U.S. DOT Grant Program to Allocate Funds for Climate and Environmental Justice Projects
For the first time ever, the federal Department of Transportation's Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program will devote part of its grant funding to "projects addressing climate change and environmental justice" as part of the Biden administration's commitment to "building back in a way that positions American communities for success in the future." The program distributes close to $900 million in grants to transportation-related projects.
"The projects will be evaluated on whether they were planned as part of a comprehensive strategy to address climate change, or whether they support strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as deploying zero-emission-vehicle infrastructure or encouraging shifts in modes of transportation or vehicle miles traveled," reports Jonathan Shieber for TechCrunch.
The agency also plans to consider racial equity and require "equity-focused community outreach and projects designed to benefit underserved communities." Grants will be distributed to large and small projects that could include "reconstruction, rehabilitation, acquisition of property (including land related to the project and improvements to the land), environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, equipment acquisition and operational improvements directly related to system performance." The program hopes to quickly fund clean energy startups and promote more comprehensive infrastructure such as broader charging networks for electric vehicles.