Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program; Fire Prevention and Safety Grants, 20509-20515 [2021-08089]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices Federal assistance eligible for such adjustments under the law. The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act specifically prohibits a similar adjustment for funds provided for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (Section 404). These funds will continue to be reimbursed at 75 percent of total eligible costs. (The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance— Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. Robert J. Fenton, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2021–08064 Filed 4–19–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–23–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA–2021–0015; Internal Agency Docket No. DHS–20–GPD–044–00– 97] Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program; Fire Prevention and Safety Grants Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This Notice provides guidelines that describe the application process for Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant Program grants and the criteria the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will use to award these grants for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. It explains the differences, if any, between these guidelines and those recommended by representatives of the Nation’s fire service leadership during the annual Criteria Development meeting, which was held December 11, 2019. The application period for the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program was January 25, 2021, through February 26, 2021, and was announced on the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program (AFGP) SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 website at: https://www.fema.gov/ grants/preparedness/firefighters, www.grants.gov, and the U.S. Fire Administration website at www.usfa.fema.gov. DATES: Grant applications for the FP&S Grant Program were accepted electronically at https://go.fema.gov from January 25, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. ET through February 26, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. ET. ADDRESSES: Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program Branch, DHS/FEMA, 400 C Street SW 3N, Washington, DC 20472–3635. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Patterson, Chief, Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program Branch, (866) 274–0960. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the FP&S Grant Program is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters by assisting fire prevention programs and supporting firefighter health and safety research and development. The FEMA Grant Programs Directorate administers the FP&S Grant Program as part of the AFGP. The FP&S Grant Program’s authorizing statute requires that FEMA publish the guidelines that describe the application process and the criteria for grant awards in the Federal Register each year. Specific information about the submission of grant applications can be found in the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), which is available for download at https://www.fema.gov/ grants/preparedness/firefighters. Congressional Appropriations Congress appropriated $355 million for AFG Program in FY 2020 pursuant to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2020, Public Law 116–93. From this amount, $35.5 million will be made available for FP&S Grant Program awards, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 2229(h)(5), which states that not less than 10 percent of available grant funds each year are awarded under the FP&S Grant Program. Funds appropriated for all FY 2020 AFG Program awards, pursuant to Public Law 116–93, will be available for obligation and award until Sept. 30, 2021. FEMA anticipates that it will receive approximately 670 applications and may award approximately 100 FP&S Grant Program grants. Background of the FP&S Grant Program The purpose of the FP&S Grant Program is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters by assisting fire prevention programs and supporting PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20509 firefighter health and safety research and development. FP&S Grant Program grants are offered to support projects in two activities: 1. FP&S Activity: Activities designed to reach high-risk target groups and mitigate the incidence of death, injuries, and property damage caused by fire and fire-related hazards. 2. Research and Development (R&D) Activity: Projects aimed at improving firefighter safety, health, or wellness through research and development that reduce firefighter fatalities and injuries. FEMA awards grants on a competitive basis to applicants that best address the FP&S Grant Program’s priorities and provide the most compelling justification. A panel of reviewers evaluates each project in accordance with the evaluation criteria. The highest rated projects are recommended for funding. Award Criteria All applications for grants will be prepared and submitted through the FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO) system (https://go.fema.gov). Applications submitted under the FP&S Activity will be reviewed by a panel of fire service members using the following criteria: • Financial Need • Commitment to Mitigation • Vulnerability Statement • Project Description • Implementation Plan • Evaluation Plan • Cost vs. Benefit Applications submitted under the R&D Activity will be reviewed first by a panel of fire service members to identify those applications most relevant to the fire service. The following evaluation criteria will be used for this review: • Purpose • Potential Impact • Implementation by the Fire Service • Barriers • Partners The applications that are determined most likely to enable improvement in firefighter safety, health, or wellness will be deemed to be in the ‘‘competitive range’’ and forwarded to the second level of application review, which is the science panel review process. This panel will be composed of scientists and technology experts who have expertise pertaining to the subject matter of the proposal. The Science Panel for the R&D Activity will review the application and evaluate it using the following criteria: • Project Goals, Objectives, and Specific Aims E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 20510 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices • • • • • • Literature Review Project Methods Project Measurements Project Analysis Dissemination and Implementation Cost vs. Benefit (additional consideration) • Financial Need (additional consideration) • Mentoring (additional consideration for Early Career Investigator Projects only) Eligible Applicants Under the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program, eligible applicants are limited to those entities described below within each activity: 1. FP&S Activity: Eligible applicants for this activity included fire departments and national, regional, state, local, tribal, and nonprofit interest organizations that are recognized for their experience and expertise in fire prevention and safety programs and activities. Both private and public nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for funding in this activity. For-profit organizations, Federal agencies, and individuals are not eligible to receive an FP&S Grant Program award under the FP&S Activity. 2. R&D Activity: Eligible applicants for this activity include national, state, local, federally-recognized tribal, and nonprofit organizations, such as academic (e.g., universities), public health, occupational health, and injury prevention institutions. Both private and public non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding in this activity. The aforementioned entities are encouraged to apply, especially those that are recognized for their experience and expertise in firefighter safety, health, and wellness research and development activities. Fire departments are not eligible to apply for funding in the R&D Activity. Additionally, for-profit organizations, Federal agencies, and individuals are not eligible to receive a grant award under the R&D Activity. Funding Limitations Awards are limited to a maximum Federal share of $1.5 million regardless of applicant type, in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 2229(d)(2). R&D Activity applicants that applied under the Early Career Investigator category are limited to a maximum Federal share of $75,000 per project year. Cost Sharing Grant recipients must share in the costs of the projects funded under this grant program as required by 15 U.S.C. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 2229(k)(1) and in accordance with 2 CFR 200.101(b)(1), but they are not required to have the cost share at the time of application nor are they required to have it at the time of award. However, before a grant is awarded, FEMA may contact potential awardees to determine whether the grant recipient has the funding in hand or whether the grant recipient has a viable plan to obtain the funding necessary to fulfill the costshare requirement. In general, an eligible applicant seeking an FP&S Grant Program grant to carry out an activity shall agree to make available non-Federal funds to carry out such activity in an amount equal to, and not less than, five percent of the grant awarded. Cash match and in-kind matches are both allowable in the FP&S Grant Program. Cash (hard) matches include non-Federal cash spent for project-related costs. In-kind (soft) matches include, but are not limited to, the valuation of in-kind services; complementary activities; and provision of staff, facilities, services, material, or equipment. In-kind is the value of something received or provided that does not have a cost associated with it. For example, where an in-kind match (other than cash payments) is permitted, then the value of donated services could be used to comply with the match requirement. Also, third party in-kind contributions may count toward satisfying match requirements provided the grant recipient receiving the contributions expends them as allowable costs in compliance with provisions listed above. Grant recipients under this program must also agree to a maintenance of effort requirement per 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(3) (referred to as a ‘‘maintenance of expenditure’’ requirement in that statute). Per this requirement, a grant recipient shall agree to maintain during the term of the grant, the grant recipient’s aggregate expenditures relating to the activities allowable under the FP&S Grant Program NOFO at not less than 80 percent of the average amount of such expenditures in the two fiscal years preceding the fiscal year in which the grant amounts are received. In cases of demonstrated economic hardship and upon the request of the grant recipient, the FEMA Administrator may waive or reduce a certain grant recipient’s cost share or maintenance of expenditure requirements, or both (15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(A)). As required by 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(B), the Administrator established guidelines for determining what constitutes economic hardship and published these guidelines at FEMA’s PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 website: https://www.fema.gov/medialibrary-data/15198364012915ab3e7fc3eaea15bea8a68b5638e892d/ Eco_Hardship_Waiver_FPS_SAFER_ AFG_IB_FINAL.pdf. Per 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(C), FP&S Grant Program nonprofit organization grant recipients that are not fire departments or emergency medical services organizations are not eligible to receive a waiver of their cost-share for economic hardship requirements. System for Award Management (SAM) Per 2 CFR 25.200, all grant applicants and recipients are required to register at https://SAM.gov, which is available free of charge. FEMA requires active SAM registration at the time of application in FEMA GO, and will not process any awards, consider any payment or amendment requests, or consider any amendment unless the applicant or grant recipient has complied with the requirements to provide a valid Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) database number and an active SAM