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.

What funding opportunities does BIL offer for building resilience across sectors?


Resilience Funding Overview 

BIL does not have a standalone resilience section. Rather, resilience is integrated into various sections of the law, with program features designed to alleviate impacts from extreme weather, flooding, storms, droughts, heat waves, and wildfires. of BIL. Over $50 billion in BIL is directly dedicated to: (1) programs whose purposes are clearly targeted at building resilience to the impact of climate change and extreme weather events (e.g., USDOT’s Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) Program); and (2) programs whose purposes are not explicitly targeted at building resilience, but where the program’s effect will build resilience (e.g., NOAA’s Community-Based Restoration Projects, DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program, and HHS’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program). 

Resilience money is allocated for things such as transportation, waste management, flood, wildfire, drought, coastal communities, ecosystem restoration, heat, building infrastructure, and more. However, more of the funding that BIL provides could be used to build resilience. At the Georgetown Climate Center, we see resilience woven throughout the entirety of BIL. Aspirationally, with an eye toward building long term resilience and for wisely stewarding taxpayer resources, all of the money that BIL provides should be spent with resilience in mind.

Highlighted resilience funding features of BIL include:

  • Energy & BuildingsSeveral new Department of Energy grant programs designed to improve the resilience and reliability of the electric grid and “to enable sustained cost-effective implementation of updated building energy codes.” Funding to improve recycling programs, to help businesses adopt pollution prevention practices, and for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
  • Natural Resources, Ecosystems, & AgricultureOver $3B for programs related to specific important regional ecosystems (e.g., watershed regions) and related programs (e.g. the Coastal Zone Management Program). Over $8B provided for wildfire management activities across multiple federal agencies (USFS, DOI, USDA, and others) including fuels reduction projects, state and private grants for fuel reduction efforts and fire assistance, restoration efforts, and more. 
  • Water InfrastructureAmendments to Section 1459A of the Safe Drinking Water Act (Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities, 42 U.S.C. 300j–19a), which includes requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to create a competitive grant pilot program for underserved communities for projects that assist water public systems. Historic levels of funding for water infrastructure including for State Revolving Fund programs and a new clean water infrastructure resilience and sustainability grant program administered by EPA.
  • CoastalOver $12B for flood mitigation resiliency efforts across multiple federal agencies including Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA, and FEMA.

Resilience Definition

Notably, this is the first time the federal government has put forward a legislative definition of “resilience” in the specific context of transportation infrastructure and weather events and natural disasters. BIL defines “resilience” for the first time with respect to infrastructure projects. It is defined as:

A project with the ability to anticipate, prepare for, or adapt to conditions or withstand, respond to, or recover rapidly from disruptions, including the ability— (A)(i) to resist hazards or withstand impacts from weather events and natural disasters; or (ii) to reduce the magnitude or duration of impacts of a disruptive weather event or natural disaster on a project; and (B) to have the absorptive capacity, adaptive capacity, and recoverability to decrease project vulnerability to weather events or other natural disasters.

There is also a new definition of “natural infrastructure.” Both of these definitions are found in Division A of BIL in the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021.

The navigation bar on the right-hand side of this page can be used to navigate through Georgetown Climate Center’s BIL analysis and to find out more about resilience funding provided by BIL in different sectors. Georgetown Climate Center is currently looking into additional research questions about BIL. To learn more about these research questions, visit the  section. These pages will be updated as more information and analysis become available, so be sure to check back over the following weeks and months for the latest developments.

Natural Resources, Ecosystems, & Agriculture

BIL provides a mix of funding for new and existing programs related to natural resources, ecosystems, and agriculture in addition to creating new requirements for agencies. These programs are administered by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers—Civil, the Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (under the Department of Homeland Security).

Coastal

BIL provides a mix of funding for new and existing programs and projects related to coastal issues. These programs and projects are administered by the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (under the Department of Homeland Security), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of the Army Corps of Engineers—Civil.

Preparedness & Emergency Response

BIL provides a mix of funding for new and existing programs and projects related to preparedness and emergency response. These programs are administered by the Department of the Army Corps of Engineers—Civil, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (under the Department of Homeland Security), and the Department of Energy.

Transportation


BIL provides a mix of funding for new and existing transportation programs administered by the Department of Transportation (USDOT) in addition to creating new requirements for USDOT. This section highlights the transportation programs and requirements that have resilience features. New USDOT programs include $8.7B for transportation resiliency through the new Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) grant program and $500M for cool pavements, porous pavements, and tree cover expansion  through the new Healthy Streets Program. New requirements for USDOT include designating ten regional Centers of Excellence for Resilience and Adaptation and one national Center of Excellence for Resilience and Adaptation.

Existing USDOT formula and emergency relief funding programs are also better integrating resilience into program purposes and eligibility as a result of BIL. For example, resilience is added as a program purpose of the National Highway Performance Program and eligible activities for the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program now explicitly include protective features that enhance resilience, including natural infrastructure. Additionally, the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program is renamed to the Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight and Highway Program to emphasize a more multimodal focus, and freight resilience to natural hazards or disasters is added to the grant consideration factors. BIL also made clarifications that the Emergency Relief Program may be used to repair damages in areas affected by wildfire, and to make “economically justifiable improvements” that mitigate risk of recurring damage from extreme weather, flooding, or other disasters. Lastly, $7.5B has been given for surface transportation projects that will have significant local or regional impacts through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program, and USDOT has prioritized resilience and equity in its FY 2022 Notice of Funding Opportunity. Thus, the potential for “resilience money” is much larger than the amounts provided in individual programs that directly address resilience, such as PROTECT. Because of the addition of resilience in program purposes and eligibility, aspirationally, all the grants awarded through programs like the National Highway Performance Program could be awarded to resilience projects and be BIL money dedicated to resilience. 


Grant Programs

National Highway Performance Program 

  • Section 11105
  • Agency: Department of Transportation 
  • Description: Resiliency addition to the purpose of the National Highway Performance Program. The program will “provide support for activities to increase the resiliency of the National Highway System to mitigate the cost of damages from sea level rise, extreme weather events, flooding, wildfires, or other natural disasters.’’

Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) (New)

  • Section 11405
  • Agency: Department of Transportation 
  • Description: The Department of Transportation will establish a formula and competitive grant program for states for resilience improvements for transportation infrastructure. The program includes grants for vulnerability assessments to “current and future weather events and natural disasters and changing conditions” and to protect ‘‘surface transportation assets by making the assets more resilient to current and future weather events and natural disasters.”
  • Funding: Total: $8.7B (Formula Grants: $7.3B, Competitive Grants: $1.4B), $250M for fiscal year 2022, $250M for fiscal year 2023, $300M for fiscal year 2024, $300M for fiscal year 2025, and $300M for fiscal year 2026.
  • Eligible Entities: States or political subdivision of a state, metropolitan planning organizations, units of local government, a special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, including a port authority, tribes, a federal land management agency that applies jointly with a state or group of states, a multi-state or multijurisdictional group of listed entities. 

Healthy Streets Program (New)

  • Section 11406
  • Agency: Department of Transportation 
  • Description: The Department of Transportation will establish a discretionary grant program to provide grants to eligible entities to deploy cool pavements and porous pavements and to expand tree cover. Goals of the program include mitigating urban heat islands, improving air quality, and reducing the extent of impervious surfaces, stormwater runoff and flood risks, and heat impacts to infrastructure and road users.
  • Funding: $500M total, $100M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 
  • Eligible Entities: States, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, tribes, nonprofit organizations working in coordination with a listed entity.

Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program (New)

  • Section 11509
  • Agency: Department of Transportation 
  • Description: Requires the Secretary of Transportation to “establish a pilot program through which an eligible entity may apply for funding, in order to restore community connectivity— (1) to study the feasibility and impacts of removing, retrofitting, or mitigating an existing eligible facility; (2) to conduct planning activities necessary to design a project to remove, retrofit, or mitigate an existing eligible facility; and (3) to conduct construction activities necessary to carry out a project to remove, retrofit, or mitigate an existing eligible facility.”
  • Funding Available
    • Planning Grants: 2022-2026: $250M ($50M each year)
    • Capital Construction Grants: 2022-2026: $750M ($145M each year)
  • Eligible Entities
    • Planning Grants: A State, a unit of local government, a Tribal government, a metropolitan planning organization, and a nonprofit organization. 
    • Capital Construction Grants: Owner of an eligible facility to carry out an eligible project for which all necessary feasibility studies and other planning activities have been completed. 

Invasive Plant Elimination Program (New)

  • Section 11522
  • Agency: Department of Transportation 
  • Description: The Department of Transportation will “provide grants to States to eliminate or control existing invasive plants or prevent introduction of or encroachment by new invasive plants along and in areas adjacent to transportation corridor rights-of-way.”
  • Funding: $50M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 
  • Eligible Entities: States

Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program

  • Section 21202 
  • Agency: Department of Transportation 
  • RAISE was previously known as Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER)
  • Description: Funding for grants for surface transportation projects that have significant local or regional impacts. “The eligibility requirements of RAISE allow project sponsors at the State and local levels to obtain funding for multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional projects that are more difficult to support through traditional DOT programs.” BIL revised the list of eligible applicants and applications will “be evaluated on the criteria of mobility and community connectivity.” USDOT will also “assess projects for universal design and accessibility for travelers, as well as consider how proposals increase mobility for freight and supply chain efficiency.” USDOT has prioritized resilience and equity in its FY 2022 Notice of Funding Opportunity
  • Funding: $7.5B total, $1.5B for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 
  • Eligible Entities: States, the District of Columbia, any territory or possession of the United States, local governments, a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more states, a special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, including a port authority, tribes or a consortium of tribes, a transit agency, and a multi-state or multijurisdictional group of listed entities.

National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program (New)

  • Section 21203
  • Agency: Department of Transportation 
  • Description: The Department of Transportation “shall establish an annual competitive grant program to award grants to eligible entities for projects for the replacement, removal, and repair of culverts or weirs.” Projects include those that “improve or restore fish passage for anadromous fish” and regarding weirs, “infrastructure to facilitate fish passage around or over the weir” and ‘‘weir improvements.”
  • Funding: $800M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

Port Infrastructure Development Program

  • Division J, Title VII
  • Agency: Department of Transportation 
  • Description: Grants for “projects that improve the resiliency of ports to address sea-level rise, flooding, extreme weather events, earthquakes, and tsunami inundation, as well as projects that reduce or eliminate port-related criteria pollutant or greenhouse gas emissions.”
  • Funding: $2.25B to remain available until September 30, 2036.

New Centers of Excellence for Resilience and Adaptation

Transportation Resilience and Adaptation Centers of Excellence (New)

  • Section 13009
  • Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Description: The Department of Transportation must establish ten Regional Centers of Excellence for Resilience and Adaptation and one National Center of Excellence for Resilience and Adaptation. The  National Center will be the coordinator for the Regional Centers. The Centers will “receive grants to advance research and development that improves the resilience of regions of the United States to natural disasters and extreme weather by promoting the resilience of surface transportation infrastructure and infrastructure dependent on surface transportation.”
  • Funding: $500M total, $100M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 

New Requirements for the Department of Transportation

Stormwater Best Management Practices Reports

  • Section 11521
  • Agency: Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration 
  • Description: The Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration must “update and reissue” the 2014 and 1997 “best management practices report to reflect new information and advancements in stormwater management.” The Administrator is also required to update and reissue the reports until the best management practices report is withdrawn or the best management practices reports are incorporated into regulations.

Data Integration Pilot Program (New)

  • Section 13004
  • Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Description: Requires the Department of Transportation to provide research, develop models, and “facilitate data integration between the Department of Transportation, the National Weather Service, and other sources of data that provide real-time data with respect to roadway conditions during or as a result of severe weather events” and requires the Secretary to “address the safety, resiliency, and vulnerability of the transportation system to disasters.” 
  • Funding: Appropriation from the General Fund, $2.5M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

Risk and System Resilience

  • Section 25007
  • Agency: Department of Transportation 
  • Description: The Department of Transportation must “develop a process for quantifying annual risk in order to increase system resilience with respect to the surface transportation system of the United States by measuring— (1) resilience to threat probabilities by type of hazard and geographical location; (2) resilience to asset vulnerabilities with respect to each applicable threat; and (3) anticipated consequences from each applicable threat to each asset.” This process must be developed in consultation with federal, state, and local agencies and made available to state, regional, tribal, and local entities for use along with guidance and technical assistance to be provided by USDOT.

Miscellaneous

Extension of Highway Trust Fund Expenditure Authority

  • Section 80101
  • Description: Extends the Highway Trust Fund’s spending authority from October 1, 2021 to October 1, 2026. 

