The US Senate passed a major bipartisan infrastructure framework today, sending a suite of major investments to the House for its consideration.
By the numbers
for Forest Service and Department of the Interior
for the Puget Sound EPA Geographic Program
for the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund
for NOAA’s Community-based Restoration Grant Program
nearly $500 million
for NOAA’s Coastal Resiliency Grant Program
for a new culvert replacement grant program
for FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and pre-disaster mitigation grant programs
for a new Tribal Climate Resilience Program
for Army Corps of Engineers ecosystem restoration projects
The $1.2 trillion package would fund a wide range of climate, clean energy, natural infrastructure, coastal restoration, forest restoration and resilience priorities. Some highlights that will touch down for people and nature in Washington include:
More than $150 billion for climate and clean energy. Solutions to lower emissions and help address the climate crisis include significant investments in public transit, reducing transportation sector emissions, accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles, modernizing the grid, advancing carbon capture technologies, and improving energy efficiency.
Forest resilience programs. The US Forest Service and Department of the Interior will receive much-needed support to increase funding for hazardous fuels removal, Tribal forest protection agreements, the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, state and private forestry, and several new forest programs.
Natural infrastructure and disaster resilience. Senator Cantwell created a new $1 billion culvert replacement grant program that will bring major funding for fish passage barrier removals to Washington. The bill also includes substantial funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help communities prepare before natural disasters strike, including a new Tribal Climate Resilience Program to fund community relocation planning, design and implementation where needed.
Habitat restoration. The bill invests in a wide range of water, fish and wildlife habitat programs, increasing funding for EPA’s Puget Sound Geographic Program to $80 million and providing a big boost to the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund and a host of coastal and watershed restoration programs administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the US Forest Service.
Senator Cantwell and Senator Murray each played a key role in securing these historic investments. Send them a message on Twitter or via email to say thanks for for prioritizing these critical programs that will help advance climate solutions in our state while supporting clean water, resilient communities, and healthy forests and fish and wildlife habitats.
Our lands & waters are infrastructure. Thank you @SenatorCantwell & Sen. @PattyMurray for your hard work on the bipartisan #infrastructure package that invests in habitat restoration, healthy watersheds, forest #resilience & more.
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The work on the infrastructure package isn’t finished yet. Now that it’s cleared the Senate, the bill moves to the House for consideration. Advocates and legislative leaders expect final passage this autumn. After President Biden signs the final bill into law, federal agencies should receive money for local distribution through competitive grant programs in early 2022.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are advancing a budget reconciliation package today. This will proceed in tandem with the bipartisan infrastructure package, and will include additional climate and conservation investments at the larger scale necessary to address the biodiversity and climate crises.
Stay tuned to this space for updates on both of these historic bills as they move through Congress, and be sure you’re signed up for email updates to be notified of timely advocacy opportunities.
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Banner photo: Tarboo watershed and Dabob Bay by Keith Lazelle.