Federal Infrastructure Legislation Funds Environmental Protection and Climate Change Efforts
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the bipartisan infrastructure framework, or BIF) may create the perception it is only about roads and bridges. However, the reality is very different. In fact, this recently enacted law includes these environmental and climate change related provisions:
- It makes the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) an eligible use for funding under two key coastal protection programs, the Coastal Zone Management Act, funded at $207 million spread over five years, and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), funded at $77 million over five years.
- It makes available $300 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program.
- It allocates $1 billion for its Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program.
- It sets aside $90 million across two years to establish a new program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture called the Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership Program to improve the health and resilience of forest landscapes on public and private lands.
- It appropriates $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers in the United States. Preliminary estimates indicate New Hampshire would expect to receive $17 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state.
- It also provides approximately $55 billion to support planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects aimed at expanding access to clean drinking water.
- It directs $350 million for Solid Waste and Recycling Grants to State governments.
- It allocates $350 million for wildlife crossings across transportation corridors.
- The bill includes the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act that will help improve energy efficiency steps in the country.
- It allots $2.5 billion for both zero- and low-emission school buses, and more than $5 billion for low- or no-emission transit buses.
- $4.5 billion for watershed restoration. This includes $2.4 billion to support the removal, rehabilitation and retrofit of dams and $753 million for hydropower facilities for dam safety improvements and environmental improvements.