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Exchange Network

Exchange Network Grant Program

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Feedback Session on FY 2020 Exchange Network Grant Cycle & Solicitation Notice

To support the development and planning of the upcoming FY’21 Exchange Network (EN) grant cycle and solicitation notice, the EPA hosted a feedback session on the FY’20 EN Solicitation Notice and FY’20 grant application cycle. This session was held on August 27th from 1-2 PM Eastern Time and was an open discussion about the clarity and usability of the FY 2020 EN Solicitation Notice (SN), the scope of funding opportunities within the Notice, the applicant guidance appendices, and the optional templates included for the first time in FY 2020.

If you were not able to join this meeting, but would like to provide feedback on the FY’20 EN Grant Solicitation Notice or the application process, please email your comments to Erin McGown at

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FY 2020 was the 19th year EPA awarded competitive funding to eligible partners for projects through the Environmental Information Exchange Network Grant Program. Between FY 2002 and FY 2019, EPA provided approximately $236 million for state, tribal and territorial awards and associated program support through the grant program. As of October 2019, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 81 tribes and 5 territories have received EN grants. These grants support better environmental decisions by promoting the use of more timely and consistent data which is shareable by partners across the EN as well as by environmental professionals and the public. For descriptions of previously awarded EN Grants, please click here.

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FY 2020 Exchange Network Grant Solicitation Notice

The FY 2020 National Environmental Exchange Network Grant Program Solicitation Notice was released on February 4, 2020 and amended on March 20, 2020. Applications were due at 11:59 PM Eastern Time, Friday, April 10, 2020.

EPA only accepts project proposals for EN assistance agreements submitted electronically through, unless applicants have a waiver. EPA announced its selection decisions in August 2020 and anticipates awards will be issued by September 30, 2020.

The primary outcome expected from Exchange Network (EN) assistance agreements is improved access to, and exchange of, high-quality environmental data from public and private sector sources. With this outcome in mind, an application’s project goals and outputs should align with and support one or more EN program priorities. Applicants are always highly encouraged to review the latest version of the Solicitation Notice in full, as updates are made yearly throughout the document. Applicants should also note that optional templates for the cover letter, project narrative, and budget narrative have been provided in the appendices.

In FY 2020, EPA awarded over $8 million for 32 assistance agreements for EN projects. Most awards were in the $50,000 to $300,000 range. Awards for an individual assistance agreements cannot exceed $200,000. EPA made a limited number of awards to qualifying collaborative, partnership assistance agreements, with project budgets of $400,000 or less. The exact number of assistance agreements awarded each year depends on the final amount of EPA’s appropriation for the EN Grant program, the number of applications submitted to EPA by the application deadline, the budget amounts requested, and the outcome of application reviews

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Resources for Applicants and Grantees

The following documents are intended to provide helpful guidance to applicants as they draft and finalize grant applications. Please note that these documents contain direct text from the FY2020 Exchange Network Grant Solicitation Notice.  

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EN Grant Registration Requirement

A goal of the EN is to share information about available services and reuse existing services whenever possible. To ensure that products and services are available for EN partner use and/or collaboration, Exchange Network grant applicants must commit to register any newly developed resources (required since 2011) and the reuse of existing resources (required since 2018). These registration records, previously housed in the now-retired Reusable Component Service (RCS) inventory system, can now be found via the EN grant website. Applicants can find a list of previous EN grant projects, along with direct links to the descriptions of registered components associated with the project, in the ‘Previous Exchange Network Grant Projects’ section of this website. Applicants are also encouraged to visit the E-Enterprise Community Inventory Platform (EECIP) and Shared Services Resource Catalog (SSRC) to search for project-appropriate tools, reusable components and services, EN peer contact information, and potential mentors.

At the time of grant close-out, Exchange Network grantees should work with their Regional Exchange Network Coordinator (RENC) to complete the EN grant registration as discussed above. Click <a data-cke-saved-href="" href="" node="" 70647"="">here to obtain the current list of RENCs.

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Exchange Network Grants Meeting Excessive Unliquidated Obligations (ULO) Criteria

Un-liquidated Obligations (ULOs) are funds that have been awarded to grantees but that remain unspent.

EPA may include consideration when applicants have excessive ULOs on prior EN grants when making final funding decisions. Considerations will be taken based on the FY 2020 first quarter report.

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Quality Assurance Reporting Form

EPA Exchange Network grants include a grant condition in the assistance agreement requiring the recipient to submit the Exchange Network Quality Assurance Reporting Form (QARF) to the EPA Regional Project Officer within 90 days of the award issuance date. The QARF is a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) tailored specifically to satisfy the unique Quality Assurance needs of the Exchange Network Grant Program. The QARF must describe for each goal and output:

  • the relevant task-specific Quality Assurance (QA) criteria.
  • how the recipient will ensure adherence with the QA criteria.
  • how the recipient will confirm and document that the project deliverable meet the QA criteria.

The QA criteria information specified above must be documented for each goal and output under the Quality Assurance Measures section of the Exchange Network QARF. The template for the Exchange Network QARF can be found below:

Quality Assurance Reporting Form (PDF)

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Related Information About Grants

  • Previous;Exchange Network Grant Projects
    Review information on Exchange Network grants awarded between 2002 to 2019. Find out more about the types of activities in which states, tribes and territories are involved to support the Environmental Information Exchange Network.
  • Grants Awards Database
    Read a summary record for all non-construction EPA grants awarded in the last 10 years, including grants that were awarded before that time, but that remain open.
  • Grants and Debarment
    Understanding, managing, and applying for EPA grants.

    Visit the federal government's single access point for over 1,000 grant programs offered by all federal grant-making agencies.

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