HAZMAT TRAINING AT DOE NUCLEAR WEAPONS COMPLEX

RELEASE DATE:  July 13, 2004
 
RFA Number:  RFA-ES-04-006 (Reissued as RFA-ES-09-003) 

(This RFA has been reissued, see RFA-ES-05-006)

EXPIRATION DATE:  November 23, 2004

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
 
PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:
National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
 (http://www.nih.gov)

COMPONENT OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) 
 (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/)
 (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/)
 
CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER: 93.142
 
LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE: October 22, 2004
APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE:  November 22, 2004   

THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of this RFA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Funds Available
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements 
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Letter of Intent
o Submitting an Application
o Supplementary Instructions
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS RFA 

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) invites 
applications for cooperative agreements to support the development of model 
programs for the training and education of workers engaged in activities 
related to hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment, 
transportation and emergency response within the Department of Energy (DOE) 
Nuclear Weapons Complex.

The major objective of this solicitation is to prevent work related harm by 
assisting in the training and education of workers in the DOE nuclear weapons 
complex.  Safety and health training will transmit skills and knowledge to 
workers in how best to protect themselves and their communities from exposure 
to hazardous materials encountered during hazardous waste operations, 
facility decommissioning and decontamination, hazardous materials 
transportation, environmental restoration of contaminated facilities or 
chemical emergency response.  Currently, tens of thousands of DOE employees 
require safety and health training to help reduce the risk of their being 
exposed in the course of their work to hazardous materials and hazardous 
waste products.  One effort to enhance training capabilities at these sites 
has been through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 
(NIEHS) Worker Education and Training Program (WETP).

A major goal of this program is to provide assistance to organizations in 
developing their institutional competency to provide appropriate model 
training and education programs to hazardous materials and waste workers in 
the DOE nuclear weapons complex.  Both NIEHS and DOE recognize the importance 
of effectively managing training resources to maintain and improve federal 
and contractor workforce competencies.  Proper use of resources will result 
in federal and contractor employees who are highly skilled and capable of 
carrying out our critical missions in a safe and reliable manner consistent 
with recognized standards of excellence.  Continuing improvements will assist 
in planning and conduct of training programs to ensure that these programs 
are closely aligned with mission priorities and administered efficiently.
 
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Section 
126(g), authorizes an assistance program for training and education of 
workers engaged in activities related to hazardous waste generation, removal, 
containment or emergency response and hazardous materials transportation and 
emergency response.  The Congress assigned responsibility for administering 
this program to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 
(NIEHS), an Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the 
Public Health Service (PHS) of the US Department of Health and Human Services 
(DHHS).

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal years 1992 and 1993 (42 USC 
7274(d)) authorized the Secretary of Energy in section 3131(a)(1)(A)-(B) to 
make awards: "to provide training and education to persons who are or may be 
engaged in hazardous substance response or emergency at Department of Energy 
nuclear weapons facilities; and to develop response curricula for such 
training and education."  The Secretary was further authorized in Section 
3131(a)(2)(A)-(B) to make the training awards to non-profit organizations 
demonstrating capabilities in: "implementing and conducting effective 
training and education programs relating to the general health and safety of 
workers; and identifying, and involving in training, groups of workers whose 
duties include hazardous substance response or emergency response."

As stated above, under Section 126(g) of Superfund Amendments and 
Reauthorization Act (SARA), NIEHS developed and administers a Worker 
Education and Training Program.  During 1992, the DOE evaluated this program 
developed by NIEHS for suitability of adaptation to its own program and 
training needs, and determined that the program was suitable.  In an effort 
to rapidly move to the implementation stage and to leverage program 
resources, DOE entered into an agreement with NIEHS to award and administer 
the grants and to adapt its existing program to meet the needs of the DOE 
nuclear weapons complex.

Protecting worker health and safety through the delivery of safety and health 
training is a priority of the Secretary of Energy and is a primary goal of 
the Office of Environmental Management (EM).  As the DOE mission has shifted 
from weapons production to environmental restoration, the site worker will be 
exposed to new operations and hazards while conducting restoration 
activities, many of which will be associated with potential exposure to 
hazardous substances and wastes.

To provide protection to workers' health and safety, all workers at DOE sites 
engaged or potentially engaged in environmental restoration activities, 
including hazardous substance response or emergency response, are required by 
CERCLA and respective DOE Orders to meet the requirements of the Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) regulations 20 CFR 1910.120 and the 
EPA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training 
requirements (40 CFR 300.150).

Environmental cleanup is a complex undertaking, which may often pose 
significant dangers to remediation workers as well as to residents of the 
surrounding community.  Throughout the Department of Energy (DOE) complex, 
contamination issues resulting from the historic mission of weapons 
production, as well as from extensive use of radioactive materials and highly 
toxic chemicals - have created a unique challenge for those managing 
environmental cleanups.  There is clearly a need for highly trained workers 
to carry out the actual remediation work.

