Inside208

Federal Infrastructure Package Secures Bipartisan Support in the Senate

Posted on August 12, 2021 by Dene Westbrook

This week the U.S. Senate passed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in bipartisan vote of 69-31. The marks the largest federal investment in infrastructure I nearly a century and will have sweeping impact in Michigan and across the nation. Here are some top line budget numbers and what that will mean for Michigan. For a Michigan fact sheet please click here.

Transportation:

  • Invest $110 billion of new funds nationally for roads, bridges, and major projects and reauthorize the surface transportation program for the next five years.
    • Based on formula funding alone, Michigan would receive an estimated $7.3 billion for federal-aid highway programs and $563 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
  • Below are several key items receiving funding:
    • New $5B “Safe Streets for All” program directly supports local governments “vision zero” plans and other improvements to reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.
    • New $40B historic investment in both large bridges in poor condition as well as bridges that are in rural and tribal areas.
    • New $5B in National Infrastructure Project Assistance grants, where communities are eligible to apply for funding to complete critical large projects that would otherwise be unachievable without assistance.
    • Additional $7.5B in RAISE grants (formerly TIGER/BUILD) and $8B in INFRA grants to rebuild critical community transportation infrastructure projects.
    • $500 million for SMART Grants demonstrating transportation technology integrations, building on the success of smart cities and prior challenges.
    • $2.5B in Electric Charging and Fueling Infrastructure competitive grants to strategically deploy publicly accessible charging infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors.
    • $25 billion for the Airport Improvement grant program and funding for a new Airport Terminal Improvement program.
    • $1 billion for the new “Reconnecting Communities” program, which will support planning and construction to remove barriers to community connectivity and rectify harms caused by past transportation investments.

Transit and Rail:

  • $39 billion of new investment to modernize transit and improve accessibility.
    • Transit’s Capital Investment Grant program jumps up with $3B is authorized per year, and a new $1.75 billion All Stations Accessibility Program and $250 million under the “Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities” program.
    • Based on formula funding alone, Michigan would expect to receive $1 billion over five years to improve public transportation options across the state.
  • $66 billion investment in rail with $12 billion dedicated to partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high speed rail and $5B for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI), which funds projects that improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail.

Water Infrastructure and Lead Pipe Removal:

  • Provides $55 billion to invest in clean drinking water, including dedicated funding to replace lead service lines and address PFAS contamination.
    • Based on the traditional state revolving fund formula, Michigan will expect to receive $1.3 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state.
  • Below are several key items receiving funding:
    • $11.713 billion each for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) over five years (49% as principal forgiveness/grants, 51% as loans).
    • $15 billion over five years for lead pipe replacement through the Drinking Water SRF (49% as principal forgiveness/grants, 51% as loans). NLC supported an amendment that would have changed this to 100% principal forgiveness/grants; the amendment did not come up for a vote.
    • $10 billion in grants over five years to address emerging contaminants and PFAS drinking water contamination ($1 billion through the Clean Water SRF; $4 billion through the Drinking Water SRF; $5 billion for underserved communities).
    • $75 million for the Army Corps WIFIA program for safety projects to maintain, upgrade and repair dams identified in the National Inventory of Dams.

Climate Change and Resilience:

  • $550 million for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.
  • $500M over 5 years for the Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program.
  • $250 million for a new Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund.
  • $225 million for grants to implement updated building energy codes.
  • $8.3 billion 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.
  • $500 million for the STORM Act to provide support through loans and grants to local communities facing rising water levels, coastal erosion and flooding.
  • $3.5 billion for the FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance program, which helps provide financial and technical assistance to states and communities to reduce the risk of flood damage to homes and businesses through buyouts, elevation and other activities.
  • $1 billion for the FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program, a pre-disaster mitigation program supporting states, local communities, tribes and territories undertaking hazard mitigation projects to reduce the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards.

Environment:

  • $1.5 billion over five years for the EPA Brownfields program to help communities, States, Tribes and others to assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse contaminated properties.
  • $3.5 billion available for 5 years for the Hazardous Substance Superfund program to allow EPA to invest in clean-ups and continue moving forward on remedial actions for Superfund sites.
  • $275 million over five years for grants to states to support improvements to local post-consumer materials management, including municipal recycling programs, and to assist local waste management authorities in making improvements to local waste management systems. This program was authorized in the Save Our Seas Act 2.0, which was signed into law last year.
  • $75 million for grants to states and local governments focused on improving material recycling, recovery, management and reduction. The new EPA program would help educate households and consumers about residential and community recycling to decrease contamination in the recycling stream.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations:

  • Invests $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever national network of EV chargers in the United States
    • Michigan would expect to receive $110 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state. Michigan will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.

Broadband Infrastructure:

  • $42 billion for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program. This program would provide formula grants to state governments to award subgrants for broadband planning, mapping, deployment, and adoption programs, prioritizing unserved areas, underserved areas, and anchor institutions. States would be required to coordinate with local governments when drafting plans for approval by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) prior to receiving funds.
  • $1 billion for Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure. This program would create a competitive grant program administered by NTIA for construction, improvement or acquisition of middle mile broadband infrastructure. Local governments are among the eligible awardees.

Digital Equity and Broadband Affordability:

  • $1.3 billion for the Digital Equity Act, establishing two categories of digital equity grants: state formula grants and competitive grants, which local governments and nonprofits could access directly. These funds are to be used for digital inclusion work, such as connecting residents in need to devices, subsidized broadband subscriptions, and skills training.

Cybersecurity: 

  • $120 million for the Cyber Response and Recovery Act, to allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to declare a Significant Cyber Incident and provide direct support to impacted entities, and establishes a Cyber Response and Recovery Fund of $20 million per year for six years to support it.
  • $1 billion over 4 years for the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program. This establishes a cybersecurity grant program that provides for states and localities to develop and implement cybersecurity plans and address imminent cybersecurity threats. Funds are routed through states and allocation plans must be developed in consultation with and approved by localities.
  • $250 million Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance Program. Additionally, directs a study on incentives to encourage public utilities to invest in cybersecurity and participate in ISACs, establishes an incentive program, and directs EPA and CISA to identify public water systems vulnerable to cyberattack and develop a plan for providing technical support.

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State and Federal Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

Locations
Headquarters
1675 Green Road,
Ann Arbor MI 48105
 
Capitol Office
208 N. Capitol Ave.,
1st Floor Lansing, MI 48933
©2022 Michigan Municipal League LLC. All rights reserved