The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act reauthorizes surface transportation programs and provides $550 billion in new federal investments in America's infrastructure over the next five years. The bill was previously passed the Senate on a bipartisan basis and represents a historic investment in our nation’s core infrastructure priorities, including highways, roads, bridges, clean water, high speed Internet, transit, passenger rail, and includes a number of provisions beneficial to the RV industry.
The RV Industry Associations Government Affairs Team has been working closely with Congress and the Administration to advance key RV industry priorities as part of this legislative package, such as:
- Securing over $7 billion in funding for key federal lands infrastructure programs aimed at improving the roads, bridges, tunnels, parking lots, access points and other critical transportation-related infrastructure on and around our national parks, forests, and public lands that RVers rely on for safe and adequate outdoor recreation and camping experiences. This includes increased investments for the Federal Lands Transportation Program (25% increase), Federal Lands Access Program (14% increase) and Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Project Program (355% increase), as well as a new $2 billion grant program.
- Securing $100 million to restore recreation sites, including campgrounds, within the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service
- Advocating for increased investment in electric vehicle infrastructure, which resulted in an initial $7.5 billion investment to deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, propane fueling infrastructure, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities. Federal funding will have a particular focus on rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach areas where RVers frequently travel.
- Advocating for the creation of a $2 billion grant program to improve and expand surface transportation projects, including enhancing recreational and tourism opportunities by providing increased access to Federal lands, national parks, national forests, national recreation areas, national wildlife refuges, wilderness areas, or State parks that RVers visit daily.
The following outline details many of the additional key funding and policy priorities included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:
Highways, Roads and Bridges
- $110 billion for roads, bridges, and major infrastructure projects
- $40 billion for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation, which would be the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system, which started in the 1950s.
Federal Lands Infrastructure
- Federal Lands Transportation Program — $2.2 billion, which represents a 25% increase in funding over 5 years to improve the roads, bridges, tunnels, parking lots, access points, and other critical transportation infrastructure within national parks, forests, and other public lands that RVers rely on for outdoor recreation and camping experiences.
- Outdoor Recreation Site Improvement — $100 million for the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service to restore, prepare, or adapt recreation sites, including campgrounds.
- Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program — $2 billion grant program to improve and expand surface transportation projects, including enhancing recreational and tourism opportunities by providing increased access to federal lands, national parks, national forests, national recreation areas, national wildlife refuges, wilderness areas, or state parks that RVers visit daily.
- Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects — up to $1.78 billion ($275 million dedicated), which represents a 355% increase to address large transportation-related construction, reconstruction, and rehabilitation projects in and around our national parks, forests, and tribal lands.
- Federal Lands Access Program — nearly $1.5 billion, which represents a 14% increase, provides access to federal lands for all Americans by improving transportation resources that provide access to, are adjacent to, or are located within federal lands. FLAP supplements state and local resources for public roads and other transportation facilities, with an emphasis on high-use recreation sites and economic generators.
- Improving Federal Agency Coordination — Allows federal land management agencies to use an environmental document previously prepared by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for a project addressing the same action.
Outdoor Recreation & Natural Resources
- Wildfire risk reduction — $3.3 billion for the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service for wildfire risk reduction.
- Ecosystem restoration — $2.13 billion for the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service to restore the ecological health of federal lands and waters and of private lands, through voluntary efforts, via a variety of programs, including through partnering with states to ensure our iconic public lands can be enjoyed by RVers for generations to come.
- Reforestation — Includes the REPLANT Act that will help the U.S. Forest Service plant 1.2 billion trees on national forest lands and create nearly 49,000 jobs over the next decade. Additionally, the bill includes $200 million in funding for planting trees and other vegetation on mined land (on federal and, upon request, on non-federal land) to bring economic activity and wildlife back to these areas.
- Recreational Trails Program — Reauthorizes the program that provides approximately $80 million from off-road fuel taxes to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses.
- Reducing Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions — $350 million for a new pilot program that provides competitive grants for projects that reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions.
