FR Doc 2010-7421
[Federal Register: April 1, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 62)]
[Notices]               
[Page 16623-16629]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr01ap10-146]                               

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Part III





Department of Education





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Emergency Management for Higher Education Grant Program; Notices


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Emergency Management for Higher Education Grant Program

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.184T.

AGENCY: Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of final priorities and requirements.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools 
announces priorities and requirements for the Emergency Management for 
Higher Education (EMHE) grant program. The Assistant Deputy Secretary 
may use one or more of these priorities and requirements for 
competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2010 and later years.
    We intend these priorities and requirements to provide Federal 
financial assistance to institutions of higher education (IHEs) to 
develop, or review and improve, and fully integrate their campus-based 
all-hazards emergency management planning efforts. We intend grant 
awards under these priorities and requirements to increase the capacity 
of IHEs to prevent/mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from 
the full range of emergency events.

DATES: Effective Date: These priorities and requirements are effective 
May 3, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tara Hill, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 10088, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202-6450. Telephone: (202) 245-7860 or by e-mail: tara.hill@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Purpose of Program: EMHE grants support efforts by IHEs to develop, 
or review and improve, and fully integrate campus-based all-hazards 
emergency management planning efforts within the framework of the four 
phases of emergency management (Prevention-Mitigation, Preparedness, 
Response, and Recovery).
    Congress appropriated initial funding for the EMHE grant 
competition in FY 2008 following the tragic shooting at Virginia 
Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2007. That and other past 
emergencies, such as the events of September 11, 2001, Hurricanes 
Katrina and Rita, and the tragic shooting at Northern Illinois 
University, reinforce the need for colleges and universities to prepare 
for the full range of emergency events that may affect their campus 
communities. The EMHE grant program provides funds to IHEs to establish 
or enhance an emergency management planning process that integrates the 
various components and departments of each IHE; focuses on reviewing, 
strengthening, and institutionalizing all-hazards emergency management 
plans; fosters partnerships with local and State community partners; 
supports vulnerability assessments; encourages training and drilling on 
the emergency management plan across the campus community; and requires 
IHEs to develop a written plan for preventing violence on campus by 
assessing and addressing the mental health needs of students, faculty, 
and staff who may be at risk of causing campus violence by harming 
themselves or others.

    Program Authority:  20 U.S.C. 7131.

    We published a notice of proposed priorities and requirements in 
the Federal Register on December 4, 2009 (74 FR 63740). That notice 
contained background information and our reasons for proposing the 
particular priorities and requirements.
    Except for minor editorial and technical revisions, there is only 
one significant difference between the proposed priorities and 
requirements and these final priorities and requirements. Specifically, 
based on public comment, we have added an element to the priority that 
will require applicants to develop or update a written campus-wide 
continuity of operations plan that would enable the campus to maintain 
and/or restore key educational, business, and other essential functions 
following an emergency.
    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the notice of 
proposed priorities and requirements, four parties submitted comments 
on proposed priority 1 and on the proposed requirements. No comments 
were received on proposed priority 2.
    Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes, or 
suggested changes we are not authorized to make under the applicable 
statutory authority. In addition we do not address general comments 
that raised concerns not directly related to the proposed priorities or 
requirements.
    Analysis of Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments and 
of any changes in the priorities and requirements since publication of 
the notice of proposed priorities and requirements follows.

Priority 1--Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Projects Designed to 
Develop, or Review and Improve, and Fully Integrate Campus-Based All-
Hazards Emergency Management Planning Efforts

    Comment: One commenter observed that the EMHE notice of proposed 
priorities and requirements was published in the Federal Register in 
advance of the enactment of the FY 2010 appropriation for the 
Department. The commenter referenced language in the Appropriations 
Committee Reports filed in the U.S. House of Representatives and the 
U.S. Senate concerning the funding provided for emergency management 
for institutions of higher education, including examples of activities 
(such as risk assessment, training, and the purchase of hardware and 
software) that might be funded with these appropriated funds. The 
commenter requested that the Department consider the language in these 
Congressional reports in establishing the final priorities and 
requirements for this competition.
    Discussion: We have reviewed the language in the Conference Report 
accompanying the Department's 2010 appropriations act, as well as the 
language included in the related House and Senate Appropriations 
Committee reports (House Report 111-220 and Senate Report 111-66, 
accompanying H.R. 3293, respectively). We believe that the EMHE grant 
priorities and requirements are consistent with the guidance provided 
by both the House and the Senate in these documents. Activities such as 
risk assessments, training, and the purchase of hardware and software 
are all considered allowable activities under the EMHE program. 
Accordingly, we believe that the final priorities and requirements are 
consistent with Congressional guidance, while offering applicants the 
flexibility to design and propose projects that incorporate a wide 
range of activities to address their institutions' needs.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter expressed concern that the proposed priority 
would not permit applicants to receive support for addressing any 
violent activity occurring on campuses. The commenter recommended 
adding a priority that would broaden the scope of the program to 
address any risks and threats that come under the jurisdiction of 
campus law enforcement and emergency managers, and that the program 
provide support for training and activities designed to address a broad 
range of campus problems including sexual assault, arson, robbery, 
harassment, simple assault, binge drinking, and drug use.