registration with current information. The banking information, employer identification number (EIN), organization/entity name, address, and DUNS number provided in SAM will be automatically transferred to the application after the entity registers in FEMA GO at https://go.fema.gov. Application Process Applicants (identified by the Unique Entity Identifier) may apply for funding under both eligible activities (FP&S and R&D) but must complete separate applications for each eligible activity. Each application may include up to three projects under that activity. Applicants are limited to one application per activity, per application period. Any applicant that submits more than one application per eligible activity may have all applications deemed ineligible. Under the FP&S Activity, applicants could apply under the following categories: • Community Risk Reduction • Wildfire Risk Reduction • Fire & Arson Investigation • Code Enforcement/Awareness • National/State/Regional Programs and Projects Under the R&D Activity, applicants could apply under the following categories: • Clinical Studies • Technology and Product Development • Database System Development • Dissemination and Implementation Research • Preliminary Studies • Early Career Investigator E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices Prior to the start of the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program application period, FEMA provided applicants with technical assistance tools available at the AFGP website https:// www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/ firefighters and other online information to help them prepare quality grant applications. AFGP also staffs a Helpdesk throughout the application period to assist applicants with navigation through the automated application as well as assistance with related questions. The AFGP Helpdesk can be reached year-round through a toll-free telephone number (866–274– 0960) or email firegrants@fema.dhs.gov. Applicants could access the application electronically at https:// go.fema.gov. The application was also accessible from the Grants.gov website: http://www.grants.gov. New applicants were required to register and establish a username and password electronically at https://go.fema.gov for secure access to their application. The FEMA GO Helpdesk was available to assist applicants with technical issues and could be reached at (877) 585–3242 or by email at femago@fema.dhs.gov. The FEMA GO Helpdesk is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. ET. In completing an application under the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program, applicants must provide relevant information on their organization’s characteristics and existing capabilities. Those applicants are asked to answer questions about their grant request that reflect the funding priorities, described below. In addition, applicants are required to complete narratives for each project requested. The following are the funding priorities for each category under the FP&S Activity: • Community Risk Reduction—Under the Community Risk Reduction category there are three funding priorities: Æ Priority will be given to programs that target a specific high-risk population to conduct both door-to-door smoke alarm installations and provide home safety inspections, as part of a comprehensive home fire safety campaign. Æ Priority will be given to programs that include sprinkler awareness that affect the entire community, such as educating the public about sprinklers, promoting sprinklers, and demonstrating working models of sprinklers. Æ Priority will be given to programs to conduct community-appropriate comprehensive risk assessments and risk reduction planning. • Wildfire Risk Reduction—These are education and awareness programs that VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 protect lives, property, and natural resources from fire in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) (not forestry), including Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) or programs supporting fire adapted community initiatives. • Code Enforcement/Awareness— These are projects that focus on first time or reinstatement of code adoption and code enforcement, including WUI codes for communities with a WUIwildfire risk. • Fire & Arson Investigation—These are projects that aim to aggressively investigate every fire. • National/State/Regional Programs and Projects—These are projects that focus on residential fire issues and/or firefighter safety and wellness. Under the R&D Activity, in order to identify and address the most important elements of firefighter safety, FEMA looked to the fire service for its input and recommendations. In June 2005, the National Fallen Firefighters’ Foundation (NFFF) hosted a working group to facilitate the development of an agenda for the Nation’s fire service, and in particular for firefighter safety. In November 2015, the NFFF hosted its third working group to update the agenda with current priorities. A copy of the research agenda is available on the NFFF website at http:// www.everyonegoeshome.com/resources/ research-symposium-reports/. All proposed projects, regardless of whether they have been identified by the working group, will be evaluated on their relevance to firefighter health and safety, and scientific rigor. The electronic application process permits the applicant to enter and save the application data. The system does not permit the submission of incomplete applications. Except for the narrative textboxes, the application uses a ‘‘pointand-click’’ selection process or requires the entry of data (e.g., name and address). Applicants are encouraged to read the FP&S Grant Program NOFO for more details. Criteria Development Process Each year, FEMA convenes a panel of fire service professionals to develop the funding priorities and other implementation criteria for the FP&S Grant Program. The Criteria Development Panel is composed of representatives from nine major fire service organizations that are charged with making recommendations to FEMA regarding the creation of new funding priorities, the modification of existing funding priorities, and the development of criteria for awarding grants. The nine PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20511 major fire service organizations represented on the panel: • Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) • International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) • International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) • International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) • International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) • National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) • National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) • North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD) The FY 2020 Criteria Development Panel meeting occurred Dec. 11, 2019. The content of the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program NOFO reflects the implementation of the Criteria Development Panel’s recommendations with respect to the priorities, direction, and criteria for awards. All of the funding priorities for the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program are designed to address the following: • First responder safety • Enhancing national capabilities • Risk • Interoperability Changes for FY 2020 The following changes were made between the FY 2019 and the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program NOFO: • Under section E—Application Review Information: Æ Fire Department applicants that can demonstrate their commitment and proactive posture to reducing fire risk will receive higher consideration. • Under sections D—Application and Submission Information, E— Application Review Information, F— Federal Award Administration Information, G—DHS Awarding Agency Contact and Resource Information, and H—Additional Information: Æ Various grants management changes due to recent OMB revisions to 2 CFR, particularly regarding SAM registration, performance measures, procurement, closeout, and termination. • Under section E—Application Review Information: Æ New Research Terms and Conditions added. • Under Supporting Definitions: Æ Definitions added for Authority Having Jurisdiction, Career Fire Department, Combination Fire Department, Human Subject, Interest Organizations, Primary First Due, E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 20512 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices Research, and Volunteer Fire Department. • Under National/State/Regional Programs and Projects: Æ Added guidance regarding human subjects. • Under Regional Projects: Æ Added guidance regarding regional projects. • Under Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP): Æ Added updated process for EHP. • Under Ineligible Costs and Items for FP&S Activity: Æ Intruder alerting systems and deployment notification systems were added as ineligible. • Under Award Administration Information (Appendix C): Æ Added updated process for Economic Hardship Waiver. Æ Added list of supporting documentation for advance and reimbursement payment requests. Application Review Process and Considerations The FP&S Grant Program’s authorizing statute requires that each year FEMA publish in the Federal Register a description of the grant application process and the criteria for grant awards. This information is provided below. FEMA will review and evaluate all FP&S Grant Program applications submitted using the funding priorities and evaluation criteria described in this document, which are based on recommendations from the Criteria Development Panel. Peer Review Process Peer Review Panel Process—FP&S Activity All FP&S Activity applications will be evaluated through a peer review process. A panel of peer reviewers is composed of fire service representatives recommended by the Criteria Development Panel. These reviewers will assess each application’s merits with respect to the detail provided in the Narrative Statement on the activity, including the evaluation elements listed in the Evaluation Criteria identified below. The panel will independently score each project within the application, discuss the merits and/or shortcomings of the application, and document the findings. A consensus is not required. Peer Review Panel Process—R&D Activity R&D Activity applications will go through a two-phase review process. First, all applications will be reviewed VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 by a panel of fire service experts to assess the need for the research results and the likelihood that the results would be implemented by the fire service in the United States. Applications that are deemed likely to be implemented to enable improvement in firefighter safety, health, or wellness will be deemed to be in the ‘‘competitive range’’ and will be forwarded to the second level of project review, which is the science review panel process. This panel will be composed of scientists and technology experts who have expertise pertaining to the subject matter of the proposal. Science panel reviewers will independently score applications in the competitive range and, if necessary, discuss the merits or shortcomings of the project in order to reconcile any major discrepancies identified by the reviewers. A consensus is not required. Technical Evaluation Process The highest ranked projects from both Activities will be deemed in the fundable range. Applications that are in the fundable range will undergo a Technical Review by the FEMA Program Office prior to being recommended for award. The FEMA Program Office will assess the request with respect to costs, quantities, feasibility, eligibility, and recipient responsibility prior to recommending any application for award. Additionally, FEMA will review whether the project duplicates other federally funded research or prevention activities in order to avoid duplication. Once the review process is complete, each project’s score will be determined and a final ranking of project applications will be created. FEMA will award grants based on this final ranking. Award announcements will be made on a rolling basis until all available grant funds have been committed. Awards will not be made in any specified order. FEMA will notify unsuccessful applicants as soon as it is