Resilience in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)

 

Transportation


IIJA 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 IIJA. 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. IIJA 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 IIJA money dedicated to resilience. 

On November 15, 2021, IIJA became Public Law 117-58. Each description below includes a citation to where the program is listed in IIJA. Any listed page numbers refer to the page numbers of the Public Law 117-58 PDF document linked here.

Information regarding the programs covered under Justice40 is found here and is updated as of August 18, 2022.


Grant Programs

National Highway Performance Program 

  • Section 11105, Page 29
  • 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.’’See footnote 1

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

  • Section 11405, Page 133
  • 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.”See footnote 2
  • 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. 
  • Does Justice40 Apply?: Yes

Healthy Streets Program (New)

  • Section 11406, Page 147
  • 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, Page 160
  • 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.”See footnote 3
  • Funding Available
  • 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. 
  • Does Justice40 Apply?: Yes

Invasive Plant Elimination Program (New)

  • Section 11522, Page 176
  • 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.”See footnote 4
  • Funding: $50M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. 
  • Eligible Entities: States

Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program

  • Section 21202, Page 243
  • 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.”See footnote 5 IIJA revised the list of eligible applicants and applications will “be evaluated on the criteria of mobility and community connectivity.”See footnote 6 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.”See footnote 7 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.
  • Does Justice40 Apply?: Yes

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

  • Section 21203, Page 248
  • 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.”See footnote 8
  • Funding: $800M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

Port Infrastructure Development Program

  • Division J, Title VII, Page 1014
  • 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.”See footnote 9
  • Funding: $2.25B to remain available until September 30, 2036.
  • Does Justice40 Apply?: Yes

New Centers of Excellence for Resilience and Adaptation

Transportation Resilience and Adaptation Centers of Excellence (New)

  • Section 13009, Page 214
  • 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.”See footnote 10
  • 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, Page 175
  • 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.”See footnote 11 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, Page 201
  • 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.”See footnote 12  
  • Funding: Appropriation from the General Fund, $2.5M for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

Risk and System Resilience

  • Section 25007, Page 421
  • 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.”See footnote 13 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, Page 899
  • DescriptionExtends the Highway Trust Fund’s spending authority from October 1, 2021 to October 1, 2026. 

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