The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and
Development (ORD), invites research grant applications in the following areas of
special interest to its mission:

     1. Exploratory Research
     2. Ecosystem Indicators
     3. issues in Human Health Risk Assessment
     4. Endocrine Disrupters
     5. Ambient Air Quality
     6. Health Effects and Exposures to Particulate Matter and Associated Air
     7. Drinking Water
     8. Contaminated Sediments

     EPA plans to collaborate with other agencies in soliciting grant applications in
the following research areas.  Descriptions of these will appear in separate an-

     Water and Watersheds (joint with NSF)
     Technology for a Sustainable Environment (joint with NSF)
     Decision-making and Valuation for Environmental Policy (joint with NSF)
     Harmful Algal Blooms (joint with NOAA, NSF, and ONR)
     Bioremediation (joint with DOE, NSF, and ONR)
     Metal Toxicities Associated with Mixtures: Molecular and Cellular Effects
       Relevant to Carcinogenesis (joint with NCI)
     Ecosystem Restoration (joint with NASA)
     Arsenic (joint with AWWARF and ACWA)
     This invitation provides relevant background information, summarizes EPA's
interest in the topic areas, and describes the application and review process.


       In fiscal year 1995 EPA began an expansion of its investigator-initiated re-
search grants program for academic and not-for-profit institutions (the STAR Pro-
gram, Science to Achieve Results).  Subsequently, this program increased in fiscal
years 1996 and 1997, and in fiscal year 1998 EPA anticipates reaching its program-
matic goal of $100 million. As a part of that program, this Request for Applications
(RFA) describes the EPA 1997 solicitation. Additional joint programs with the
National Science Foundation-and other agencies will be announced separately.

EPA Mission and R & D Strategy

       The mission of EPA is to protect both environmental quality and human health
through effective regulations and other policy implementation. Achievement of this
mission requires the application of sound science to assessment of environmental
problems and to evaluation of possible solutions. A significant challenge is to support
both long-term research that anticipates future environmental problems as well as
research that fills gaps in knowledge relevant to meeting current Agency goals. This
Request for Applications and the multi-agency solicitations are important steps
toward promoting a sound scientific foundation for environmental protection.

       EPA's research programs focus on the reduction of uncertainty associated with
risk assessment and reduction of risks to human health and ecosystems.  Through its
laboratories and through grants to academic and other not-for-profit institutions, EPA
promotes research in both domains, according the highest priority to those areas in
which risk assessors are most in need of new concepts, methods, and data. EPA also
fosters the development and evaluation of new risk reduction technologies across a
spectrum, from pollution prevention through end-of-pipe controls to remediation and
monitoring. In all areas, EPA is interested in research that recognizes issues relating
to environmental justice, the concept of achieving equal protection from environmen-
tal and health hazards for all people without regard to race, economic status, or

       EPA's extramural research grant programs are administered by ORD 's Na-
tional Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance (NCERQA).  The
individual topic areas are discussed below.


L  Exploratory Research

       The mission of EPA is to provide environmental policies, risk assessments,
pollution prevention .programs, and effective regulations based,on sound science.
NCERQA is committed to providing the best possible products in areas of scientific
research through significant support for long-term research that anticipates future
.environmental problems and strives to fulfill significant gaps in knowledge relevant to
protecting the environment. In part, these goals may be accomplished through this
competitive, peer-reviewed extramural program in which investigator-initiated
projects in fundamental research can discover solutions to environmental problems
and EPA can benefit from close cooperation with the scientific community. Specifi-
cally, NCERQA is seeking'grant applications to conduct exploratory environmental
research based on investigator-initiated proposals in the broad areas listed below. The
examples of possible study areas are provided as a guide and should not be inter-
preted to exclude other studies relevant to the broad topic area.

1A.   Environmental Biology. Examples of studies in this area include investiga-
       tions to elucidate and increase our understanding of environmental biological
       processes at the molecular, cellular, organism, or population level. The ulti-
       mate application of this knowledge should be to better understand the impact
       human activities or environmental pollution.may have on these biological
       systems.,   .          .

IB.   Environmental Chemistry. Applications [submitted in this area may focus
       on the reaction of chemicals.in various environmental media (e.g., air, soil,
•.   .-   water) and models  predicting the transformation,of chemicals in the environ-
       ment. In addition,  studies developing unique or novel analytical techniques
       •for monitoring chemicals in the environment would also be of interest.
          •',••.'.''••  .*.  •,-  -i   • •   ;•    • -    .,  ,
1C.   Physics.. Potential applications in this area may focus on increasing our
      . knowledge of .physical processes in the environment, developing models
       describing the physical transport of anthropogenic substances through the
       environment, or describing how human activities may impact physical pro-
       cesses.   ............       .

1D.   Human  Health.. Applications submitted in this topic area may focus on
       determining the impact exposure to environmental stressors may have on
       human health. Specifically, toxicological studies for non-cancer or cancer
       health endpoints may be considered.  The results of studies in this topic should
       lead to improvements or have applications to environmental health risk assess-
       ments. :.....         ,
          ' '     ^                  •     Jl.i .- > i/,.  ,...'.
1E.   Social Science. Applications submitted in this area may include economic
       (cost-benefit analysis); public policy (alternative approaches to regulation),
       and sociological (individual arid organizational behavior) aspects of environ-
       mental problems.  Studies focusing on existing EPA initiatives such as the
       Common Sense Initiative, Project XL (Excellence and Leadership) and Com-
       munity-based environmental protection are of particular interest.

1F.    Environmental Engineering.  Applications submitted in this area may
       include control, remediation, and prevention technology approaches toward
       solving high priority environmental problems.  Studies focusing on clean
       products  and processes that may prevent pollution are of particular interest.
       Similarly, analytical tools and methods that  assist in the identification of
       pollution prevention approaches are of interest.
       Funding: Approximately $5 million is-expected to be available in FY 1997
       for new exploratory research grants/. The projected award range is $75,000 to
       $125,000/yearforupto3years.   .        •

2.  Ecosystem Indkators

       The quality of human existence depends on diverse natural resources and
healthy ecosystems.  Such resources exist and interact within spatially and temporally
dynamic ecosystems. However, activities associated with expanding human popula-
tions alter these complex ecosystems and thereby threaten their sustainability and the
resources and values (e.g., food, fiber, medicine, waste processing, wildlife habitat,
fuel,  shelter, aesthetic qualities, and recreational opportunities) that they provide.
Monitoring ecosystem status and trends is critical for detecting alterations that impact
the integrity of ecosystems and their capacity to provide valuable resources into the

       EPA shares with other Federal agencies the responsibility to assess, prevent,
and reverse adverse impacts of human activities on ecosystems.  Monitoring all
components of an ecosystem (soil, water, air, plants, animals, microorganisms) and
their  functional interactions is impractical, but certain measurable environmental
variables, indicators, can be used as surrogates or markers of the more complete and
complex structural and functional attributes that are the cause and consequence of
ecosystem integrity and sustainability. An ecological indicator is a characteristic that
is related to, or derived from, a measure of a biotic or abiotic variable that can provide
quantitative information on ecological structure (component networks) and function
(interactions).  An indicator should thus contribute to the measurement of ecological
integrity and sustainability.

       Previous research efforts have largely concentrated on indicators within a
single resource type (i.e., wetlands, estuaries, rivers, lakes, streams, or forests), at a
single spatial scale and using a single sampling design.  While proposed research on
single-system, single-scale indicators will be considered in response to this solicita-
tion,  research  that results in the development or application of ecological indicators
.that integrate between or among resource types, spatial scales, and/or sampling
designs will be given highest priority. A description of a multi-tier framework of
sampling designs for monitoring is provided below.