feasible. Evaluation Criteria for Projects—FP&S Activity Funding decisions will be informed by an assessment of how well the application addressed the criteria and considerations listed below. Applications will be reviewed by the peer reviewers using weighted evaluation criteria to score the project. These scores will impact the ranking of a project for funding. The relative weights of the evaluation criteria in the determination of the grant award is listed below. • Financial Need (Fire Departments– 10 percent, Interest Organizations–0 percent): Applicants must have PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 provided details on the need for financial assistance to carry out the proposed project(s). Included in the description might be other unsuccessful attempts to acquire financial assistance or specific details of the applicant’s operational budget. • Commitment to Mitigation (Fire Departments only–5 percent): Fire Department applicants that can demonstrate their commitment and proactive posture to reducing fire risk will receive higher consideration. Applicants must explain their code adoption and enforcement (to include WUI and commercial/residential sprinkler code adoption and enforcement) and mitigation strategies (including whether or not the jurisdiction has a FEMA-approved mitigation strategy). Applicants can also demonstrate their commitment to reducing fire risk by applying to implement fire mitigation strategies (code adoption and enforcement) via the application. • Vulnerability Statement (Fire Departments–15 percent, Interest Organizations–25 percent): The assessment of fire risk is essential in the development of an effective project goal, as well as meeting FEMA’s goal to reduce risk by conducting a risk assessment as a basis for action. Vulnerability is a ‘‘weak link’’ demonstrating high risk behavior, living conditions or any type of high risk situation. The Vulnerability Statement should include a description of the steps taken to determine the vulnerability and identify the target audience. The methodology for determination of vulnerability (e.g., how the vulnerability was found) should be discussed in-depth in the application’s Narrative Statement. Æ The specific vulnerability that will be addressed with the proposed project can be established through a formal or informal risk assessment. FEMA encourages the use of local statistics, rather than national statistics, when discussing the vulnerability. Æ In a clear, to-the-point statement, the applicant should summarize the vulnerability the project will address, including who is at risk, what the risks are, where the risks are, and how the risks can be prevented, reduced, or mitigated. Æ For the purpose of the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program NOFO, formal risk assessments consist of the use of software programs or recognized expert analysis that assess risk trends. Æ Informal risk assessments could include an in-house review of available data (e.g., National Fire Incident Reporting System) to determine fire E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices loss, burn injuries, or loss of life over a period of time and the factors that are the cause and origin for each occurrence, including a lack of adoption and enforcement of certain codes. • Project Description (Fire Departments–20 percent, Interest Organizations–25 percent): Applicants must have described in detail not only the project components but also how the proposed project addresses the identified capability gap, due to financial need and/or the vulnerabilities identified in the vulnerability statement. The following information should be included: Æ Project components. Æ Review of any existing programs or models that have been successful. Æ Detailed description of how the proposed project components fill the identified capability gap. Æ If working with Fire Service Partners/Organizations, identify each partner/organization and the role(s) they will fill in the successful completion of the proposed project. • Implementation Plan (Fire Departments-25 percent, Interest Organizations–30 percent): Projects should provide details on the implementation plan, discussing the proposed project’s goals and objectives. The following information should be included to support the implementation plan: Æ Goals and objectives. Æ Details regarding the methods and specific steps that will be used to achieve the goals and objectives. Æ Timelines outlining the chronological project steps (this is critical for determining the likeliness of the project’s completion within the period of performance). Æ Where applicable, examples of marketing efforts to promote the project, who will deliver the project (e.g., effective partnerships), and the manner in which materials or deliverables will be distributed. Æ Requests for props (e.g., tools used in educational or awareness demonstrations), including specific goals, measurable results, and details on the frequency for which the prop will be utilized as part of the implementation plan. Applicants should include information describing the efforts that will be used to reach the high risk audience and/or the number of people reached through the proposed project (examples of props include safety trailers, puppets, or costumes). • Evaluation Plan (Fire Departments– 15 percent, Interest Organizations–15 percent): Projects should include a plan for evaluation of effectiveness and identify measurable goals. Applicants VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 seeking to carry out awareness and educational projects, for example, should identify how they intend to determine that there has been an increase in knowledge about fire hazards, or measure a change in the safety behaviors of the audience. Applicants should demonstrate how they will measure risk at the outset of the project in comparison to how much the risk decreased after the project is finished. There are various ways to measure the knowledge gained about fire hazards, including the use of surveys, pre- and post-tests, or documented observations. Applicants are encouraged to attend training on evaluation methods, such as the National Fire Academy’s ‘‘Demonstrating Your Fire Prevention Program’s Worth.’’ In addition to a detailed evaluation plan as described above, if awarded, grant recipients are required to report on specific performance metrics through performance reports and at closeout. • Cost vs. Benefit (Fire Departments– 10 percent, Interest Organizations–5 percent): Projects will be evaluated and scored by the Peer Review panelists based on how well the applicant addresses the fire prevention needs of the department or organization in an economic and efficient manner. The applicant should show how it will maximize the level of funding that goes directly into the delivery of the project. The costs associated with the project also must be reasonable for the target audience that will be reached, and a description should be included of how the anticipated project benefit(s) (quantified if possible) outweighs the cost(s) of the requested item(s). The application should provide justification for all costs included in the project in order to assist the Technical Evaluation Panel with their review. D Meeting the needs of people with disabilities (additional consideration): Applicants in the Community Risk Reduction category will receive additional consideration if, as part of their comprehensive smoke alarm installation and education program, they address the needs of people with disabilities (e.g., deaf/hard-of-hearing) in their community. D Experience and Expertise (additional consideration): Applicants that demonstrate their experience and ability to conduct fire prevention and safety activities, and to execute the proposed or similar project(s), will receive additional consideration. Evaluation Criteria—R&D Activity Funding decisions will be informed by an assessment of how well the PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20513 application addresses the criteria and considerations listed below. All applications will be reviewed by a fire service expert panel using weighted evaluation criteria, and those projects deemed to be in the ‘‘competitive range’’ will then be reviewed by a science panel using weighted evaluation criteria to score the project. Science panel evaluations will impact the ranking of the project for funding. Fire Service Panel Evaluation Criteria • Purpose (25 percent): Applicants should clearly identify the benefits of the proposed research project to improve firefighter safety, health, or wellness, and identify specific gaps in knowledge that will be addressed. • Implementation by Fire Service (25 percent): Applicants should discuss how the outcomes/products of this research, if successful, are likely to be widely/nationally adopted and accepted by the fire service as changes that enhance firefighter safety, health, or wellness. • Potential Impact (15 percent): Applicants should discuss the potential impact of the research outcome/product on firefighter safety by quantifying the possible reduction in the number of fatal or non-fatal injuries, or on the projected wellness by significantly improving the overall health of firefighters. • Barriers (15 percent): The applicant should identify and discuss potential fire service and other barriers to successfully complete the study on schedule, including contingencies and strategies to deal with barriers if they materialize. This may include barriers that could inhibit the proposed fire service participation in the study or the adoption of successful results by the fire service when the project is completed, or project components most likely to cause delay in successful completion. • Partners (20 percent): Applicants should recognize that participation of the fire service as a partner in the research, from development to dissemination, is regarded as an essential part of all projects. Applicants should describe the fire service partners and contractors that will support the project to accomplish the objectives of the study. The specific roles and contributions of the partners should be described. Partnerships should be formed with national fire-related organizations, in addition to local and regional fire departments. Letters of support and letters of commitment to actively participate in the project should be included in the appendix of the application. Generally, participants of a diverse population, including both E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 20514 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices career and volunteer firefighters, are expected to facilitate acceptance of results nationally. In cases where this is not practical, due to the nature of the study or other limitations, these circumstances should be clearly explained. Science Panel Evaluation Criteria • Project Goals, Objectives, and Specific Aims (15 percent): Applicants should address how the purpose, goals, objectives, and aims of the proposal will lead to results that will improve firefighter safety, health, or wellness. Applicants should describe the specific goals and objectives for each year of the project. • Literature Review (10 percent): Applicants should provide a literature review that is relevant to the project’s goals, objectives, and specific aims. The citations should be placed in the text of the Narrative Statement, with references listed at the end of the Narrative Statement (and not in the Appendix) of the application. The review should be in sufficient depth to make it clear that the proposed project is necessary, adds to an existing body of knowledge, is different from current and previous studies, and offers a unique contribution. • Project Methods (20 percent): Applicants should provide a description of how the project will be carried out, including demonstration of the overall scientific and technical rigor and merit of the project. This includes the operations to accomplish the purpose, goals and objectives, and the specific aims of the project. Plans to recruit and retain human subjects, where applicable, should be described. Where human subjects are involved in the project, the applicant should describe plans for submission to the Institutional Review Board (for further guidance and requirements, see the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program NOFO). • Project Measurements (20 percent): Applicants should provide evidence of the technical rigor and merit of the project, such as data pertaining to validity, reliability, and sensitivity (where established) of the facilities, equipment, instruments, standards, and procedures that will be used to carry out the research. The applicant should discuss the data to be collected to evaluate the performance methods, technologies, and products proposed to enhance firefighter safety, health, or wellness. The applicant should demonstrate that the measurement methods and equipment selected for use are appropriate and sufficient to successfully deliver the proposed project objectives. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 • Project Analysis (20 percent): The applicant should indicate the planned approach for analysis of the data obtained from measurements, questionnaires, or computations. The applicant should specify within the plan what will be analyzed, the statistical methods that will be used, the sequence of steps, and interactions as appropriate. It should be clear that the principal investigator and research team have the expertise to perform the planned analysis and defend the results in a peer review process. • Dissemination and Implementation (15 percent): Applicants should indicate dissemination plans for scientific audiences (such as plans for submissions to specific peer review publications) and for firefighter audiences (such as websites, magazines, and conferences). Also, assuming positive results, the applicant should indicate future steps that would support dissemination and implementation throughout the fire service, where applicable. These steps are likely to be beyond the current study, so those features of the research activity that will facilitate future dissemination and implementation should be discussed. All applicants should specify how the results of the project, if successful, might be disseminated and implemented in the fire service to improve firefighter safety, health, or wellness. It is expected that successful R&D Activity Projects may give rise to future programs including FP&S Activity Projects. • Cost vs. Benefit (additional consideration): Cost vs. benefit in this evaluation element refers to the costs of the grant for the research and development project as it relates to the benefits that are projected for firefighters who would have improved safety, health, or wellness. Applicants should demonstrate a high benefit for the cost incurred and effective utilization of Federal funds for research activities. • Financial Need (additional consideration): In the Applicant Information section of the application, applicants should provide details on the need for Federal financial assistance to carry out the proposed project(s). Applicants may include a description of unsuccessful attempts to acquire financial assistance. Applicants should provide detail about the organization’s operating budget, including a high-level breakdown of the budget; describe the department’s inability to address financial needs without Federal assistance; and discuss other actions the department has taken to meet their PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 staffing needs (e.g., state assistance programs, other grant programs, etc.). • Mentoring (additional consideration for Early Career Investigator Projects only): An important part of Early Career Investigator projects is the integration of mentoring for the principal investigator by experienced researchers in areas appropriate to the research project, including exposure to the fire service community as well as support for ongoing development of knowledge and skills. Mentoring is regarded as critical to the research skills development of early career principal investigators. As part of the application Appendix, the applicant should identify the mentor(s) who have agreed to support the applicant and the expected benefit of their interactions with the researcher. A biographical sketch and letter of support from the mentor(s) are encouraged and should be included in the Appendix materials. Other Selection Information Awards will be made using the results of peer-reviewed applications as the primary basis for decisions, regardless of activity. However, there are some exceptions to strictly using the peer review results. The applicant’s prior AFG Program, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program, and FP&S Grant Program grant management performance will also be taken into consideration when making recommendations for award. All final funding determinations will be made by the FEMA Administrator, or the Administrator’s designee. Fire departments and other eligible applicants that have received funding under the FP&S Grant Program in previous years are eligible to apply for funding in the current year. However, FEMA may take into account an applicant’s performance on prior grants when making funding decisions on current applications. Once every application in the competitive range has been through the technical evaluation phase, the applications will be ranked according to the average score awarded by the panel. The ranking will be summarized in a Technical Report prepared by the AFG Program Office. A Grants Management Specialist will contact the applicant to discuss and/or negotiate the content of the application and SAM.gov registration before making final award decisions. E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2229. Robert J. Fenton Jr., Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2021–08089 Filed 4–19–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–78–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–6262–N–01] Housing Trust Fund Federal Register Allocation Notice; Fiscal Year 2021 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, HUD. ACTION: Notice of Fiscal Year 2021 Funding Awards. AGENCY: The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) established the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to be administered by HUD. Pursuant to the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Security and Soundness Act of 1992 (the Act), as amended by HERA, Division A, eligible HTF grantees are the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands. In accordance with Section 1338(c)(4)(A) of the Act, this notice announces the formula allocation amount for each eligible HTF grantee. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Virginia Sardone, Director, Office of Affordable Housing Programs, Room 7164, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20410–7000; telephone (202) 708–2684. (This is not a toll-free number.) A telecommunications device for hearing- and speech-impaired persons (TTY) is available at 800–877– 8339 (Federal Information Relay Service). (This is a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 1131 of HERA Division A amended the Act to add a new section 1337 entitled ‘‘Affordable Housing Allocations’’ and a new section 1338 entitled ‘‘Housing Trust Fund.’’ HUD’s implementing regulations are codified at 24 CFR part 93. Congress authorized the HTF with the stated purpose of: (1) Increasing and preserving the supply of rental housing for extremely low-income families with incomes between 0 and 30 percent of area median income and very lowincome families with incomes between 30 and 50 percent of area median income, including homeless families, SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 and (2) increasing homeownership for extremely low-income and very lowincome families. Section 1337 of the Act provides for the HTF (and other programs) to be funded with an affordable housing set-aside by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The total setaside amount is equal to 4.2 basis points (.042 percent) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s new mortgage purchases, a portion of which is for the HTF. Section 1338 of the Act directs HUD to establish, through regulation, the formula for distribution of amounts made available for the HTF. The statute specifies the factors to be used for the formula and priority for certain factors. The factors and methodology HUD uses to allocate HTF funds among eligible grantees are established in the HTF regulation. The funding announced for Fiscal Year 2021 through this notice is $692,898,860.92. Appendix A to this notice provides the names of the grantees and the amounts of the awards. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) for the Office of Community Planning and Development, James A. Jemison, having reviewed and approved this document, is delegating the authority to electronically sign this document to submitter, Aaron Santa Anna, who is the Federal Register Liaison for HUD, for purposes of publication in the Federal Register. Aaron Santa Anna, Federal Register Liaison for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Appendix A: FY 2021 Housing Trust Fund Allocation Amounts PO 00000 Alabama .................... Alaska ....................... Arizona ...................... Arkansas ................... California ................... Colorado .................... Connecticut ............... Delaware ................... District of Columbia ... Florida ....................... Georgia ..................... Hawaii ....................... Idaho ......................... Illinois ........................ Indiana ...................... Iowa ........................... Kansas ...................... Kentucky ................... Louisiana ................... Maine ........................ Maryland ................... Massachusetts .......... Michigan .................... Minnesota .................. Mississippi ................. Missouri ..................... Montana .................... Nebraska ................... Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 FY 2021 allocation Nevada ...................... New Hampshire ........ New Jersey ............... New Mexico .............. New York .................. North Carolina ........... North Dakota ............. Ohio ........................... Oklahoma .................. Oregon ...................... Pennsylvania ............. Rhode Island ............. South Carolina .......... South Dakota ............ Tennessee ................ Texas ........................ Utah ........................... Vermont ..................... Virginia ...................... Washington ............... West Virginia ............. Wisconsin .................. Wyoming ................... Puerto Rico ............... America Samoa ........ Guam ........................ Northern Marianas .... Virgin Islands ............ 6,754,852 3,101,884 24,354,671 3,186,129 73,383,641 17,493,694 3,101,884 21,186,076 5,251,581 9,816,938 24,134,348 3,101,884 7,756,516 3,101,884 9,736,855 41,750,738 3,268,898 3,101,884 14,340,031 15,685,029 3,101,884 11,159,627 3,101,884 3,202,552 42,047 340,124 187,243 366,645 Total ........................... $692,898,860.92 [FR Doc. 2021–08022 Filed 4–19–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX21DK20H2S0000; OMB Control Number 1028–0114] FY 2021 allocation Grantee 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Grantee 20515 Agency Information Collection Activities; National Ground-Water $6,690,654 Monitoring Network Cooperative 3,101,884 Funding Application 11,477,467 4,123,109 126,579,066.92 10,030,779 8,448,637 3,101,884 3,101,884 35,072,600 17,459,897 3,480,969 3,101,884 30,702,615 10,674,428 4,363,876 4,207,374 6,716,410 8,124,196 3,101,884 9,975,009 16,987,942 17,158,160 9,252,948 4,012,018 10,536,095 3,101,884 3,101,884 Sfmt 4703 U.S. Geological Survey, Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are proposing to renew an information collection. SUMMARY: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 21, 2021. ADDRESSES: Send your comments on this information collection request (ICR) by mail to U.S. Geological Survey, Information Collections Officer, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 159, Reston, VA 20192; or by email to gs-info_ collections@usgs.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1028–0114 in the subject line of your comments. DATES: E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 74 (Tuesday, April 20, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20509-20515]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-08089]