Model training programs for hazardous waste workers and emergency responders 
shall satisfy minimum requirements as specified in Federal OSHA rules and 
other related regulations which have been or may be promulgated.  Training 
programs shall also meet the minimum requirements specified in the Minimum 
Criteria for Worker Health and Safety Training for Hazardous Waste Operations 
and Emergency Response, published April 1990 as a result of an NIEHS 
sponsored technical workshop on training quality.  Consideration should also 
be given to Appendix E of 29 CFR 1910.120 (59 FR 43268, August 22, 1994), 
which references much of the NIEHS Minimum Criteria Worker Health and Safety 
Training for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.  This OSHA 
guidance is available at: 
http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9770.  

DOE Order 440.1A provides the basic foundation for a worker protection 
program and that some DOE elements or contractors may need or decide to go 
beyond the Order's minimum requirements in establishing programs to protect 
workers from hazards associated with their activities.  This order should be 
a part of any training activities at DOE sites and may be referenced at:
http://www.directives.doe.gov/pdfs/doe/doetext/neword/440/o4401a.pdf

The DOE HAZWOPER Handbook is an important resource for DOE training program 
development and provides tools and guidance to establish and implement 
comprehensive, cost-effective, hazard-based worker health and safety programs 
that are an integral part of accomplishing work on time and within budget.  
This Handbook has been developed to assist Department of Energy (DOE) and 
contractor.  It is available at:
http://tis-hq.eh.doe.gov/docs/haz_waste_activity_handbook/hwa_handbook.html.  

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program, in partnership with the DOE 
Environmental Management Program, has supported qualified domestic nonprofit 
organizations to develop and administer model health and safety education 
programs for hazardous materials or waste workers within the nuclear weapons 
complex.

Target populations for training in the DOE nuclear weapons complex include 
those covered by requirements of Federal Occupational Health and Safety 
Administration (CFR, Title 29, Part 1910, which is found at:
http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9765)
and Environmental Protection Agency (CFR, Title 40, Part 311) standards 
for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, regulations governing 
the NIEHS Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (CFR, Title 42, Part 65), 
as well as hazardous materials transportation workers regulated by the US 
Department of Transportation.  Further guidance on DOT Hazmat Employees is 
available at:
http://hazmat.dot.gov/regs/49cfr/172/172.704.htm

Congress recognized this need and authorized the Secretary of Energy, through 
the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, 
Section 3131, to award grants for training and education for persons engaged 
in hazardous substance response or emergency response at DOE nuclear weapons 
facilities.  For purposes of Section 3131, the term "hazardous substance" in 
addition to its definition under CERCLA includes radioactive waste, mixed 
radioactive and hazardous waste.

In an effort to rapidly move to the implementation stage and to leverage 
program resources, DOE studied the suitability of NIEHS as awards 
administrator for the DOE program.  Based on a review of the NIEHS program, 
DOE entered into an agreement with NIEHS to award and administer the grants 
and to adapt the HAZWOPER program to meet the needs of DOE.

The goal of the DOE/NIEHS Worker Training Program has been to provide site-
specific, quality training to workers in a timely and cost-effective manner, 
through a partnership involving government, contractors, and labor 
organizations.  A cornerstone of the program is the use of "worker-trainers," 
employees well-versed in performing a given task in a hazardous environment 
who are trained to instruct other workers.  Benefits of the partnership 
include fostering cooperation between management and workers, improving 
efficiency and quality of training, improving the ability to address worker 
concerns, and empowering all stakeholders to address site-specific safety and 
health needs.

NIEHS, through its awardees, has provided high quality hazardous substance 
response or emergency response training to ensure that: (1) DOE site workers 
are aware of the hazards that exist at DOE sites; (2) workers are prepared to 
work safely in such hazardous environments to prevent accidents from 
occurring; and (3) workers have sufficient knowledge of their work 
environment and hazardous conditions to identify hazardous situations and to 
take appropriate actions to protect themselves, fellow workers, and the 
environment.

GENERAL TRAINING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 

Major program objectives for the future of the DOE/NIEHS Worker Education and 
Training Program include:

o Establish DOE and contractor safety and health training programs with best 
practices by drawing on the skills and knowledge of experienced workers on 
the job.

o Facilitate and promote a culture of continuous learning, integrated safety 
management and improving task readiness within the DOE complex.

o Act as a prime source for new training methodologies, innovative 
techniques, and lessons learned for all DOE operations through partnering 
with site contractors, regulatory personnel and other stakeholders.

o Reduce safety and health training costs through standardization, 
centralized partner development, and minimizing necessary travel and 
expenses.

o Reduce redundancy within the DOE complex by utilizing existing quality, 
safety and health training programs located in partner organizations and 
integrating best-in-class technical training program capabilities.

o Maximize the use of advanced training technology supported learning tools 
where available and appropriate for effective delivery and evaluation while 
integrating web-based, virtual and computer-based methods with traditional 
hands-on and classroom centered learning.

