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Statement: With President Biden’s signature, California will receive vital infrastructure investments
Washington -- President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law Monday. The bill directs historic investments to California:
- $3.5 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state. There are still an estimated 65,000 lead service lines left in California. The latest publicly available data found lead in the drinking water of 1,300 California schools.
- Record investments in transit, walking and biking infrastructure. Based on formula funding alone, California would expect to receive $9.45 billion over five years to improve public transportation.
- $384 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state and also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging.
- $2.5 billion available in nationwide grants to electrify California’s school buses. In order to meet our emission targets, California needs to replace dirty diesel buses with clean, electric vehicles
- Nationwide, the bill provides $73 billion to strengthen the electrical grid and for energy efficiency and weatherization programs
- Begins the process of reinstating the Superfund tax “polluter pays” principle while also including additional funding to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells.
- $65 billion for broadband, with a minimum of $100 million coming to California.
- $100 million to expand reliable broadband internet access, including providing access to the at least 545,000 Californians who currently lack it.
The legislation also restores a “polluter pays” tax to fund clean-up of toxic waste sites via the Superfund program. With 97 Superfund sites, California has the 2nd most in the country.
In 2020, Environment California and CALPIRG released a report, Blueprint for America, calling for many of the infrastructure investments included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The state specific allocations are estimates from a White House fact sheet produced in early August.
In response to the bill’s signing, Laura Deehan, director for Environment California and Jenn Engstrom, director of CALPIRG, released the following statements:
“The infrastructure we build today impacts our health and the environment for decades to come. The bipartisan infrastructure bill begins to rectify the harms of past infrastructure by removing lead pipes and getting lead out of school drinking water; cleaning up toxic Superfund sites; and reconnecting broken up wildlife habitats. It also invests in a livable future with clean electric school buses and an electric vehicle charging network.
“This bipartisan infrastructure investment will help California take major steps toward a cleaner, healthier, and more resilient state. It includes federal investment in clean transportation, including electric school buses, funding to address lead contamination in drinking water, and more. That means safer air and drinking water for our kids and a healthier environment for everyone.”
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