EPA Is First Out of the Gate To Issue Uniform Guidance Exception Updates
Jerry Ashworth

And so it begins…

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) became the first federal awarding agency to issue updates to its exceptions to the revised version of the uniform guidance by issuing an interim final rule in today’s Federal Register. Federal agencies may request Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for such exceptions as they pertain to awards issued by these agencies.

When the uniform guidance was first issued in December 2013, 28 grantmaking federal agencies and offices revised their agency regulations, most of which are now contained in Part 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and adopted the uniform guidance either “as is” or with approved exemptions. At least 18 agencies issued exceptions, which is covered in Tab 900 of the Single Audit Information Service, a part of the Thompson Grants 360 package.

OMB's revised uniform guidance issued Aug. 13, which becomes effective for new awards and modifications to existing awards issued on or after Nov. 12, states at §200.110(a) that the standards in the uniform guidance “become effective once implemented by federal awarding agencies or when any future amendment to this part becomes final.” Therefore, awarding agencies, between now and Nov. 12, must address their regulations to adopt the revised version. For those agencies that adopted the uniform guidance with no exceptions, there’s little they have to do. For other agencies with current exceptions, or those planning to add additional exceptions, they will have more work in updating their regulations.

In its revisions, which become effective Nov. 12, EPA will delete current regulations at 2 C.F.R. §§1500.17-1500.19, and redesignate the current provisions at 2 C.F.R. §§1500.1-1500.16 to §§1500.2-1500.17. It is revising §1500.1 to clarifying that allowable participant support costs may include rebates or other subsidies provided to program participants or program beneficiaries when authorized by the statutory authority for the financial assistance program. It is maintaining current language stating that this provision applies to subsidies used for purchase and installation of commercially available, standard (“off the shelf”) pollution control equipment or low emission vehicles under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act program or other programs when the program participant rather than the recipient owns the equipment.

Among the other updated provisions included in its revised exceptions, EPA states that the uniform guidance subrecipient monitoring and management requirements do not apply to transactions entered into with borrowers by recipients of Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) capitalization grants and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) capitalization grants; recipients may add all program income to their EPA funds for use under the purposes and conditions of the assistance agreement even if program income exceeds the amount anticipated at time of award; and borrowers under EPA assistance programs for capitalization of revolving loan funds are not subject to the limitation on consultant fee costs.

Expect to see more of these type Federal Register issuances in the coming days as agencies update their regulations. More information on the EPA interim final rule will be included in an article next week on the Grants Compliance Expert website. There’s a lot to accomplish between now and Nov. 12.

Join us for our following Federal Grants Forums:
Virtual Federal Grants Forum | October 7-9, 2020
Revised Uniform Guidance Town Hall | October 29, 2020