Awards will be made for direct student and worker trainer training, technical 
support of training, and training program evaluation.  It is believed that 
adequate curricula and training materials exist for worker training that can 
be adapted with minimal effort.  Means of multiplying training are also 
encouraged to meet the need; thus, programs such as effective train the 
trainer programs are encouraged.  Programs targeted to multi-state and 
nationwide coverage to reach wider worker populations will be given 
preference in review and funding.  Applications will not be considered that 
cover municipalities or other jurisdictions covering less than two states.  
Applicants are also encouraged to develop plans for independently continuing 
the program.

Applicants should refer to SARA Section 126 requirements for training. 
Coverage of all hazardous waste and emergency response workers is based on 
potential exposure and health risk.  The language of section 126 (d)(1) and 
(g) is clear that training scope be broad.  Section 126 states that the 
training be required for personnel engaged in hazardous substance removal or 
other activities, such as those involved in transportation, which expose or 
potentially expose such workers to hazardous substances.  The same section 
later requires that special training be provided to workers who may be 
exposed to unique or special hazards.  Section (g)(1) authorizes this 
training assistance program for the training of workers who are or may be 
engaged in activities related to hazardous waste removal or containment or 
emergency response.  

The training scope covers worker health protection from hazardous waste work 
and exposure to hazardous substances in the broadest sense.  The applicant 
shall identify workers or groups of workers who need to be trained in 
hazardous substance response or emergency response to ensure their health and 
safety.  These target populations may include the existing DOE workforce; 
those likely to perform DOE environmental clean-up and waste management work 
within 120 days following the completion of training; those involved in waste 
transportation on, to, and from DOE sites; appropriate supervisors and 
managers of contractor and subcontractor activities; emergency response 
personnel with site mutual aid agreements; and appropriate Federal, State, 
and local government officials who are involved in compliance efforts.

Cooperative agreement applicants are expected to make a reasonable effort to 
develop cooperative relationships with DOE training managers to: (1) identify 
what training courses are needed to ensure that applicable health and safety 
training requirements are met; (2) accurately determine the number of 
employees who need training; and (3) ensure that training meets site-specific 
needs and is consistent with established quality standards.  Such 
arrangements should be described in detail in the training plan.

An applicant may join with one or more nonprofit organizations in a single 
application and share resources in order to maximize worker group coverage, 
enhance the effectiveness of training, and bring together appropriate 
academic disciplines and talents.  Such arrangements are strongly encouraged.  
The application must have specific plans to implement the cooperative 
arrangements necessary for program integration and to insure effectiveness.  
These plans must be contained in the prime applicant’s submission as well as 
budgets to implement these plans.  Specific expertise, facilities or services 
to be provided by each participating member must be identified.  Awardees 
submitting competing continuation applications should also describe how they 
have met special cooperative agreement terms and conditions of their awards, 
including their interaction with other investigators and NIEHS program staff.

Essential components of health and safety programs for those who work with 
hazardous materials are appropriate education and training.  The Superfund 
Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 addresses this in Section 126 
which requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to 
promulgate standards for the health and safety protection of employees in 
this area.  OSHA final rule 29 CFR 1910.120 Hazardous Waste and Emergency 
Response Operations was promulgated on March 6, 1989 with an effective date 
of March 6 1990.  Further information about OSHA resources and 
interpretations of HAZWOPER training requirements can be found at:
http://www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/hazardouswaste/index.html.  

The immediate goal of worker health and safety training is educational in 
nature, designed to provide students with relevant information, program- 
solving skills, and the confidence needed to use these tools.  Long-term 
goals of the model training programs should be to assure that workers become 
and remain active participants in determining and improving the health and 
safety conditions under which they work and that avenues for collaborative 
employer-employee relationships in creating safe workplaces are established.

Worker safety and health training is adult-based, action-oriented, and 
result-centered.  The goals and objectives of worker training focus on 
outcomes rather than on learning for its own sake.  Workers come to training 
with a great volume of experience, and are, in many ways, the richest 
resources of a training class.  Experience shows that successful adult 
education often emphasizes peer-sharing activities, such as problem-solving 
and simulation exercises, that tap the experience of the learner.  Successful 
worker training often mirrors the way people learn at work -- from each 
other.  After training, workers should be able to bring what they have 
learned in the classroom or work-site training back to their jobs.

A list of curricula developed by current NIEHS awardees is available on the 
web at http://www.wetp.org/wetp/index.cfm?fuseaction=catalog.