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

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Federal Emergency Management Agency

[Docket ID FEMA-2021-0015; Internal Agency Docket No. DHS-20-GPD-044-
00-97]


Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program; Fire Prevention and 
Safety Grants

AGENCY: Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: This Notice provides guidelines that describe the application 
process for Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant Program grants and 
the criteria the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will use to 
award these grants for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. It explains the 
differences, if any, between these guidelines and those recommended by 
representatives of the Nation's fire service leadership during the 
annual Criteria Development meeting, which was held December 11, 2019. 
The application period for the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program was January 
25, 2021, through February 26, 2021, and was announced on the 
Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program (AFGP) website at: https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters, www.grants.gov, and the 
U.S. Fire Administration website at www.usfa.fema.gov.

DATES: Grant applications for the FP&S Grant Program were accepted 
electronically at https://go.fema.gov from January 25, 2021, at 8:00 
a.m. ET through February 26, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. ET.

ADDRESSES: Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program Branch, DHS/FEMA, 
400 C Street SW 3N, Washington, DC 20472-3635.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Patterson, Chief, Assistance 
to Firefighters Grants Program Branch, (866) 274-0960.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the FP&S Grant Program is to 
enhance the safety of the public and firefighters by assisting fire 
prevention programs and supporting firefighter health and safety 
research and development. The FEMA Grant Programs Directorate 
administers the FP&S Grant Program as part of the AFGP.
    The FP&S Grant Program's authorizing statute requires that FEMA 
publish the guidelines that describe the application process and the 
criteria for grant awards in the Federal Register each year. Specific 
information about the submission of grant applications can be found in 
the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), 
which is available for download at https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters.

Congressional Appropriations

    Congress appropriated $355 million for AFG Program in FY 2020 
pursuant to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 
2020, Public Law 116-93. From this amount, $35.5 million will be made 
available for FP&S Grant Program awards, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 
2229(h)(5), which states that not less than 10 percent of available 
grant funds each year are awarded under the FP&S Grant Program. Funds 
appropriated for all FY 2020 AFG Program awards, pursuant to Public Law 
116-93, will be available for obligation and award until Sept. 30, 
2021.
    FEMA anticipates that it will receive approximately 670 
applications and may award approximately 100 FP&S Grant Program grants.

Background of the FP&S Grant Program

    The purpose of the FP&S Grant Program is to enhance the safety of 
the public and firefighters by assisting fire prevention programs and 
supporting firefighter health and safety research and development. FP&S 
Grant Program grants are offered to support projects in two activities:
    1. FP&S Activity: Activities designed to reach high-risk target 
groups and mitigate the incidence of death, injuries, and property 
damage caused by fire and fire-related hazards.
    2. Research and Development (R&D) Activity: Projects aimed at 
improving firefighter safety, health, or wellness through research and 
development that reduce firefighter fatalities and injuries.
    FEMA awards grants on a competitive basis to applicants that best 
address the FP&S Grant Program's priorities and provide the most 
compelling justification. A panel of reviewers evaluates each project 
in accordance with the evaluation criteria. The highest rated projects 
are recommended for funding.

Award Criteria

    All applications for grants will be prepared and submitted through 
the FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO) system (https://go.fema.gov).
    Applications submitted under the FP&S Activity will be reviewed by 
a panel of fire service members using the following criteria:

 Financial Need
 Commitment to Mitigation
 Vulnerability Statement
 Project Description
 Implementation Plan
 Evaluation Plan
 Cost vs. Benefit

    Applications submitted under the R&D Activity will be reviewed 
first by a panel of fire service members to identify those applications 
most relevant to the fire service. The following evaluation criteria 
will be used for this review:

 Purpose
 Potential Impact
 Implementation by the Fire Service
 Barriers
 Partners

    The applications that are determined most likely to enable 
improvement in firefighter safety, health, or wellness will be deemed 
to be in the ``competitive range'' and forwarded to the second level of 
application review, which is the science panel review process. This 
panel will be composed of scientists and technology experts who have 
expertise pertaining to the subject matter of the proposal.
    The Science Panel for the R&D Activity will review the application 
and evaluate it using the following criteria:

 Project Goals, Objectives, and Specific Aims

[[Page 20510]]

 Literature Review
 Project Methods
 Project Measurements
 Project Analysis
 Dissemination and Implementation
 Cost vs. Benefit (additional consideration)
 Financial Need (additional consideration)
 Mentoring (additional consideration for Early Career 
Investigator Projects only)

Eligible Applicants

    Under the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program, eligible applicants are 
limited to those entities described below within each activity:
    1. FP&S Activity: Eligible applicants for this activity included 
fire departments and national, regional, state, local, tribal, and 
nonprofit interest organizations that are recognized for their 
experience and expertise in fire prevention and safety programs and 
activities. Both private and public non-profit organizations are 
eligible to apply for funding in this activity. For-profit 
organizations, Federal agencies, and individuals are not eligible to 
receive an FP&S Grant Program award under the FP&S Activity.
    2. R&D Activity: Eligible applicants for this activity include 
national, state, local, federally-recognized tribal, and nonprofit 
organizations, such as academic (e.g., universities), public health, 
occupational health, and injury prevention institutions. Both private 
and public non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding 
in this activity.
    The aforementioned entities are encouraged to apply, especially 
those that are recognized for their experience and expertise in 
firefighter safety, health, and wellness research and development 
activities. Fire departments are not eligible to apply for funding in 
the R&D Activity. Additionally, for-profit organizations, Federal 
agencies, and individuals are not eligible to receive a grant award 
under the R&D Activity.

Funding Limitations

    Awards are limited to a maximum Federal share of $1.5 million 
regardless of applicant type, in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 2229(d)(2). 
R&D Activity applicants that applied under the Early Career 
Investigator category are limited to a maximum Federal share of $75,000 
per project year.

Cost Sharing

    Grant recipients must share in the costs of the projects funded 
under this grant program as required by 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(1) and in 
accordance with 2 CFR 200.101(b)(1), but they are not required to have 
the cost share at the time of application nor are they required to have 
it at the time of award. However, before a grant is awarded, FEMA may 
contact potential awardees to determine whether the grant recipient has 
the funding in hand or whether the grant recipient has a viable plan to 
obtain the funding necessary to fulfill the cost-share requirement.
    In general, an eligible applicant seeking an FP&S Grant Program 
grant to carry out an activity shall agree to make available non-
Federal funds to carry out such activity in an amount equal to, and not 
less than, five percent of the grant awarded. Cash match and in-kind 
matches are both allowable in the FP&S Grant Program. Cash (hard) 
matches include non-Federal cash spent for project-related costs. In-
kind (soft) matches include, but are not limited to, the valuation of 
in-kind services; complementary activities; and provision of staff, 
facilities, services, material, or equipment. In-kind is the value of 
something received or provided that does not have a cost associated 
with it. For example, where an in-kind match (other than cash payments) 
is permitted, then the value of donated services could be used to 
comply with the match requirement. Also, third party in-kind 
contributions may count toward satisfying match requirements provided 
the grant recipient receiving the contributions expends them as 
allowable costs in compliance with provisions listed above.
    Grant recipients under this program must also agree to a 
maintenance of effort requirement per 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(3) (referred to 
as a ``maintenance of expenditure'' requirement in that statute). Per 
this requirement, a grant recipient shall agree to maintain during the 
term of the grant, the grant recipient's aggregate expenditures 
relating to the activities allowable under the FP&S Grant Program NOFO 
at not less than 80 percent of the average amount of such expenditures 
in the two fiscal years preceding the fiscal year in which the grant 
amounts are received.
    In cases of demonstrated economic hardship and upon the request of 
the grant recipient, the FEMA Administrator may waive or reduce a 
certain grant recipient's cost share or maintenance of expenditure 
requirements, or both (15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(A)). As required by 15 
U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(B), the Administrator established guidelines for 
determining what constitutes economic hardship and published these 
guidelines at FEMA's website: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1519836401291-5ab3e7fc3eaea15bea8a68b5638e892d/Eco_Hardship_Waiver_FPS_SAFER_AFG_IB_FINAL.pdf. Per 15 U.S.C. 
2229(k)(4)(C), FP&S Grant Program nonprofit organization grant 
recipients that are not fire departments or emergency medical services 
organizations are not eligible to receive a waiver of their cost-share 
for economic hardship requirements.

