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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest billions of dollars in rural communities across the country. Supporting Americans living in rural areas remains a top priority for the Biden Administration, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law delivers on the President’s promises to work toward delivering affordable, high-speed internet, safe roads and bridges, modern wastewater systems, clean drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity, and good paying jobs in every rural community. In an effort to deliver on these promises, the Biden Administration is committed to improving transparency into the availability of federal infrastructure resources to support rural communities’ ability to access these critical funds.
This playbook is intended to help rural communities understand the available funding for infrastructure provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other sources – offering information on the “what, where, and how” to apply for federal infrastructure dollars. Specifically, this playbook:
- Identifies programs and sources of funds set aside for rural communities under the law. Over 60 percent of the funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be distributed via formulas to states and other recipients – while a subset of the remaining funds are available directly to communities via discretionary grants. A number of programs have specific portions of formula funds or competitive grants that are reserved for rural and disadvantaged communities, which the federal government either provides directly to communities or to intermediaries, like states, to distribute funding. The below list provides an overview of the key programs most relevant to rural communities with links to their application pages or department websites. Where able or applicable, the list also notes when funding opportunities will either become available or are already available.
- Provides an overview of key flexibilities and other benefits available to rural communities under the law such as waivers for matching requirements. As part of this effort, 7 key federal agencies have published rural factsheets that highlight how to leverage agency resources and capabilities to help rural communities. Links to their factsheets can be found below for more information.
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Commerce
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Department of the Interior
- Department of Energy
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
Through a series of roundtables and listening sessions with rural communities, we also heard a desire to release more information about the cost sharing waivers and other flexibilities on federal matching requirements – meaning the amount of money a community must put-up to receive federal funding. For the first time, we’re releasing here a list of over 100 programs with cost share or matching requirement waivers and flexibilities under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, so no one has to hire a lobbyist to access their government or learn about eligibilities.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Wins for Rural America
Provide high speed internet to every rural home and business
More than 35 percent of rural Americans and Tribal communities lack wired access to broadband at acceptable speeds. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $65 billion to make high-speed internet available to all Americans, to bring down high-speed internet prices across the board, and to provide technical assistance to rural communities seeking to expand broadband.
Deliver a historic investment in improving rural Americans’ transportation options
Limited access to transportation options in rural and remote areas impairs Americans’ access to jobs, basic services, and their communities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests billions of dollars to make sure rural families can get where they need to go.
Fix our rural roads and bridges – and make them safer
While Americans living in rural areas account for 19% of the population, they comprise nearly half of all roadway fatalities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will deliver safer roads, bridges, and railway crossings for rural Americans.
Ensure clean drinking water and basic sanitation in every home
Across the country, including in rural and Tribal communities, pipes and treatment plants are aging and polluted drinking water endanger public health. The Bipartisan Infrastructure contains historic levels of funding for rural water projects.
Upgrade electricity and transmission infrastructure
Power outages cost the U.S. economy up to $70 billion each year, and rural communities can be without power for days during these outages. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to reliably deliver clean, affordable power to more Americans, improving resilience of our grid infrastructure, and helping achieve the President’s goal of 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035.
Create good-paying jobs that clean up pollution in rural communities
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds projects to create good-paying jobs in rural America, creates space for new economic opportunities, and improves the health, safety, and quality of life of rural Americans by working to clean up hazardous sites and pollution.
Build communities resilient all hazards including climate change
Last year, the United States faced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses over $1 billion – a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion. These included damaging floods, fires, and wind storms across rural America. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will improve the resilience of rural communities.