The Minimum Criteria for Worker Health and Safety Training for Hazardous 
Waste Operations and Emergency Response is available at 
http://www.wetp.org/wetp/public/hasl_get_blob.cfm?ID=569 or by contacting:

National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous 
Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response 
1250 Connecticut Ave., Suite 610 
Washington, D.C. 20036 
Phone:  (202) 331-7733
Fax:  (202) 331-0044 
Email: info@wetp.org or chouse@wetp.org 
Web Page: http://www.wetp.org

Ongoing Program Initiatives

Due to the complexity and the number of new emerging training innovations and 
technologies occurring in the worker health and safety arena, NIEHS 
identified several training opportunities in the previous RFA (ES-99-010) 
that were specifically related to the advancement of the Worker Education and 
Training Program.  It was important that these new emerging training 
technologies and approaches be woven and integrated into the framework of the 
program.  NIEHS had learned that successful examples of training partnerships 
involve the creation of clear mechanisms for assuring avenues for input and 
collaboration by labor, management, local government officials and other 
stakeholders, as well as a vision for integrating training into other 
workplace programs and initiatives.  In addition, it was clear that the 
context and technical approaches to safety and health training had undergone 
a rapid transition since 1990, as computer and telecommunications technology 
had unleashed a wealth of technical information resources and established 
innovative modes of training development, delivery and evaluation. Applicants 
should refer to http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/rfaguidelines.html for a list 
of these important ongoing program initiatives. 

Applications should include plans for reaching underserved workers in the 
proposed target populations especially those disadvantaged in education, 
language skills or limited in literacy.  The inclusion of institutions and 
organizations that have historical involvement and expertise in responding to 
environmental justice issues is also strongly encouraged.

Participation of minority institutions and community-based organizations from 
people of color communities may include the:

o Adaptation of curricula to address health disparities and environmental 
justice concerns;
o Development of training programs that outreach to environmentally 
disadvantaged groups and non-English speaking populations; and
o Delivery of high quality training that can augment efforts to promote toxic 
use reduction, emergency preparedness in the community, chemical process 
safety and pollution prevention.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use NIH cooperative agreement U45 award mechanism and provide 
support for a period of up to five years from FY 2005 through FY 2009. Each 
applicant will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing 
the proposed project.  This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  The anticipated 
award date is September 1, 2005.   

The NIH (U45) is a cooperative agreement award mechanism.  In the cooperative 
agreement mechanism, the Principal Investigator retains the primary 
responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing, and executing the 
proposed project, with NIH staff being substantially involved as a partner 
with the Principal Investigator, as described under the section "Cooperative 
Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award."  The type and degree of this 
substantial programmatic involvement is specified in the terms and 
conditions.  The awardee will have lead responsibilities in all aspects of 
the program, including any technical modifications to the curriculum, conduct 
of the training, and quality control.  

Annual renewal will be based on availability of funds, sufficient progress 
toward achieving training objectives and compliance with the terms and 
conditions of awards.  The awards will include funding for targeted training 
to specific populations that have been identified in the respective 
authorizing statute for this program.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The DOE through NIEHS intends to commit approximately $8.5 million in FY 2005 
to fund 5 to 10 new and/or competitive continuation grants in response to 
this RFA.  An applicant must request a project period of five years.  Because 
the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to 
application, it is anticipated that the size of each award will also vary.  
Although the financial plans of the DOE and NIEHS provide support for this 
program, awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the availability of 
funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.  
 
ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS

You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the 
following characteristics:

o Non-profit organizations providing worker health and safety education and 
training.  This includes universities, faith-based or community-based organizations 
and historically black colleges and universities (HBCU's).  

For profit, public or private institutions, such as hospitals, laboratories, 
units of State and local governments, agencies of the Federal government, 
foreign organizations and foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.
 
INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS   

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry 
out the proposed training is invited to work with their institution to 
develop an application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial 
and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always 
encouraged to apply for NIH programs.   

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS 

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

NIEHS will provide appropriate assistance, advice and guidance as described 
below.  The role of the NIEHS Coordinator will be to facilitate, not to 
direct, the development of a high quality national worker training resource.  
These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise 
applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration 
Regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and other HHS and NIH Grant 
Administration policy statements

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program is a 
cooperative agreement U45, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an 
"acquisition" mechanism) in which substantial NIH scientific and/or 
programmatic involvement with the awardee is anticipated during performance 
of the activity.  Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to 
support and/or stimulate the recipient's activity by involvement in and 
otherwise working jointly with the award recipient in a partner role, but it 
is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the 
activity.  Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime 
responsibility for the activity resides with the awardee(s) for the project 
as a whole, although specific tasks and activities in carrying out training 
activities will be shared among the awardees and the NIEHS Program 
Coordinator.

