797]]

procurement project without any construction costs, or SF 424A--Budget 
Information for Non-Construction.
     SF 424D--Assurances for Construction, or, for an equipment 
procurement project without any construction costs, or SF 424B--
Assurances for Non-Construction.
     FRA's Additional Assurances and Certifications.
     SF LLL--Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.
a. Project Narrative
    This section describes the minimum content required in the Project 
Narrative of grant applications. 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 Criteria.....  See D.2.a.iv.
V. Non-NEC Project Eligibility Criteria  See D.2.a.v.
VI. NEC Project Eligibility Criteria...  See D.2.a.vi.
VII. Detailed Project Description......  See D.2.a.vii.
VIII. Project Location.................  See D.2.a.viii.
IX. Grade Crossing Information, if       See D.2.a.ix.
 applicable.
X. Evaluation and Selection Criteria...  See D.2.a.x.
XI. Project Implementation and           See D.2.a.xi.
 Management.
XII. Environmental Readiness...........  See D.2.a.xii.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    These requirements must be satisfied through 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 relevant portion of the supporting 
document with the page numbers of the cited information in the Project 
Narrative. The Project Narrative must adhere to the following outline.
    i. Cover Page: Include a cover page that lists the following 
elements in either a table or formatted list: project title; location 
(e.g., city, State, Congressional district); lead applicant 
organization name; name of any co-applicants; amount of Federal funding 
requested; and proposed non-Federal match.
    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 the amount of Federal funding 
requested, the proposed non-Federal match, and total project cost. 
Identify the source(s) of matching and other funds, and clearly and 
distinctly reflect these funds as part of the total project cost in the 
application budget. Also, note if the requested Federal funding under 
this NOFO 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, as well as substantiate how the in-kind 
contributions meet the requirements in 2 CFR 200.306. For a Major 
Capital Project that would seek future funds beyond fiscal years 2017 
and 2018 funding made available in this notice, provide the anticipated 
annual Federal funding requests from this grant program for the 
expected duration of the project. Finally, specify whether Federal 
funding for the project has previously been sought, and identify the 
Federal program and fiscal year of the funding request(s), as well as 
highlight new or revised information in the Partnership Program 
application that differs from the application(s) to other financial 
assistance programs.
    iv. Applicant Eligibility Criteria: 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. Joint applications must include a description of the 
roles and responsibilities of each applicant, including budget and sub-
recipient information showing how the applicants will share project 
costs, and must be signed by an authorized representative of each.
    v. Non-NEC Project Eligibility Criteria: This sub-section provides 
project eligibility requirements for projects not on the NEC. 
(Applicants proposing NEC Projects may proceed to the next sub-section 
D(2)(a)(vi).) For non-NEC projects, explain how the project meets the 
project eligibility criteria in Section C of this notice. Describe how 
the project is a Qualified Railroad Asset under 49 U.S.C. 24911(a)(5), 
as follows:
    (A) To demonstrate ownership or control by the applicant under 49 
U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(A), show either:
    (1) The applicant owns or will, at project completion, have 
ownership of the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the 
project; or
    (2) The applicant controls or will, at project completion, have 
control over the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the 
project by agreement with the owner(s). An agreement should specify the 
extent of the applicant's management and decision-making authority 
regarding the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the 
project. Agreements involving railroad rights-of-way projects should 
also demonstrate the applicant has dispatching rights for the right-of-
way and maintenance-of-way responsibilities.
    (B) To demonstrate the planning requirement under 49 U.S.C. 
24911(a)(5)(B), show that the project is included in the applicant's 
current State Rail Plan(s) and, as applicable, in the current 
Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP) or Statewide Transportation 
Improvement Programs (STIP) plan.
    (C) To demonstrate the cost-sharing requirement under 49 U.S.C. 
24911(a)(5)(B), the applicant must:
    (1) Be an operator or contributing funding partner of Intercity 
Rail Passenger transportation who is subject to the Cost Methodology 
Policy adopted under Section 209 of the Passenger Rail Investment and 
Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), Public Law 110-432, Oct. 16, 2008; or
    (2) demonstrate the applicant(s) involvement in a similar cost-
sharing agreement for the project as described in (1).
    (D) To demonstrate the state of good repair requirement under 49 
U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(B):
    (1) Describe the condition and performance of the infrastructure, 
equipment, or facility as of the time of enactment of the FAST Act 
(Dec. 4, 2015);
    (2) indicate how the infrastructure, equipment, or facility's 
condition or performance falls short of the definition of ``state of 
good repair'' in Section A(2) (49 U.S.C. 24102(12) parts (A) and/or 
(B)); and
    (3) indicate, if known, when the infrastructure, equipment, or 
facility last received comprehensive repair, replacement, or 
rehabilitation work similar to the applicant's proposed scope of work.
    vi. NEC Project Eligibility Criteria: This sub-section provides 
project eligibility requirements for NEC

