Equity, environment focus of U.S. Department of Transportation infrastructure grant program

Mark Prado

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it is seeking applicants for the FY 2021 round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America discretionary grant program to fund transportation projects of national and regional significance.

The funding available for this year’s grants totals approximately $889 million.

For the first time, the Department of Transportation seeks projects that address climate change and environmental justice. Projects will be evaluated on whether they were planned as part of a comprehensive strategy to address climate change, or whether they support strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as deploying zero-emission vehicle infrastructure or encouraging modal shift and a reduction in vehicle miles traveled. 

Racial equity will also be considered as a selection criterion, to the extent that project sponsors have completed equity-focused community outreach, and projects are designed to benefit underserved communities. The department will also consider whether the project is located in a federally designated community development zone, including qualified Opportunity Zones, Empowerment Zones, Promise Zones or Choice Neighborhoods.

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