1. Awardee Rights and Responsibilities

Awardees have primary authorities and responsibilities to define objectives 
and approaches, and to plan, conduct, analyze, and publish results, 
interpretations, and conclusions of their studies and training activities.  
It is the responsibility of each awardee to develop the details of the 
training plan, which will be required to describe the technical approaches, 
target population access and recruitment, curricula modification, training 
methodology, and program evaluation procedures.

o Each awardee is required to meet at least twice annually to review 
progress, share information, and to coordinate training activities.  
Principal investigators and business officials are required to meet at least 
annually.

o Before use, awardees must submit draft copies of training manuals, 
instructor guides, course curricula and other materials developed for use in 
training activities supported by NIEHS to the NIEHS Program Coordinator to 
receive technical comments and suggestions regarding the adequacy, technical 
accuracy and suitability of materials to be used for worker safety and health 
training.  Final copies of all materials developed with support from NIEHS 
will be transmitted by the awardees to the National Clearinghouse for Worker 
Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and 
Emergency Response and made available to the general public, subject to any 
specific legal caveats on use or copyright protection.

o Each awardee is required to submit an annual progress report to the NIEHS 
Program Official, which describes the number, location and nature of all 
training activities and the characteristics of the trainees reached during a 
particular fiscal year.  Results and findings from training program 
evaluations will be summarized by each awardee and submitted to the NIEHS 
Program Official on an annual basis.  Program evaluation reports shall 
quantitatively describe the current status of instructor effectiveness, 
trainee retention of knowledge and skills, and positive impacts of training 
activities on work practices, workplace safety and health conditions, and 
overall worker protection from on the job hazards.

o Each awardee is required to participate annually in two technical 
workshops, which coincide with the two annual awardee meetings, to be 
sponsored and planned by the NIEHS Program Coordinator.  The technical 
workshops will present relevant and topical information to assure the 
continued high quality of worker safety and health training activities 
carried out by the awardees and encourage the exchange of significant 
information regarding effective training techniques and approaches.

o Each awardee is required to convene a Board of Advisors representing user 
populations, labor, industry, governmental agencies, academic institutions or 
professional associations with interest and expertise in worker health and 
safety training related to hazardous materials and waste operations and 
emergency response.  The Board of Advisors must meet annually to evaluate 
training activities and provide advice to the principal investigator.

o Each awardee is required to have one individual assigned the responsibility 
for information technology transfer and dissemination as the point of contact 
for the NIEHS Program Coordinator.  This person would ensure the effective 
communication and transfer of important training and administrative 
information to NIEHS and other appropriate audiences, including trainee 
tracking activities, computation and submittal of training data, coordination 
of special meetings/conferences, submission of curricula, and other training 
activities conducted by the program.

o Each awardee will retain custody of and primary rights to the data and the 
curricula materials developed under these awards, subject to appropriate 
Government rights of access consistent with current HHS and NIH policies.

2. NIEHS Staff Responsibilities

Specifically, the substantial programmatic involvement above and beyond 
normal program stewardship by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will include the 
following activities:

o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will coordinate activities of mutual interest 
and benefit to awardees and the Institute.  The primary objective of the 
Worker Education and Training Program will be to stimulate collaborative work 
between NIEHS and the awardees in the creation of model worker safety and 
health training programs.  Substantial programmatic involvement by the NIEHS 
Program Coordinator will assure that there is not duplication of efforts or 
overlap in worker safety and health training delivery and program development 
by the awardees.

o In order to provide consistent use and delivery of existing curricula for 
high quality worker safety and health training, the NIEHS Program Coordinator 
will ensure that there will be close coordination among awardees, other state 
and federal governmental agencies, and other training providers.  Such 
program coordination between NIEHS and the awardees will make maximum use of 
worker safety and health training materials and curricula that have already 
been developed, evaluated, and used.  Training materials developed by the 
awardees will be submitted for review by the NIEHS Program Coordinator for 
consistency, appropriateness and technical accuracy before the initiation of 
worker safety and health training activities.

o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will convene a working meeting at least twice 
annually to review progress, share information, and discuss technical issues 
and to coordinate training activities.

o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will provide ongoing technical assistance to 
the awardees through arrangement of technical workshops related to the 
substantive technical issues that affect the program. Technical workshops 
will bring together program directors from each awardee with the relevant 
technical experts from a number of scientific fields involved in hazardous 
waste, occupational health, environmental health sciences, and adult 
education.  Examination of training technologies and technical issues which 
are specific to the program will be developed and coordinated through 
technical workshops, which will be held at least twice per fiscal year.

