Let’s Explore the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Build.gov

Male and female construction workers

$973 billion. That’s the amount of funding the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021 (P.L. 117-58) will provide over the next five years from fiscal years 2022 through 2026. Of that total, $550 billion is dedicated to new investments for all modes of transportation, water, power and energy, environmental remediation, public lands, broadband and resilience. 

Commonly referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the law signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021 has been described as the “most comprehensive infrastructure law passed by Congress in decades.” It received this moniker because it focuses on all major sectors of infrastructure instead of just one such as water, energy, or broadband.

One can be forgiven for getting a little overwhelmed when trying to process the widespread impact the BIL will have on American infrastructure and Americans themselves. While the broad categories of investments such as transportation and energy are clear, projects that will be funded include replacing lead service lines, bringing clean water to people’s homes, repairing roads and bridges, and creating “good-paying union jobs.”

A Look at the Numbers

The BIL allocated funding for over 350 programs across more than a dozen federal departments and agencies including the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, Transportation and others. Funding will be provided through formula and competitive grants, cooperative agreements, direct loans, contracts, interagency agreements, direct federal spending, subsidies, direct financing and other funding mechanisms. 

Below is a sample of the funding available for just two program areas—Transportation and Climate, Energy and the Environment.

Transportation

Funding allocated for transportation will cover a wide range of projects including bridges, carbon reduction, tribal transportation programs, and congestion relief. Below is a sample of projects that will be funded:

  • Roads, Bridges and Major Projects—-$400 billion over five years
  • Bridge Investment Program—-$12.2 billion over four years
  • Puerto Rico Highway Program—-$900,995,000 over four years
  • Territorial Highway Program—-$239,505,000 over four years
  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprises—-$50,000,000 until expended
  • On-the-Job Training Program—-$50,000,000 until expended
  • Public Transportation TA and Workforce Dev—-$27,545,852 until expended
  • Public Transportation—-$91.2 billion (various periods of availability)
  • Safety—-$38 billion
  • Electric Vehicles, Buses and Ferries—-$18.6 billion

Climate, Energy, and the Environment

Investments in Climate, Energy and the Environment will encompass programs areas such Clean Energy and Power, Water, Resilience and Environmental Remediation.

For example, investment in Clean Energy and Power projects is close to $75 billion in grant, cooperative agreement, contract and other funding mechanisms through the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Interior and Homeland Security.

A $55 billion investment in water infrastructure has also been authorized by the BIL. This includes funding for drinking water, wastewater, water reuse, water storage, lead pipe replacement and the removal of dangerous contaminants.

Some of the grant funding in this program area include:

  • Weatherization Assistance Program—-$3.5 billion
  • Battery Manufacturing and Recycling Grants—-$3 billion
  • Grants for EE and RE Improvements at Public School Facilities—-$500 million
  • Energy Auditor Training Grant Program—-$40 million
  • Career Skills Training (NP)—-$10 million
  • Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation, Small and Underserved Communities Emerging Contaminants Grant Program—-$5 billion
  • Water Recycling:—-$1 billion
$7.5 billion has been allocated for alternative fuel corridors and a national network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the U.S.

Other major funding areas include:

  • Broadband ($65 billion)
  • Regional Commission Programs ($8,678,364,089)
  • Departments of Commerce, Agriculture and Energy Programs – Includes funding for programs such as Secure Rural Schools, Bioproduct Pilot Program, Marine Debris, and Manufacturing Leadership.
  • Departments of Health & Human Services and the Interior Programs – Includes funding for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • Department of Transportation Programs – Includes funding for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and Training and Education ($127,500,000)
  • Environmental Protection Agency programs – Includes funding to address Gulf Hypoxia ($60 million), Solid Waste Management and Recycling ($375 million)—the $375 million includes $75 million in funding for Reduce, Reuse, Recycling Education and Outreach Grants.

Build.gov

Want to know what programs will be funded? What agency will provide the funding? If the funding will be offered as a grant, contract, or other funding mechanism? Whether your company or organization qualifies for certain funding opportunities? Then, check out Build.gov. The website is being updated by White House staff on a regular basis.

Below is an image of funding opportunities currently available on Build.gov. Each funding can be sorted by program name, category, agency, bureau, funding amount, funding mechanism and whether the program existed before the enactment of the bill or whether it is a new program authorized by the law. You can also click the + next to the program name to access additional information such as period of availability, recipients, program description, eligible uses, federal cost share requirement, and more.

Sample of funding opportunities listed on Build.gov

The Guidebook

The White House released Building a Better America: A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Governments, and Other Partners to “be as transparent as possible,” to serve as a roadmap to the funding available, and as a resource for stakeholders to know who to contact and how to get ready to rebuild.  The guidebook consists of 13 chapters to align with the programs by issue area.

Jobs to Support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The federal government’s USAJOBS website now lists jobs to support the BIL. A number of economist, contract specialist, statistician, project officer, environmental protection specialist, engineer and other positions are currently posted on the website.

State-based Infrastructure Coordinators 

In early 2022, the White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator sent a letter to governors outlining recommendations to prepare for the funding including the appointment of state-level infrastructure coordinators to manage the flow of funds to each state. City leaders were also instructed to develop collaborations with Tribal leaders, county officials, civil rights and territorial leaders.

County Governments

County governments can meet eligibility requirements for formula-based funding, subawards from state governments through Metropolitan Planning Organizations, or competitive grants directly from the U.S. Department of Transportation or state departments of transportation.

Mayors Factsheet

Mayors were advised to coordinate across their departments and with metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to prioritize their capital needs, develop a project pipeline, identify funding to target in the guidebook, ensure all transit, railway, road, highway and bridge projects are part of their MPO’s Transportation Improvement Plan, begin mapping sites for electric vehicle and other alternative fuel charging stations, inventory and map lead pipes, work with the states’ broadband agency, and establish relationships with federal agency’s regional offices.

Supporting Underserved Communities

One important element of the BIL is the set aside funding for disadvantaged communities, many that will be applying for federal funding from a slate of federal agencies for the first time. 

The Administration proposes to advance equity, racial justice, gender quality, and environmental justice to ensure every program is accessible for underserved communities by providing technical assistance and simplifying the federal funding process. All BIL programs are subject to the President’s Justice40 Initiative. 

One program to note is the Reconnecting Communities program which allocates $1 billion to the DOT to reconnect communities “divided by transportation infrastructure—often nearly destroyed or cut in half by a highway.”

The BIL proposes to advance equity, racial justice, gender quality, and environmental justice

Grants Works’ Federal Grants Simplified Bootcamp

To join the next cohort of participants in Grants Works’ Federal Grants Simplified Bootcamp, register here.

The bootcamp is a six-week training program that consists of video-based training complemented by live, weekly group classes led by Grants Works’ CEO, and access to helpful federal grant resources.

Resources

Below is a list of resources used to write this post. If your company needs assistance applying for or managing federal grants or cooperative agreements, please contact Grants Works.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58)

Build.gov

Building A Better America Guidebook

Jobs to Support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law