Issue Report
For Immediate Release: 
November 16, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
Yesterday, President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. This law, championed by Congressional Democrats, makes historic investments in modernizing and repairing our nation’s infrastructure and will create millions of good-paying jobs. Communities across the country will feel the impacts of this law for years to come as Democrats deliver on their commitment to modernizing America’s infrastructure and creating jobs for American workers.

Take a look at just a few of the provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that will help unlock economic opportunity and build better lives for American workers and families:
  1. Clean School Buses: The infrastructure law will fund thousands of electric school buses nationwide to reduce carbon emissions, create good-paying jobs by driving demand for American-made automotive parts, and prevent more than 25 million children, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities, from breathing polluted air during their rides to school.
“For workers like those in High Point, and campaigners advocating to get rid of diesel fumes on childrens’ commutes, this new federal funding represents a turning point in a surprisingly significant industry that will affect communities across the country.” [TIME, 11/15/21]
  1. Cleaning Up & Preventing PFAS Contamination: PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals,” are harmful pollutants that are known to cause adverse health risks, jeopardizing Americans’ public health. Studies indicate that more than 200 million Americans may be exposed to PFAS in their drinking water. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act contains funding to help small and disadvantaged communities address PFAS contamination, directly remove PFAS from drinking water utilities, and prevent PFAS runoff in wastewater.
“The law also makes another $10 billion investment in cleaning up PFAS, a class of ‘forever chemicals’ commonly found in drinking water. It increases the EPA’s funds for state grants to test for and treat PFAS that ends up in drinking water and to prevent PFAS runoff in wastewater.” [Vox, 11/13/21]
  1. Electric Vehicles: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act contains key provisions from the infrastructure policy recommendations from House Democrats’ Make It In America plan, one of which calls for promoting a modern energy infrastructure that incentivizes storage and alternative forms of energy for vehicles. The infrastructure law will help deliver on this by building out an electric vehicle charging network in corridors across the country, including in underserved areas, which will help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.
“Billions of dollars earmarked for electric-vehicle charging in the $1 trillion infrastructure bill is expected to boost passenger and commercial EV adoption, bringing public charging stations to underserved areas and making range anxiety a thing of the past. The goal is to make EVs ‘convenient enough for consumers to consider them,’ said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of research at the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan.” [MarketWatch, 11/13/21]
  1. Transportation Apprenticeship Programs: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act meets one of the education goals of House Democrats’ Make It In America plan by encouraging workforce development in the surface transportation sector and allowing states greater flexibility to address training and education needs with an eye towards addressing current workforce gaps.
“Specific to trucking, [the law] would create a training and apprenticeship program for drivers younger than 21 to drive Class 8 trucks in interstate commerce. The provision, known as the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE) Safe Act, was sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.” [Transport Topics, 11/15/21]
  1. Solutions to Supply Chain Backlogs: To meet the strain on America’s ports caused by pandemic supply chain disruptions, the infrastructure law invests $17 billion in port infrastructure to reduce congestion, address maintenance backlogs, and promote environmental justice by reducing emissions to prevent air pollution in surrounding neighborhoods and communities.
“The country’s busiest ports have been experiencing huge delays in getting cargo off container ships and onto trucks following a wave of pandemic-related disruptions to the global supply chain and changes in consumer spending habits. Beyond short-term fixes to ease congestion, Biden has said greater investment needs to be made to make the country’s ports more efficient and competitive longer term.” [NBC News, 11/9/21]
  1. Digital Equity: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes the Digital Equity Act, which will end digital redlining and create a permanent program to help low-income households access the internet. Currently, more than 30 million Americans live in areas without reliable broadband access. This new law will help Americans harness the power of the internet and grow economic opportunity by providing resources for digital literacy and skills training with a focus on both low-income populations and Americans with disabilities.
“The Covid-19 pandemic illustrated in stark terms the importance of broadband connectivity, both for working Americans and especially for children, many of whom were forced to attend classes virtually across the country during the darkest days of the pandemic. The legislation (H.R. 3684) [will] help low-income and minority populations who lack at-home internet, and train adult populations on how to use computers to help apply for jobs.” [Bloomberg, 11/9/21]
  1. Reclaiming Abandoned Mine Lands: To aid communities in reducing dangerous legacy pollution, the infrastructure law will fund projects to close dangerous, unused mine shafts, reclaim unstable slopes, and restore water sources damaged by past pollution. The law also funds projects for remediating orphaned oil and gas wells, which can contaminate groundwater. Millions of Americans are estimated to live within a mile of abandoned mines or wells, and the infrastructure law takes action to promote public safety and reduce pollution.
“[The law] contains increased funds for cleaning up abandoned mines, contaminated waterways and other polluted sites overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency.” [The New York Times, 11/9/21]
  1. Rural-Specific Transportation Grants: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act contains specific funding for the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program, which provides funding to state and local governments to improve and expand surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas. The infrastructure law invests in repairing and modernizing these roads to connect rural communities and promote economic opportunity for working Americans.
“David Strohmaier, who serves on the Missoula County Commission on the western edge of Montana, said driving on the state’s highways can be treacherous in the winter; flying from one side of the state to the other isn’t a great option, either… ‘We are absolutely prepared to do it. We have been struggling for years and years with this need in our community that has gone unmet,’ Strohmaier said. ‘So we are keenly aware of, on the ground, what needs to happen. We are merely lacking the funding.’” [Marketplace, 11/15/21]
  1. Electric Grid Resilience: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act upgrades our power infrastructure to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. It also invests in research and development for advanced transmission and electricity distribution technologies and promotes smart grid technologies that deliver flexibility and resilience.
“This [bill] will make it easier for the DOE to design a grid that is more dynamic, lower-cost, cleaner, and better adapted to climate change impacts, said Steve Cicala, an energy economist at Tufts University and an expert on grid decarbonization.” [Quartz, 9/28/21]
  1. Northeast Corridor Rail Transit: Funds contained within the infrastructure law will go toward the nation’s busiest rail corridor, the Washington-to-Boston route. With several bridges and tunnels more than 100 years old, modernizing the Northeast Corridor would provide a safer and faster travel experience, shortening ride times by 30 minutes.
“Mitch Warren, the corridor commission’s executive director, said the funding will allow the region ‘to rebuild and modernize the Northeast Corridor to provide better, faster, more frequent, and more reliable service to the hundreds of thousands of commuters and intercity travelers who depend on it every day.’” [The Washington Post, 11/8/21]

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