o To assure that training programs developed with assistance from NIEHS will 
comply with all applicable federal safety and health regulations, the NIEHS 
Program Coordinator will assist the awardees through continual involvement 
with other federal regulatory agencies.  Operational monitoring by the NIEHS 
Program Coordinator will assist the awardees in complying with general 
federal statutory requirements regulating worker safety and health training 
activities.

o The NIEHS Program Coordinator will coordinate overall program evaluations 
to show the impact of the training on improving work practices, reducing work 
related injury and illness and to document the increased understanding of 
relevant environmental health sciences by workers involved in environmental 
cleanups, hazardous waste management and emergency response to chemical 
releases.  While each awardee must have its own evaluation program, the NIEHS 
Program Coordinator will strive to assess the overall effectiveness of the 
training programs supported under the cooperative agreements in terms of the 
nation's needs and in relation to the target populations identified by 
Congress in SARA Section 126 and related statutes which are referenced above.

o NIEHS maintains a National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health 
Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response to 
assist awardees by  providing information and technical support services to 
the Principal Investigators of NIEHS funded hazardous materials, waste 
operations, and emergency response worker training programs.  The 
Clearinghouse will also function as a national resource for the dissemination 
to the general public of program related information and curricular materials 
that have been developed by the awardees.

o An NIEHS Program Official will be responsible for normal program 
stewardship of the award.  The NIEHS Program Official may also serve as the 
NIEHS Program Coordinator.

3. Arbitration

o When mutually acceptable agreement regarding program activities cannot be 
reached between the awardee and the NIEHS Program Coordinator, an arbitration 
panel composed of one member nominated by the awardee recipient group, one 
NIEHS nominee, and a third member with appropriate expertise chosen by the 
other two members will be convened.  The ad hoc panel will receive written 
explanations of the disagreement from all parties, review relevant documents, 
interview representatives of the parties and render an opinion regarding 
resolution of the dispute.  These special arbitration procedures in no way 
effect the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action in accordance with PHS 
regulations at 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D, and HHS regulations at 45 CFR Part 
16.

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into three 
areas:  scientific/training, peer review, and financial or grants management 
issues:

o Direct your questions about scientific/training issues to:

Joseph Hughes, Director
Worker Education and Training Program
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
79 TW Alexander Drive, MD EC-25
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-2233
Telephone: (919)-541-0217
Fax: (919) 541-0462
Email: hughes3@niehs.nih.gov

Sharon Beard, Industrial Hygienist
Worker Education and Training Program
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
79 TW Alexander Drive, MD EC-25
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-2233
Telephone: (919)-541-1863
Fax: (919) 558-7049
Email: beard1@niehs.nih.gov

Ted Outwater
Program Administrator/Public Health Educator
Worker Education and Training Program
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
79 TW Alexander Drive, MD EC-25
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-2233
Telephone:  919-541-2972 
Fax: 919-541-0462
Email:  outwater@niehs.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Sally Eckert-Tilotta, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Administrator
Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
79 TW Alexander Drive, MD EC-30
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233
Telephone: 919-541-1446
Fax: 919-541-2503
E-mail: eckertt1@niehs.nih.gov 

o Direct your questions about fiscal or administrative matters to:

Carolyn Mason, Deputy, Grants Management Officer
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
79 TW Alexander Drive, MD EC-22
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-2233
Telephone:  (919) 541-1373
Fax: (919) 541-2860
Email:  mason6@niehs.nih.gov 

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

A briefing for applicants will be held at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, 
North Carolina on Thursday, September 2, 2004, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM in 
Nottingham Hall, Conference Room 204A&B.  NIEHS staff will explain the 
purpose of the Program, provide instructions about the application process, 
and answer questions.  A summary of responses from the briefing, all relevant 
information for potential applicants and Supplementary Instructions will be 
available upon request from NIEHS (wetp@niehs.nih.gov) and will be posted on 
the NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) home page at: 
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes 
the following information:

o Descriptive title of the proposed training
o Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator
o Names of other key personnel 
o Participating institutions
o Number and title of this RFA 

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not 
enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it 
contains allows NIEHS staff to estimate the potential review workload and 
plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of 
this document.  The letter of intent should be sent to:
   
Sally Eckert-Tilotta, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, EC-30
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Telephone: 919-541-1446
Fax: 919-541-2503
Email: eckertt1@niehs.nih.gov 

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  Applications must have a DUN and 
Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the 
Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative 
agreements.  The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or 
through the web site at http://www.dunandbradstreet.com/.  The DUNS number 
should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.  The PHS 
398 document is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive 
format.  For further assistance contact Grants Info, Telephone (301) 435-
0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.
 
SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS 

As the PHS 398 is used primarily for the traditional research project grant 
applications, several sections of the PHS 398 must be modified and expanded 
to provide the additional information needed for the Worker Education and 
Training Program applications.  Detailed guidelines to supplement the PHS 
instructions are provided in the "Application Guidelines for the NIEHS/DOE 
Worker Training Program" and can be found on: 
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/DOErfaguidelines.html. These guidelines also 
provide information on the limitations for Facilities and Administrative 
costs.  

USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) 
application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the 
application.  Type the RFA number on the label.  Failure to use this label 
could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not 
reach the review committee in time for review.  In addition, the RFA title 
and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form 
and the YES box must be marked.  The RFA label is also available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/labels.pdf.
 
SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, including the Checklist, and three signed, photocopies, in 
one package to:
 
Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)
 
No appendices should be submitted to the Center for Scientific Review.   At 
the time of submission, two additional signed copies of the application and 
all copies of the appendix material must be sent to:
 
Sally Eckert-Tilotta, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
79 TW Alexander Drive
P.O. Box 12233, EC-30
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
Telephone: 919-541-1446
Fax: 919-541-2503
E-mail: eckertt1@niehs.nih.gov 

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received on or before the 
application receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA.  If an 
application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant 
without review. 

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding 
assignment within 8 weeks.
 
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending 
initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  
However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an 
investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to an RFA, 
it is to be prepared as a NEW application.  That is, the application for the 
RFA must not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements 
made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the 
previous unfunded version of the application.  

PEER REVIEW PROCESS  

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the NIEHS.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.  

If the application is not responsive to the RFA, NIH staff may contact the 
applicant to determine whether to return the application to the applicant or 
submit it for review in competition with unsolicited applications at the next 
appropriate NIH review cycle.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated 
for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group 
convened by the NIEHS in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  
As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the 
highest scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score.
o Receive a written critique.
o Receive a second level review by the NIEHS National Advisory Environmental 
Health Sciences (NAEHS) Council.
 
REVIEW CRITERIA

The following factors shall be considered for review of all applications:

1) Evaluation of the methods and techniques to be used for identifying, 
describing, and accessing target specific worker populations for worker 
health and safety training and anticipated impact of the proposed program. 
 
o Applicants must identify, describe, and fully document access to specific 
DOE-related target worker populations, whether organized or not, that are 
engaged in hazardous materials and waste operations and transportation and 
related emergency response.

o This information must include size of the target population, worker 
profiles, trades and job categories to be trained, geographic locations of 
workers and degree of worker health and safety training already received.

o Applicants must demonstrate the ability to establish training relationships 
with site contractors employing workers who are or may be engaged in 
hazardous substance response or emergency response at DOE nuclear weapons 
facilities. 

2) Evaluation of the organization's or consortia performance and 
effectiveness in planning, implementing and operating appropriate worker 
health and safety training and education programs.

o Evidence should include demonstrated past experience in development and 
implementation of worker health and safety training and education programs 
and application of appropriate adult education techniques.

o Evidence should include documentation of the program's achievement of 
compliance with the requirements of the NIEHS Minimum Criteria for Worker 
Health and Safety Training for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency 
Response found at http://www.wetp.org/wetp/public/hasl_get_blob.cfm?ID=569.  

3) Adequacy of the detailed program plan for worker health and safety 
training in adapting existing curricula, training of instructors, 
distributing course materials, direct worker training, and conducting program 
evaluations.  

o The plan must include information on the number of students to be trained, 
number of training classes to be held, and duration of training. 

o The plan must include protocols and procedures for the involvement and 
participation of DOE technical staff and site contractors in the nuclear 
weapons complex in the development, design, and implementation of worker 
training activities.

o The plans must include the appropriate adult education techniques to be 
employed, identify the course content and clearly describe the curriculum to 
be used including hands on demonstration and instruction, and the strategy 
for monitoring student's progress and performance.

o The plan must include involvement of appropriate health and safety 
disciplines and avenues for consultation with DOE and site contractor health 
and safety staff and training managers.

o The plan must describe a system for tracking trainee employment in DOE 
hazmat-related jobs.

o The plan must provide evidence of methods proposed for evaluating 
appropriateness, quality, impact and effectiveness of worker health and 
safety training.

o The plan must include information on the training of instructors, including 
worker trainers, and on-going trainer development and support activities.

4) Evidence of appropriate combinations of classroom instruction and hands on 
demonstration and instruction that simulates site activities and conditions.

o It is intended that offsite instruction funded by the NIEHS assistance 
program will be supplemented with onsite training under the direct 
supervision of trained, experienced personnel at the time of initial job 
assignment.

o Appropriate adult education techniques must be applied and advanced 
training technologies, such as e-learning, if used, should be part of a 
blended learning approach that combines these new technologies with hands-on, 
small group and other learning activities.

o Both initial and appropriate refresher training will be covered.

5) Ability to immediately initiate direct worker health and safety training, 
program evaluation, and related support activities.