Monitoring Framework

       A monitoring framework to track status and trends in the condition of the
nation's ecological resources was envisioned by both the National Science and Tech-
nology Council's Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) and
EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP). These programs
recognized that an assessment of ecosystem condition must consider multiple levels
of organization (organism, population, community, ecosystem), interactions of re-
source.types (wetlands, estuaries, large rivers, lakes, streams, forests, etc.), multiple
spatial scales (local, watershed, regional, national, global), and that various monitor-
ing strategies were needed to answer the diverse questions related to ecosystem
condition. A fundamental premise underlying this framework for environmental

 monitoring is that no single sampling design can effectively provide all of the infor-
 mation needed to evaluate environmental conditions and guide policy decisions. A
 tiered structure was developed to emphasize sampling designs based on three spatial

     Level 1 - Spatially Continuous Monitoring: Inventories and remote sensing
 methods that completely census specific properties across large regions, i.e., political,
 geophysical of hydrdlogical systems of 10,000 km2 or more.
     Level 2 - Spatially Sub-Sampled Surveys: Surveys that evaluate the ecological
condition of a large area (i.e., state, region, nation, continent) by sampling a subset of
the total area. Indicators in Level 2 measure a limited number of properties at mul-
tiple sites as representative of the larger region.
            *','••'                    •     .
     Level 3 - Integrated Location-Specific Monitoring: Monitoring that measures
a greater number of properties,at a higher frequency and fewer locations than sam-
pling at Level 2.  This level is essential for understanding processes that occur at local
scales, for documenting the integrated effects of multiple processes, for determining
the causes of change detected at Levels 1 and 2, and for developing and testing pre-
dictive models of environmental response.

     Ultimately, measurements at all three levels must be performed in a coordinated
fashion,  allowing an improved understanding of ecosystems and an improved ability •
to manage those systems for integrity and sustainability.

Objectives           '•*•••" -
    i     •          -
       EPA solicits proposals for research that leads to the development of techniques
and indicators that characterize  and quantify the integrity and sustainability of ecosys-
tems at local, regional, national, and/or global scales. Applications should address the
following prioritized research objectives:

(1)    The highest priority objective is to stimulate the development, evaluation and
       integration of indicators, suites of indicators, indices, and models to improve
       local, regional, national, and global monitoring and assessment of ecological
       integrity and sustainability. EPA recognizes the need to develop system-level
       indicators that cross resource types, span spatial scales, and integrate sampling
       designs.  Cross resource indicators may be represented by single measure-
       ments that reflect and/or integrate conditions in more than one type of ecosys-
       tem (e.g., amphibian populations dependent on both terrestrial and aquatic
       ecosystems) or different measurements made jointly on more than one ecosys-
       tem, and then linked together by an algorithm or model (e.g., simultaneously
       measuring linked aquatic and terrestrial components of a watershed). Integra-
       tion across spatial scales may include indicators that combine patch size,

       vegetation structure, and foliar condition into an index of forest sustainability.
       Integration among sampling  tiers may include techniques that synthesize
       existing data from different tiers or that combine indicators from different
       sampling designs to better determine ecosystem condition..

(2)    The second priority objective is to develop indicators of functional processes
       that contribute to ecological integrity and sustainability. In particular, research
       is needed on indicators that reflect critical functional associations among
       indicators from different resource types (e.g., the relationship between indica-
       tors of forest canopy and stream biotic integrity).

(3)    The third priority objective is to develop indicators that identify effects of par-
       ticular stressors,of ecological integrity and sustainability.  Research is re-
       quested that examines the potential of indicators to improve.our ability to
       interpret changes in ecological integrity as a function of stressor type and
       exposure characteristics. Studies are desired that relate indicators of popula-
       tion or community structure/function to exposure to either chemical, physical,
       or biological stressors, consistent with clearly stated mechanistic cause-effect
       hypotheses. Examples include developing indicators of amphibian and reptile
       reproduction or estuarine plankton composition that would distinguish be-
       tween the effects of pesticide exposure and of UV-B radiation.

Scope of Research

       EPA solicits research proposals related to the development or evaluation of
ecological  indicators, suites of indicators,  indices, and models that could be used to
characterize status or trends in multiple-resource ecosystems... Each proposal must
address the potential for the :proposed techniques to improve our ability to characterize
with confidence ecological integrity and sustainability. Applications should provide a
reasonable scientific conceptual model to account for the-functional relationship
between or among indicator(s) and their resppnse.to.anthropogenic stressors.  This
solicitation emphasizes the need for indicators that cross resources, span spatial
scales, and/or integrate sampling'regimes.


       Applicants may apply for grants on their own behalf or establish interdiscipli-
nary teams. Proposals involving multiple  institutions are encouraged but are not
necessary.  Proposals representing research consortia should clearly identify the lead
institution and the basis for allocating research funds.
     Funding:  Approximately $10 million will be available in fiscal year 1997 for
     funding proposals in the research areas described. It is anticipated that the
     annual funding levels (for up to three years) will range from $100,000 to 300,000
     although research involving complex multiple scale issues may be funded up to

 3.  Issues in Human Health Risk Assessment

        Various reports have stated concern that EPA's current approaches to risk
 assessment do not adequately account for cumulative risks arising from complex
 exposure patterns and human variability due to genetic.and other factors. These
 documents include the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) 1993 report titled,
 "Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children;" the NAS 1994 report on "Science
 and Judgment in Risk Assessment;" and the  1996 draft report by the President's
 Commission on Risk Assessment & Risk Management'titled, "Risk Assessment and
 Risk Management in Regulatory Decision-Making."

  "  '  '' Several recent pieces of legislation have mandated the consideration of cumu-
 lative risk and variability factors and press for stakeholder involvement in the risk
 characterization process. Specifically, the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996
 (FQPA) directs EPA in its assessments of pesticide safety to focus in part on the
 cumulative effects of pesticides and other substances that have a common mechanism
 of'toxicity and the aggregate of dietary and non-occupational consumer exposure.
 These reports and laws point to an emerging body of evidence that suggests person-
 tb-person differences in metabolism, genetic predisposition, physical environment,
 and age (infants, children, and elderly) may place certain groups of individuals at an
 increased risk from environmental stressors.  This can result in decreased quality of
 life and increased illness and mortality.

        The traditional standard default approaches used in risk assessment may
 underestimate the impact of environmental agents on particular groups of individuals.
 These approaches do not adequately account for complex exposure patterns involving
; multiple acute exposures and/or exposures to mixtures of toxic chemicals or for the
 variability in human'biological'responses, toitoxic chemicals. Expanded investigation
 in-these areas will benefit risk assessment by providing the tools to identify and
•characterize high risk groups and by providing fundamental  data'to develop predictive
 approaches and more reliable assessment methods.

        FQPA also directs the Federal Government to begin providing consumer right-
 to-know information related to understanding the risks and benefits of aggregate and
 cumulative exposure.
 Human health risk assessment research is needed in the three areas described below.

 3A. Human Health Effects of Complex Exposure Patterns

        Research is needed on the influence.of complex exposures on the non-cancer
.human.health effects of pesticides and other  toxic chemicals in the environment.
 Exposure of human beings to toxic chemicals arises from multiple sources and via
•multiple pathways: They also occur in a variety of .complex.temporal patterns.  EPA
 risk assessments have usually focused on individual environmental agents, often
 considering chronic exposures from individual sources occuring via individual path-
 ways.  EPA would like to shift the emphasis  to a more broadly based approach which

incorporates multiple sources and pathways of exposure and considers complex
exposure patterns such as multiple acute exposures, and exposures to mixtures of
pesticides and other toxic chemicals. The evaluation of the effects of these complex
exposure patterns has been collectively termed cumulative risk assessment.

       EPA is interested in sponsoring basic research to develop novel approaches for
assessing cumulative human health risk and to develop methods to account for the
multiple elements of environmental risk that affect human health: (1) who, what, and/
or where is/are being affected? (2) what are the stressprs? (3) whait are the sources?
(4) what are the pathways and routes of exposure? (5) what are the relevant
timeframes? and (6) what are the assessment endpoints?  Approaches might include
measurement-based, multipathway human exposure  assessment, lexicological studies,
mechanistic research, pharmacokinetic and/or dose-response modeling. Specifically,
this research should include:
                                                     •  J>
(1)     studies to quantify the cumulative exposures  resulting from these complex
       multipathway exposure patterns, including studies utilizing environmental,
       biological, and/or behavioral data, and

(2)     toxicological and other studies that investigate the neurological, developmen-
       tal, reproductive, and other non-cancer human health effects of these expo-
       sures, with the aim of developing dose-response relationships.

       The exposure patterns used in these studies should have a demonstrated
relationship to actual or potential human exposures.  Also, the studies should compare
acute, episodic, and chronic exposure regimes and/or compare the effects of chemical
mixtures with those of the single chemicals in the mixtures.