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    Discussion: We agree with the commenter that IHEs face significant 
challenges in dealing with many forms of violent activity that occur on 
their campuses. However, the EMHE grant program is designed to provide 
support for initiatives in emergency preparedness for IHEs, and is not 
intended to address or prevent all discrete acts of violence. 
Mitigating violent activity may certainly be an outcome of an all-
hazards approach to emergency management; however, the primary focus of 
EMHE is to assist campuses with planning for, responding to, and 
recovering from major emergencies and disasters.
    Given the relatively small amount of available funding for this 
program and the limited number of grants awarded under the EMHE program 
to date, providing a significantly broader focus for the program at 
this time would significantly reduce the ability of the program to meet 
its primary purpose of assisting IHEs in developing or enhancing their 
emergency preparedness capacity.
    We note that the Department also administers another discretionary 
grant competition that is intended to respond more directly to the 
concerns of violent behavior on campus. Specifically, the Grant 
Competition to Prevent High-Risk Drinking or Violent Behavior Among 
College Students (CFDA Number 84.184H) provides funds to develop, 
enhance, implement, and evaluate campus-based and/or community-based 
prevention strategies to reduce high-risk drinking or violent behavior 
among college students. For additional information on this program 
please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/dvphighrisk/index.html.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter noted that element (7) in the proposed 
priority identifies students, faculty, and staff as individuals who 
pose a risk of violent behavior, but that others, including visitors to 
campus, also pose such a risk. The commenter suggested adding a 
priority addressing violence that is not related to mental health 
issues of on-campus individuals.
    Discussion: We acknowledge that violent acts can be caused by any 
number of different factors in addition to mental illness or other 
mental health issues. However, House Report 110-231, issued on July 13, 
2007, in conjunction with the FY 2008 appropriations bill for the 
Department that initially included funding for the EMHE program, 
explicitly stated that funds for new awards for IHEs should be used to 
develop and implement emergency management plans for preventing campus 
violence (including assessing and addressing the mental health needs of 
students) and for responding to threats and incidents of violence or 
natural disaster in a manner that ensures the safety of the campus 
community. The language in the proposed priority is not intended to 
limit the ability of campuses to consider a broader range of causes of 
violent behavior; rather, we intend it to ensure that, at a minimum, 
all EMHE grant recipients consider the potential role of mental health 
issues in campus violence. The language in the priority links the issue 
of identifying and addressing mental health issues with students, 
staff, and faculty because there are members of a campus community who 
may be able to observe warning signs and symptoms of mental health 
issues in these populations and use systems established by the IHE to 
initiate assessments or other appropriate procedures. IHEs cannot be 
expected to develop and maintain similarly comprehensive procedures for 
all short-term visitors to the campus setting.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter requested that funding under this program be 
available to establish a police agency on campus.
    Discussion: While we recognize that many IHEs need to establish or 
support police or security forces on their campuses, we believe that 
this activity is outside the scope of this grant program. This program 
is designed to provide support for emergency management and overall 
preparedness initiatives for IHEs.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that rather than requiring 
applicants to respond to a prescriptive list of priorities and 
requirements, the Department should allow applicants to submit 
applications that propose individual approaches consistent with their 
institution's unique needs and emergency management challenges. In 
particular, the commenter recommended that the language related to 
infectious disease planning (proposed priority element number (6)) and 
mental health needs of campuses (proposed priority element number (7)) 
be modified to allow institutions to propose individual solutions based 
on differing institutional needs and capacities.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenter that applicants should have 
the flexibility to design EMHE projects that respond to the unique 
needs of each campus. We believe the priorities are written in a way 
that will provide applicants with a significant amount of flexibility 
in identifying and addressing specific vulnerabilities and hazards that 
may be unique to each institution.
    However, in administering this program, we seek to balance this 
needed flexibility with the need to ensure that IHEs receiving support 
under the program are addressing at least a core set of hazards that we 
have identified as important to the Federal interest. The core list of 
hazards includes those related to infectious diseases and the mental 
health needs of students, staff, and faculty who may be at risk of 
causing violence on campus.
    Under this priority, IHEs still retain the flexibility to identify 
and address any unique emergency management issues or hazards 
identified as part of their vulnerability assessment. Further, 
eligibility for an EMHE grant is not affected for IHEs that have 
already addressed the required hazards or vulnerabilities identified by 
the Department before receiving a grant. Those entities need only 
commit to review emergency management plans for these required 
vulnerabilities during the grant period and to updating those plans as 
dictated by any relevant advances in the field or changes in local 
needs or concerns.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that we revisit our method for 
categorizing applicant institutions based on size. The commenter 
suggested that the categories used in the 2008 EMHE application enabled 
many relatively small institutions to be included in the ``large'' 
category, thereby enabling ``small'' institutions to request the same 
estimated funding level the Department identified for ``large'' 
institutions. The commenter recommended that additional funding tiers 
be established and that a specific category for very large institutions 
be created.
    Discussion: We agree that changing the method for categorizing 
institutions by size would help to better align recommended funding 
amounts with institutional needs. We considered this comment, and our 
experience in implementing this program over the past two years, and 
for the FY 2010 competition we will change the method for establishing 
recommended grant award amounts. The new approach relies on student 
enrollment information (instead of number of facilities per campus) and 
establishes a category for very large institutions.
    Because IHEs are diverse entities that face a broad range of 
different challenges in the emergency management arena, we have elected 
not to establish through this notice of final priorities and 
requirements enforceable

