Infrastructure bill includes new grant program to PROTECT communities from climate risks – Bill in Brief

15 October 2021

The increasing frequency of billion-dollar climate disasters has state and local governments under pressure to prepare for the next wave of weather destruction. Parts of the USD 1trn Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) take aim at anticipating the climate-related capital needs of municipalities. For example, one feature of the massive omnibus bill is a new formula and competitive grant program called Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient and Cost Savings Transportation (PROTECT).

 

If authorized, PROTECT would provide USD 8.7bn overall for weather and emergency resiliency initiatives, broken down into formula and competitive grants.  For the competitive grants, the program would create four subgrants to distribute the funds.

 

 

Assuming the IIJA becomes law and that the PROTECT program remains incorporated, it wouldn’t be surprising over the next five years to see the grant program listed in a municipality’s disclosure as a tool for mitigating climate risk. The potential for a state or local government, particularly in coastal areas, to continue to build their climate resilience against billion-dollar weather disasters is expected to grow.

 

In Process

On 10 August, the US Senate passed on a bipartisan basis the USD 1trn Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also referred to as H.R. 3684. IIJA focuses on “hard infrastructure.” The IIJA will not get a vote in the House of Representatives until the fate of the USD 3.5trn “soft infrastructure” legislation proposed by congressional Democrats is resolved.

 

As these negotiations continue, Debtwire Municipals, through our Bill in Brief series, will write periodic summaries on elements of the IIJA that directly affect state and local governments.