WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Biden’s signature on the long overdue $1.5 trillion FY 2022 omnibus spending deal unlocks the full historic benefits to U.S. infrastructure included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law on November 16, 2021. This will allow for spending on programs which support all 17 categories of infrastructure outlined in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.
“It’s go time,” said Dennis D. Truax, ASCE President. “Passage of this bill releases vital funding for states and localities to implement much-needed programs to improve our nation’s infrastructure. This bill prevents the need for another Continuing Resolution this year and allows all funds from the infrastructure bill to be spent rather than being limited to last year’s levels.”
The IIJA is a $1.2 trillion investment in the nation’s infrastructure over the next five years, with $550 billion standing as new revenue for the sector. This comprehensive legislation provides a major boost for improving our surface transportation network, the energy grid, drinking water and wastewater systems, ports and inland waterways, broadband expansion, and more. The bill also includes the largest-ever investment in the resilience of our built environment, dedicating $50 billion to weatherize and harden these systems, along with creating programs to protect communities from droughts, floods, and wildfires.
Passage of the FY 2022 omnibus allows the IIJA’s influx of revenue and new programs to begin. Among those programs are:
- The Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) program: This Department of Transportation (DOT) program would fund improvements to make infrastructure more resilient to natural disasters
- The Corridor Identification and Development Program: This DOT program will help facilitate the development of intercity passenger rail corridors.
- Clean Water Resiliency and Sustainability Program: This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program authorizes $25 million annually for 5 years and will award grants to increase the resiliency of publicly owned treatment plants from natural hazards or cybersecurity attacks.
- Rural and Low-Income Water Assistance Pilot Program: This EPA program will award grants to develop and implement programs to assist households in need maintain access to drinking water and wastewater.
- New discretionary grant program for airport terminal development and connections: This $5 billion in new funding through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is for terminal development projects, with a special focus on replacing aging infrastructure, increasing capacity and passenger access, achieving ADA compliance, improving airport access for historically disadvantaged populations, achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED accreditation), and more.
- Program upgrading our electric grid and ensuring reliability and resiliency: This Department of Energy (DOE) program, authorized at $5 billion over five years, provides competitive grants for projects that demonstrate innovative approaches to transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure, and to harden and enhance resilience and reliability.
With the aforementioned programs taking center stage and increased funding levels impacting 17 infrastructure categories now that the FY 2022 omnibus has passed, it is important to note that the proposed federal gas tax holiday would take $20 billion in funds from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) – the program responsible for funding road, bridge and transit maintenance and repairs across the nation. This proposal would negate a large portion of the progress made in the IIJA to improve our surface transportation network.
“IIJA revenue over the next five years has the opportunity to jumpstart the economy, provide jobs, and protect Americans from unsafe infrastructure conditions and increasingly severe weather events,” said Truax. “Our members and staff stand ready to work with the Administration, as well as state and local agencies, to ensure these investments are made wisely and pay dividends now and over the upcoming years.”
About the American Society of Civil Engineers
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.