3B.  Variability in Human Responses to Environmental Agents

       Research is needed to study the impact of genetic polymorphisms on human
susceptibility to the effects of toxic chemicals in the environment. The intent should
be to quantify these variabilities within the.general population. These studies might
also extend to the incorporation of results into dose-response models for use in risk
assessment. Of interest would be molecular, epidemiological, and other types of
research to examine:

(1)     The causes  and extent of interindividual variability in susceptibility to neuro-
       logical, developmental, reproductive, and other non-cancer health effects
       resulting from exposure to toxic chemcials in the environment;

(2)      Possible relationships between susceptibility and such covariates as age, race,
       ethnicity, and sex; and

(3)     Approaches for improving  the default assumption that individual humans on
       average  have the same susceptibility as populations of humans in epidemio-
       logical studies.

3C. Consumer Right-to-Know
      . The FQPA requires the federal government to provide consumer right-to-knpw
information in a format understandable to a lay person. Such information would be
distributed to large retail grocers for public display related to the risks and benefits of
pesticide chemical residues in or on food purchased by consumers with recommenda-
tions to consumers for reducing dietary exposure to pesticide chemical residues in a
mariner consistent with maintaining a healthy diet. Therefore, research is needed on
how best to communicate the results of these more comprehensive assessments.

       Risk communication research is needed:  (1) to identify optimal communica-
tion strategies and tools with which to disseminate information and educate consum-
ers, and (2) determine what kinds of information consumers will find most useful.
Research is needed to explore whether any adjunct or complementary communication
strategies (e.g., public information, health information  campaign) would contribute to
assuring that the public receives accurate, pertinent, and useful information. Factors
that could be explored include, but need not be limited to: (1) strategies for increasing
comprehensibility and retention of information, (2) strategies to motivate behavioral
changes to reduce potential exposures, and (3) identifying factors key to ensuring
understanding and cultural acceptability to minorities and potentially susceptible
     Funding: About $5 million is expected to be available in fiscal year 1997 for
     awards in this program area. The projected award range is $50,000 to
     $300,000/year for up to three years.
4.  Endocrine Disrupters,

       Evidence has been accumulating that humans and domestic and wild species
have suffered adverse health consequences resulting from exposure to environmental
chemicals that interact with the endocrine system. These pollutants are collectively
referred to as "endocrine disrupters," a term broadly defined as "an exogenous agent
that interferes with the production, release, transport, metabolism, binding, action, or
elimination of natural hormones in the body responsible for the maintenance of
homeostasis and the regulation of developmental processes."

       In response to growing public health concerns related to chemicals in the
environment which have the potential to act as endocrine disrupters, the Office of
Research and Development of the EPA included Endocrine Disrupters as a high
priority research issue in the ORD Strategic Plan and has developed an Endocrine
Disruptors Research Plan.  The plan identifies the need for three broad categories of
research: biological-effects studies, exposure studies, and studies on the linkage of
exposure and effects. Grant applications are sought in each category. The focus of
the research may range from studies on wildlife populations and laboratory  organ-
isms, to humans, in both laboratory and field settings.

     EPA has developed a three-year plan for the solicitation of research applications
from the scientific community. In the forthcoming first year of the plan, research
topics of interest include:

(1)   • Development and validation of in vivo and in vitro test methods to screen
       toxicants, singly or in mixtures, for endocrine-disrupting activity in vertebrate
       and invertebrate species. Methods may employ tissues, cell lines, isolated
       receptors, and enzymes in vitro, as well as bioassays and hormone measure-
       ments in vivo.

(2)    Development of new measurement and analytical methods, including the
       development of field-portable devices for endocrine disrupters in various
       media, e.g., air, water, soil.

(3)    Studies in animal models on the modes and mechanisms of action of endo-
       crine disrupters on neuroendocrine, reproductive, immune, and central ner-
       vous systems at the molecular, cellular, or functional levels resulting from
       exposure during development,  with emphasis on identification of sensitive
       subpopulations (age/sex). Studies may include physiologically-based pharma-
       cokinetic (PB-PK), physiologically-based toxicokinetic (PB-TK), and biologi-
       cally-based dose-response (BBDR) models.

(4)    Development of QSAR models of endocrine disruption mechanisms of action,
       including receptor binding, enzyme inhibition, etc., for vertebrate and inverte-
       brate species.

(5)    Development of animal models of endocrine disruptor-induced human dis-
       eases, including reductions  in sperm counts and increased incidences of
       infertility, testicular cancer, hypospadias, endometriosis, breast cancer, thyroid
       cancer, and prostate cancer.'   '                          *

(6)    Studies to define the "baseline" endocrine status in wildlife populations and
       their laboratory surrogates.

(7)    Studies on the role of hormones in sexual differentiation and reproductive
       development of non-mammalian species and the effects of endocrine
       disruptors on this process.

(8)    Identification and validation of measurement endpoints, in vivo and in vitro
       screening methods, and other bioassays indicative of the effects of endocrine
       disruptors at the level of populations and communities.

(9)    Studies of sites/systems with problems that are known or strongly suspected to
       be related to endocrine disruptors.

       We particularly seek studies that examine endocrine disruptor-related effects
in wildlife populations, as well as studies which include significant attention to issues
related to the types, levels, sources, and fates of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the

environment. Additional information regarding research needs on endocrine
disrupters may be found in the following references:

     Ankley, G.T., et al. (1996), Development of a research strategy for assessing the ecological risk
of endocrine disrupters. Rev. Toxicol. Series B - Environmental Toxicology, in press.

     Kavlock, R.J., et al. (1996), Research needs for the risk assessment of health and environmental
effects of endocrine disrupters: a report of the USEPA sponsored workshop, Environmental Health
Perspectives 104(Supplement4):715-740.                 ' .   •'
       Funding: About $3 million is expected to be available in fiscal year 1997 for
       awards in this program area. The projected award range is $100,000 to
       $200,000/year for up to 3 years.
5.  Ambient Air Quality

       Certain widespread air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter, ozone, and
air toxics, continue to pose serious public health risks for susceptible members of the
U.S. population and risks to sensitive ecosystems. The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires
that EPA establish and periodically review and revise,'as appropriate, criteria and
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for pollutants such as particulate
matter and ozone. The Act also requires the preparation of State Implementation
Plans which describe control strategies that State and local authorities will employ to
bring nonattainment areas into compliance with NAAQS.

       In addition, the CAA requires control of toxic air pollutant emissions from
point and area sources.  The Act prescribes a phased approach to regulate both major
point sources and area sources of air toxics.  The control program for major sources is
a technology-based control program that mandates the use of Maximum Achievable
Control Technology (MACT) for major sources emitting one or more of 189 listed
hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). A strategy for controlling the 30 most hazardous
toxic pollutants in urban areas is also mandated as is an assessment of residual risks
in urban areas, which remain after control of these 30.

       The EPA seeks applications for research aimed at generating new knowledge
in these three major areas: fine particulate matter, tropospheric ozone, and air toxics.

5A. TVopospheric Ozone and Fine Particulate Matter

       Tropospheric ozone research is being coordinated through the North American.
Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone (NARSTO), a public/private sector coop-
erative 10-year research effort to both improve the technical understanding of the
tropospheric ozone issue and support future evaluations and adjustments to attainment
strategies. The EPA/ORD contribution to the NARSTO program emphasizes the
areas of atmospheric chemistry and modeling, ambient measurement methods, and
emissions research.

       A similar cooperative multi-year research effort for fine participate matter is
 also emerging.  Much of the needed research for tropospheric ozone and fine particu-
 late matter overlaps.  Exploration of the most important unknowns in tropospheric
 ozone chemistry emphasizes atmospheric oxidation reactions which also play an
 important role in aerosol formation. Modeling the transport and fate of both ozone
 and particulates relies on similar meteorological processes and the same computa-
 tional frameworks. Precursor nitrogen oxide emissions and ambient nitrate measure-
 ments are also important to both.

       Research is needed in the following areas:

 Atmospheric Chemistry

• (1)    Laboratory smog chamber studies of oxidant and aerosol production from
       irradiated hydrocarbon (HC)/NOx/SO2/NH3 mixtures, including the production
       of organic nitrates from HC/NOx mixtures.

 (2)    Theoretical and laboratory investigations of the chemical heterogeneous
       reactions involved in atmospheric ozone and fine particulate matter formation.

 (3)    Theoretical and laboratory investigations of the partitioning of semi-volatile
       compounds between the gas and aerosol phases.

 (4)    Laboratory studies of the fine particulates formed during reactions of OH
       radicals with higher molecular weight alkenes and biogenic and aromatic

 (5)    Computational atmospheric chemistry investigations of hydrocarbons impor-
       tant in photochemical oxidant formation.