System for Award Management (SAM)

    Per 2 CFR 25.200, all grant applicants and recipients are required 
to register at https://SAM.gov, which is available free of charge. FEMA 
requires active SAM registration at the time of application in FEMA GO, 
and will not process any awards, consider any payment or amendment 
requests, or consider any amendment unless the applicant or grant 
recipient has complied with the requirements to provide a valid Dun & 
Bradstreet (DUNS) database number and an active SAM registration with 
current information. The banking information, employer identification 
number (EIN), organization/entity name, address, and DUNS number 
provided in SAM will be automatically transferred to the application 
after the entity registers in FEMA GO at https://go.fema.gov.

Application Process

    Applicants (identified by the Unique Entity Identifier) may apply 
for funding under both eligible activities (FP&S and R&D) but must 
complete separate applications for each eligible activity. Each 
application may include up to three projects under that activity. 
Applicants are limited to one application per activity, per application 
period. Any applicant that submits more than one application per 
eligible activity may have all applications deemed ineligible.
    Under the FP&S Activity, applicants could apply under the following 
categories:

 Community Risk Reduction
 Wildfire Risk Reduction
 Fire & Arson Investigation
 Code Enforcement/Awareness
 National/State/Regional Programs and Projects

    Under the R&D Activity, applicants could apply under the following 
categories:

 Clinical Studies
 Technology and Product Development
 Database System Development
 Dissemination and Implementation Research
 Preliminary Studies
 Early Career Investigator


[[Page 20511]]


    Prior to the start of the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program application 
period, FEMA provided applicants with technical assistance tools 
available at the AFGP website https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters and other online information to help them prepare quality 
grant applications. AFGP also staffs a Helpdesk throughout the 
application period to assist applicants with navigation through the 
automated application as well as assistance with related questions. The 
AFGP Helpdesk can be reached year-round through a toll-free telephone 
number (866-274-0960) or email [email protected].
    Applicants could access the application electronically at https://go.fema.gov. The application was also accessible from the Grants.gov 
website: http://www.grants.gov. New applicants were required to 
register and establish a username and password electronically at 
https://go.fema.gov for secure access to their application. The FEMA GO 
Helpdesk was available to assist applicants with technical issues and 
could be reached at (877) 585-3242 or by email at [email protected]. 
The FEMA GO Helpdesk is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET.
    In completing an application under the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program, 
applicants must provide relevant information on their organization's 
characteristics and existing capabilities. Those applicants are asked 
to answer questions about their grant request that reflect the funding 
priorities, described below. In addition, applicants are required to 
complete narratives for each project requested.
    The following are the funding priorities for each category under 
the FP&S Activity:
     Community Risk Reduction--Under the Community Risk 
Reduction category there are three funding priorities:
    [cir] Priority will be given to programs that target a specific 
high-risk population to conduct both door-to-door smoke alarm 
installations and provide home safety inspections, as part of a 
comprehensive home fire safety campaign.
    [cir] Priority will be given to programs that include sprinkler 
awareness that affect the entire community, such as educating the 
public about sprinklers, promoting sprinklers, and demonstrating 
working models of sprinklers.
    [cir] Priority will be given to programs to conduct community-
appropriate comprehensive risk assessments and risk reduction planning.
     Wildfire Risk Reduction--These are education and awareness 
programs that protect lives, property, and natural resources from fire 
in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) (not forestry), including 
Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) or programs supporting fire 
adapted community initiatives.
     Code Enforcement/Awareness--These are projects that focus 
on first time or reinstatement of code adoption and code enforcement, 
including WUI codes for communities with a WUI-wildfire risk.
     Fire & Arson Investigation--These are projects that aim to 
aggressively investigate every fire.
     National/State/Regional Programs and Projects--These are 
projects that focus on residential fire issues and/or firefighter 
safety and wellness.
    Under the R&D Activity, in order to identify and address the most 
important elements of firefighter safety, FEMA looked to the fire 
service for its input and recommendations. In June 2005, the National 
Fallen Firefighters' Foundation (NFFF) hosted a working group to 
facilitate the development of an agenda for the Nation's fire service, 
and in particular for firefighter safety. In November 2015, the NFFF 
hosted its third working group to update the agenda with current 
priorities. A copy of the research agenda is available on the NFFF 
website at http://www.everyonegoeshome.com/resources/research-symposium-reports/.
    All proposed projects, regardless of whether they have been 
identified by the working group, will be evaluated on their relevance 
to firefighter health and safety, and scientific rigor.
    The electronic application process permits the applicant to enter 
and save the application data. The system does not permit the 
submission of incomplete applications. Except for the narrative 
textboxes, the application uses a ``point-and-click'' selection process 
or requires the entry of data (e.g., name and address). Applicants are 
encouraged to read the FP&S Grant Program NOFO for more details.

Criteria Development Process

    Each year, FEMA convenes a panel of fire service professionals to 
develop the funding priorities and other implementation criteria for 
the FP&S Grant Program. The Criteria Development Panel is composed of 
representatives from nine major fire service organizations that are 
charged with making recommendations to FEMA regarding the creation of 
new funding priorities, the modification of existing funding 
priorities, and the development of criteria for awarding grants. The 
nine major fire service organizations represented on the panel:

 Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)
 International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
 International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
 International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
 International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI)
 National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM)
 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
 National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC)
 North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD)

    The FY 2020 Criteria Development Panel meeting occurred Dec. 11, 
2019. The content of the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program NOFO reflects the 
implementation of the Criteria Development Panel's recommendations with 
respect to the priorities, direction, and criteria for awards. All of 
the funding priorities for the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program are designed 
to address the following:

 First responder safety
 Enhancing national capabilities
 Risk
 Interoperability

Changes for FY 2020

    The following changes were made between the FY 2019 and the FY 2020 
FP&S Grant Program NOFO:
     Under section E--Application Review Information:
    [cir] Fire Department applicants that can demonstrate their 
commitment and proactive posture to reducing fire risk will receive 
higher consideration.
     Under sections D--Application and Submission Information, 
E--Application Review Information, F--Federal Award Administration 
Information, G--DHS Awarding Agency Contact and Resource Information, 
and H--Additional Information:
    [cir] Various grants management changes due to recent OMB revisions 
to 2 CFR, particularly regarding SAM registration, performance 
measures, procurement, closeout, and termination.
     Under section E--Application Review Information:
    [cir] New Research Terms and Conditions added.
     Under Supporting Definitions:
    [cir] Definitions added for Authority Having Jurisdiction, Career 
Fire Department, Combination Fire Department, Human Subject, Interest 
Organizations, Primary First Due,

[[Page 20512]]

Research, and Volunteer Fire Department.
     Under National/State/Regional Programs and Projects:
    [cir] Added guidance regarding human subjects.
     Under Regional Projects:
    [cir] Added guidance regarding regional projects.
     Under Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation 
(EHP):
    [cir] Added updated process for EHP.
     Under Ineligible Costs and Items for FP&S Activity:
    [cir] Intruder alerting systems and deployment notification systems 
were added as ineligible.
     Under Award Administration Information (Appendix C):
    [cir] Added updated process for Economic Hardship Waiver.
    [cir] Added list of supporting documentation for advance and 
reimbursement payment requests.