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maximum grant award amounts for categories of IHEs. Instead, we are 
including revised recommended grant award amounts in the notice 
inviting applications (NIA) for the EMHE program. We believe that this 
approach will provide appropriate flexibility for IHEs to develop 
projects that are of a scope that meets their unique emergency 
management needs while still providing helpful information for 
applicants about the approximate project scope and grant award sizes 
that we anticipate supporting.
    Changes: No changes are being made to the final priorities and 
requirements. The change in the categorization of institutions 
described in the preceding paragraphs is reflected in the notice 
inviting applications for this competition, published elsewhere in this 
issue of the Federal Register.
    Comment: One commenter recommended two changes to the proposed 
priority that would further emphasize the importance of continuity 
planning and the restoration of a learning environment following an 
emergency. The commenter requested that language be added to both 
proposed priority elements (1) and (4) to specifically emphasize the 
importance of continuity planning.
    Discussion: We agree that ensuring that institutions have a plan 
for continuing to provide key services (for example education, payroll, 
health support, and food services) following an emergency is a critical 
concern for the higher education community. The Department has worked 
with local school districts and IHE campuses over the past several 
years to help them strategize on ways to restore the learning 
environment following an emergency. Particularly following Hurricanes 
Katrina and Rita, and given the recent influenza pandemic, we have been 
actively involved in developing resources to assist educational 
institutions at all levels in their continuity planning efforts.
    We agree with the commenter that planning for the continuation of 
educational and other services following an emergency should be 
included as a component in an IHE's emergency management planning 
efforts, and will revise the priority to reflect this emphasis.
    Changes: We have revised the priority by adding an additional 
element that will require applicants to develop or update a written 
campus-wide continuity of operations plan that would enable the campus 
to maintain and/or restore key educational, business, and other 
essential functions as quickly as possible following an emergency.

