Resources for the $1.2 Trillion U.S. Infrastructure Bill
On November 22, 2021 President Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. The Administration’s second priority bill, the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act (BBBA), passed in the House November 19, 2021 and is likely weeks away from final passage by the Senate. Both bills increase funding for existing programs, as well as create and fund new programs.
The information in this article is intended to be an overview of the impact of the IIJA on the nation, and list of resources for the Acts. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
IIJA Investment Overview
The IIJA is a five-year bill authorizing and appropriating funding for programs from FY 2022-26. In addition to dramatically increasing the funding levels for existing programs, the Act provides time and resources for the agencies administering the programs to hire new staff required for implementation. In some cases, programs created by the IIJA will not receive funding unless or until the BBBA passes. For this reason, many agencies are unable to fully plan for the implementation of any of these programs until both bills are passed and signed.
Of the $1.2 trillion, $550 billion is new spending and the remainder is reauthorizations of existing programs. Additional information on each program can be found in the links and summaries below:
Roads, Bridges & Major Projects: $110B – Includes the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act and Surface Transportation Investment Act. Funds new, dedicated grant program to replace and repair bridges and increases funding for the major project competitive grant programs. At the same time, the package preserves the 90/10 split of federal highway aid to states.
Passenger and Freight Rail: $66B – Provides funding for the Amtrak National Network for new service and dedicated funding to the Northeast Corridor, which has incurred a severe repair backlog after Hurricane Sandy. Increases funding for freight rail and safety.
Safety: $11B – Funds highway & pedestrian safety programs, as well as pipeline safety and repair.
Public Transit: $39.2B – Funds nation’s transit system repair backlog, which DOT estimates is more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals and power systems. Expands transit systems, supports clean transit options and increases accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities.
Broadband: $65B – Grants to states for broadband deployment, makes broadband access more affordable for low-income families, expands eligible private activity bond projects to include broadband infrastructure, and supports middle-mile deployment efforts.
Ports and Waterways: $16.6B – Funding for waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland waterway improvements, port infrastructure and land ports of entry through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard, General Services Administration and Department of Homeland Security.
Airports: $25B – Increases funds for Airport Improvement grant program for runways, gates and taxiways, as well as a new Airport Terminal Improvement program for terminals, concessions and multimodal connections. Improves Air Traffic Control infrastructure.
Water Infrastructure: $55B – Includes $23.4 billion for the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021. Provides a historic $15 billion for lead service line replacement and $10 billion to address Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). Supports water infrastructure in Tribal communities by providing $3.5 billion ($1.8 billion under Water Infrastructure and $1.7 billion under Resiliency) for the Indian Health Service Sanitation Facilities Construction program, in addition to providing funding to complete all currently authorized Indian Water Rights Settlements.
Power and Grid: $65B – Includes the bipartisan, ENR-passed Energy Infrastructure Act, which includes funds for grid reliability and resiliency and support for a Grid Deployment Authority; critical minerals and supply chains for clean energy technology; key technologies like carbon capture, hydrogen, direct air capture and energy efficiency; and energy demonstration projects from the bipartisan Energy Act of 2020.
Resiliency: $47.2B – Funding for cybersecurity to address critical infrastructure needs, waste management, flood and wildfire mitigation, drought and coastal resiliency, ecosystem restoration, heat stress and weatherization.
Clean School Buses & Ferries: $7.5B – Includes historic $5 billion for the replacement of existing school buses with zero-emission and clean school buses, with a priority on low-income, rural and Tribal schools. Provides $2.5 billion for the replacement of existing ferries with low-carbon ferries and to assist states with operational costs for essential rural ferries. These investments will drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, creating jobs and supporting domestic manufacturing, while also removing old, dirty diesel buses and ferries from some of our most vulnerable communities.
Electric Vehicle Charging: $7.5B – Funds for alternative fuel corridors and to build out a national network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to facilitate long-distance travel and to provide convenient charging where people live, work and shop. The federal funding will have a particular focus on rural, disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities.
Reconnecting Communities: $1B – Total of $1 billion between contract authority and new appropriations. Funds projects that remove barriers to opportunity caused by legacy infrastructure. The program will provide dedicated funding for planning, design, demolition, and reconstruction of street grids, parks or other infrastructure.
Addressing Legacy Pollution: $21B – Funds to clean up brownfield and superfund sites, reclaim abandoned mine lands, and plug orphan oil and gas wells, improving public health and creating good-paying jobs.
Western Water Infrastructure: $8.3B – Funds for Bureau of Reclamation western water infrastructure, including for aging infrastructure, water storage, water recycling and reuse, WaterSMART, and drought contingency plans, among other things.
IIJA Funding by State
The links below offer helpful overviews of the IIJA funds expected to flow to states served by FNI offices, as provided by the White House and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), which regularly evaluates America’s infrastructure as needing great attention:
The IIJA established deadlines of 60, 90 or 180 days for many agencies to establish new programs. The USACE Chief of Engineers, for example, is required to deliver within 60 days, among other things, spending plans on how FY2022 IIJA funds are to be used for “Investigation, Operations & Maintenance and Mississippi River & Tributary accounts” and how FY2022-FY2024 funds are to be used for the “Construction” account.
For existing programs, FY2022 funds will be immediately available to the agencies. FY2022 funding allocated directly to states will be provided to states immediately.
Negotiating and Passing the Build Back Better Act
President Biden has made it clear that there will be no “double-dipping” with the BBBA, meaning that no programs will be funded in both bills. Some activities, such as lead service line replacement, are included in both bills but through different programs, with different levels and sources of funding. The BBBA is now one of the Administration’s priorities for the remainder of the year. As mentioned earlier, in some cases, programs created by the IIJA will not receive funding unless or until the BBBA passes.