REVISED OCTOBER 2018. This document applies to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements for budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2018

Construction, modernization, public policy requirements, architectural barriers act, clean air act, coastal zone management act, copeland act, Davis-Bacon act, earthquake hazards reduction act, endangered species act, flood disaster protection act, flood insurance, flood disaster protection act, lead-based paint poisoning prevention act, national environmental policy act, environmental impact statement, environmental assessment, Public disclosure, national historic preservation act, rehabilitation act, archaeological and historic preservation act, safe drinking water act, uniform relocation assistance and real property acquisition policies act, wild and scenic rivers act

10.10 Public Policy Requirements

In addition to the public policy requirements and objectives specified in IIA, grants for construction, modernization or major A&R projects are subject to the public policy requirements in this section. These requirements may be specified by statute, regulation, executive order, or policy, and apply regardless of the type of recipient. Exhibit 11 may be used as guidance; however, some of the requirements for construction or modernization grants or major A&R activities may not be applicable to your project or program. Specific questions about whether a particular requirement applies should be directed to the GMO of the awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award.. Recipients of construction or modernization grants and funding for major A&R projects also must require contractors and subcontractors providing construction services to comply with certain Federal labor standards. These labor standards are discussed in Equal Employment Opportunity and Labor Standards in this chapter. Following are highlights of public policy requirements:

  • Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. §§ 4151 et seq.). The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended, the Federal Property Management Regulations 101-19.6 (41 CFR 101-19.6), and the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards issued by the General Services Administration (41 CFR 101-19.6, Appendix A) set forth requirements to make facilities accessible to, and usable by, the physically handicapped and include minimum design standards. All new facilities constructed with NIH grant support must comply with these requirements. These minimum standards must be included in the specifications for any NIH-funded new construction unless the recipient proposes to substitute standards that meet or exceed these standards. Where NIH assistance is provided for alteration or renovation (including modernization) of existing facilities, the altered facility (or part of the facility) must comply, including use of the minimum standards in the specifications. The recipient will be responsible for conducting inspections to ensure compliance with these standards by any contractor performing construction services under the grant.
  • Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act), as amended (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.). Provide for the protection and enhancement of the quality of the nation's air resources to promote public health and welfare, and for restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation's waters; for contracts exceeding $100,000.
  • Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. §§1451 et seq.). Assurance of project consistency with the approved State management program developed under the Act.
  • Copeland Act (40 U.S.C. §276c and 18 U.S.C. §874). When required by statute.
  • Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. §§276a to 276a-7). When required by statute.
  • Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, as amended (Public Law 95-124), and EO 12699, Seismic Safety of Federal and Federally Assisted or Regulated New Building Construction (January 5, 1990). Apply to NIH-assisted construction located in the applicable geographic location. The EO requires that new federally assisted or regulated buildings be designed and constructed using appropriate seismic standards compliant with State, country, or local jurisdictional building ordinances. Where necessary, special structural and other features to protect life and minimize damage to facilities from tornadoes also may be required.
  • Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (P.L. 93-205). For the protection of endangered species.
  • Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 - Flood Insurance - The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended (Public Law 93-234). Provides that no Federal financial assistance to acquire, modernize, or construct property may be provided in identified flood-prone communities in the United States, unless the community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and flood insurance is purchased within 1 year of the identification. Lists of flood-prone areas that are eligible for flood insurance are published in the Federal Register by FEMA.
  • Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (42 U.S.C. §§4801 et seq.). Prohibits the use of lead-based paint in construction or rehabilitation of residence structures.
  • National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 - NEPA, as amended (Public Law 91-190). Establishes national policy goals and procedures to protect and enhance the environment, including protection against natural disasters. NEPA requires all Federal agencies to consider the reasonably foreseeable environmental consequences of any major Federal activity, including grant-supported activities. If NIH determines that NEPA applies to grant-supported activities, NIH will require that the environmental aspects of the activity be reviewed and evaluated by NIH technical staff before final action on the application. This determination also includes determinations concerning floodplain management pursuant to EO 11988, Floodplain Management (May 24, 1977) (42 FR 26951, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 117) and EO 11990, Protection of Wetlands (May 24, 1977) (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121).

Because projects for construction, modernization, or major A&R activities have the potential to affect the environment, NIH requires that applicants for this type of support provide information on anticipated environmental impact as part of their just-in-time submission. Applicants may use the Review of Environmental and Other Impacts document that is available at http://dpcpsi.nih.gov/orip/documents/environmental_analysis_form_3-2009.pdf to supply this information. An alternate format can be used as long as equivalent environmental and other impacts information is provided.

The NIH will review the Environmental and Other Impacts information contained in the application to assess the level of environmental impact of the proposed project. It is the responsibility of NIH to determine which of the following will apply to the proposed project:

  • Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A document required of federal agencies by the NEPA for major projects or legislative proposals significantly affecting the environment. A tool for decision making, it describes the positive and negative effects of the undertaking and considers alternatives.
  • Environmental Assessment (EA). An environmental analysis prepared pursuant to the NEPA to determine whether a federal action would significantly affect the environment and thus require a more detailed environmental impact statement.
  • No Further Action is Required.

