One Year After the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

The potential of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is most unrealized as the federal government mobilizes the details of the $1.2 trillion bill. President Joe Biden signed the bill in November 2021.

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November 28, 2022, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


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Writing for Route Fifty, Kery Murakami checks in with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a year after the historic $1.2 trillion bill was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden. On one hand, reports Kurakami, local officials tout the bill’s potential to improve long-neglected infrastructure around the country. On the other hand, “changes are needed to help with the rollout of all the new funding, including speeding up permitting for transportation projects and making it simpler for local governments to apply for the grants,” writes Murakami.

The article digs specifically into some of the specific details of permitting requirements, especially under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The IIJA made tangible changes to the NEPA process, including a requirement for “federal agencies to consider the ‘indirect’ and ‘cumulative’ environmental effects of projects and not just the direct ones.” Republicans will try to undo those changes, reports Murkami. The IIJA also added the One Federal Decision, “which requires federal agencies to coordinate their environmental reviews.”

Sources cited in the article include U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland); U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota); Jim Willox, chairman of the Converse County Commission in Wyoming; Michael Carroll, deputy managing director of the Philadelphia Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems; and Jacob Day, mayor of Salisbury, Maryland.

While the article also mentions a few specific programs funded by the IIJA, like Buy America requirements, $5 billion to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the Transportation Alternatives program (doubled by the IIJA), most of details of implementation remain conceptual, and have yet to materialize in tangible, built projects.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 in Route Fifty

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