[[Page 57798]]

Projects. (Applicants proposing non-NEC projects may proceed to the 
next sub-section D(2)(a)(vii).) For NEC applicants, explain how the NEC 
Project meets the project eligibility criteria in Section C(3)(b) of 
this notice including the requirements in 49 U.S.C. 24911(e). Describe 
how the NEC Project is a Qualified Railroad Asset under 49 U.S.C. 
24911(a)(5), as follows:
    (A) To demonstrate ownership or control by the applicant under 49 
U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(A), show either:
    (1) The applicant owns or will, at project completion, have 
ownership of the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the 
project; or
    (2) The applicant controls or will, at project completion, have 
control over the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the 
project by agreement with the owner(s). An agreement should specify the 
extent of the applicant's management and decision-making authority 
regarding the infrastructure, equipment, or facility improved by the 
project. Agreements involving railroad rights-of-way projects should 
also demonstrate the applicant has dispatching rights for the right-of-
way and maintenance-of-way responsibilities.
    (B) To demonstrate the planning requirement under 49 U.S.C. 
24911(a)(5)(B), the NEC applicant must show that the infrastructure, 
equipment, or facility is included in the current approved Five-Year 
Capital Investment Plan prepared by the NEC Commission under 49 U.S.C. 
24904(a).
    (C) To demonstrate the cost-sharing requirement under 49 U.S.C. 
24911(a)(5)(B), the infrastructure, equipment, or facility must be 
subject to the NEC Cost Allocation Policy developed under 49 U.S.C. 
24905(c)(2).
    (D) To demonstrate the state of good repair requirement under 49 
U.S.C. 24911(a)(5)(C), the NEC applicant must:
    (1) Describe the condition and performance of the infrastructure, 
equipment, or facility as of the time of enactment of the FAST Act 
(Dec. 4, 2015);
    (2) indicate how the infrastructure, equipment, or facility's 
condition or performance falls short of the definition of ``state of 
good repair'' in Section A(2) (49 U.S.C. 24102(12) parts (A) and/or 
(B)); and
    (3) indicate, if known, when the infrastructure, equipment, or 
facility last received comprehensive repair, replacement, or 
rehabilitation work similar to the applicant's proposed scope of work.
    vii. Detailed Project Description: Include a detailed project 
description that expands upon the brief summary required above. This 
detailed description must provide, at a minimum: Additional 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. Applicants with Major Capital Projects are encouraged to 
identify and describe project phases or elements that would be 
candidates for subsequent Partnership Program funding if such funding 
becomes available. Include information to demonstrate the project is 
reasonably expected to begin construction in a timely manner. For all 
projects, applicants must provide information about proposed 
performance measures, as described in Section F(3)(c) and required in 2 
CFR 200.301.
    viii. Project Location: Include geospatial data for the project, as 
well as a map of the project's location. Include the Congressional 
districts in which the project will take place.
    ix. 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: https://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/default.aspx.
    x. Evaluation and Selection Criteria: Include a thorough discussion 
of how the proposed project meets all of the evaluation and selection 
criteria, as outlined in Section E of this notice. If an application 
does not sufficiently address the evaluation criteria and the selection 
criteria, it is unlikely to be a competitive application.
    xi. 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. 
Describe past experience in managing and overseeing similar projects. 
For Major Capital Projects, explain plans for a rigorous project 
management and oversight approach.
    xii. Environmental Readiness: If the NEPA process is complete, 
indicate the date of completion, and provide a website link or other 
reference to the final Categorical Exclusion, Finding of No Significant 
Impact, Record of Decision, and any other NEPA documents prepared. If 
the NEPA process is not complete, the application should detail the 
type of NEPA review underway, if applicable, where the project is in 
the process, and indicate the anticipated date of completion of all 
milestones and of the final NEPA determination. 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 why NEPA documents have not been updated 
and include a proposed approach for verifying and, if necessary, 
updating this material 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. For 
Major Capital Projects, the SOW must include annual budget estimates 
and anticipated Federal funding for the expected duration of the 
project. The SOW must contain sufficient detail so FRA, and the 
applicant, can understand the expected outcomes of the proposed work to 
be performed and can 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, the total cost of a project 
must be based on the best available information as indicated in cited 
references that include engineering studies, economic feasibility 
studies, environmental analyses, and information on the expected use of 
equipment or facilities.
    ii. A Benefit-Cost Analysis consistent with 49 U.S.C. 
24911(d)(2)(A) that demonstrates the merit of investing in the proposed 
project. The analysis should be systematic, data driven, and examine 
the trade-offs between reasonably expected project costs and benefits. 
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/

