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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Program Requirements for the Very Small Meat Processor Federal Inspection Reimbursement Grant Program

[49 Pa.B. 4009]
[Saturday, August 3, 2019]

 The Department of Agriculture (Department) hereby provides notice of the standards and requirements for the Very Small Meat Processor Federal Inspection Reimbursement Grant Program (Program).

 The Program is established under authority of the act of July 1, 2019 (3 Pa.C.S. §§ 10101—10106) (Act 36). Act 36 takes effect August 30, 2019. The Program allows the Department to award reimbursement grants for certain eligible costs incurred by a person who meets the Federal definition of a ''very small meat processor.''

 This notice establishes the procedures by which grant applications will be solicited and reviewed, and by which grants will be awarded, drawing on $500,000 in funding available in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-2020.

 1. Program Objectives. The Program's objective is to reimburse some portion of the costs associated with meeting Federal inspection and certification guidelines during the planning and start-up periods for a very small meat processor operating within this Commonwealth.

 2. Definitions. The following words and phrases apply to the Program:

Department. The Department of Agriculture of the Commonwealth.

Person. An individual, partnership, association, firm, corporation or any other legal entity.

Program. The Very Small Meat Processor Federal Inspection Reimbursement Grant Program.

Secretary. The Secretary of the Department.

Very small meat processor. A person subject to Federal meat inspection that meets the United States Department of Agriculture's definition of a ''very small processor,'' having fewer than 10 employees or annual sales of less than $2.5 million.

 3. Reimbursement Grant Program. Program grants shall be reimbursement grants. The following shall apply:

 a. The amount of reimbursement is based on actual eligible costs submitted by an approved applicant for an approved project during any fiscal year in which grants are offered.

 b. Grants shall only be available for eligible costs (as described in Paragraph No. 3(d)) of obtaining a Federal certification to allow the sale of meat by a very small meat processor.

 c. Grants are limited to no more than $50,000 per applicant.

 d. Grant reimbursement money is limited to 50% or less of the costs of an eligible project.

 e. Grant reimbursement money shall not be used to reimburse any portion of an in-kind contribution to an eligible project.

 f. Grant money may not be used to pay or reimburse wages or salaries of grant recipient staff.

 g. Grant money may not be used to reimburse any portion of the project costs which are being paid or reimbursed under another Federal or State grant program.

 h. If the Department receives eligible grant applications that collectively seek an amount exceeding the $500,000 sum made available by the General Assembly for grants in FY 2019-2020, the Department may prorate individual grants by multiplying the grant amount sought by a fraction having the individual grant amount sought as the numerator and the total amount of grants sought as the denominator.

 i. In the event funding is exhausted or otherwise unavailable, the Department shall be under no obligation to provide Program grants.

 j. Grant money may only be awarded and distributed to the owner of the eligible very small meat processor establishment. The Department may not assign grant money to a lessee, operator or person other than the owner of the eligible very small meat processing establishment.

 4. Applicant Eligibility. A person who is a very small meat processor or who is starting a very small meat processor business may apply to the Department for a grant under the Program.

 5. Application Procedure.

 a. Online Applications Only. An applicant for a grant under the Program shall be submitted through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Single Application for Assistance online application system at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us.

 b. Application Window. Applications must be submitted through the Single Application for Assistance online application system between 7 a.m. on August 15, 2019, and 11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2019. Applications received outside of that application window will not be considered or reviewed.

 c. Application Requirements. An application for a grant under the Program shall contain the following information:

 i. The applicant's name, the organization name, a business address and a telephone number.

 ii. A list of corporate officers, if the applicant is a corporation.

 iii. The applicant's eligibility, setting forth information evidencing and attesting that the applicant meets the definition of a ''very small meat processor.''

 iv. A plan outlining the process being undertaken to apply for and obtain Federal certification as a meat processor.

 v. The estimated eligible costs for which reimbursement is sought, not to exceed 50% of project costs.

 vi. An attestation signed by the applicant stating the applicant, verifying the accuracy of the information presented on the application, and verifying the applicant is in good standing with all Federal licensure, recordkeeping and slaughter requirements, including the Federal Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points standards.

 d. Eligible Costs. The following costs are eligible for reimbursement under the Program:

 i. Invoiced costs directly incurred for the initial compliance inspection.

 ii. A one-time reimbursement for the cost, not including man hours, directly incurred in producing the required Federal Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plan. If a professional consultant is utilized to develop the Federal Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plan, reasonable costs may be reimbursed, as determined by the Department.

 iii. Up to 50% of the actual costs of a first-time purchase of equipment necessary for compliance with the Federal Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plan.

 7. Disposition and Review of Grant Applications. The Department will review each application, and supporting documentation submitted therewith, for completeness and accuracy. If an application is found to be incomplete or inaccurate, the Department may request additional documentation and may discontinue further processing of the application until the requested information is received.

 8. Notice of Disposition of Application. The Secretary will make a decision with respect to each timely, complete grant application it receives by October 15, 2019, and will provide the applicant written notice of the disposition of that application.

 9. Agreement Required. If the Secretary approves a grant application, and as a precondition to the Department's release of grant moneys to a successful applicant, the Department and the applicant shall execute a Grant Agreement which describes the terms and conditions subject to which the grant is made.

 10. Distribution of Grant Money. As Program grants are reimbursement grants, the Department will not issue grant money until the successful applicant submits all of the following to the Department:

 a. The date of the inspection.

 b. The name of the Federal inspector or veterinarian in charge of the inspection.

 c. A document signed by the Federal inspector or veterinarian in charge evidencing that the approved applicant's establishment passed the inspection.

 d. Documentation of actual costs for which reimbursement is sought and payment of the costs.

 Documents submitted to the Department under this Paragraph shall be directed to the Department of Agriculture, Attn: Dr. Scott Sheely, Special Assistant, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408.

 11. Additional Information. Additional information may be obtained from the Department by contacting Dr. Scott Sheely, Special Assistant, (717) 346-0426, scsheely@pa.gov.

RUSSELL C. REDDING, 
Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-1178. Filed for public inspection August 2, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]



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