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Infrastructure Bill Makes First Major U.S. Investment in Climate Resilience

So, once the President signs the infrastructure bill in the coming days, there will be 10’s of billions of dollars to invest in community and infrastructure resilience (see the NY Times article below). This begs a number of questions with respect to the policies and procedures that will be utilized to allocate the funds.

>>> The funds are spread among many federal programs. Will those programs, administered by various federal agencies, coordinate to avoid duplication and working at cross purposes? Will they work to identify opportunities to further leverage the investments from other programs?

>>> Will there be any progress in created a simplified grant application process or will grant applicants have to fill out multiple grant applications for programs and administered by different departments and agencies?

>>> Will the funds be competitively awarded based on sound economic, science, and engineering or will the funds be “salami slice” so each state gets their share?

>>> Will funding decisions involving projects impacted by climate change be based on current conditions, future conditions, or some algorithm involving both. Will sound climatologist and economic forecast models (to the extent they exist) be employed to ensure the most accurate estimates of future conditions.

>>> Will communities/states that have already been investing in community and infrastructure resiliency, be rewarded during the grant award process?

>>> Will the various funding programs deal with social justice and equity issues in a consistent and transparent manner?

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