 Modeling Research

 (1)    Development and diagnostic evaluation of emissions-based modeling which
       focuses on interactions of urban and point source plumes with the surrounding
       regional atmosphere in the formation, transport, and fate of ozone and/or fine
       particulates, using coding  approaches compatible with EPA's Models-3 frame-

 (2)    Monitoring and observations-based approaches to investigate photochemical
       ozone and fine particulate problems and to develop and evaluate emissions
       control strategies, including methods for analysis and interpretation of data
       from the PAMS (Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Station) network.

 (3)    Developing models for fine particulate matter which relate ambient air quality
       models, and/or measurements at a central point, with personal exposures.

 (4)    Describing the interaction of boundary layer turbulence, vertical mixing, and
       cloud processes with atmospheric chemistry.



Ambient Measurement and Analysis Methods

(1) • .  Development and evaluation of a real-time instrument for determining the
       size-dependent chemical composition of atmospheric paniculate matter,
    •   including'its fine and coarse, biochemical, biogenic, volatile, insoluble, and
       aqueous fractions.

(2)    Developing new, more sensitive techniques for ambient measurement on short
       time scales of chemically-significant, stable and unstable trace gases and
       substances participating in the photochemistry of ozone and/or the formation
       of fine particulate aerosols.

(3)    Developing instrument methods and innovative data analysis techniques useful
       in meeting the PAMS objectives for cost-effectiveness and accurate monitor-
       ing.         '                               •    -


(1)    Developing algorithms for emissions inventories consistent with ambient
       observations, and source apportionment techniques for important ozone
       precursors and/or fine particle contributors.

(2)    Developing methods and procedures  for estimating condensible organic
       compound, fugative dust, and ammonia emissions.

(3)    Developing improved VOC monitoring techniques and receptor modeling
       techniques as a check on VOC inventories.

(4)    Developing new methods to improve transportation models used to estimate
       mobile source spatial and temporal activity patterns.

(5)    Developing measurement techniques for sampling fine particle emissions from
       diesel engines with minimal deposition in sampling probe.

(6)    Developing new analytical techniques to measure nonpolar, oxygenated
       biogenic volatile organic compound emissions from trees and other vegeta-
     Funding: Approximately $5 million is expected to be available in FY 97 for
     awards in this program. Proposals in the $100,000 to $200,000/year range are
     encouraged.  Duration of awards may be up to 3 years.
5B.  Special Opportunity in Tropospheric Ozone

       Through its NARSTO experience, EPA can see clear advantages of synergy
and economy in using an integrated research approach in dealing with the two prob-
lems of tropospheric ozone and fine particulate matter in terms of scientific issues in

atmospheric chemistry;and modeling, measurement methods, and emissions. There-
fore, in addition to individual-investigator proposals on the separate topics of tropo-
spheric ozone and fine particulate matter, EPA is also encouraging multiple investiga-
tor proposals for regional approaches to these issues and will make one or two awards
to address them on a regional basis.  Potential applicants are encouraged to submit
proposals, preferably through a coordinating center, which include the equivalent of
several individual applications. In effect, EPA will support one or two regional
consortia at the level of approximately $1 million per year, not to exceed a three year
project period.

       Potential applicants for this special opportunity ONLY should submit a pre-
proposal following the instructions in section K of the application instructions.
NCERQA will follow a two step process for this competition only in which pre-
proposals are peer reviewed and the most meritorious applicants are invited to submit
full proposals for final peer and programmatic review.

5C. Urban Air Toxics

        The Clean Air Act (CAA) Amendments of 1990 require EPA to develop an
"Area Source Program" that includes both a national strategy and a research program.
The mandated research program is intended to provide the scientific basis for devel-
opment of a comprehensive national strategy to control emissions of hazardous air
'pollutants (HAPs) from area sources. The research program is to include "ambient
monitoring," "analysis to characterize the sources ... and the contribution that such
sources make to public health risks," and "consideration of atmospheric transforma-
tion and other factors which can elevate public health risks." The human health
effects to be considered under the research program include carcinogenicity, mutage-
nicity, teratogenicity, neurotoxicity; reproductive dysfunction, and other acute and
chronic effects of urban air pollutants.  The national strategy must "identify not less
than 30" HAPs that "present the greatest threat to public health in the largest number
of urban areas." The strategy is to be fully implemented by the year 2000 and must
provide guidelines for controlling the area source emissions of the 30 or more identi-
fied HAPs, while simultaneously ensuring the reduction of at least 75% in the "inci-
dence of cancer attributable to  exposure to hazardous air pollutants."

       A discussion of research needs for this area of interest is included  in the EPA
report "Urban Area Source Research Program: A Status Report on Preliminary
Research" (EPA 600-R-95/027).  Some of the critical research questions are high-
lighted below:

(1)    What direct  observational evidence (i.e., epidemiologic data) is there to link
       health effects with ambient levels of exposure to HAPs? Such research should
       focus on HAPs for which little  information now exists and should use a multi-
       disciplinary  approach to address both exposure and the resultant human health
       effects. Opportunities to leverage observational data from community-based
       studies already in place should be exploited.


(2)    What is the impact of mixtures of urban air pollutants on public health?
       Urban air pollution is a "soup" of chemicals;, the chemicals come from many
     -  sources, are modified by atmospheric transformation, and may .exhibit a
       variety of health effects. The risks posed by individual and mixtures of such
       toxic pollutants need to be characterized.  .

(3)    Are there subpopulations that may be at increased risk from HAPs, due to
       higher exposures, or exposure to complex mixtures of pollutants? What is the
       distribution of human exposures to the various HAPs, both for susceptible
       subpopulations and the general public?  By what route, and how effectively,
       do the HAPs reach humans?      •   •

(4)    What are the most significant sources of toxic pollutants of concern in urban
       areas? How can the most critical sources be identified and their contribution
       to exposures and risk be quantified?                           .

(5)    How can monitoring and modeling (including emissions modeling, dispersion
       modeling, source apportionment modeling, and  human exposure modeling)
       best be linked to estimate exposure and risk? How can the distribution of
       human exposures best be estimated for populations living and working near to
       identified point sources?
     Funding: About $2 million is expected to be available in FY 97 for awards in
     this program.  Proposals in the $50,000 to $200,000/year range are encouraged.
     Duration of awards may be up to three years.
6.  Health Effects and Exposures to Particulate Matter and
    Associated Air Pollutants

       Air pollution in the United States is regulated under the authority of the Clean
Air Act to protect public health and welfare. Recently, EPA's Clean Air Scientific
Advisory Committee reviewed and reached consensus that there is increasing scien-
tific confidence, based on numerous epidemiological studies, that paniculate matter
(PM) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality and these effects occur at
exposure levels below the current standards. Significant uncertainties remain, how-
ever, about the biological mechanisms that could cause increased mortality or morbid-
ity from PM exposures and about the nature of human exposures. The question of
biological plausibility, i.e., "How could PM be causing these effects?" has received
much less study.  Animal toxicology studies have reproduced at higher concentrations
the effects reported in  humans: mortality, asthma-like effects, and increased infection-
related morbidity. While several hypotheses regarding possible mechanisms underly-
ing recently reported PM effects have been proposed, little research has been con-
ducted to evaluate these hypotheses and to explore issues of dose-response and
exposure scenarios.

       The lack of understanding about biological mechanisms that could explain (a)
the observed effects; (b) the reported independence of effects from particle composi-
tion; and (c) the lack of an obvious threshold for effects (i.e., the effects observed at
very low exposures) underscores the critical need for research on mechanisms of PM
toxicity.  In addition the lack of research as to whether, and to what extent, the effects
attributed to PM exposures are modified by other commonly occurring pollutants
such as SO2 and ozone, leads to uncertainties in interpretation of epidemiological
       In addition, there are important scientific uncertainties regarding PM expo-
sures.  Uncertainties regarding exposure assessment (e.g., particle concentration, size,
chemical speciatioh, spatial and temporal variability, and copollutants) for important
subpopulations (e.g., children, the elderly, individuals with preexisting disease) are
critically important since they affect interpretation of the epidemiological studies on
which PM risk estimates are based.  Understanding regional and temporal variability
in particle characteristics (e.g., Western versus Eastern U.S.) and toxicity (e.g., coarse
natural fugitive dust particles versus fine combustion-derived particles) may also lead
to more effective risk management.