Requirements for Partner Agreements and Completed Memoranda of 
Agreements

    Comment: One commenter observed that the capacity of law 
enforcement and mental health entities varies greatly from one 
community and one institution to another. For example, in one community 
the IHE law enforcement agency may be the primary emergency services 
provider for the community-at-large, whereas in another community the 
IHE may be largely or completely dependent on the local or State police 
departments for emergency services. The commenter observed that it may 
not always be appropriate for an IHE to have a partner agreement with 
the local law enforcement agency or a local mental health provider, 
particularly when the campus itself is the primary provider of 
emergency law enforcement or mental health services. The commenter 
recommended that an IHE not be required to enter into agreements with 
community-based law enforcement and mental health entities if the IHE 
is responsible for furnishing its own services in these areas.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenter that there is tremendous 
diversity in the size and location of IHEs across the country and that 
IHEs have various levels of institutional capacity to respond to 
emergencies within their communities. We also acknowledge that in some 
situations it is an employee or agent of the IHE who is the lead 
incident commander and who ultimately assists local or State partners 
in their response activities.
    The EMHE requirements are not intended to prescribe what the 
appropriate role and relationships should be between an IHE and its 
community partners. Instead, the requirements are designed to help 
foster communication and the establishment of relationships between the 
various potential responders to any incident, and to ensure that those 
relationships are established and solidified before any emergency event 
occurs. We expect that the roles and responsibilities articulated in 
both the partner agreements and the memoranda of agreements will vary 
greatly based on the relationship between each applicant IHE and its 
surrounding community. Our intent in proposing the requirement is to 
ensure that IHEs and their surrounding community partners are 
communicating with each other and coordinating their efforts, and not 
to prescribe what those efforts or relationships should entail.
    Further, the requirements to establish partner agreements and 
memoranda of understanding are not intended to limit the roles an IHE 
may perform in a community response. Rather, the requirements are 
intended to ensure that all grantees ultimately establish solid working 
relationships with their key partners and that they know what the 
various roles and responsibilities of each partner (including the IHE) 
might be in the event of an emergency. An application from a campus 
where the applicant IHE serves as the primary emergency services 
provider for the local community should indicate that in its partner 
agreements. It is the demonstration and documentation of an established 
and ongoing relationship that is key to these requirements.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter identified the recovery of indirect costs 
from EMHE grants as a concern because these costs do not support direct 
project activities. The commenter also expressed concern that peer 
reviewers might find indirect cost rates for research institutions 
inappropriately high, which may have limited the number of research 
institutions that have been successful in receiving EMHE grants. The 
commenter suggested that we should include a requirement that would 
limit the percentage of indirect costs that may be recovered from an 
EMHE grant.
    Discussion: Generally, the Federal Government permits grant 
recipients to recover indirect costs for costs associated with their 
federally funded grant projects. This recovery is typically based on a 
rate determined by a cognizant agency that takes into account the 
indirect costs involved in implementing grant activities. Costs in an 
indirect cost pool may include such items as utility costs, building 
maintenance services, general insurance costs, and the cost of staff 
who assist with administrative functions such as hiring, payroll 
services, or other similar activities. The indirect cost rate is 
determined through a process of negotiation with the institution's 
cognizant agency and is designed to be an accurate reflection of the 
actual indirect costs associated with conducting programming at that 
institution. IHEs frequently are assigned several indirect cost rates 
as a result of the negotiation process; these rates reflect differences 
in indirect costs associated with different kinds of project 
activities. For example, IHEs may be assigned a rate for research 
grants, a rate for grants implemented at a facility other than a campus 
facility (for example, at a hospital or research laboratory), or a rate 
for other sponsored projects.

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    While recovery of indirect costs reduces the amount of funding that 
can be used to support direct grant activities, establishing a cap on 
indirect cost recovery that is lower than that permitted by an IHE's 
negotiated rate means that the IHE will need to identify other grant or 
institutional resources to help pay for the indirect costs consumed by 
implementing an EMHE project. Establishing an arbitrary cap for 
indirect costs could affect an IHE's ability to implement its EMHE 
project if the IHE does not have institutional or other resources to 
pay these indirect costs, and may make it impossible for some IHEs to 
compete for or accept an EMHE grant.
    Because EMHE projects are not research projects, we do not permit 
EMHE grantees to recover indirect costs at the higher established 
research project rate. Typically, applicants for the EMHE program 
request recovery of costs based on the indirect cost rate for other on-
campus programs, or other sponsored programs, at their IHE.
    The issue of indirect costs is not an issue that peer reviewers 
evaluate when they read and score an application. The selection 
criteria used for the EMHE competition do not include any criteria that 
require peer reviewers to evaluate the adequacy or reasonableness of 
the grant budget proposed by the applicant.
    Changes: None.
    Final Priorities:
    These priorities are:

Priority 1--Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Projects Designed to 
Develop, or Review and Improve, and Fully Integrate Campus-Based All-
Hazards Emergency Management Planning Efforts

