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Advocacy / Infrastructure Funding

June 26, 2020

ACEC Advocacy SVP Steve Hall Highlights Key Provisions in Moving Forward Act

The Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2) would authorize transportation, energy, water, brownfields, broadband, public housing, health care facilities, and public school construction programs over five years. The bill totals approximately $1.5 trillion in investment from FY 2021-25.

  • Text of the Moving Forward Act is here.
  • The Section by Section summary is here.
  • A Five-Page Fact Sheet is here.

Here is a summary of some of the major provisions and accounts in the bill.

Surface Transportation

The bill incorporates the text of the INVEST in America Act, the five-year, $494 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill approved by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.  That bill includes

  • $311 billion for federal highway programs
  • $105 billion for transit programs
  • $60 billion for passenger rail

The bill extends current programs through FY’21 and adds $14.7 billion for highways and $6.75 billion for transit, and it waives the non-federal match for FY 2021.  New programs would go into effect in FY 2022.

Aviation

The bill increases annual Airport Improvement Program funding to $4 billion and authorizes an additional $17.5 billion in supplemental airport funding over 5 years (subject to appropriations).

Energy

H.R. 2 authorizes the following amounts for energy programs and projects:

  • $700 million annually in electricity grid modernization projects with eligible partnerships (national labs, educational institutions, state or local governments, electric utilities, and transmission organizations) including advanced controls for transmission and distribution to improve resilient, reliable, and affordable service through distributed generation, microgrids, storage, electric vehicles, efficiency, and demand response.
  • $5 million annually for grants to design and demonstrate energy storage and micro-grid programs.
  • $250 million annually for grants for natural gas distribution performance improvements.
  • $200 million annually for solar grants to serve low-income populations.
  • Loan Program Office – defers payment of fees, credit subsidy costs shifted to federal government subject to appropriations, expands eligibility of projects.

The bill also revives and extends the Production Tax Credit for most renewable energy facilities through 2025; geothermal through 2020; and wind preserved at current levels through 2020, then extended at 60% through 2025.  ITCs are extended through 2025 for geothermal, wind, solar, CHP, storage, etc.  The bill also includes the 45Q extension for carbon oxide sequestration credits, and 48(a)(5) credit extension for offshore wind facilities.

Water

  • Authorizes $25 billion to improve drinking water infrastructure; Drinking Water SRF increased from $4.1 billion in fiscal 2022 to $4.8 billion in fiscal 2023, and to $5.5 billion in fiscal years 2024 and 2025.
  • Authorizes $500 million annual grant program to support technology investments to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances from drinking water; EPA administrator would have to publish a list of treatment technologies that it determines are effective in removing “all detectable amounts” of PFAS.
  • Authorizes $40 billion in new wastewater infrastructure – $8 billion annually – in funding for the Clean Water SRF program.
  • Appropriates an additional $10 billion to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Civil Works) Construction account.
  • $1 billion to municipalities to carry out watershed, wet weather, and resiliency projects, new grant eligibility for wastewater utilities to address future flood risks.
  • $400 million annually ($2 billion total) through fiscal year 2025, an increase in sewer overflow and stormwater reuse grants under section 221 of the Clean Water Act.
  •  $1 billion ($200 million annually) in grants to owners and operators of publicly owned treatment works to implement Clean Water permit limits for the discharge of PFAS-related chemicals or other potential contaminants of emerging concern as identified by EPA.

H.R. 2 also creates a new Resilience SRF- Hazard Mitigation Revolving Loan Fund.  The section establishes an option for state revolving loan funds under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for hazard mitigation projects, with the intent of reducing future risks and costs of natural hazards (wildfires, earthquakes, floods, storm surges, chemical spills and seepage).

Brownfields

  • Increases and extends the Brownfields program at a level of $2.25 billion over 5 years

Broadband

  • Appropriates $125 million annually for five years for formula grants to states to implement “digital equity plans, and an additional $125 million for competitive grants in FY 2021.
  • Appropriates $80 billion to fund competitive bidding systems to build broadband infrastructure for broadband internet infrastructure to unserved and underserved rural, suburban, and urban communities
    • 75% of the funding is to be used for a nationwide system of competitive bidding to fund broadband deployment in unserved areas
    • 25% distributed among States, by population, for States to conduct statewide systems of competitive bidding for broadband deployment in unserved areas
  • $5 billion Broadband Infrastructure Financing Innovation (BIFIA) program, to provide State and local governments, public authorities, and public-private partnerships financing through secured loans, lines of credit, and loan guarantees for eligible projects.

School Construction

  • Authorizes $100 billion over 4 years for public school construction and improvements.  Funds apportioned to states by formula under Title I; states to allocate funds competitively to Local Education Associations based on the poverty level of the school, fiscal limitations to raise funds to improve school facilities, and the severity of the need to improve school facilities.

Health Care Facilities

  • Provides $10 billion in total funding for fiscal years 2021 through 2025 for the construction and modernization of hospitals and medical facilities.
  • Authorizes $10 billion in total funding for community health center capital project grants for fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

Public Housing

  • Authorizes $70 billion to the public housing capital fund for public housing agencies to address the estimated backlog of physical repairs needed to maintain safe and decent housing.


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