       Research is needed in the following areas:

(1)     Investigation of causal mechanisms of PM toxicity. New clinical, epidemio-
       logical, toxicological, and in vitro research is needed for pulmonary, cardio-
       vascular, and immunological effects (or other effects) in normal and sensitive
       subpopulations to better understand causal mechanisms by which PM, alone
       and/or in combination with other air pollutants, may cause health effects at
       levels below the current standard.

(2)     Studies using intermediate biological endpoints (i.e., which might relate to
       morbidity) hypothesized to be important to a causal mechanism(s) are needed
       to simultaneously test mechanism hypotheses and be indicative of dose-
       response relationships for PM toxicity. Research is needed on coarse, fine,
       and ultrafme particles.

(3)     Research to reduce uncertainties in exposure assessment for PM and associ-
       ated copollutants. Research is needed to improve the characterization of
       individual and population exposures to PM (concentration, size, composition,
       fine mode versus coarse mode, etc.) and copollutants, including relationships
       between personal exposure to ambient PM, indoor PM, and total PM, and to
       allow new epidemiological studies to better define  relationships between
       exposure to PM and other atmospheric constituents and adverse health effects.

(4)     Research is needed on the composition of little understood components of  PM
       such as organic compounds (non-volatile and semi-volatile), primary biologi-
       cal materials, and species dissolved in liquid particles.  Characterization of the
       spatial, temporal, and indoor/outdoor patterns of species such as NH4NO3  and

       parameters such as particle number is included. New or improved instruments
       or techniques may be required for these studies also.
     Funding: Approximately $2 million is expected to be available in FY 97 for
     awards in this program. Proposals in the $50,000 to $200,000/year range are
     encouraged.  Duration of awards may be up to three years.
7.  Drinking Water

       The Safe Drinking Water Act requires that public water supplies be disinfected
and that the EPA set standards and establish processes for treatment and distribution
of disinfected water to ensure that no significant risks to human health occur. Scien-
tific evidence suggests that exposure to chemical byproducts formed during the
disinfection process.may be associated with adverse health effects. Reducing the
amount of disinfectant or altering the disinfection process may decrease byproduct
formation; however, these practices may increase the potential for microbial contami-
nation. EPA's current challenge is to balance the health risks caused by exposure to
microbial pathogens with the health risks caused by exposure to disinfection

       This section of the solicitation invites research grant applications in two areas
of special interest to its mission: Microbial Pathogens in Drinking Water Systems and
Drinking Water Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs).

7A. Microbial Pathogens in Drinking Water Systems

      . The incidence of waterborne disease in the U.S. is highly uncertain. While the
health effects caused  by drinking water pathogens are generally known, limited
information is available on the doses and conditions that produce effects. Limited
information is also available on alternative disinfection methods for pathogens resis-
tant to the conventional chlorine-based disinfection methods. Research is needed in
the following areas:                                      .

(1)     In many cases, the causative agents for waterborne disease outbreaks have not
       been identified.  Emerging pathogens, such as Cyclospora and Helicobacter
       pylori, could play a role in many of these outbreaks. Efficient methods for
       measuring the incidence and viability of pathogens in water are needed to
       assist in identifying the causative agents in future outbreaks.  For example,
       research is needed to develop and field test a practical method for. determining
       the viability and occurrence of Cyclospora in drinking water. Research is
       needed to determine Helicobacter occurrence patterns in raw water via the
       development and field testing of a suitable recovery and culture assay method.
       Innovative proposals for methods development for other emerging pathogens

       are also encouraged.  These methods should be useful for dose-response and
       exposure estimates for risk assessment.

(2)    Research is needed to develop an understanding of the risks associated with
       exposure to primary waterborne pathogens (e.g., Giardia, Cryptosporidium,
       and enteric viruses) and to emerging pathogens (e.g., Cyclospora, Mycobacte-
       ria, Helicobacter pylori, microsporidia, caliciviruses, adenovirus 40/41, and
       coxsackievirus B) as a function of such susceptibility factors as age (e.g.,
       children), nutrition, protective immunity, and behavioral patterns.

(3)    The safety of drinking water is compromised by pathogenic microorganisms
       resistant to standard disinfection methods. Research is required on the effi-
       cacy of ultraviolet radiation (pulsed and continuous) as a disinfectant in
       drinking water from various groundwater and surface water sources, including
       those that may pose limitations.  In addition, research is needed on the optimal
       ultraviolet light wavelengths for inactivating specific species. Also needed is a
       better understanding of why pulsed UV light has a more destructive impact on
       cyst viability than continuous UV light.

7B. Drinking Water Disinfection Byproducts

       Public water systems disinfect drinking water with chlorine or alternate
disinfectants. While chlorine reduces microbial risk, the use of chlorine creates new
potential risks from disinfection byproducts formed during the water treatment pro-
cess.  Research is needed to improve methods for estimating human exposures (via
the oral, inhalation,  and dermal.routes) to the byproducts of different disinfection
treatments. For the  inhalation and dermal routes, research is especially needed on
haloacetic acids, haloacetonitriles, haloketones, and aldehydes. Proposals should
address research on  biochemical markers of human exposure and/or the development
and validation of models of human  exposure to DBFs.
    t-                                        "
       It is recognized that there are many other problems in assuring a safe drinking
water supply to the public which this solicitation cannot address. EPA anticipates
additional solicitations in the future which will focus on some of these. .
     Funding: Approximately $3 million is expected to be available in fiscal year
     1997 for awards in this program area. The projected award range is $75,000 to
     $200,000/year with a duration of 2 or 3 years.
8.   Contaminated Sediments

       The EPA National Sediment Quality Survey (EPA 823-D-96-002, July 1996)
recently analyzed the existing data on sediment quality to identify the national extent
and severity of sediment contamination. Based on existing data bases, 75 percent of
sediments sampled have a probability of an adverse human health or aquatic life

 effect. The study reported that 26 percent of the 21,000 freshwater and estuarine
 sampling stations throughout the United States were characterized as having sediment
 chemistry and .toxicology with potential aquatic life or human health effects, while
 another 49 percent was categorized with intermediate probability of adverse effects.

     .  The question for researchers is, "What are the extent, severity, and human
 health and ecological consequences of contaminated sediments?"  In its study on
 relative risk, EPA's Science Advisory Board cited the problem of input of toxics to
 surface waters, to which contaminated sediments would contribute, as a moderate
 source of risk.  EPA's Contaminated Sediment Management Strategy (EPA 823-R-94-
-001, August 1994) highlights ecological impacts and human health concerns ex-
 pressed through the 1200 fish consumption advisories that were issued in the last year
 by various state agencies,-in which potential consumers are warned of unsafe levels of
 toxic chemicals in fish and shellfish.  '•

       A major issue is the reliability of the risk characterization of contaminated
 sediments which supports proposed management action decisions.  If assessment
 endpoints have not been demonstrated to reflect ecosystem conditions, expenditures
 of large amounts of funds for remedial activities may not be justified. EPA seeks
 research applications for conducting field validations of sediment quality criteria,
 validations of test methods, and validation of models for determining and assessing
 ecological effects of contaminated sediments.

 Field Validation of Sediment Quality Criteria

       Sediment quality  criteria;based on equilibrium partitioning make specific
 predictions of concentrations in sediments below which  no effects should be seen and
 above which effects may be seen. The two chemical classes for which sediment
 quality criteria have been proposed are non-ionic organic chemicals and the cationic
 metals, cadmium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc.  A mixture model has been proposed
 for PAHs and metals. Studies of criteria levels for chemical groups need to be con-
 ducted to determine the degree of protection provided. It should be possible to
 examine field sites and to address multiple chemicals to determine if methods to
 predict total toxicity can be related to aquatic system communities.

       Measures of ecological effects which are needed include in situ sediment
 toxicity,  disruption of benthic communities, and elevated body burdens in organisms.
 Chemical measurements  in pore water may be a useful determination. For metals,
 seasonal variations may be important since acid volatile sulfide levels are known to
 vary seasonally. The concern is that sediments would exhibit toxicity during the
 period of low acid volatile sulfides.  Also, flux to overlying water could violate water
 quality criteria. The comparison of ecological effects to calculated sediment quality
 criteria will require the collection of additional chemical and flux data to provide
 interpretive information.

