FACT SHEET: President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Advances Economic and Public Health Opportunities for Tribal Communities
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“Bipartisan Infrastructure Law”) is a once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure and economic competitiveness. For far too long, Washington policymakers have celebrated “infrastructure week” without ever agreeing to build infrastructure. The President promised to work across the aisle to deliver results and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. After the President put forward his plan, he got to work negotiating a deal with Members of Congress from both parties and then helped get it passed.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild Tribal roads, bridges and rails, expand access to clean drinking water for Native communities, ensure every Native American has access to high-speed internet, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in Tribal communities that have too often been left behind. The legislation will help ease inflationary pressures and strengthen supply chains by making long overdue improvements for our nation’s ports, airports, rail, and roads. It will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably so that everyone gets ahead for decades to come. This legislation invests more than $13 billion directly in Tribal communities across the country, and make Tribal communities eligible for billions more in much-needed investments.
This historic legislation will:
- Support Critical Infrastructure Including Clean and Safe Drinking Water for Tribal Communities. The legislation makes the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history with $55 billion in funding. This includes an investment of approximately $6 billion dollars to support water infrastructure in Tribal communities, including 3.5 billion over five years for the Indian Health Service Sanitation Facilities Construction program and 2.5 billion for enacted Indian Water Settlements. It also includes large increases in Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, a portion of which will be dedicated funding for Tribal communities.
- Ensure Every Native American Has Access to Reliable High-Speed Internet. The legislation will help lower prices for internet service and ensure all Americans can do their jobs, equally participate in school, access health care, and stay connected. The act invests $65 billion to expand broadband, with $2 billion in dedicated funding for a long-overdue expansion of broadband for Native people.
- Repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users. The legislation will reauthorize surface transportation programs for five years and invest $110 billion in additional funding to repair our roads and bridges and support major, transformational projects. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes the single largest investment in repairing and reconstructing our nation’s bridges since the construction of the interstate highway system. The legislation provides a historic investment in the Tribal Transportation Program. Approximately $4 billion in funding would provide urgently needed resources for often underdeveloped, unsafe, and poorly maintained road networks, and hundreds of bridges in need of repair in Indian Country.
- Make our infrastructure resilient against the impacts of climate change, cyber-attacks, and extreme weather events. The legislation makes our communities safer and our infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber-attacks. This includes $32 million for Tribes for cybersecurity grants. The legislation also includes funds to protect against droughts and floods, in addition to a major investment in weatherization. The bill is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history. This includes substantial investments in programs for which Tribes and Tribal members are eligible, such as FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities pre-disaster mitigation program and for USDA’s Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program.
- Provide Tribal Communities Transition and Relocation Assistance. Tribal lands are significantly at risk to the effects of climate change, particularly those of Alaska Natives Tribes and Villages that face multiple climate impacts. The legislation invests in a new Tribal transition and relocation assistance program with approximately $216 million in funding to support planning and voluntary, community led transitions for those Tribal communities who are most vulnerable to accelerating climate-driven disasters.
- Protect Tribal Land and Water. As the effects of climate change continue to intensify, Indigenous coastal communities are facing unique climate-related challenges associated with living on the water. Flooding, erosion, permafrost subsidence, sea level rise, and storm surges are presenting existential threats to coastal communities’ economies, infrastructure, livelihoods and health. This legislation invests in landscape-level resilience and conservation investments on federal, Tribal, and partner lands, including billions of dollars for coastal resilience programs and major landscape restoration initiatives. Tribal communities will be key partners in many of these initiatives. It also includes $60 million for Tribal fish passage improvements and $172 million to support Tribes with salmon recovery efforts.
- Deliver the largest investment in tackling legacy pollution in American history by cleaning up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaiming abandoned mines, and capping orphaned oil and gas wells. The act will invest more than $21 billion in environmental remediation, making the largest investment to address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods in American history, creating good-paying union jobs in hard-hit energy communities and advancing economic and environmental justice. The bill includes funds to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells – including in rural communities and Tribal communities with a $150 million in dedicated funding to remediate orphaned wells on Tribal lands.
- Electrify America’s Power Infrastructure. The legislation invests roughly $60 billion – the single largest investment in American history – in clean energy transmission. It upgrades our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. It creates a new Grid Deployment Authority, invests in research and development for advanced transmission and electricity distribution technologies, and promotes smart grid technologies that deliver flexibility and resilience. It invests in demonstration projects and research hubs for next generation technologies like advanced nuclear reactors, carbon capture, and clean hydrogen. Tribal communities will be key partners in many of these initiatives.