    The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools 
establishes a priority that supports IHE projects designed to develop, 
or review and improve, and fully integrate campus-based all-hazards 
emergency management planning efforts. A program funded under this 
priority must use the framework of the four phases of emergency 
management (Prevention-Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and 
Recovery) to:
    (1) Develop, or review and improve, and fully integrate a campus-
wide all-hazards emergency management plan that takes into account 
threats that may be unique to the campus;
    (2) Train campus staff, faculty, and students in emergency 
management procedures;
    (3) Coordinate with local and State government emergency management 
efforts;
    (4) Ensure coordination of planning and communication across all 
relevant components, offices, and departments of the campus;
    (5) Develop a written plan with emergency protocols that include 
the medical, mental health, communication, mobility, and emergency 
needs of persons with disabilities, as well as for those individuals 
with temporary special needs or other unique needs (including those 
arising from language barriers or cultural differences);
    (6) Develop or update a written plan that prepares the campus for 
infectious disease outbreaks with both short-term implications for 
planning (e.g., outbreaks caused by methicillin-resistant 
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or food-borne illnesses) and long-term 
implications for planning (e.g., pandemic influenza);
    (7) Develop or enhance a written plan for preventing violence on 
campus by assessing and addressing the mental health needs of students, 
staff, and faculty who may be at risk of causing violence by harming 
themselves or others; and
    (8) Develop or update a written campus-wide continuity of 
operations plan that would enable the campus to maintain and/or restore 
key educational, business, and other essential functions following an 
emergency.

Priority 2--Priority for Applicants That Have Not Previously Received a 
Grant Under The EMHE Program (CFDA Number 84.184T)

    Under this priority we give priority to applications from IHEs that 
have not previously received a grant under this program (CFDA Number 
84.184T). An applicant that has received services under this program 
directly, or as a partner in a consortium application under this 
program, would not meet this priority. Under a consortium application, 
all members of the IHE consortium must meet this criterion in order for 
the applicant to meet this priority.
    Types of Priorities:
    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    Final Requirements:
    Partner Agreements: To be considered for a grant award, an 
applicant must include in its application two partner agreements. One 
partner agreement must detail coordination with, and participation of, 
a representative of the appropriate level of local or State government 
for the locality in which the IHE to be served by the project is 
located (for example, the mayor, city manager, or county executive). 
The second partner agreement must detail coordination with, and 
participation of, a representative from a local or State emergency 
management coordinating body (for example, the head of the local 
emergency planning council that would be involved in coordinating a 
large-scale emergency response effort in the campus community). Both 
agreements must include the name of the partner organization, an 
indication of whether the partner represents the local or State 
government or the local or State emergency management coordinating 
body, and a description of the respective partner as well as a 
description of the partner's roles and responsibilities in supporting 
the EMHE grant and in strengthening emergency management planning 
efforts for the IHE. Each partner agreement must also include a 
description of the roles and responsibilities of the IHE in grant 
implementation and partner coordination. A signature from an authorized 
representative of the IHE and each of the two required partners 
acknowledging the relationship and the agreements must be included in 
the application. If either or both of the two required partners is not 
present in an applicant's community, or cannot feasibly participate, 
the agreements must explain the absence of each missing partner.
    Applications that fail to include either of the two required 
partner agreement forms, including information on partners' roles and 
responsibilities (or an explanation documenting that partner's absence 
in the community), along with the required signatures, will not be 
considered for funding.
    Each consortium applicant (an applicant submitting on behalf of