Field Validation of Chronic Toxicity Tests

       With most laboratory tests the question of lab-to-field extrapolation becomes a
major issue. Toxicity assessment methods for contaminated sediments have been
proposed by EPA for acute toxicity, and, within a short time, chronic test methods
will be made available. Field studies should be done to obtain data sets from toxicity
tests and population studies obtained on the same spatial and time scales.  Studies are
needed especially to relate chronic toxicity tests for benthos-associated organisms to
populations in the marine and freshwater environments.
     Funding: Approximately $2 million is expected to be available in FY 97 for
     awards in this program. Proposals in the $100,000 to $150,000/year range are
     encouraged. Duration of awards may be up to 3 years.

     Academic and not-for-profit institutions located in the U.S., and state or local
 governments are eligible under all existing authorizations. Profit-making firms and
 other federal agencies are not eligible to receive assistance from EPA under this

     Federal employees may cooperate or collaborate with eligible applicants within
 the limits imposed by applicable legislation and regulations.  However, federal agen-
 cies, national laboratories funded by federal agencies (FFRDCs), and federal employ-
 ees are riot eligible to receive funding through this program and may not serve in a
; principal leadership role on a grant. An exception may occur when the principal
 investigator's institution subcontracts to a federal agency to purchase unique supplies
 or services unavailable in the private sector. Examples are purchase of satellite data,
 census data tapes, chemical reference standards, unique analyses not available else-
 where, etc. A written justification for such federal involvement must be included in
 the application, along with an assurance from the federal agency which commits it to
 supply the specified service.

     Potential applicants who are uncertain of their eligibility should contact Dr.
 Robert E. Menzer in NCERQA, phone (202) 260-5779, EMail:

 Standard Instructions for

 Submitting  an Application

     This section contains a set of special instructions related to how applicants
 should apply for an NCERQA grant under the appropriate solicitation. Proposed
 projects must be for research designed to advance the state of knowledge in the
 research areas described in this solicitation.

Sorting Codes

     In order to facilitate proper assignment and review of applications, each appli-
cant is asked to identify the topic area in which their application is to be considered.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to correctly, identify the proper sorting code.
Failure to do so will result in an inappropriate peer review assignment. At various
places within the application, applicants will be asked to identify this topic area by
using the appropriate Sorting Code.  The Sorting Codes correspond to the topic areas
within the solicitation. The Sorting Codes and application deadlines for this solicita-
tion are shown below:
 Exploratory Research
   environmental biology
   environmental chemistry  •
   human health
   social science
   environmental engineering

 Ecosystem Indicators
                               SORTING CODE
                                 97-NCERQA-l E
 Issues in Human Health Risk Assessment
   The Human Health Effects of
       Complex Exposure Patterns
   Variability in Human Responses
       to Environmental Agents
   Consumer Right-to-Know

 Endocrine Disrupters


Ambient Air Quality
  Tropospheric Ozone
      and Fine Participates
  Special Opportunity  Pre-proposals  97-NCERQA-5B
  Urban Air Toxics                 97-NCERQA-5C
 Health Effects of Particulate Matter  97-NCERQA-6
 Drinking Water
   Microbial Pathogens
   Disinfection Byproducts

 Contaminated Sediments

January 15, 1997
January 15,1997
January 15, 1997
January 15, 1997
January 15, 1997
January 15, 1997

January 22,1997
February 15,1997

February 15,1997
February 15,1997

February 15,1997
February 15,1997

January 15, 1997
February 15, 1997

February 15,1997
February 15,1997
February 15,1997

February 15,1997
The Sorting Code must be placed at the top of the abstract (as shown in
the abstract format), in Box 10 of Standard Form 424 (as described in the
section on SF424), and should also be included in the address on the
package that is sent to EPA (see the section on how to apply).

            The Application
The abstract MUST
be limited to one
page. See attached
     The initial application is made through the submission of the materials described
below. It is essential that the application contain all the information requested and be
submitted in the formats described. If it is not, the application may be rejected on
administrative grounds. If an application is considered for award, (i.e., after external
peer review and internal review) additional forms and other information will be
requested by the Project Officer.  The application should not be bound or stapled in
any way. The Application contains the following:        •  -

A.     Standard Form 424: The-applicant must complete Standard Form 424 (see
       attached form and instructions).  This form will act as a cover sheet for the
       application and-should be its first page.  Instructions for completion of the
       SF424 are included with the form.  The form must contain the original signa-
       ture of an authorized representative of the applying institution. Please note
       that both the Principal Investigator and an administrative contact should be
       identified in Section 5 of the SF424.                .  '

B.     Key Contacts: The applicant must complete the Key Contacts Form (at-
       tached) as the second page of the submitted application.

C.     Abstract: The abstract is a very important document. Prior to attending the
       peer review panel meetings, some of the panelists may read only the abstract.
       Therefore, it is  critical that the abstract accurately describe the research being
       proposed and convey all the essential elements of the research. Also, in the
       event of an award, the abstracts will form the basis for an Annual Report of
       awards made under this program. The abstract should include the following
       information:        • •  "
                    1. Sorting Code: Use the correct code that corresponds to the appropriate
                    RFA topic. (Be sure to substitute the appropriate code for the "X" in 97-
                    NCERQA-X).               '

                    2. Title: Use the exact title as it appears in the rest of the application.

                    3. Investigators: List the names and affiliations of each investigator who
                    will significantly contribute to the project.  Start with the Principal Investi-

                    4. Project Summary: This should summarize: (a) the objectives of the
                    study (including any hypotheses that will be tested), (b) the experimental
                    approach to be used (which should give an accurate description of the
                    project as described in the proposal), (c) the expected results of the project
                    and how it addresses the research needs identified in the solicitation, and (d)
                    the estimated improvement in risk assessment or risk management that will
                    result from successful completion of the work proposed.

D.     Project Description: This description must not exceed fifteen (15) consecu-
       tively numbered (center bottom), 8.5x11 inch pages of single-spaced standard
       12-point type with 1 inch margins. The description must provide the follow-
       ing information:

         1. Objectives: List the objectives of the proposed research and the hypoth-
         eses being tested during the project and briefly state why the intended
         research is important. This section can also include any background or
         introductory information that would help explain the objectives of the study
         (one to two pages recommended).

         2.  Approach: Outline the methods, approaches, and techniques that you
         intend to employ in meeting the objective stated above (five to 10 pages

         3.  Expected Results or Benefits: Describe the results you expect to
         achieve during the project and the benefits of success as they relate to the
         topic under which the proposal was submitted. This, section should also
         discuss the utility of the research project proposed for addressing the envi-
         ronmental problems described in the solicitation (one to two pages recom-

         4. General Project Information: Discuss other information relevant to
         the potential success of the project. This should include facilities, personnel,
         project schedules, proposed management, interactions with other institu-'
         tions, etc. (one to two pages recommended).     '                    '

         5. Important Attachments: Appendices and/or other information may be
         included but must remain within the 15-page limit.  References are in addi-
         tion to the 15 pages.

E.     Resumes: The resumes of all principal investigators and important co-work-
       ers should be presented. Resumes must not exceed two consecutively num-
       bered (bottom center), 8.5x 11 inch pages of single-spaced standard 12-point
       type with 1  inch margins for each individual.

F.     Current and Pending  Support: The applicant must identify any current
       and pending financial resources that are intended to support research related to
       that included in the proposal or which would consume the time of principal
       investigators. This should be done by completing the appropriate form (see
       attachment) for each investigator and other senior personnel involved in the
       proposal. Failure to provide this information may delay consideration of your
       proposal.                                       >   .

G.     Budget: The applicant must present a detailed, itemized budget for the entire
       project.  This budget must be in the format provided (see attachment) and not

       exceed two consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11 inch pages with 1
       inch margins. Please note that institutional cost sharing is not required and,
       therefore, does not have to be included in the budget table. If desired, a brief
       statement concerning cost sharing can be added to the budget justification.

H.     Budget Justification: This section should describe the basis for calculating
       the personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contractual sup-
       port, and other costs identified.in the itemized budget and explain the basis for
       their calculation (special attention should be given to explaining the travel,
       equipment, and other categories). This should also include an explanation of
       how the indirect costs were calculated. This justification should riot exceed
       two consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11 inch pages of sihgle-
       spaced standard 12-point type with 1 inch margins.