6) Evidence of experienced and technically qualified key personnel.

o The Principal Investigator must demonstrate the capacity for providing 
leadership and assuring productivity of appropriate worker health and safety 
training and education programs and for overall management of the training 
programs including quality assurance and program evaluation.

o Evidence of the technical, managerial and professional expertise of present 
or proposed key personnel.  Such expertise will be evaluated by resumes, 
minimum position qualifications and position descriptions.

o Evidence that the administrative official has experience or knowledge in 
the management of federal programs and will participate in program decisions 
should be contained in the application.

o Evidence of sufficient program staff with demonstrated training experience 
using appropriate adult education techniques to assure effective direct 
training, and quality assurance.

o Continuing access to appropriate technical expertise must be maintained 
including but not limited to expertise in adult education for workers, 
toxicology, and industrial hygiene. 

7) Evaluation of an applicant’s organizational structure or consortium, if 
applicable, that provides adequate knowledge and oversight of resources and 
administrative management of the program.  The applicant must provide: 

o Details on how the proposed program fits into existing organizational 
and/or consortia structure of the non-profit, if applicable.

o Organization chart of the proposed program.

o Details of an external board of advisors that represents user populations, 
labor, industry, governmental agencies, academic institutions or professional 
associations with interest and expertise in worker health and safety training 
related to hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response.

o Proposed and/or confirmed membership of the external board, detailed plans 
on when the board will meet, how the board will evaluate training activities, 
and what formal procedures the board will follow to provide advice to the 
principal investigator.

8) Availability of appropriate facilities and equipment to support the 
described worker health and safety training and education activities 
including hands on instruction.

o Operation of training facilities must assure the protection of prospective 
trainees during program delivery.

o Appropriate policies and procedures for assuring fitness for training and 
medical clearance, assuring the provision of first aid and emergency medical 
services and the implementation of high quality site safety and health plans 
must be included.

9) Evidence of lines of responsibility and accountability must be clearly 
delineated when two or more organizations are collaborating on an activity in 
that:  

o Detailed plans of this collaboration and budgets must only be described in 
the lead organizations application.  

10) Feasibility of plans for independently continuing the program.

o Plans for generation of program income, if applicable.

o Plans for institutionalization of the program.

o Other applicable procedures for assuring the long-term viability of the 
program.

11) Evaluation of plans for reaching underserved worker populations 
especially those disadvantaged in education, culture, or language or limited 
in literacy and access to training.

o Evidence of arrangements to assure the inclusion of institutions and 
organizations, which have historical involvement and expertise in responding 
to health disparities and environmental justice issues.

o A community outreach and involvement component which can augment the 
delivery of high quality training in order to promote toxic use reduction, 
emergency preparedness in the community, and community awareness of chemical 
process safety and pollution prevention.

12) The reasonableness of all direct cost categories requested in the budget 
and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed program 
activities for worker health and safety training. 

13) Prior awardees demonstration of:  

o Meeting established terms and conditions of prior awards;

o Attainment of program goals and objectives of prior awards; and 

o Ability to manage and expend funds in a timely manner in prior budget 
periods.

14) Evidence of inclusion of worker training initiatives and innovations.

o The plan must integrate an appropriate mix of On-Going Program Initiatives 
as listed in this solicitation that meets the needs of each applicants target 
populations. 

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

BUDGET: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of 
support in relation to the proposed research.

RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  October 22, 2004
Application Receipt Date: November 22, 2004
Peer Review Date:  February 2005
Council Review:  May 2005
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 2005

AWARD CRITERIA

Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:

o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review).
o Availability of funds.
o Programmatic priorities.
 
Because the funding level of this program may vary from that appropriated, 
actual award levels for approved and funded applications will be based on 
program balance, coverage of target populations and the availability of 
funds, in addition to the technical merit considerations of the review 
process.

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: The 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope 
of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application.  In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

STANDARDS FOR PRIVACY OF INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION:   The 
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to 
the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information,” 
the “Privacy Rule,” on August 14, 2002.  The Privacy Rule is a federal 
regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 
(HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable 
health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for 
Civil Rights (OCR). 

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside 
with the researcher and his/her institution.  The OCR website 
(http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including 
a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on “Am I a covered 
entity?”  Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH 
processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, 
cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and proposals 
for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations.  
Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) 
should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because 
reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites.  Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they 
directly access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy 
People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This 
RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.healthypeople.gov/.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.  Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 
301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 
284)(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, No. 93.142, Superfund Worker 
Training Grants) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 
and 92 (and Section 126(g) of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization 
Act of 1986), and under the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 
years 1992 and 1993 (42 USC 7274(d)) section 3131(a)(1)(A)-(B).  All awards 
are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other 
considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.  The NIH Grants 
Policy Statement can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm 

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products.  In addition, 
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in 
certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early 
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.


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