Energy & Buildings


Energy infrastructure is the backbone of daily life, and it can be highly susceptible to climate impacts like extreme heat, extreme cold, hurricanes and storms, or other events that cause over-usage and risk damage to transmission equipment. States, tribes, and communities are working to build resilience to these events to keep vital energy flowing through communities at all times.

As stated in GCC's Equitable Adaptation Legal and Policy Toolkit, "[g]overnments and utilities are making significant investments in renewable and clean energy in response to the transformation of the energy system. Investments are being made to modernize the grid, which entails improving transmission infrastructure to make it 'smarter' and more resilient through the use of cutting-edge technologies, equipment, and controls that communicate and work together to deliver electricity more reliably and efficiently. Transforming energy systems can include efforts to protect electric power infrastructure against the impacts of climate change by limiting the frequency and duration of power outages, reducing storm impacts, and restoring service faster when outages occur. These measures can also reduce the output of greenhouse gases (GHG) and pollution by energy systems by introducing more renewable energy. Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat."

BIL provides a mix of funding for new and existing energy programs and projects administered by the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This section highlights the energy programs that have specific resilience features. For example, BIL provides $1B for the DOE’s new program, Electric Grid Reliability and Resilience Research, Development, and Demonstration, which is aimed at enhancing regional grid resilience. Regarding existing programs, BIL provides over $3B for DOE’s long-standing Weatherization Assistance Program and $500M for HHS’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.


Grant Programs

Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid (New)

  • Section 40101
  • Agency: Department of Energy
  • Description: Grants for activities that “reduce the risk of any power lines owned or operated by the eligible entity causing a wildfire” or “increase the ability of the eligible entity to reduce the likelihood and consequences of disruptive events.”
  • Funding: $5B for the period of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 
  • Eligible Entities: An electric grid operator, an electricity storage operator, an electricity generator, a transmission owner or operator, a distribution provider, a fuel supplier, and any other relevant entity, as determined by the Department of Energy. 

Electric Grid Reliability and Resilience Research, Development, and Demonstration (New)

  • Section 40103
  • Agency: Department of Energy
  • Description: The Department of Energy “shall establish a program, to be known as the ‘Program Upgrading Our Electric Grid and Ensuring Reliability and Resiliency’, to provide, on a competitive basis, Federal financial assistance.” “The purpose of the program is to coordinate and collaborate with electric sector owners and operators— (A) to demonstrate innovative approaches to transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure to harden and enhance resilience and reliability; and (B) to demonstrate new approaches to enhance regional grid resilience, implemented through States by public and rural electric cooperative entities on a cost-shared basis.”
  • Funding: $1B for the period of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 
  • Eligible Entities: States, a combination of two or more states, tribes, local governments, and a public utility commission. 

Cost-Effective Codes Implementation for Efficiency and Resilience (New)

  • Section 40511
  • Agency: Department of Energy 
  • Description: The Department of Energy shall establish a competitive grant program “to enable sustained cost-effective implementation of updated building energy codes.”
  • Funding: $225M for the period of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.
  • Eligible Entities: Relevant state agencies (e.g., state building code agency, state energy office, or tribal energy office) and partnerships (“a partnership between a listed eligible entity and 1 or more of the following entities: local building code agencies, codes and standards developers, associations of builders and design and construction professionals, Local and utility energy efficiency programs, consumer, energy efficiency, and environmental advocates, and other entities, as determined by the Secretary.”)

Weatherization Assistance Program

  • Section 40551
  • Agency: Department of Energy
  • Description: Funding for the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which is established under the Energy Conservation and Production Act. The Weatherization Assistance Program “reduces energy costs for low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring their health and safety. The program supports 8,500 jobs and provides weatherization services to approximately 35,000 homes every year using DOE funds.”
  • Funding: $3.5B for fiscal year 2022, to remain available until expended.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program

  • Section 40552
  • Agency: Department of Energy 
  • DescriptionThe Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program has provided $3.2 billion in grants “to develop, promote, implement, and manage energy efficiency and conservation projects that ultimately created jobs.” BIL amends Section 544 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17154) to permit EECBG grants to be used for “programs for financing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and zero-emission transportation (and associated infrastructure), capital investments, projects, and programs, which may include loan programs and performance contracting programs, for leveraging of additional public and private sector funds, and programs that allow rebates, grants, or other incentives for the purchase and installation of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and zero-emission transportation (and associated infrastructure) measures.”
  • Funding: $550M for fiscal year 2022

Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund Authorization of Appropriations

  • Section 40701
  • Agency: Department of the Interior
  • Description: Funding for annual grants for states and tribes for abandoned mine land and water reclamation projects under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). 
  • Funding: $11.293B for fiscal year 2022, to remain available until expended, for deposit into the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. The Secretary of the Interior shall allocate and distribute amounts made available for grants. 
  • Eligible Entities: States and tribes.

Consumer Recycling Education and Outreach Grant Program; Federal Procurement (New)

  • Section 70402 and Division J, Title VI
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Competitive grants “to improve the effectiveness of residential and community recycling programs through public education and outreach.” Grants are “focused on improving material recycling, recovery, management, and reduction.” 
  • Funding: $15M per year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.
  • Eligible Entities: States, local government, tribes, a Native Hawaiian organization, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, nonprofit organizations, and public-private partnerships.

Pollution Prevention Program

  • Division J, Title VI
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Funding for Section 6605 of the Pollution Prevention Act, which includes the Environmental Protection Agency awarding competitive grants for programs that make technical assistance to businesses and provide training in source reduction techniques.
  • Funding: $100M total, $20M each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance

  • Division J, Title VII
  • Agency: Department of Health and Human Services 
  • Description: Additional money for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program provides “assistance in managing costs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs.”
  • Funding: $500M total, $100M each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

Other Programs and Projects

Deployment of Technologies to Enhance Grid Flexibility (New)

  • Section 40107
  • Agency: Department of Energy
  • Description: Amendment to Section 1306 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to include Smart Grid investments that “anticipate and mitigate impacts of extreme weather or natural disasters on grid resiliency.”
  • Funding: $3B for fiscal year 2022, to remain available through September 30, 2026. 

Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives (New)

  • Section 40333
  • Agency: Department of Energy
  • Description: The Department of Energy will “make incentive payments to the owners or operators of qualified hydroelectric facilities for capital improvements” related to improving grid resiliency, improving dam safety, and environmental improvements.  
  • Funding: $553,600,000 for fiscal year 2022, to remain available until expended.

Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (New)

  • Section 40522
  • Agency: Department of Energy
  • Description: The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy will “carry out onsite technical assessments to identify opportunities for” maximizing the energy efficiency of industrial processes and cross-cutting systems, preventing pollution and minimizing waste, improving efficient use of water in manufacturing processes, conserving natural resources, and other relevant goals.

New Requirements for the Department of Energy

Infrastructure Planning for Micro and Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (New)

  • Section 40321
  • Agency: Department of Energy
  • Description: The Department of Energy Secretary shall submit “a report that describes how the Department could enhance energy resilience and reduce carbon emissions with the use of micro-reactors and small modular reactors.”

Miscellaneous

Construction, Rehabilitation, Operation and Maintenance, Western Area Power Administration

  • Division J, Title III
  • Agency: Department of Energy
  • Description: Funding for the purchase of power and transmission services. “Western Area Power Administration's goal is to maintain the reliability and safety of its transmission system while managing power delivery costs and meeting our repayment responsibilities. In partnership with affiliated generating agencies and customers, WAPA controls costs, coordinates funding agreements and prioritizes construction and rehabilitation projects.”
  • Funding: $500M 

Natural Resources, Ecosystems, & Agriculture


Natural ecosystems like wetlands, forests, marshes, and grasslands provide significant services that benefit and protect people – natural barriers from storms and flooding, air and water filtration, and acting as carbon sinks to absorb and store carbon, helping mitigate the impacts of climate change. As stated in GCC's Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit, “[i]nvestments in ‘natural resilience,’ referring to the ability of ecosystems and the natural environment to absorb and recover quickly from stresses or disturbances, can also bring many other environmental, social, economic, and health-related” benefits to communities.

BIL provides a mix of funding for new and existing programs related to natural resources, ecosystems, and agriculture in addition to creating new requirements for agencies. These programs are administered by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers—Civil, the Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (under the Department of Homeland Security). This section highlights the natural resources, ecosystems, and agriculture programs and projects that have resilience features. There are multiple programs funding various wildfire mitigation or risk reduction activities. For example, BIL provides $2.13B for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 for ecosystem restoration projects and for USDA, in coordination with DOI, to create a collaborative-based, landscape-scale restoration program. BIL also provides $132M for EPA’s existing National Estuary Program, which protects and restores estuaries.


Grant Programs 

State Fire Assistance Grants

  • Division J, Title VI
  • Agency: Department of Agriculture 
  • Description: Funding for state fire assistance (SFA) grants. “The SFA program assists state forestry agencies in wildfire response coordination and delivery, compliance with the national safety and training standards that ensure state and local crew deployment to federal fires and other emergency situations, hazard assessments, fuels treatment projects, and public education efforts. Contact your State Forester's office for grant application forms and deadlines.”
  • Funding: $88M 

Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants

  • Division J, Title VI
  • Agency: Department of Agriculture 
  • Description: Funding for volunteer fire assistance (VFA) grants. “The VFA program, formerly known as the Rural Community Fire Protection program, is administered by state forestry agencies through 50-50 cost-sharing grants to local fire departments in rural communities. The program's main goal is to provide federal financial, technical, and other assistance in the organization, training, and equipping of fire departments in rural areas with a population of 10,000 or less. Contact your State Forester's office for grant application forms and deadlines.”
  • Funding: $20M 

Programs and Projects

Forest Service Legacy Road and Trail Remediation Program

  • Section 40801
  • Agency: Department of Agriculture 
  • Description: Amends the Forest Roads and Trails Act. Adds that the “Secretary shall establish the Forest Service Legacy Road and Trail Remediation Program” that among other things, works to restore passages for fish and other aquatic species and improve the resilience of National Forest System roads, trails, and bridges to extreme weather events, flooding, or other natural disasters.
  • Funding: To the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out Section 8 of the Forest Roads and Trails Act $250M for fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 

Wildfire Risk Reduction

  • Section 40803
    • Agencies: Department of Agriculture & Department of the Interior 
    • Description: Funding for activities related to wildfire risk reduction, which includes collaboration under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (section 4003 of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 7303)), mechanical thinning and timber harvesting, and wildfire defense grants.
    • Funding: To the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, acting through the Forest Service. $3,369,200,000 for fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 
  • Division J, Title VI
    • Department of the Interior, Wildland Fire Management Activities 
      • Description: $1,458,000,000 to remain available until expended: (1) $1.055B to carry out activities as authorized in Section 40803, including fuels management activities ($327M to remain available until expended, for fiscal year 2022, and $182M to remain available until expended, for each of fiscal years 2023 through 2026); (2) $35.6M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026 for fuels management activities; and (3) $45M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026 for burned area rehabilitation.
    • Department of Agriculture, Wildland Fire Management Activities.
      • Description: $2,854,000,000 to remain available until expended: (1) $2.115B for the Department of Agriculture acting through the Forest Service for activities as authorized in Sections 40803 and 40804; (2) $102.8M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026 for hazardous fuels management activities; and (3) $45M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026 for burned area recovery.
      • Description: For the Department of Agriculture, acting through the Forest Service. $696,200,000 to remain available until expended. To carry out activities as authorized in Section 40803. 

Ecosystem Restoration

  • Section 40804
    • Agency: Department of Agriculture 
    • Description: Funding for ecological health restoration projects through various programs, which include grants for voluntary ecosystem restoration projects on private or public land, grants for eradicating invasive species on non-Federal and federal land, and funding for the Department of Agriculture to in coordination with the Department of the Interior, to create a collaborative-based, landscape-scale restoration program. 
    • Funding: To the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service, $2.13B for the period of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 
  • Division J, Title VI
    • Description: $2,854,000,000, to remain available until expended of which, $2,115,000,000 for the Department of Agriculture acting through the Forest Service for activities as authorized in Sections 40803 and 40804. 

Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations

  • Division J, Title I
  • Agency: Department of Agriculture 
  • Description: “The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program helps units of federal, state, local and tribal of government (project sponsors) protect and restore watersheds up to 250,000 acres. This program provides for cooperation between the Federal government and the states and their political subdivisions to work together to prevent erosion; floodwater and sediment damage; to further the conservation development, use and disposal of water; and to further the conservation and proper use of land in authorized watersheds.”
  • Funding: $500M

Watershed Rehabilitation Program

  • Division J, Title I
  • Agency: Department of Agriculture 
  • Description: “The Watershed Rehabilitation Program helps project sponsors rehabilitate aging dams that are reaching the end of their design lives. This rehabilitation addresses critical public health and safety concerns. Since 1948, the Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS has assisted local sponsors in constructing 11,845 dams project dams.”
  • Funding: $118M 

Emergency Watershed Protection Program

  • Division J, Title I
  • Agency: Department of Agriculture 
  • Description: Funding “to repair damages to the waterways and watersheds resulting from natural disasters.” The Emergency Watershed Protection Program “allows communities to quickly protect infrastructure and land from additional flooding and soil erosion.”
  • Funding: $300M

National Estuarine Research Reserve System 

  • Division J, Title II
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: Funding “for habitat restoration projects through the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (16 U.S.C. 1456c), including ecosystem conservation pursuant to section 12502 of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 1456–1).”
  • Funding: $77M

Constructions

  • Division J, Title III
  • Agency: Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers—Civil
  • Description: $11,615,000,000 which includes $115M for aquatic ecosystem restoration program under section 206 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 (33 U.S.C. 2330) and $1.9B for aquatic ecosystem restoration projects.

National Estuary Program

  • Division J, Title V
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Description: Funding for the National Estuary Program, which “is an EPA place-based program to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of estuaries of national significance.”
  • Funding: $132M

New Requirements for Agencies

GAO Study

  • Section 40805
  • Description: The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) must complete a study on the effectiveness of United States Forest Service programs designed to reduce wildfire risk and restore ecosystems. The study will be submitted to Congress.
  • Funding: To the Comptroller General of the United States, $800K.

Establishment of Commission

  • Section 70203
  • Description: The Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Homeland Security acting through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, must establish a commission that will study and make recommendations to improve preventing and managing  wildland fires and rehabilitating land devastated by wildland fires.

Miscellaneous

Reforestation Following Wildfires and Other Unplanned Events

  • Section 70302
  • Description: Removal of “the cap on the Reforestation Trust Fund” and provides the Forest Service “more resources for post-fire reforestation.”

Water Infrastructure


As stated in GCC's Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit, "[c]limate change already is affecting water resources across America and data suggests the change will continue and may accelerate. Frontline communities with increased exposure to environmental pollution are more likely to confront issues related to water quality, for example, exposure to contaminated water through lead poisoning or increased stormwater and flooding affecting the quantity of water. As a result, climate-change-related weather events threaten to aggravate and worsen those existing risks to water quantity and quality. Climate change also “worsens water resource risks that are often disproportionately borne by frontline communities. Frontline populations tend to disproportionately live in areas that have the greatest risk of flooding; they face the greatest financial hurdles obtaining water during shortages or even when supplies are abundant; and they can be most exposed to poor water quality,” which may be “caused by aging infrastructure (e.g., old distribution pipes) that can harm human health.”

BIL provides a mix of funding for new and existing programs and projects related to water infrastructure. These programs are administered by the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers—Civil. This section highlights the water infrastructure and clean water programs and projects that have resilience features. For example, BIL provides $100M for grants for projects that improve watershed health, $250M for EPA to establish a competitive grant pilot program for underserved communities for projects that assist public water systems, and $125M for EPA to establish a clean water infrastructure resilience and sustainability grant program.


Grant Programs

WaterSMART Grants

  • Section 40901
  • Agency: Department of the Interior 
  • Description: “The American West faces serious water challenges. Wide-spread drought, increased populations, aging infrastructure, and environmental requirements all strain existing water and hydropower resources. Adequate and safe water supplies are fundamental to the health, economy, and security of the country. Through WaterSMART, Reclamation will continue to work cooperatively with states, tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and avoid potential water conflicts.”
  • Funding: $400M for WaterSMART grants in accordance with section 9504 of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (42 U.S.C. 10364). $100M shall be made available for projects that would improve the condition of a natural feature or nature-based feature.

Multi-Benefit Projects to Improve Watershed Health (New)

  • Section 40907
  • Agency: Department of the Interior 
  • Description: The Department of the Interior will “establish a competitive grant program under which the Secretary shall award grants to eligible applicants for the design, implementation, and monitoring of conservation outcomes of habitat restoration projects that improve watershed health in a river basin that is adversely impacted by a Bureau of Reclamation water project by accomplishing 1 or more of the following: (1) Ecosystem benefits. (2) Restoration of native species. (3) Mitigation against the impacts of climate change to fish and wildlife habitats. (4) Protection against invasive species. (5) Restoration of aspects of the natural ecosystem. (6) Enhancement of commercial, recreational, subsistence, or Tribal ceremonial fishing. (7) Enhancement of river-based recreation.”
  • Funding: $100M 

Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities Program

  • Section 50104
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Amends Section 1459A of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–19a). Reauthorizes and modifies the program, which provides grants to assist public water systems that serve small and disadvantaged communities.
  • Funding: $70M for fiscal year 2022;  $80M for fiscal year 2023; $100M for fiscal year 2024; $120M for fiscal year 2025; $140M for fiscal year 2026.

Drinking Water Infrastructure Risk and Resiliency Program for Small Communities

  • Section 50104
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Descriptions: Amends Section 1459A of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–19a). Reauthorizes the Drinking Water Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability program. Under the program, grants are awarded to increase resilience to natural hazards. 
  • Funding: $25M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 

Connection to Public Water Systems: Competitive Grant Program (New)

  • Section 50104
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Section 1459A of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–19a) is amended to require the Environmental Protection Agency to “establish a competitive grant program for the purpose of improving the general welfare under which the Administrator awards grants to eligible entities to provide funds to assist eligible individuals in covering the costs incurred by the eligible individual in connecting the household of the eligible individual to a public water system.” 
  • Funding: $20M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

State Competitive Grants for Underserved Communities: Competitive Grant Pilot Program (New)

  • Section 50104
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Section 1459A of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–19a) is amended to require the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator to establish State Competitive Grants for Underserved Communities with “criteria that give priority to States with a high proportion of underserved communities” for projects that assist public water systems. 
  • Funding: $50M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

Operational Sustainability of Small Public Water Systems (New)

  • Section 50106
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: The Environmental Protection Agency will “establish a program to award grants to eligible entities for the purpose of improving the operational sustainability of 1 or more small systems.” 
  • Funding: $50M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.
  • Eligible Entities: States, local government, a public corporation established by a unit of local government to provide water service, a nonprofit corporation, public trust, or cooperative association that owns or operates a public water system, a tribe that owns or operates a public water system, a nonprofit organization that provides technical assistance to public water systems, and a tribal consortium.