I.      Quality Assurance  Narrative Statement:  For awards that involve envi-
       ronmentally related measurements or data generation, a quality system that
       complies with the requirements of ANSI/ASQC E4,."Specifications and
       Guidelines for Quality Systems for Environmental Data Collection and Envi-
       ronmental Technology Programs," must be in place. This statement should
       not exceed two consecutively numbered, 8.5x11 inch pages of single-spaced
       standard 12-point type with  1 inch margins. This is in addition to the 15 pages
       permitted for the Project Description.  The Quality Assurance Narrative
       Statement should, for each item listed below, either present the required
       information or provide a justification as to why the item does not apply to the
      ' proposed research.

         1. The data collection  activities to be performed or hypothesis to be tested
         (reference may be made to the specific page and paragraph number in the
         application where this information may be found); acceptance criteria for
         data quality (precision, accuracy, representativeness, completeness, compa-

         2. The study design including sample type and location requirements and
         any statistical analyses that were used to estimate the types and numbers of
         samples required.

         3. The procedures for the  handling and custody of samples, including
         sample identification, preservation, transportation, and storage.

         4. The methods that will be used to analyze samples collected, including a
         description of the sampling and/or analytical instruments required.

         5. The procedures that will be used in the calibration and performance
         evaluation of the sampling and analytical methods used during the project.

         6. The procedures for data reduction and reporting, including description of
         statistical analyses to be used.

         7.  The intended use of the data as they relate to the study objectives or

         8.  The quantitative and or qualitative procedures that will be used to evalu-
         ate the success of the project.

         9.  Any plans for peer or other reviews of the study design or analytical
         methods prior to data collection.

   ANSI/ASQC E4, "Specifications and Guidelines for Quality Systems for Environmental Data Collection and
   Environmental Technology Programs" is available for purchase from the American Society for Quality
   Control, phone 1-800-248-1946, item T55. Only in exceptional circumstances should it be necessary to
   consult this document.

J.      Postcard: The Applicant must include with the application a self-addressed,
       stamped 3x5 inch post card. This willbe used to acknowledge receipt of the
       application and to transmit other important information to the applicant.

K.     Pre-proposal Procedure for the Special Opportunity in Tropospherk
       Ozone: In this one area only EPA is inviting pre-proposals from potential
       applicants. These pre-proposals will be programmatically and peer reviewed,
       and EPA will invite applicants to submit a final proposal based on the review
       results.  Decisions on the final awards will be based on the results of a subse-
       quent peer and programmatic review of the final proposal similar to that
       described for the other components of this program.  To facilitate consider-
       ation of final proposals, potential applicants should submit pre-proposals in
       the format described below. The pre-proposal must not exceed eight pages in
       total and must contain the following information:

       1. Administrative information, including on the first page:
         a. Sorting code: use 97-NCERQA-6B
         b. Exact title                      •  :
         c. Investigators: list the names and affiliations of each investigator who will
         significantly contribute to the study. Start with the principal investigator.
         Provide the address, telephone number, and EMail address of the principal
         investigator and the administrative contact person.
       2. Project description: this section should not exceed five pages and should
       cover in an abbreviated fashion the five areas described in paragraph D above.
       3. Budget: present on one page a budget which estimates the cost of the
       project in the major categories (personnel, supplies, equipment, contractual
       support, and indirect costs).

     Other information normally requested in a full proposal will be requested as part
of the final proposal after the initial round of peer review. Full proposals will also be
accepted from investigators who do not submit pre-proposals.


Review  and  Selection
     All grant applications are initially reviewed by EPA to determine their legal and
administrative acceptability. Acceptable applications are then reviewed by an appro-
priate technical peer review group. This review is designed to evaluate each proposal
according to its scientific merit. In general, each review group is composed of non-
EPA scientists, engineers, social scientists, and/or economists who are experts in their
respective disciplines and are proficient in the technical areas they are reviewing. The
reviewers use the following criteria to help them in their reviews:

1.     The originality and creativity of the proposed research, the potential contribu-
       tion the proposed research could make to advance scientific knowledge in the
       environmental area, the appropriateness and adequacy of the research methods
       proposed, and the appropriateness and adequacy of the Quality Assurance
       Narrative Statement

2.     The qualifications of the principal investigator(s)  and other staff, including
       knowledge of pertinent literature, experience, and publication records as well
       as the probability that the proposed research will be successfully completed

3.     The availability and/or adequacy of the facilities and equipment proposed for
       the project

4.     The responsiveness of the proposal to the research needs set forth in the

5.     Although budget information is not used by the reviewers as the basis for their
       evaluation of scientific merit, the reviewers are asked to provide their view on
       the appropriateness and/or adequacy of the proposed budget and its implica-
       tions for the potential success of the proposed research.  Input on requested
       equipment is of particular interest.

     Applications that receive scores of excellent and very good from the peer review-
ers are subjected to a programmatic review within EPA, the object being to assure a
balanced research portfolio for the Agency. Scientists from the ORD Laboratories
and EPA Program and Regional Offices review these applications in relation to
program priorities and their complementarity to the ORD intramural program and
recommend selections to NCERQA.

     A summary statement of the scientific review of the panel will be provided to
each applicant. Funding decisions are the sole responsibility of EPA. Grants are
selected on the basis of technical merit, relevancy to the research priorities outlined,
program balance, and budget.

How to  Apply
    The original and ten (10) copies of the fully developed application and five (5)
additional copies of the abstract (15 in all), must be received by NCERQA no later
than 4:00 P.M. EST on the closing date assigned to the topic area appropriate to the
application (see Sorting Codes section):

    The application and abstract must be prepared in accordance with these instruc-
tions.  Informal, incomplete, or unsigned proposals will not be considered. The
application should not be bound or stapled in any way. The original and copies of the
application should be secured with paper or binder clips. Completed applications
should be sent via regular or express mail to:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Peer Review Research Division (8703)
    Sorting Code: 97-NCERQA-X (replace the "X" with the appropriate code)
    Room 2411
    401 M Street, SW
    Washington DC  20460
             Phone: (202) 260-0563 (for express mail applications)

    The sorting code must be identified in the address (as shown above). Please do
not use the code 97-NCERQA-X. Proposals submitted with this sorting code will be
returned to the applicant.

Guidelines, Limitations, and Additional Requirements

    Proposals must be submitted to only one topic area, using a single  sorting code.
Proposals submitted to more than one RFA topic will be assigned to the topic desig-
nated on the first version received or to the first sorting code designated on the appli-
cation. If you wish to submit more than one application, you must ensure that the
research proposed is significantly different from that in any other that has been sub-
mitted to this solicitation or from any other grant you are currently receiving from
EPA or any other federal government agency.

    Projects which contain subcontracts constituting  more than 40% of the total
direct cost of the grant for each year in which the subcontract is awarded will be
subject to special review and may require additional justification.

    Researchers will be expected to budget for and participate in an annual All-
Investigators Meeting with EPA scientists and other grantees to report on research
activities and to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Proprietary Information

    By submitting an application in response to this solicitation, the applicant grants
EPA permission to share the application with technical reviewers both within and
outside of the Agency. Applications containing proprietary or other types of confi-
dential information will be returned to the applicant without review.

Funding Mechanism

    The funding mechanism for all awards issued under this solicitation will consist
of grants from EPA and depends on the availability of funds.  In accordance with
Public Law 95-224, the primary purpose of a grant is to accomplish a public purpose
of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute rather than acquisition for the
direct benefit of the Agency. In issuing a grant agreement, EPA anticipates that there
will be no substantial EPA involvement in the design, implementation, or conduct of
the research funded by the grant. However, EPA will monitor research progress,
based in part on annual reports provided by awardees.


    Additional general information on the grants program, forms used for applica-
tions,  etc., may be obtained by exploring our Web page at http:// www.epa.gov/
ncerqa  EPA does not intend to make mass-mailings of this announcement. Informa-
tion not available on the Internet may be obtained by contacting:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    National Center for Environmental Research
       and Quality Assurance (8703)
    401 M Street, SW
    Washington DC 20460
    Phone:  1-800-490-9194

    A contact person has been identified below for each topic within the RFA. These
individuals will usually be the Project Officers for the grants funded under a particular
topic.  They will respond to inquires regarding the solicitation and can respond to any
technical questions related to your application.