[[Page 57799]]

benefit-cost-analysis-guidance. In addition, please also refer to the 
BCA FAQs on FRA's website (https://www.fra.dot.gov/grants) for some 
rail-specific examples of how to apply the Benefit-Cost Analysis 
Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs to Partnership applications. 
The complexity and level of detail in the Benefit-Cost Analysis 
prepared for the Partnership Program should reflect the scope and scale 
of the proposed project.
    iii. Environmental compliance documentation, if a website link is 
not cited in the Project Narrative.
    iv. SF 424--Application for Federal Assistance.
    v. SF 424C--Budget Information for Construction, or, for an 
equipment procurement project without any other construction elements, 
the SF 424A--Budget Information for Non-Construction.
    vi. SF 424D--Assurances for Construction, or, for an equipment 
procurement project without any other construction elements, the SF 
424B--Assurances for Non-Construction.
    vii. FRA's Additional Assurances and Certifications.
    viii. An 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 discretionary 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 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 https://www.dnb.com/us.
b. Register With the SAM
    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: https://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, March 18, 2019. FRA reviews www.Grants.gov 
information on dates/times of applications submitted to determine 
timeliness of submissions. 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)

[[Page 57800]]

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 
the 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 will not fund any preliminary engineering, environmental work, 
or related clearances under this NOFO. FRA will only consider funding a 
project's final design activities if the applicant is also seeking 
funding for construction activities. 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 consistent with 2 
CFR 200.458. Under 2 CFR 200.458, grant recipients must seek written 
approval from FRA for pre-award activities to be eligible for 
reimbursement under the grant. Activities initiated prior to the 
execution of a grant or without FRA's written approval may not be 
eligible for reimbursement or included as a grantee's matching 
contribution.
    FRA is prohibited under 49 U.S.C. 24405(f) \3\ from providing 
Partnership Program grants for Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation. 
FRA's interpretation of this provision is informed by the language in 
49 U.S.C. 24911, and specifically the definitions of capital project in 
Sec.  24911(2)(a) and (b). FRA's primary intent in funding Partnership 
Program projects is to make reasonable investments in Capital Projects 
used in Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation. Such projects may be 
located on shared corridors where Commuter Rail Passenger 
Transportation also benefits from the project.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Under 49 U.S.C. 24911(i), Partnership grants are subject to 
the conditions in 49 U.S.C. 24405.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 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.
b. Evaluation Criteria
    FRA subject-matter experts will evaluate all eligible and complete 
applications using the evaluation criteria outlined in this section to 
determine technical merit and project benefits.
    i. 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) The technical qualifications and demonstrated experience of key 
personnel proposed to lead and perform the technical efforts, and the 
qualifications of the primary and supporting organizations to fully and 
successfully execute the proposed project within the proposed timeframe 
and budget.
    (C) The proposed project's business plan considers potential 
private sector participation in the financing, construction, or 
operation of the proposed project.
    (D) The applicant has, or will have the legal, financial, and 
technical capacity to carry out the project; satisfactory continuing 
control over the use of the equipment or facilities; and the capability 
and willingness to maintain the equipment or facilities.
    (E) Eligible Projects have completed necessary pre-construction 
activities and indicate strong project readiness.
    (F) For NEC Projects, the sequence and phasing of the proposed 
project is consistent with the Five-Year Capital Investment Plan 
prepared by the NEC Commission under 49 U.S.C. 24904(a).
    (G) The project is consistent with planning guidance and documents 
set forth by the Secretary of Transportation or required by law.
    ii. 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 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.
c. Selection Criteria
    In addition to the eligibility and completeness review and the 
evaluation criteria outlined in this subsection, the FRA Administrator 
will apply the following selection criteria.
    i. FRA will give preference to projects for which:
    (A) Amtrak is not the sole applicant;
    (B) Applications were submitted jointly by multiple applicants;
    (C) Proposed Federal share of total project costs does not exceed 
50 percent;
    ii. After applying the above preferences, the FRA Administrator 