Midsize and Large Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program (New)

  • Section 50107
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: The Environmental Protection Agency will establish the Midsize and Large Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program and award grants for projects that work towards “increasing resilience to natural hazards and extreme weather events” and “reducing cybersecurity vulnerabilities.”
  • Funding: $50M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 
  • Eligible Entity: Public water system that serves a community with a population of 10,000 or more. 

Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants

  • Section 50204
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Amends Section 221 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1301). Reauthorizes and expands the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants Program, which provides grants “for critical stormwater infrastructure projects in communities.”
  • Funding: $280M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026

Clean Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Program (New)

  • Section 50205
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: The Environmental Protection Agency will establish a clean water infrastructure resilience and sustainability program. Through the program, the Environmental Protection Agency will award grants for “increasing the resilience of publicly owned treatment works to a natural hazard or cybersecurity vulnerabilities.”
  • Funding: $25M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 

Centers of Excellence for Stormwater Control Infrastructure Technologies

  • Section 50217 
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description:  Competitive grants for establishing and maintaining at least three, but not more than five, Centers of Excellence for New and Emerging Stormwater Control Infrastructure Technologies. The Centers will be located in various regions in the United States. 
  • Funding: $5M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 

Stormwater Control Infrastructure Project Grants

  • Section 50217
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Competitive grants for “stormwater control infrastructure projects that incorporate new and emerging, but proven, stormwater control technologies.”
  • Funding: $10M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 

Save Our Seas 2.0 Act 

  • Division J, Title VI
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Funding for grants under section 302(a) of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, which includes grants for improving local post-consumer materials management and assisting local waste management authorities to improve local waste management systems.  
  • Funding: $55M each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 

Other Programs and Projects

Cooperative Watershed Management Program

  • Section 40901
  • Agency: Department of the Interior 
  • Description: “The Cooperative Watershed Management Program (CWMP) contributes to the WaterSMART strategy by providing funding to watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local solutions to address their water management needs.”
  • Funding: $100M for watershed management projects in accordance with subtitle A of title VI of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 1015 et seq.)

Drought Contingency Plan Funding Requirements

  • Section 40906 and Division J, Title III
  • Agency: Department of the Interior 
  • Description: Funds for Lower Colorado River Basin projects that “establish or conserve recurring Colorado River water that contributes to supplies in Lake Mead and other Colorado River water reservoirs in the Lower Colorado River Basin” or “to improve the long-term efficiency of operations in the Lower Colorado River Basin.”
  • Funding: $300M for implementing the Colorado River Basin Drought Contingency Plan. $50M for the Upper Colorado River Basin.

Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds

  • Section 50102 and Division J, Title VI
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: The Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund “is a financial assistance program to help water systems and states to achieve the health protection objectives of the” Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • Funding: $11.713B for capitalization grants for the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds under section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act. $15B for capitalization grants for the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds under section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act funds for lead service line replacement projects. $4B for capitalization grants for the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds under section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act that address emerging contaminants. 

Clean Water State Revolving Funds

  • Section 50210 and Division J, Title VI
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: “The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program is a federal-state partnership that provides communities low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects.”
  • Funding: $11.713B for capitalization grants for the Clean Water State Revolving Funds under title VI of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. $1B for capitalization grants for the Clean Water State Revolving Funds under title VI of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act that address emerging contaminants. 

Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies

  • Division J, Title III
  • Agency: Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers—Civil
  • Description: $251M for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies projects.

Constructions

  • Division J, Title III
  • Agency: Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers—Civil
  • Description: $11,615,000,000, which includes:
    • $1.5B for major rehabilitation, construction, and related activities for rivers and harbors
    • $200M for water-related environmental infrastructure assistance
    • $2.5B for construction, replacement, rehabilitation, and expansion of inland waterways projects
    • $2.55B for coastal storm risk management, hurricane and storm damage reduction projects, and related activities targeting states that have been impacted by federally declared disasters over the last six years
    • $200M for shore protection projects
    • $2.5B for inland flood risk management projects
    • Priority for projects that directly benefit economically disadvantaged communities

Brownfields 

  • Division J, Title VI
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Funding for Brownfields projects in the form of grants, interagency agreements, and program support. This funding is not subject to cost share requirements.
  • Funding: $1.5B total for fiscal years 2022 through 2026. $1.2B for competitive grants, raised grant caps for half of the competitive grant funding to $600M. $300M for categorical grants.

Miscellaneous 

Aging Infrastructure Account

  • Section 40901
  • Agency: Department of the Interior 
  • Description: $3.2B for the Aging Infrastructure Account for “major rehabilitation and replacement activities.” 

Investigations 

  • Division J, Title III
  • Agency: Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers—Civil
  • Description: Army Corps of Engineers Investigations for technical assistance and to initiate or complete previously authorized studies. 
  • Funding: $150M 

Construction, Rehabilitation, Operation and Maintenance, Western Area Power Administration

  • Division J, Title III
  • Agency: Department of Energy
  • Description: Funding for the purchase of power and transmission services. Western Area Power Administration's goal is to maintain the reliability and safety of its transmission system while managing power delivery costs and meeting our repayment responsibilities. In partnership with affiliated generating agencies and customers, WAPA controls costs, coordinates funding agreements and prioritizes construction and rehabilitation projects.”
  • Funding: $500M 

Coastal


As stated in GCC's Managed Retreat Toolkit, “[r]ising sea levels in some areas are causing coastal roads and other public infrastructure to experience more frequent inundation during king tides or even daily high tides, more severe erosion and flooding from coastal storm events, and in some cases inundation or pooling from below that extends further inland as groundwater tables rise. These impacts create public safety hazards and prevent public infrastructure from functioning as intended, as flooded roads cause traffic delays, require detours, and in some cases, temporarily cut off sole access to communities. Roads that have been eroded, washed out, or weakened structurally (e.g., by heightened groundwater tables) can require more frequent and costly maintenance and repairs.” Governments can “prepare public transportation infrastructure assets for coastal impacts of climate change by (1) modifying asset design or adding protective features, (2) relocating or realigning assets, or (3) disinvesting in assets in high-exposure areas.” Moreover, as stated in GCC's Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit, “[i]nvestments in ‘natural resilience,’ referring to the ability of ecosystems and the natural environment to absorb and recover quickly from stresses or disturbances, can also bring many other environmental, social, economic, and health-related” benefits to communities. 