Exploratory Research

    • Clyde Bishop

Ecosystem Indicators

    • Barbara Levinson                 202-260-5983
      levinson.barbara @epamail .epa.gov

Issues in Human Health Risk Assessment

    • Chris Saint                     202-260-1093
      saint.chris @epamail.epa.gov
Endocrine Disrupters
    • David Reese
Ambient Air Quality

    • Deran Pashayan                 202-260-2606

Health Effects and Exposures to Paniculate Matter and Associated
Air Pollutants

    • Deran Pashayan                 202-260-2606

Drinking Water

    • Sheila Rosenthal                 202-260-7334
Contaminated Sediments

    • David Reese

Q Construction
n Non-Construction
3. DATE RECEIVED BY STATE. state Applicant Identifier
D Construction 4. DATE RECEIVED BY FEDERAL AGENCY Federal Identifier
Q Non-Construction
Legal Name:
Address (give city, county, state, and zip code):

' - P
If Revision, enter appropriate
A. Increase Award
D. Decrease Duration

New . Q Continuation . D Revision
letters) in box{es): I ] I I
B. Decrease Award C. Increase Duration
Other (specify):

12. AREAS AFFECTED BY PROJECT (cities, counties, states, etc.):
Organizational Unit: ' •
Name and telephone and E-mail number of the person to be contacted on matters
involving this application (give area code)
7. TYPE OF APPLICANT: (enter appropriate tetter In box) I ~|
A. State H. Independent School Dist.
B. County •' I. State Controlled Institution of Higher Learning
C. Municipal J. Private University
D. Township K. Indian Tribe
• E. Interstate L. Individual •
F. Intel-municipal M. Profit Organization
G. Special District N. Other (Specify)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - ORD - NCERQA
Start Date Ending Date a. Appl cant • 1 b. Project
a. Federal $
b. Applicant j
c. State $
d. Local $
e. Other $
f. Program Income j
g. TOTAL $
b. NO. Q

.00 0 Yes
If "Yes," attach an explanation. Q No
a. Typed Name of Authorized Representative
b. Title c. Telephone number
d. Signature of Authorized Representative e. Date Signed
Previous Editions Not Usable
Standard For 424 (REV 4^38)
Prescribed by OMB Circular A-102
                                           ,   Authorized for Local Reproduction

                                    INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SF 424
 This is a standard form used by applicants as a required facesheet for preapplications and applications submitted for Federal
 Assistance. It will be used by Federal agencies to obtain applicant certification that States which have established a review
 and comment procedure in response to Executive Order 12372 and have selected the program to be included in their process,
 have been given an opportunity to review the applicant's submission.
 1.     Self-explanatory.

 2.     Date application submitted to Federal agency (or
       State, if applicable) & applicant's control number
       (if applicable).

 3.     State use only (if applicable).

 4.     If this application is to  continue  or revise  an
i      existing award, enter  present  Federal  identifier
       number. If for a new project, leave blank.

 5.     Legal  name of  applicant,  name  of  primary
       organizational unit  which  will  undertake  the
       assistance   activity,  complete   address  of  the
       applicant, and name and telephone number of the
       person to  contact on  matters related  to  this

 6.     Enter Employer Identification Number (BIN) as
       assigned by the Internal Revenue Service.

 7.     Enter the appropriate letter in the space provided.

 8.     Check  appropriate box   and  enter  appropriate
       letter(s) in the space(s) provided:

       — "New"  means a new assistance award.

       —  "Continuation" means an  extension for  an
          additional funding/budget period for a project
          with a projected completion date.

       — "Revision" means any change in the Federal
          Government's financial obligation or contingent
          liability from an existing obligation.

 9.     Name of Federal agency from which assistance is
       being requested with this application.

 10.    Use the Catalog of Federal  Domestic Assistance
       number and title  of the program under which
       assistance is required.

 11.    Enter a brief descriptive title of the proj ect. If me
       than one program is involved, you should append
       an explanation on a separate sheet.  If appropriate
       (e.g., construction or real property projects), attach
       a   map  showing  project    location.      For
       preapplications, use a separate  sheet to provide a
       summary description of this project.
                                   12.   List only the largest political entities affected (e.g.,
                                         State, counties, cities.)

                                   13:   Self-explanatory.

                                   14.   List the  applicant's Congressional Districts  and
                                         any Districts) affected by the program or project.

                                   15.   Amount requested or to be contributed during the
                                         first funding/budget period by each  contributor.
                                         Value of in-kind contributions should be included
                                         on appropriate lines as applicable. If the  action
                                         will result in a dollar change to an existing award,
                                         include only  the  amount  of the  change.   For
                                         decreases, enclose the amounts in parentheses.  If
                                         both basic and supplemental amounts are included,
                                         show breakdown  on  an attached sheet.    For
                                         multiple  program  funding, use  totals and show
                                         breakdown using same categories as item 15.

                                   16.   Applicants should contact the State Single Point of
                                         Contact (SPOC) for Federal Executive Order 12372
                                         to determine whether the application is subject to
                                         the State  intergovernmental review process.

                                   17.   This   question   applies    to   the   applicant
                                         organization,  not  the  person who  signs  as  the
                                         authorized  representative.    Categories  of  debt
                                         include delinquent audit allowances, loans  and

                                   18.   To be signed by the authorized representative of
                                         the applicant.  A  copy of the  governing body's
                                         authorization for you to sign this application as
                                         official representative  must  be on  file  in   the
                                         applicant's office. (Certain Federal agencies may
                                         require that this authorization be submitted as part
                                         of the application.
                                                                                           SF424  (REV 4-88) Back

                        KEY CONTACTS FORM

Authorized Representative: Original awards and amendments will be sent
to this individual for review and acceptance, unless otherwise indicated.

       Title:             .-...-         .......    	:
       Complete Address:
       Phone Number:
Payee:  Individual authorized to accept payments.

       Title:                 ..
       Complete Address:
       Phone Number:
Administrative  Contact: Individual from Sponsored Programs  Office to
contact concerning administrative matters (i.e., indirect cost rate computation,
rebudgeting requests etc.)
       Complete Address:. ,
       Phone Number:
       FAX Number-
       E-Mail Number:
Principal Investigator: Individual responsible for the technical completion of
the proposed work.  .

       Name:     "       	
       Complete Address:     	      	
       Phone Number:
       FAX Number:
       E-Mail Number:

U.S. EPA/ORO/NCERQA1996-1997


                   Abstract Format (Example Format)

  1. Sorting Code:

  2. Title:

  3. Investigators:

  4. Project Summary:

        a.  Objectives/Hypotheses:
        b. Approach:
        c. Epected Results:


    Itemized Budget for ORD Grant Applications (Example Format)
  a. Personnel
        Principal Investigator
        Research Scientists
        Postdoctoral Scientists
        Other Personnel
  b. Fringe Benefits
  c. Travel
  d. Equipment
        Item 1
        Item 2
  e. Supplies
        Item 2
        Item 1
        Item 2
    (sum of a-g)
  i. Indirect Costs/Charges
         %of	(base)
    (sum of i & j)
U.S. EPA/ORD/NCERQA 1996-1997


                                   Current and Pending Support
         Tha following information should be provided for each investigator and other senior personnel. Failure to provide this information may delay consideration of Ms proposal.
                                               Other agencies to which this proposal has been/will be submitted.
Support:     n Current
Project/Proposal Title:  '
D Pending    D Submission Planned in Near Future
Source of Support:
Total Award Amount: $
Location of Project:
Person-Months Per Year Committed to the Project.
              Total Award Period Covered:
Support:     D Current
Project/Proposal Title:
O Pending    D Submission Planned in Near Future
Source of Support:
Total Award Amount:  $
Location of Project:
Person-Months Per Year Committed to the Project.
              Total Award Period Covered:
Support:     D Current
Project/Proposal Title:
D Pending    D Submission Planned in Near Future
Source of Support:
Total Award Amount:  $
Location of Project:
Person-Months Per Year Committed to the Project.
              Total Award Period Covered:
Support:     D Current     D Pending    D  Submission Planned in Near Future
Project/Proposal Title:
Source of Support:
Total Award Amount:  $
Location of Project:
Person-Months Per Year Committed to the Project.
              Total Award Period Covered:
Support:     D Current
Project/Proposal Title:
O Pending    D Submission Planned in Near Future
Source of Support:
Total Award Amount:  $                    Total Award Period Covered:
Location of Project:
Person-Months Per Year Committed to the Project.         Cal:        Acad:         Sumr:
If this project has previously been funded by another agency, please list and furnish information for immediately preceding funding period.
U.S. EPA/ORD/NCERQA 1996-1997
                                           USE ADDITIONAL SHEETS AS NECESSARY