Application Review Process and Considerations

    The FP&S Grant Program's authorizing statute requires that each 
year FEMA publish in the Federal Register a description of the grant 
application process and the criteria for grant awards. This information 
is provided below.
    FEMA will review and evaluate all FP&S Grant Program applications 
submitted using the funding priorities and evaluation criteria 
described in this document, which are based on recommendations from the 
Criteria Development Panel.

Peer Review Process

Peer Review Panel Process--FP&S Activity

    All FP&S Activity applications will be evaluated through a peer 
review process. A panel of peer reviewers is composed of fire service 
representatives recommended by the Criteria Development Panel. These 
reviewers will assess each application's merits with respect to the 
detail provided in the Narrative Statement on the activity, including 
the evaluation elements listed in the Evaluation Criteria identified 
below. The panel will independently score each project within the 
application, discuss the merits and/or shortcomings of the application, 
and document the findings. A consensus is not required.

Peer Review Panel Process--R&D Activity

    R&D Activity applications will go through a two-phase review 
process. First, all applications will be reviewed by a panel of fire 
service experts to assess the need for the research results and the 
likelihood that the results would be implemented by the fire service in 
the United States. Applications that are deemed likely to be 
implemented to enable improvement in firefighter safety, health, or 
wellness will be deemed to be in the ``competitive range'' and will be 
forwarded to the second level of project review, which is the science 
review panel process. This panel will be composed of scientists and 
technology experts who have expertise pertaining to the subject matter 
of the proposal.
    Science panel reviewers will independently score applications in 
the competitive range and, if necessary, discuss the merits or 
shortcomings of the project in order to reconcile any major 
discrepancies identified by the reviewers. A consensus is not required.

Technical Evaluation Process

    The highest ranked projects from both Activities will be deemed in 
the fundable range. Applications that are in the fundable range will 
undergo a Technical Review by the FEMA Program Office prior to being 
recommended for award. The FEMA Program Office will assess the request 
with respect to costs, quantities, feasibility, eligibility, and 
recipient responsibility prior to recommending any application for 
award. Additionally, FEMA will review whether the project duplicates 
other federally funded research or prevention activities in order to 
avoid duplication.
    Once the review process is complete, each project's score will be 
determined and a final ranking of project applications will be created. 
FEMA will award grants based on this final ranking. Award announcements 
will be made on a rolling basis until all available grant funds have 
been committed. Awards will not be made in any specified order. FEMA 
will notify unsuccessful applicants as soon as it is feasible.

Evaluation Criteria for Projects--FP&S Activity

    Funding decisions will be informed by an assessment of how well the 
application addressed the criteria and considerations listed below. 
Applications will be reviewed by the peer reviewers using weighted 
evaluation criteria to score the project. These scores will impact the 
ranking of a project for funding.
    The relative weights of the evaluation criteria in the 
determination of the grant award is listed below.
     Financial Need (Fire Departments-10 percent, Interest 
Organizations-0 percent): Applicants must have provided details on the 
need for financial assistance to carry out the proposed project(s). 
Included in the description might be other unsuccessful attempts to 
acquire financial assistance or specific details of the applicant's 
operational budget.
     Commitment to Mitigation (Fire Departments only-5 
percent): Fire Department applicants that can demonstrate their 
commitment and proactive posture to reducing fire risk will receive 
higher consideration. Applicants must explain their code adoption and 
enforcement (to include WUI and commercial/residential sprinkler code 
adoption and enforcement) and mitigation strategies (including whether 
or not the jurisdiction has a FEMA-approved mitigation strategy). 
Applicants can also demonstrate their commitment to reducing fire risk 
by applying to implement fire mitigation strategies (code adoption and 
enforcement) via the application.
     Vulnerability Statement (Fire Departments-15 percent, 
Interest Organizations-25 percent): The assessment of fire risk is 
essential in the development of an effective project goal, as well as 
meeting FEMA's goal to reduce risk by conducting a risk assessment as a 
basis for action. Vulnerability is a ``weak link'' demonstrating high 
risk behavior, living conditions or any type of high risk situation. 
The Vulnerability Statement should include a description of the steps 
taken to determine the vulnerability and identify the target audience. 
The methodology for determination of vulnerability (e.g., how the 
vulnerability was found) should be discussed in-depth in the 
application's Narrative Statement.
    [cir] The specific vulnerability that will be addressed with the 
proposed project can be established through a formal or informal risk 
assessment. FEMA encourages the use of local statistics, rather than 
national statistics, when discussing the vulnerability.
    [cir] In a clear, to-the-point statement, the applicant should 
summarize the vulnerability the project will address, including who is 
at risk, what the risks are, where the risks are, and how the risks can 
be prevented, reduced, or mitigated.
    [cir] For the purpose of the FY 2020 FP&S Grant Program NOFO, 
formal risk assessments consist of the use of software programs or 
recognized expert analysis that assess risk trends.
    [cir] Informal risk assessments could include an in-house review of 
available data (e.g., National Fire Incident Reporting System) to 
determine fire

[[Page 20513]]

loss, burn injuries, or loss of life over a period of time and the 
factors that are the cause and origin for each occurrence, including a 
lack of adoption and enforcement of certain codes.
     Project Description (Fire Departments-20 percent, Interest 
Organizations-25 percent): Applicants must have described in detail not 
only the project components but also how the proposed project addresses 
the identified capability gap, due to financial need and/or the 
vulnerabilities identified in the vulnerability statement. The 
following information should be included:
    [cir] Project components.
    [cir] Review of any existing programs or models that have been 
successful.
    [cir] Detailed description of how the proposed project components 
fill the identified capability gap.
    [cir] If working with Fire Service Partners/Organizations, identify 
each partner/organization and the role(s) they will fill in the 
successful completion of the proposed project.
     Implementation Plan (Fire Departments-25 percent, Interest 
Organizations-30 percent): Projects should provide details on the 
implementation plan, discussing the proposed project's goals and 
objectives. The following information should be included to support the 
implementation plan:
    [cir] Goals and objectives.
    [cir] Details regarding the methods and specific steps that will be 
used to achieve the goals and objectives.
    [cir] Timelines outlining the chronological project steps (this is 
critical for determining the likeliness of the project's completion 
within the period of performance).
    [cir] Where applicable, examples of marketing efforts to promote 
the project, who will deliver the project (e.g., effective 
partnerships), and the manner in which materials or deliverables will 
be distributed.
    [cir] Requests for props (e.g., tools used in educational or 
awareness demonstrations), including specific goals, measurable 
results, and details on the frequency for which the prop will be 
utilized as part of the implementation plan. Applicants should include 
information describing the efforts that will be used to reach the high 
risk audience and/or the number of people reached through the proposed 
project (examples of props include safety trailers, puppets, or 
costumes).
     Evaluation Plan (Fire Departments-15 percent, Interest 
Organizations-15 percent): Projects should include a plan for 
evaluation of effectiveness and identify measurable goals. Applicants 
seeking to carry out awareness and educational projects, for example, 
should identify how they intend to determine that there has been an 
increase in knowledge about fire hazards, or measure a change in the 
safety behaviors of the audience. Applicants should demonstrate how 
they will measure risk at the outset of the project in comparison to 
how much the risk decreased after the project is finished. There are 
various ways to measure the knowledge gained about fire hazards, 
including the use of surveys, pre- and post-tests, or documented 
observations. Applicants are encouraged to attend training on 
evaluation methods, such as the National Fire Academy's ``Demonstrating 
Your Fire Prevention Program's Worth.'' In addition to a detailed 
evaluation plan as described above, if awarded, grant recipients are 
required to report on specific performance metrics through performance 
reports and at closeout.
     Cost vs. Benefit (Fire Departments-10 percent, Interest 
Organizations-5 percent): Projects will be evaluated and scored by the 
Peer Review panelists based on how well the applicant addresses the 
fire prevention needs of the department or organization in an economic 
and efficient manner. The applicant should show how it will maximize 
the level of funding that goes directly into the delivery of the 
project. The costs associated with the project also must be reasonable 
for the target audience that will be reached, and a description should 
be included of how the anticipated project benefit(s) (quantified if 
possible) outweighs the cost(s) of the requested item(s). The 
application should provide justification for all costs included in the 
project in order to assist the Technical Evaluation Panel with their 
review.
    [ssquf] Meeting the needs of people with disabilities (additional 
consideration): Applicants in the Community Risk Reduction category 
will receive additional consideration if, as part of their 
comprehensive smoke alarm installation and education program, they 
address the needs of people with disabilities (e.g., deaf/hard-of-
hearing) in their community.
    [ssquf] Experience and Expertise (additional consideration): 
Applicants that demonstrate their experience and ability to conduct 
fire prevention and safety activities, and to execute the proposed or 
similar project(s), will receive additional consideration.