BIL provides a mix of funding for new and existing programs and projects related to coastal issues. These programs and projects are administered by the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (under the Department of Homeland Security), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of the Army Corps of Engineers—Civil. This section highlights the coastal programs and projects that have resilience features. BIL provides funding to existing hazard mitigation programs such as $500M for grants through the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act of 2020 (STORM Act). Additionally, money has been allocated for habitat restoration and ecosystem conservation projects through existing NOAA programs such as $207M for the Coastal Zone Management Program and $492M for the National Coastal Resiliency Fund.


Programs and Projects

National Coastal Resiliency Fund

  • Division J, Title II
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: The National Coastal Resilience Fund is a partnership between NOAA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The “Fund restores, increases and strengthens natural infrastructure to protect coastal communities while also enhancing habitats for fish and wildlife.” The “Fund invests in conservation projects that restore or expand natural features such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs, forests, coastal rivers and floodplains, and barrier islands that minimize the impacts of storms and other naturally occurring events on nearby communities.”
  • Funding: $492M

Community-Based Restoration Project

  • Division J, Title II
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: For contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements to provide funding and technical assistance for purposes of restoring marine, estuarine, coastal, or Great Lakes ecosystem habitat, or constructing or protecting ecological features that protect coastal communities from flooding or coastal storms.
  • Funding: $491M

Mapping, Observations, and Modeling

  • Division J, Title II
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: Funding for “coastal and inland flood and inundation mapping and forecasting, and next-generation water modeling activities, including modernized precipitation frequency and probable maximum studies.”
  • Funding: $492M

National Mesonet Program

  • Division J, Title II
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: Funding “for data acquisition activities pursuant to section 511(b) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (division AA of Public Law 116–260),” which is the National Mesonet Program’s work of installing “a network of soil moisture and plains snowpack monitoring stations, and modification of existing stations, in the Upper Missouri River Basin.”
  • Funding: $8,334,000 shall be available in fiscal year 2023 and $8,333,000 shall be available in each of fiscal years 2024 and 2025. 

Marine Debris Program

  • Division J, Title II
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: The Marine Debris Program’s mission “is to investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris” and “envisions the global ocean and its coasts free from the impacts of marine debris.”
  • Funding: $150M for marine debris assessment, prevention, mitigation, and removal. $50M for marine debris prevention and removal through the National Sea Grant College Program.

Coastal Zone Management Program 

  • Division J, Title II
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: Funding “for habitat restoration projects pursuant to section 310 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1456c), including ecosystem conservation pursuant to section 12502 of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 1456–1).”
  • Funding: $207M

National Estuarine Research Reserve System 

  • Division J, Title II
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: Funding “for habitat restoration projects through the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (16 U.S.C. 1456c), including ecosystem conservation pursuant to section 12502 of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 1456–1).”
  • Funding: $77M

Regional Ocean Partnerships 

  • Division J, Title II
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: For the “Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs) to coordinate the interstate and intertribal management of ocean and coastal resources and to implement their priority actions, including to enhance associated sharing and integration of Federal and non-Federal data by ROPs, or their equivalent.”
  • Funding: $56M

Procurement, Acquisition and Construction

  • Division J, Title II
  • Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Description: For “research supercomputing infrastructure used for weather and climate model development to improve drought, flood, and wildfire prediction, detection, and forecasting.”
  • Funding: $80M 

Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies

  • Division J, Title III
  • Agency: Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers—Civil
  • Description: Funding for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies projects. 
  • Funding: $251M

Federal Assistance

  • Division J, Title V
  • Agency: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Description: Funding for the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act of 2020 or STORM Act (Section 205 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5135), for the purposes of establishing hazard mitigation revolving loan programs that can fund projects that mitigate natural hazards including wildfires, earthquakes, drought, severe storm events, erosion, storm surges, and high water levels. Federal capitalization grants enable local hazard mitigation activities designed to decrease loss of life and property, insurance costs, and the necessity for future federal disaster relief.
  • Funding: $500M total, $100M each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026

National Flood Insurance Fund: Flood Mitigation Assistance Program

  • Division J, Title V
  • Agency: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Description: Money from the National Flood Insurance Fund for flood mitigation actions and assistance. “The Flood Mitigation Assistance Program is a competitive grant program that provides funding to states, local communities, federally recognized tribes and territories. Funds can be used for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program.”
  • Funding: $3.5B total, $700,000,000 each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

National Estuary Program

  • Division J, Title V
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Description: Funding for the National Estuary Program, which “is an EPA place-based program to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of estuaries of national significance.”
  • Funding: $132M total, $26,400,000 each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

Save Our Seas 2.0 Act 

  • Division J, Title VI
  • Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Description: Funding for grants under section 302(a) of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, which includes grants for improving local post-consumer materials management and assisting local waste management authorities to improve local waste management systems.  
  • Funding: $55M each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 

Preparedness & Emergency Response


As stated in GCC's Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit, “[o]ne of the most apparent consequences of climate change is the increase in the frequency and intensity of severe weather-related and disaster events that have already posed — and will continue to pose — significant threats to the health and safety of people and to communities. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a disaster event can include natural catastrophes, technological accidents, or human-caused events that have resulted in severe property damage, deaths, and/or multiple injuries. In the case of severe weather events, more and more disasters are no longer just ‘natural’ given anthropogenic influences. Examples of these severe weather events that have been, or are expected to be, exacerbated by climate change include heat waves, hurricane intensity, floods, wildfires, and droughts.” “Governments and communities need ways to respond, recover, and prepare to mitigate future risk.”

BIL provides a mix of funding for new and existing programs and projects related to preparedness and emergency response. These programs are administered by the Department of the Army Corps of Engineers—Civil, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (under the Department of Homeland Security), and the Department of Energy. This section highlights the preparedness and emergency response programs and projects that have resilience features. BIL provides funding to existing hazard mitigation programs such as $1B for FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program and $500M for grants through the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act of 2020 (STORM Act).


