Resilience in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)

 

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.

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