Arizonans may have already heard about…
- … the historic $110 billion investment to upgrade America’s roads and bridges…
- … the $65 billion to deploy high-speed broadband, expand broadband internet access, and help families afford broadband service…
- … the strongest investment ever in American public transit — including the biggest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak…
… but what else is included for Arizona in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act led by U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema?
Wildfire Mitigation and Recovery
Increasing wildfires threaten the health and safety of Arizona communities. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes historic investments in strengthening and upgrading critical infrastructure systems to prevent and mitigate the impacts of wildfires and boost recovery from such disasters.
- The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act authorizes and funds $8.25 billion for wildfire management, resiliency, restoration, and natural resources-related infrastructure. This includes:
- Road and Trail Remediation: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $250 million for the remediation of Forest Service legacy roads and trails.
- Community Defense Grants: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act invests $500 million for Forest Service Community Defense Grants.
- Burned Area Rehabilitation: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $450 million for the Forest Service and the Department of Interior to carry out Burned Area Rehabilitation programs.
- Hazardous Fuels: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $2.4 billion for the Forest Service and the Department of Interior to reduce hazardous fuels on federal, state, and tribal lands. This funding would also go toward completing mechanical thinning, prescribed fires, firebreaks, Good Neighbor Agreements, and forest stewardship contracts that are at least 10,000 acres, among other forest management activities.
- Fireweather Testbed Programs: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act invests $100 million in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fireweather Testbed programs. These funds will be used to procure new systems and recapitalize existing and outdated systems to improve wildfire prediction, detection, observation, modeling, and forecasting.
- Forecasting and Detecting Drought: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act invests $80 million in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s high-performance computing — allowing the agency to improve drought, flood, and wildfire prediction, detection, and forecasting.
- Mitigating and Recovering from Wildfires: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act clarifies that the Emergency Relief program may include repairing damage from natural disasters over a wide area caused by wildfires — and allows the use of Emergency Relief program funding for protective features to mitigate the risk of recurring damage or the cost of future repairs from natural disasters.
- Watershed Protection: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $300 million in funding for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program to help local communities recover after wildfires.
- Wildland Fire Mitigation & Management Commission Act: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes this bipartisan bill, which was unanimously approved in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, establishing a commission to study and recommend wildland fire prevention, mitigation, suppression, management, and rehabilitation policies.
- REPLANT Act: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes this legislation, which removes the current yearly cap on the Reforestation Trust Fund, and will help the U.S. Forest Service plant 1.2 billion trees on national forest lands, creating nearly 49,000 jobs over the next decade.
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (full text available HERE) proposes the strongest investment in America’s critical infrastructure in more than a century without raising taxes on everyday Americans.
The legislation is the result of bipartisan negotiations led by U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Rob Portman (Ohio), with Senators from both parties and President Biden.
The proposal — currently being considered by the full Senate — is supported by groups including The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, The National Association of Manufacturers, The AFL-CIO, The National Retail Federation, The Bipartisan Policy Center, North America’s Building Trades Unions, the Outdoor Industry Association, and The American Hotel and Lodging Association — as well as more than 360 Mayors in all 50 states.