Programs & Projects

Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies

  • Division J, Title III
  • Agency: Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers—Civil
  • Description: Funding for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies projects. 
  • Funding: $251M

Federal Assistance

  • Division J, Title V
  • Agency: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Description: Funding for the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act of 2020 or STORM Act (Section 205 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5135), for the purposes of establishing hazard mitigation revolving loan programs that can fund projects that mitigate natural hazards including wildfires, earthquakes, drought, severe storm events, erosion, storm surges, and high water levels. Federal capitalization grants enable local hazard mitigation activities designed to decrease loss of life and property, insurance costs, and the necessity for future federal disaster relief.
  • Funding: $500M total, $100M each year for fiscal years 2022 through 2026

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program (BRIC)

  • Division J, Title V
  • Agency: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Description: The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program assists “states, local communities, tribes and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards.” BRIC provides a consistent source of federal funding for building pre-disaster community resilience.
  • Funding: $1B total, $200M each year for fiscal years 2022-2024

National Flood Insurance Fund: Flood Mitigation Assistance Program

  • Division J, Title V
  • Agency: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Description: Money from the National Flood Insurance Fund for flood mitigation actions and assistance. “The Flood Mitigation Assistance Program is a competitive grant program that provides funding to states, local communities, federally recognized tribes and territories. Funds can be used for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program.”
  • Funding: $3.5B

Miscellaneous

Hazard Mitigation Using Disaster Assistance

  • Section 40102
  • Agency: Department of Energy
  • Description: Amendment to section 404(f)(12) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170c(f)(12)) to add wildfire to the hazard mitigation program.

What funding opportunities does BIL provide for regional networks?


Background

Many programs in BIL that have resilience and adaptation features also have collaborative features. The collaborative features arise in one of two ways: (1) through a program’s list of eligible entities; or (2) the program itself is intended to be a collaborative program.

The Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) grant program is an example of a program that is regionally oriented because of who is eligible to apply for funding:

PROTECT Program

The PROTECT grant program is a new program that requires the Transportation Secretary to establish a formula and competitive grant program for states and other governmental entities to pursue resilience planning and improvements for transportation infrastructure. BIL provides a total of $8.7B for this program, which is divided into $7.3B for formula grants and $1.4B for competitive grants. 

The collaborative aspect of this program is in the eligible entities. For example, a federal land management agency can apply jointly with a state or group of states, and a multi-state or multijurisdictional group of the listed entities – which include local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and other authorities with transportation functions – can also apply. Thus, if eligible entities want to foster regional collaboration for this program, it seems possible to do so. 

Conversely, the Electric Grid Reliability and Resilience Research, Development, and Demonstration Program is regionally oriented because the program itself is intended to foster regional collaboration:

The Electric Grid Reliability and Resilience Research, Development, and Demonstration Program 

The Electric Grid Reliability and Resilience Research, Development, and Demonstration Program is also a new program. $1B has been allocated for this program for fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 

As a contrast to PROTECT, this program is regionally oriented because one of the purposes of the program itself is to foster regional and cross-sectoral collaboration. The stated purpose of the program is to coordinate and collaborate with electric sector owners and operators to increase regional grid resiliency. The collaborative intent here also matches with the listed eligible entities for this program, which includes a combination of two or more states, and it also includes tribes, or local governments


Other BIL Programs with Collaborative Features 

Here is a full list of programs in BIL with resilience and adaptation focuses that also have collaborative features whether it is in the eligible list of entities or the program’s intent includes regional collaboration. Many of these are newly authorized programs created by BIL. Visit the other sections to learn more about individual programs.

Department of Transportation

Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) Program
The list of eligible entities include a multi-state or multijurisdictional group of listed entities. 

Healthy Streets Program (New)
Nonprofit organizations can work in coordination with a listed entity. 

Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program (New)
For capital construction grants under this program, if applicable, the owner of an eligible facility may partner with a State, unit of local government, Tribal government, metropolitan planning organization, or nonprofit organization.

Transportation Resilience and Adaptation Centers of Excellence (New)
The Centers will be located in various regions. Part of the activities of the Centers includes engaging in regional collaboration.

Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program
Project intent includes grants for surface transportation projects that will have significant regional impacts. Eligible entities include multi-state or multijurisdictional group of listed entities. USDOT states that “the eligibility requirements of RAISE allow project sponsors at the State and local levels to obtain funding for multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional projects that are more difficult to support through traditional DOT programs.”

Environmental Protection Agency

Centers of Excellence for Stormwater Control Infrastructure Technologies (New)
The Centers will be located in various regions and must “collaborate with institutions of higher education and private and public organizations, including community-based public-private partnerships and other stakeholders, in the geographical region in which the center is located” in addition to working “with the other centers to avoid duplication of efforts.”

Midsize and Large Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program (New) 
Funds can be used for “the formation of regional water partnerships to collaboratively address documented water shortages.”

Operational Sustainability of Small Public Water Systems (New)
The listed eligible entities include cooperative associations.

Department of Energy

Electric Grid Reliability and Resilience Research, Development, and Demonstration (New) 
The purpose of the program is to coordinate and collaborate with electric sector owners and operators and the listed eligible entities include a combination of two or more states.

Cost-Effective Codes Implementation for Efficiency and Resilience (New) 
The listed eligible entities include partnerships. 

Department of the Interior 

Wildfire Risk Reduction 
Funding for the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program.

Ecosystem Restoration 
The Collaborative-based, aquatic-focused, landscape-scale restoration program.

WaterSMART Grants 
The Bureau Reclamation works cooperatively with states, tribes, and local entities. On March 24, the Bureau of Reclamation “announced a funding opportunity for WaterSMART: Drought Resiliency Projects.” Eligible applicants include regional authorities (the members of which include one or more organizations with water or power delivery authority) and nonprofit conservation organizations that are acting in partnership with an eligible applicant.

Cooperative Watershed Management Program 
The Cooperative Watershed Management Program (CWMP) provides funding to watershed groups. A watershed group is a self-sustaining, non-regulatory, consensus-based group that is composed of a diverse array of stakeholders, which may include, but is not limited to, private property owners, non-profit organizations, Federal, state, or local agencies, and tribes.”

National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration

Regional Ocean Partnerships
Regional Ocean Partnerships must “coordinate the interstate and intertribal management of ocean and coastal resources.” 

Community-Based Restoration Projects
Includes cooperative agreements.