The $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Legislation Provides Key Funding and NEPA Streamlining for Key Environmental and Infrastructure Projects
January 10, 2022
Environmental, Energy, & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter, Volume 2, Number 4
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the landmark $1.2 trillion infrastructure legislation package, more commonly referred to as the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” (“Act” or “IIJA”). The 2,700+-page Act has been touted as providing key funding to rebuild and modernize the nation’s roads, bridges, public transportation, broadband, energy and resource infrastructure needs. The Act also includes a significant amount of funding amount directed by the federal government towards cleaning up pollution and funding to protect the communities against the detrimental effects of climate change. The Act could help make significant strides towards the Biden Administration’s goal of reaching 100% clean energy by 2035. In addition to the more-discussed funding provisions, the Act also contains substantive provisions designed to streamline the environmental permitting processes, particularly for the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) environmental reviews for “major projects” under NEPA, which includes most infrastructure projects being funded by IIJA, and amends certain NEPA streamlining provisions for infrastructure projects covered under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (“FAST”) Act of 2015.