Evaluation Criteria--R&D Activity

    Funding decisions will be informed by an assessment of how well the 
application addresses the criteria and considerations listed below. All 
applications will be reviewed by a fire service expert panel using 
weighted evaluation criteria, and those projects deemed to be in the 
``competitive range'' will then be reviewed by a science panel using 
weighted evaluation criteria to score the project. Science panel 
evaluations will impact the ranking of the project for funding.

Fire Service Panel Evaluation Criteria

     Purpose (25 percent): Applicants should clearly identify 
the benefits of the proposed research project to improve firefighter 
safety, health, or wellness, and identify specific gaps in knowledge 
that will be addressed.
     Implementation by Fire Service (25 percent): Applicants 
should discuss how the outcomes/products of this research, if 
successful, are likely to be widely/nationally adopted and accepted by 
the fire service as changes that enhance firefighter safety, health, or 
wellness.
     Potential Impact (15 percent): Applicants should discuss 
the potential impact of the research outcome/product on firefighter 
safety by quantifying the possible reduction in the number of fatal or 
non-fatal injuries, or on the projected wellness by significantly 
improving the overall health of firefighters.
     Barriers (15 percent): The applicant should identify and 
discuss potential fire service and other barriers to successfully 
complete the study on schedule, including contingencies and strategies 
to deal with barriers if they materialize. This may include barriers 
that could inhibit the proposed fire service participation in the study 
or the adoption of successful results by the fire service when the 
project is completed, or project components most likely to cause delay 
in successful completion.
     Partners (20 percent): Applicants should recognize that 
participation of the fire service as a partner in the research, from 
development to dissemination, is regarded as an essential part of all 
projects. Applicants should describe the fire service partners and 
contractors that will support the project to accomplish the objectives 
of the study. The specific roles and contributions of the partners 
should be described. Partnerships should be formed with national fire-
related organizations, in addition to local and regional fire 
departments. Letters of support and letters of commitment to actively 
participate in the project should be included in the appendix of the 
application. Generally, participants of a diverse population, including 
both

[[Page 20514]]

career and volunteer firefighters, are expected to facilitate 
acceptance of results nationally. In cases where this is not practical, 
due to the nature of the study or other limitations, these 
circumstances should be clearly explained.

Science Panel Evaluation Criteria

     Project Goals, Objectives, and Specific Aims (15 percent): 
Applicants should address how the purpose, goals, objectives, and aims 
of the proposal will lead to results that will improve firefighter 
safety, health, or wellness. Applicants should describe the specific 
goals and objectives for each year of the project.
     Literature Review (10 percent): Applicants should provide 
a literature review that is relevant to the project's goals, 
objectives, and specific aims. The citations should be placed in the 
text of the Narrative Statement, with references listed at the end of 
the Narrative Statement (and not in the Appendix) of the application. 
The review should be in sufficient depth to make it clear that the 
proposed project is necessary, adds to an existing body of knowledge, 
is different from current and previous studies, and offers a unique 
contribution.
     Project Methods (20 percent): Applicants should provide a 
description of how the project will be carried out, including 
demonstration of the overall scientific and technical rigor and merit 
of the project. This includes the operations to accomplish the purpose, 
goals and objectives, and the specific aims of the project. Plans to 
recruit and retain human subjects, where applicable, should be 
described. Where human subjects are involved in the project, the 
applicant should describe plans for submission to the Institutional 
Review Board (for further guidance and requirements, see the FY 2020 
FP&S Grant Program NOFO).
     Project Measurements (20 percent): Applicants should 
provide evidence of the technical rigor and merit of the project, such 
as data pertaining to validity, reliability, and sensitivity (where 
established) of the facilities, equipment, instruments, standards, and 
procedures that will be used to carry out the research. The applicant 
should discuss the data to be collected to evaluate the performance 
methods, technologies, and products proposed to enhance firefighter 
safety, health, or wellness. The applicant should demonstrate that the 
measurement methods and equipment selected for use are appropriate and 
sufficient to successfully deliver the proposed project objectives.
     Project Analysis (20 percent): The applicant should 
indicate the planned approach for analysis of the data obtained from 
measurements, questionnaires, or computations. The applicant should 
specify within the plan what will be analyzed, the statistical methods 
that will be used, the sequence of steps, and interactions as 
appropriate. It should be clear that the principal investigator and 
research team have the expertise to perform the planned analysis and 
defend the results in a peer review process.
     Dissemination and Implementation (15 percent): Applicants 
should indicate dissemination plans for scientific audiences (such as 
plans for submissions to specific peer review publications) and for 
firefighter audiences (such as websites, magazines, and conferences). 
Also, assuming positive results, the applicant should indicate future 
steps that would support dissemination and implementation throughout 
the fire service, where applicable. These steps are likely to be beyond 
the current study, so those features of the research activity that will 
facilitate future dissemination and implementation should be discussed. 
All applicants should specify how the results of the project, if 
successful, might be disseminated and implemented in the fire service 
to improve firefighter safety, health, or wellness. It is expected that 
successful R&D Activity Projects may give rise to future programs 
including FP&S Activity Projects.
     Cost vs. Benefit (additional consideration): Cost vs. 
benefit in this evaluation element refers to the costs of the grant for 
the research and development project as it relates to the benefits that 
are projected for firefighters who would have improved safety, health, 
or wellness. Applicants should demonstrate a high benefit for the cost 
incurred and effective utilization of Federal funds for research 
activities.
     Financial Need (additional consideration): In the 
Applicant Information section of the application, applicants should 
provide details on the need for Federal financial assistance to carry 
out the proposed project(s). Applicants may include a description of 
unsuccessful attempts to acquire financial assistance. Applicants 
should provide detail about the organization's operating budget, 
including a high-level breakdown of the budget; describe the 
department's inability to address financial needs without Federal 
assistance; and discuss other actions the department has taken to meet 
their staffing needs (e.g., state assistance programs, other grant 
programs, etc.).
     Mentoring (additional consideration for Early Career 
Investigator Projects only): An important part of Early Career 
Investigator projects is the integration of mentoring for the principal 
investigator by experienced researchers in areas appropriate to the 
research project, including exposure to the fire service community as 
well as support for ongoing development of knowledge and skills. 
Mentoring is regarded as critical to the research skills development of 
early career principal investigators. As part of the application 
Appendix, the applicant should identify the mentor(s) who have agreed 
to support the applicant and the expected benefit of their interactions 
with the researcher. A biographical sketch and letter of support from 
the mentor(s) are encouraged and should be included in the Appendix 
materials.

Other Selection Information

    Awards will be made using the results of peer-reviewed applications 
as the primary basis for decisions, regardless of activity. However, 
there are some exceptions to strictly using the peer review results. 
The applicant's prior AFG Program, Staffing for Adequate Fire and 
Emergency Response (SAFER) Program, and FP&S Grant Program grant 
management performance will also be taken into consideration when 
making recommendations for award. All final funding determinations will 
be made by the FEMA Administrator, or the Administrator's designee.
    Fire departments and other eligible applicants that have received 
funding under the FP&S Grant Program in previous years are eligible to 
apply for funding in the current year. However, FEMA may take into 
account an applicant's performance on prior grants when making funding 
decisions on current applications.
    Once every application in the competitive range has been through 
the technical evaluation phase, the applications will be ranked 
according to the average score awarded by the panel.
    The ranking will be summarized in a Technical Report prepared by 
the AFG Program Office. A Grants Management Specialist will contact the 
applicant to discuss and/or negotiate the content of the application 
and SAM.gov registration before making final award decisions.


[[Page 20515]]


    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2229.

Robert J. Fenton Jr.,
Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Administrator, Federal 
Emergency Management Agency.
[FR Doc. 2021-08089 Filed 4-19-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-78-P