will take in account the following key Departmental priorities:
    (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.
    (F) Proposed non-Federal share is comprised of more than one 
source, including private sources, demonstrating broad participation by 
affected stakeholders; and
    (G) Applications indicate strong project readiness.

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).

[[Page 57801]]

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notice

    Applications selected for funding will be announced in a press 
release and on FRA's 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 grant agreement or cooperative agreement signed by 
both the grantee and the FRA, including an approved scope, schedule, 
and budget, is required before the award is considered complete. See an 
example of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards at 
https://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/14426.

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. A non-exclusive list 
of administrative and national policy requirements that grantees must 
follow includes: 2 CFR part 200; procurement standards; compliance with 
Federal civil rights laws and regulations; disadvantaged business 
enterprises; debarment and suspension; drug-free workplace; FRA's and 
OMB's Assurances and Certifications; Americans with Disabilities Act; 
safety oversight; NEPA; environmental justice; and the requirements in 
49 U.S.C. 24405 including the Buy America requirements and the 
provision deeming operators rail carriers and employers for certain 
purposes.

3. Reporting

a. 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 $250,000 (see OMB 
M-18-18, Implementing Statutory Changes to the Micro-Purchase and the 
Simplified Acquisition Thresholds for Financial Assistance, 2 CFR 
200.88), 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.
b. 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.
    The applicant must comply with all relevant requirements of 2 CFR 
part 200.
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 rolling stock must 
integrate at least one equipment/rolling stock performance measure, 
consistent with the grantee's application materials and program goals.

                                                                   Performance Measure
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Primary strategic   Secondary strategic
          Rail measures              Unit measured           Temporal               goal                 goal                     Description
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Slow Order Miles................  Miles..............  Annual.............  State of Good        Safety.............  The number of miles per year
                                                                             Repair.                                   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.
Rail Track Grade Separation.....  Count..............  Annual.............  Economic             Safety.............  The number of annual automobile
                                                                             Competitiveness.                          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        Count of the annual passenger
                                                                             Competitiveness.     Repair.              boardings and alightings at
                                                                                                                       stations within the project area.
Travel Time.....................  Time/Trip..........  Annual.............  Economic             Quality of Life....  Point-to-point travel times
                                                                             Competitiveness.                          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.
Track Miles.....................  Miles..............  One Time...........  State of Good        Economic             The number of track miles that
                                                                             Repair.              Competitiveness.     exist within the project area.
                                                                                                                       This measure can be beneficial
                                                                                                                       for projects building sidings or
                                                                                                                       sections of additional main line
                                                                                                                       track on a railroad.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 57802]]

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information regarding this notice and the grants 
program, please contact Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal 
Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W36-412, 
Washington, DC 20590; email: [email protected].

Ronald L. Batory,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-25044 Filed 11-15-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-06-P