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multiple IHEs) and any applicant applying on behalf of multiple 
campuses (including one or more satellite or extension campuses within 
its own institution or its consortium of IHEs) must submit a complete 
set of partner agreements with appropriate signatures from the 
authorized representative and the two required partners noted earlier 
for each campus proposed to be receiving services under its EMHE 
project.
    Although this program requires partnerships with other parties, 
administrative direction and fiscal control for the project must remain 
with the IHE.
    Completed Memoranda of Agreements: All IHEs supported by the EMHE 
program must use the grant period to create, or review and update, and 
sign, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with each of the following four 
partners: local or State emergency management coordinating body, local 
government, primary off-campus public health provider, and primary off-
campus mental health services provider. Each applicant under the EMHE 
program must include an assurance with its application that the IHE 
will establish these MOAs during the project period. MOAs must be 
completed for each campus to be served by the EMHE project. Completed 
MOAs will be requested at the end of the project period with the Final 
Report submission.
    Coordination with State or Local Homeland Security Plan: All 
emergency management plans created or enhanced using funding under this 
program must be coordinated with the Homeland Security Plan of the 
State or locality in which the IHE is located. To ensure that emergency 
services are coordinated, and to avoid duplication of effort within 
States and localities, an applicant must include in its application an 
assurance that the IHE will coordinate with, and follow, the 
requirements of its State or local Homeland Security Plan for emergency 
services and initiatives.
    Implementation of the National Incident Management System (NIMS): 
Each applicant must agree to implement its grant in a manner consistent 
with the implementation of the NIMS in its community. An applicant must 
include in its application an assurance that it has met, or will 
complete, all current NIMS requirements by the end of the grant period.
    Implementation of the NIMS is a dynamic process that will continue 
to evolve over time. In order to receive Federal preparedness funding 
under the EMHE program, each IHE must cooperate with the efforts of its 
community to meet the minimum NIMS requirements established for each 
fiscal year. Because the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) 
determination of NIMS requirements may change from year to year, an 
applicant must refer to the most recent list of NIMS requirements 
published by DHS when submitting its application. In any notice 
inviting applications, the Department will provide applicants with 
information necessary to access the most recent DHS list of NIMS 
requirements.

    Note:  The responsibilities and procedures of any campus-based 
security office or law enforcement agency and the elements of the 
campus emergency management plan must be considered in conjunction 
with the local community's emergency operations plan (EOP) and the 
capacity and responsibility of local fire and rescue departments, 
emergency medical service providers, crisis center/hotlines, and law 
enforcement agencies that may be called to assist the IHE in a 
large-scale disaster. IHEs' participation in the NIMS preparedness 
program of the local government is essential in ensuring that first-
responder services are delivered in a timely and effective manner. 
Additional information about NIMS and NIMS implementation is 
available at: 
http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/ImplementationGuidanceStakeholders.shtm 
and http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/index.shtm.

    IHEs that have previously received Federal preparedness funding and 
are, therefore, already NIMS-compliant should indicate that in the 
assurance form.
    Eligibility: To be considered for an award under this competition, 
an applicant must be considered an IHE, or a consortia thereof. An IHE, 
for the purposes of this competition, is defined as: an educational 
institution in any State that--
    (1) Admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of 
graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the 
recognized equivalent of such a certificate or persons who meet the 
requirements of section 484(d)(3) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 
as amended;
    (2) Is legally authorized within such State to provide a program of 
education beyond secondary education;
    (3) Provides an educational program for which the institution 
awards a bachelor's degree or provides not less than a 2-year program 
that is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree or awards a 
degree that is acceptable for admission to a graduate or professional 
degree program, subject to review and approval by the Secretary;
    (4) Is a public or other nonprofit institution; and
    (5) Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or 
association or, if not so accredited, is an institution that has been 
granted preaccreditation status by such an agency or association that 
has been recognized by the Secretary for the granting of 
preaccreditation status, and the Secretary has determined that there is 
satisfactory assurance that the institution will meet the accreditation 
standards of such an agency or association within a reasonable time.
    This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note:  This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use one or more of these priorities and 
requirements, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal 
Register.

    Executive Order 12866: This notice has been reviewed in accordance 
with Executive Order 12866. Under the terms of the order, we have 
assessed the potential costs and benefits of this final regulatory 
action.
    The potential costs associated with this final regulatory action 
are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
efficiently. In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both 
quantitative and qualitative--of this final regulatory action, we have 
determined that the benefits of the final priorities and requirements 
justify the costs.
    We have determined, also, that this final regulatory action does 
not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.
    Discussion of Costs and Benefits:
    We fully discussed the costs and benefits of this regulatory action 
in the notice of proposed priorities and requirements. After review, we 
determined that there will be no substantial additional costs to the 
grantee as a result of the addition of the new priority element related 
to continuity planning. An ultimate goal of the EMHE program is to 
decrease the resulting costs to IHEs in terms of lost resources, 
facilities, time, and causalities that may result from an actual 
emergency and the new priority element directly supports this goal. 
Further, the costs to support this activity may be included in an 
applicant's proposed EMHE budget. Accordingly, the addition of this 
element to this final priority is determined to have no additional 
costs to the grantees.

[[Page 16629]]

    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive Order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive Order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact 
person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
this site.

    Note:  The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: 
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.


    Dated: March 29, 2010.
Kevin Jennings,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
[FR Doc. 2010-7421 Filed 3-31-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P