Resilience in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)

DC Transporatation

 

How is resilience incorporated in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)?


The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) (H.R. 3684, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) was signed into law on November 15, 2021. It includes historic levels of investment for infrastructure — $550 billion in new spending over five years and $650 billion for existing programs, totaling $1.2 trillion. BIL includes numerous standalone acts, including the Surface Transportation Investment Act of 2021, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Act of 2021, the Repairing Existing Public Land by Adding Necessary Trees (REPLANT) Act, and the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Appropriations Act. BIL provides many opportunities for climate-smart investing, for example, through new funded programs designed to help reduce emissions and build resilience in the transportation sector, and through better integration of climate change into existing program purposes and goals. 

The Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) has examined BIL for its potential to foster investments that can build resilience in states and communities and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The sections that follow here focus on opportunities that BIL provides to states, local governments, tribes, coalitions, and other entities to integrate resilience into federally-funded planning, design, and other activities relating to infrastructure. 

Using the navigation pane to the right, the analysis is first presented to show how resilience is integrated into different new and existing funding and other programs, with this analysis organized by target sector (e.g., transportation, energy, emergency preparedness). GCC has also begun researching additional questions related to BIL to further inform state, regional, local, and tribal governments; for example, which BIL programs present opportunities for regional collaboratives or networks to coordinate and secure funding for resilience-building activities. Additional research questions are outlined below. As this research is completed, new sections will be added to the navigation pane to the right. 

  • Which programs in BIL that have resilience/adaptation features are offering technical assistance? 
  • Which programs in BIL either do not have state and local match requirements or provide opportunities to reduce those requirements?
  • How do the resilience/adaptation opportunities in BIL overlay with Justice40?
  • What resilience/adaptation opportunities exist in BIL for tribes? 
  • What resilience/adaptation opportunities exist in BIL for nonprofits? 
  • Which programs in BIL can be used for buyouts and conservation land acquisitions, which can be used to facilitate managed retreat strategies?

Check back for updates on these questions. If you are interested in learning more about these questions or want to collaborate with us, please email climate@georgetown.edu.