An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

EPA Grants


Establishment of Standards for Submission of Administrative and Financial Assistance Agreement Forms/Documents with Electronic or Digital Signatures by Email

Effective/ Notification Date: May 13, 2020
Revised Effective/Notification Date: August 11, 2020

Purpose of Revision:  EPA has revised the RAIN to remove the information pertaining to the disclaimer receipt e-mail mentioned in the original RAIN, which is now just an optional element depending on whether it is necessary based on the circumstances.

Policy Summary: As highlighted by the recent COVID-19 public health emergency, EPA recognizes that traditional mail service may not be a feasible option for EPA applicants/recipients to submit forms/documents (primarily post-award documents and not initial application submittals-see below) requiring signatures through traditional mail service. Therefore, EPA has established a process to use reasonable safeguards to ensure the validity of signatures on assistance agreement forms/documents (see List in the Related Resources below) submitted to EPA via e-mail.

It should be noted that forms/documents required to be submitted electronically with initial application packages via (absent a exception allowing an alternative submission method) shall follow the established submission process associated with that platform (See RAIN-2018-G07-R2). Further, the process addressed by this RAIN only applies to the assistance agreements forms/documents included in the list located in the Related Resource section below, which will be updated as necessary, and to forms/documents sent to EPA with electronic or digital signatures through e-mail. It does not apply to submissions through and it does not apply to forms/documents that do not require a signature.

EPA applicants/recipients may submit any of the forms/documents on the attached list via e-mail if not required to be submitted through as part of the initial application package. Applicants/recipients must submit the forms/documents using their organization’s e-mail address. Applicants/recipients are responsible for ensuring that the forms/documents they submit through e-mail containing an electronic or digital signature are signed by the appropriate and authorized person from their organization and are submitted to EPA through a means by which it is clear it is being sent from the organization’s email. EPA may check to verify that the forms/documents are signed and submitted by a person(s) from the applicant’s/recipient’s organization listed on the Key Contacts form using the applicants/recipients organizational e-mail address. In general, these are the minimum reasonable safeguards necessary to ensure the validity of the signed forms/documents. Depending on the circumstances additional reasonable safeguards may be necessary to ensure the validity of the signed forms/documents sent by e-mail.

Related Resources:

List of Applicable Administrative and Financial Assistance Agreement Forms/Documents Requiring Signatures That Can be Sent Via E-Mail 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Submission of Administrative and Financial Assistance Agreement Forms with Electronic or Digital Signatures by Email 

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.