Making Sense of Infrastructure Funding for PA

Resources

In November 2021 Congress passed, and President Biden signed into law, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The $1.2 trillion package includes funding for a range of energy, transportation, water quality, climate resiliency, conservation, and legacy pollution cleanup projects. Naturally, many of these grant programs are germane to work currently being planned or carried out in Pennsylvania by nonprofit organizations like PEC, as well as by state and local governments, researchers, landowners, and other stakeholders. But with such a vast and wide-ranging piece of legislation, prospective grantees may not be able to readily identify exactly what funding prospects exist, which ones hold the most promise for the Commonwealth, and how to access them.

At PEC, we saw a need for thoughtful analysis and careful curation to help us and our partners make the most of this historic opportunity. We began by combing through all 1,039 pages of the published Act, flagging anything that caught the eyes of PEC program staff. We then enlisted Signal Group, a public affairs consulting firm based in Washington D.C., to help us better understand what we were seeing, and to compile the relevant data in an accessible format. Finally, we worked with Pittsburgh-based Environmental Planning & Design to create an online database that would make the content searchable, sortable, and easy to update.

The result was the PEC Infrastructure Funding Tracker.

screenshot of the Infrastructure Tracker tool at pecpa.org/infra

The Tracker is a running list of current or upcoming opportunities of potential interest to Pennsylvania NGOs, government entities, and others focused on things like trails and active transportation, clean energy, watershed health and water infrastructure, abandoned mine lands and orphan oil & gas wells, natural resource management, and the outdoor economy. Policy changes and new studies mandated by the legislation are also noted.

Listings are organized by funding source, timelines, eligibility, current status, and other searchable parameters, and can be sorted by type or by amount of funding available. All include a plain-English synopsis of each program along with further information and next steps for applicants, as well as links to federal government resources and documentation.

With help from Signal, PEC will continue to monitor the Infrastructure Act’s rollout as it evolves over the next 1-2 years, and will update the tracker accordingly. It is important to note, however, that each update is only a snapshot of a moment in time, and that the database is not meant to be comprehensive. Rather, we hope it will serve as a quick reference and a jumping-off point for others beginning to explore the possibilities.