U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
EMS TRANSMISSION 05/03/2006
Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-144
To: AD’s, SD’s, CD’s, and D-OF&A
From: Assistant Director, Minerals, Realty and Resource Protection
Subject: Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands (ATPPL) Project Proposals DD: 05/05/2006
Program Area: Transportation
Purpose: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was listed in the SAFETEA-LU legislation as one of the agencies that is eligible for funding under Title 49 for alternative transportation in parks and public lands. This memorandum is a call for proposals for ATPPL planning and/or capital projects. States are requested to submit individual proposals for SAFETEA-LU ATPPL projects for FY 2006 funding to WO-360, Division of Engineering and Environmental Services (formerly called the Protection and Response Group) by May 5, 2006. Proposals from the States will be reviewed by WO-360 and transmitted to the Department of the Interior (DOI) by May 12, 2006.
Policy/Action: Submit SAFETEA-LU ATPPL planning and/or capital project proposals using Attachments 1 and 2, respectively.
Timeframe: We are requesting that the States electronically submit their respective ATPPL planning and/or capital project proposals to the Washington Office by May 5, 2006.
Budget Impact: None. However, BLM will be eligible to receive funding through the ATPPL program. Projects will be selected by a review panel on an annual basis.
Background: On August 10, 2005, the President signed the SAFETEA-LU legislation. Section 3021 of the SAFETEA-LU Title 49 established the ATPPL program. SAFETEA-LU authorizes a total of $98 million for the life of the ATPPL program which spans from Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 through the end of FY 2009. For individual fiscal years, the funding is authorized to increase incrementally from $22 million in FY 2006 to $27 million in FY 2009.
The ATPPL is a new program being administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in partnership with the DOI and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Section 3021 of the SAFETEA-LU specifies ATPPL participation eligibility for the following organizations: (a) a unit of the DOI National Park System; (b) a unit of the DOI National Wildlife Refuge System; (c) a recreational area managed by the Bureau of Land Management; (d) a recreational area managed by the Bureau of Reclamation; and (e) a unit of the USDA National Forest System. Moreover, gateway communities are eligible to apply for funds.
The FTA established a multi-agency ATPPL Team which developed rating and ranking criteria for both the planning and capital (i.e., implementation) categories of projects. The ATPPL Team will meet May 22 – 24, 2006 to point score each proposed project. Projects will be prioritized using a combination of factors (e.g., point score, geographic location), and the details on this prioritization process are currently being finalized by the ATPPL Team.
The SAFETEA-LU specifies that for a given fiscal year, ten percent of the ATPPL funds must be used for planning projects, which leaves ninety percent for capital projects. Planning projects will generally take the form of formal studies on alternative transportation for a given site with consideration given to an anticipated transportation problem or opportunity. A planning project is the initiation of a comprehensive planning effort, resulting in a decision document with recommendations that could immediately be implemented as a capital project when funds become available. Such a planning project might be one that addresses many approaches to mitigating transportation problems such as parking and traffic congestion. Planning funds can also be used for conducting “pre-planning assessments” which is a way to determine the viability of a site for alternative transportation. The BLM expects to, at the very least, participate in the program through the “pre-planning assessments” option in FY 2006.
A capital project is one that implements the decisions resulting from a planning effort with funds used for the procurement of hardware and services. An example of a capital project might be one that includes the purchase or lease of buses or vans, and the construction of a vehicle maintenance building.
The “pre-planning assessments” will be conducted by a specialized team called a Transportation Assistance Group (TAG). A TAG is comprised of experts from the FTA and the Volpe Center (an affiliate of the Department of Transportation). Thirteen sites were identified for potential alternative transportation in a 2001 congressional report entitled “Federal Lands Alternative Transportation Systems Study.” The report was required by the previous transportation legislation (i.e., the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century) and was sponsored by the Department of Transportation. It describes alternative transportation needs and associated economic impacts from 2001 through 2020 for the BLM, the National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Of the thirteen BLM sites studied, seven were found to be favorable for alternative transportation, and six were found to be unsuitable. In our opinion, it is possible that a site considered unsuitable for alternative transportation in 2001 may today have viability from the encroachment of the metro-urban interface. It is our intention to coordinate with the field on which projects should undergo a pre-planning TAG assessment.
Submission Requirements: Use Attachment 1 for planning project proposals. Adequate back-up documentation must accompany the proposal and must demonstrate that plans were formulated to use alternative transportation at a given location (e.g., resource management plans, travel studies with recommendations, or other forms of documentation that identify an alternative transportation need). Use Attachment 2 for capital project proposals. The SAFETEA-LU specifies that no single capital project can exceed 25 percent (about $5 million) of the funds for a given year.
Each attachment has two sections. The first part is the template for submitting a project proposal. The second half lists all the evaluation factors which must be addressed. The last page lists the points available for each sub-category. Submit project proposals to Linda_Force@blm.gov.
Coordination: BLM State Engineers and BLM SAFETEA-LU Coordinators are cognizant of the process for submitting project proposals for ATPPL. Conference calls were implemented to address the pertinent issues for this new program.
Contact: If you have any questions in regard to this request, or need any help in preparing your proposal, please contact Linda Force at (202) 557-3567.