November 19, 2021 - Update

Washington Update

prepared by WSP USA

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Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act - Public Law 117-58

On Monday, November 15, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law and issued an Executive Order outlining the IIJA implementation priorities. The President also announced that former New Orleans Mayor (2010-2018) and Louisiana Lieutenant Governor (2004-2010) Mitch Landrieu will lead and coordinate efforts for a newly created Infrastructure Implementation Task Force.

U.S. DOT Releases IIJA State Fact Sheets

The U.S. Department of Transportation released state fact sheets that highlight what the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will mean to local communities across the country. Individual fact sheets for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia are linked below:

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

U.S. DOT Key Priorities, Funding for Public Transportation

Following President Biden's signing of the IIJA into law, the U.S. DOT's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced key priorities and historic funding amounts for public transportation. The law authorizes up to $108 billion, including $91 billion in guaranteed funding for public transportation - the most significant federal investment in transit in the nation's history. The priorities include:

  • Safety: The law will enhance state safety oversight programs by strengthening rail inspection practices, protecting transit workers and riders from injuries, and ensuring safe access to transit.
  • Modernization: The law will reduce the maintenance backlog by repairing and upgrading aging transit infrastructure and modernizing bus and rail fleets.
  • Climate: Funding in the law will support replacement of thousands of transit vehicles, including buses and ferries, with cleaner, greener vehicles.
  • Equity: Investments in the law will improve transit service for communities that have historically had more limited access to transit and provide for substantial upgrades to accessibility.

More information can be found in this link.

Secretary Buttigieg Announces Nearly $1 Billion in Grant Awards for America's Infrastructure

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced that the Biden Administration will invest nearly $1 billion in American infrastructure through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grants program. The funding has been awarded to 90 projects in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. A link to the press release can be found here and the full list of project awards can be found here.

House Passes Build Back Better Act

The House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act on a party line vote, 220-213. One House Democrat voted against the bill and no Republicans voted in favor of it. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration following the Thanksgiving holiday. The 10-year, $1.7 trillion bill provides funding, establishes programs, and modifies provisions relating to a broad array of areas, including education, labor, childcare, health care, taxes, and the environment.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee provisions in the Build Back Better Act include nearly $40 billion in investments focused on supporting the U.S. effort to combat climate change and improve infrastructure resiliency - more information can be found here. Specifically, the bill includes:

  • $10 billion to support access to affordable housing and enhance mobility for low-income individuals and residents of disadvantaged or persistent poverty communities.
  • $4 billion for reduction of carbon pollution in the surface transportation sector--addressing the largest source of transportation greenhouse gas emissions.
  • $4 billion to support neighborhood equity, safety, and affordable transportation access, including reconnecting communities divided by existing infrastructure barriers.
  • $10 billion for high-speed rail development and improvement.
  • $300 million to the Department of Transportation to support projects that develop, demonstrate, or apply low-emission technologies or produce, transport, blend, or store sustainable aviation fuels.
  • $150 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help state and local governments implement the most recent consensus-based building codes and standards incorporating hazard resistant designs to ensure American communities are built to be as resilient as possible to more frequent and severe natural disasters.
  • $5.25 billion to the Economic Development Administration to provide investments in persistently distressed communities, provide assistance to energy and industrial transition communities, and to create economic growth clusters.
  • $500 million to the General Services Administration to invest in high-performance green buildings.
  • $650 million for climate resilient Coast Guard infrastructure.
  • $350 million for a Great Lake Icebreaker.
  • $600 million to the Maritime Administration to support more sustainable port infrastructure and supply chain resilience.
  • $2.125 billion to invest in water infrastructure including sewer overflow and stormwater reuse projects, including increased federal cost share for financially distressed communities and Tribes; wastewater infrastructure investment for the installation, repair, or replacement of domestic septic systems; and investments for alternative water source projects like groundwater recharge and potable reuse.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee section includes energy and environmental provisions that can be found here and include:

  • $29 Billion for a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
  • $15 billion to invest in Clean Energy Innovation and Communities through multiple loan and grant programs at Department of Energy (DOE) to support development of innovative technologies and American manufacturing of zero emission transportation technologies.
  • $5 billion for Climate Pollution Reduction grants through the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • $2.9 billion to modernize the electric transmission grid.
  • $1 billion in zero-emissions vehicle infrastructure to support development of an electric vehicle charging network and hydrogen fueling infrastructure to assist the transition to zero emissions vehicles. This funding will go toward construction of charging. infrastructure in publicly accessible, underserved locations.
  • $5 billion for clean heavy-duty vehicles to replace certain heavy-duty vehicles, such as refuse trucks and school buses, with zero emission vehicles through a new grant program at the EPA. In addition to funding new clean vehicles, this program will provide funds for associated infrastructure and workforce development and training.
  • $12.5 billion in home energy efficiency and appliance electrification rebates.
  • $4 billion for industrial emissions reductions, to install and implement advanced industrial technology at energy intensive industrial and manufacturing facilities.
  • $3 billion for Environmental and Climate Justice Block grants for community-led projects that address environmental and public health harms related to pollution and climate change. This grant program provides direct funding to the communities most impacted by climate change and environmental injustice, funding local projects and solutions to decrease pollution and increase climate readiness.
  • $9 billion for EPA lead pipe replacement programs to replace lead service lines and reduce lead in drinking water systems throughout the country.
  • $3.5 billion for healthy ports to reduce air pollution at ports and in the communities that surround them.
  • Establishment of a Methane Emissions Reduction Program to control excess methane pollution from the oil and gas industry above specific waste emissions thresholds.

WSP Digital Resource on Infrastructure

With the enactment of the IIJA, WSP's experts are prepared to help clients identify opportunities and secure available funds designated for initiatives and projects that will deliver the next generation of America's infrastructure. For more information click here where you will find WSP's overview of the infrastructure package along with a link to a recording of the informational IIJA webinar that was held earlier this week featuring WSP subject matter experts.

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