If NIH determines that an EA or an EIS is required, the applicant (recipient) must conduct the appropriate environmental review and provide the necessary documentation to NIH for review, approval, and processing. NIH will provide advice and assistance to the applicant (recipient), as necessary, concerning review procedures; evaluate the results of the review; and make the final decision on environmental impact as required by NEPA.

Applicants also must (1) provide a current listing and copies, as applicable, of all relevant licenses, permits, and/or other approvals required including, but not limited to, the State and local air, water quality, and zoning board reports, and (2) indicate the State, local, and regional planning authorities contacted or consulted regarding the application and briefly discuss the proposed facility with respect to regional development plans.

Applicants are not required to incur costs for extensive consultant services at the application stage; therefore, hiring of consultants to develop detailed data and elaborate presentations is discouraged and such costs generally will not be allowable as pre-award costs.

  • Public Disclosure - Section 102 of NEPA and EO 11514. Section 102 of NEPA and EO 11514 (March 5, 1970) provide for public comment and participation in the environmental impact review process. When there is an environmental impact (in accord with NEPA), the applicant must publicly disclose the project in a newspaper or other publicly available medium and to describe any environmental impacts that affect the protection and enhancement of environmental quality concurrent with notification to the SPOC (see Public Policy Requirements-Executive Orders-Intergovernmental Review of Programs under Executive Order 12372 in this chapter). An example of a sample disclosure statement follows:

"Notice is hereby given that the Uptown Medical School proposes to construct additional space, partially utilizing Federal funds. The proposed construction project is the addition of 251 net square meters connected to the existing Allen Building, which is located at 5333 Main Street, Downtown, Ohio.

The Medical School has evaluated the environmental and community impact of the proposed construction. There will be (appropriate text will describe impact). The Medical School anticipates that no significant permanent environmental impacts are foreseen, however, this determination is ultimately the responsibility of the awarding Federal agency. In accordance with Executive Order 11514 (March 5, 1970), which implements the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, any individual or group may comment on, or request information concerning, the environmental implications of the proposed project. Communications should be addressed to the Office of Planning, Uptown Medical School, and must be received by (date). The Federal grant application may be reviewed at the Office of the Dean, School of Medicine, 5333 Main Street, during normal working hours."

  • National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974. Under the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.), and the Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974, as amended (16 U.S.C. 469a-1 et seq.), the Secretary of the Interior has compiled a National Register of Historic Places-sites and buildings of significant importance to U.S. history. These statutes require that, before approval of a grant related activity, NIH take into account the effect on these sites of the proposed activity. NIH is primarily responsible for determining whether activities will affect a property listed in the National Register or one that meets the eligibility criteria for inclusion, even if not included in the National Register at the time the application is submitted. The National Register of Historic Places may be obtained from the State Liaison Officers designated by their respective states to administer this program or from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, http://www.achp.gov/. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is at http://www.nationaltrust.org/.

If an eligible or potentially eligible historic property will be affected, the applicant must obtain clearance from both the appropriate State Historic Preservation Office and Tribal Historic Preservation Office before submitting the application. Failure to obtain this clearance will delay NIH action on an application. The State Historic Preservation Liaison Officer or the National Trust for Historic Preservation may be contacted for additional details. Information on Tribal Preservation Officers and Offices is available at http://www.achp.gov/thpo.html.

  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The HHS implementation of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is found in 45 CFR 84, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs and Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance. Section 504 is designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of handicap in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Each facility or part of a facility constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of a recipient shall be designed and constructed in such manner that the facility or part of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. Furthermore, each facility or part of a facility which is modernized or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of a recipient in a manner that affects or could affect the usability of the facility or part of the facility shall, to the maximum extent feasible, be modernized or altered in such manner that the altered portion of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. Design, construction, or alteration of buildings shall conform to the Federal Property Management Regulations at 41 CFR 102 subchapter C, Real Property, Part 102-76.
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (Title XIV of the Public Health Service Act, as amended). For the protection of underground sources of drinking water.
  • Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (Uniform Relocation Act). HHS requirements for complying with the Uniform Relocation Act are set forth in 49 CFR 24. Uniform relocation assistance and real property acquisition for Federal and federally assisted programs. The Uniform Relocation Act, 42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq., applies to all programs or projects undertaken by Federal agencies or with Federal financial assistance that cause the displacement of any person. The HHS requirements for complying with the Uniform Relocation Act are set forth in 45 CFR 15, which references 49 CFR 24. Those regulations provide policies and procedures for the acquisition of real property, including acquisition by recipients, and require that displaced people be treated fairly and equitably. They encourage acquiring entities to negotiate promptly and amicably with property owners so property owners' interests are protected and litigation can be avoided.
  • Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 (16 U.S.C. §§1271 et seq.). Related to protecting components or potential components of the national wild and scenic rivers system.