- Forest Service Legacy Road and Trail Remediation Program — $250 million for the Forest Service’s Legacy Road and Trail program, to direct work towards urgently needed road decommissioning, road and trail repair and maintenance, and removal of fish passage barriers. The program emphasizes areas where Forest Service roads may be contributing to water quality problems in streams and water bodies that support threatened, endangered, and sensitive species or community water sources.
- Reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund — The Trust Fund supports fishery restoration and conservation efforts, boating access, as well as fish stocking programs important to recreational anglers in all 50 states.
- Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program — $1 billion to create an active transportation network connecting destination within or between communities, including schools, workplaces, residences, businesses, recreation areas, and other community areas, or create an active transportation spine connecting two or more communities, metropolitan regions or states.
- Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity incentives by improving recreational access to the project vicinity, including roads, trails, and boat ingress and egress flows to improve recreation and infrastructure that improves river recreation opportunity.
- $65 billion to fund broadband deployment, especially in rural areas that RVers travel to frequently, which includes $42.45 billion for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program.
Electric Vehicle/Alternative Fuel
- $7.5 billion in Electric Vehicle (EV) and Hydrogen fueling infrastructure investment, including:
- $5 billion to carry out a National Electric Vehicle Formula Program to provide funding to states to strategically deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
- $2.5 billion to create a new competitive grant program to “strategically deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, propane fueling infrastructure, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along designed alternative fuel corridors or in certain other locations that will be accessible to all drivers…”
- Reducing Carbon Emissions from Transportation — $6.4 billion to establish a new Carbon Reduction Program that will distribute approximately over five years to states by formula to invest in projects that support a reduction in transportation emissions. Eligible projects include transportation electrification and EV charging, diesel engine retrofits, and others.
Research and Development
- $475 million to carry out the University Transportation Centers Program. The UTC Program advances the state-of-the-art in transportation research and technology and develops the next generation of transportation professionals. The Congressionally mandated program’s goal is to help address our nation’s ever-growing need for the safe, efficient, and environmentally sound movement of people and goods.
Supply Chain Resiliency
- $46 billion — Funding for cybersecurity to address critical infrastructure needs, flood mitigation, wildfire, drought, coastal resiliency, waste management, ecosystem restoration, and weatherization.
- $7.712 billion — Supply Chains for Clean Energy Technologies
- $100 million — Transportation Resilience and Adaptation Centers of Excellence
- $75 million — Critical Material Supply Chain Research Facility
- Buy American provisions are included to shore up domestic supply chains of critical materials.
Grid Reliability and Resiliency
- $65 billion for grid reliability and resiliency and support for a Grid Deployment Authority; critical minerals and supply chains for clean energy technology; key technologies like carbon capture, hydrogen, direct air capture, and energy efficiency; and energy demonstration projects from the bipartisan Energy Act of 2020.
- Leveraging existing agency programs to assist small and medium manufacturers. Requires the Department of Energy Secretary to include smart manufacturing technologies and practices within the scope of technologies covered by the industrial assessment centers of the Department of Energy.
- Leveraging smart manufacturing infrastructure at National Laboratories, requires the Department of Energy Secretary to conduct a study on how the Department of Energy can increase access to existing high-performance computing resources in the National Laboratories, particularly for small and medium manufacturers.
- State manufacturing leadership — $50 million for states to invest in smart manufacturing technologies.
Industrial Energy Efficiency
- Future of industry program and industrial research and assessment centers provides $550 million for institution of higher education-based industrial research and assessment centers to identify opportunities for optimizing energy efficiency and environmental performance at manufacturing and other industrial facilities. This section also establishes a grant program to fund upgrades for small- and medium-sized manufacturers that have been recommended in an assessment from an IAC or CHP TAP.
- Sustainable manufacturing initiatives directs the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to provide technical assessments for manufacturers to maximize energy efficiency, prevent pollution, improve efficient use of water, conserve natural resources, and other goals.
Vehicle Miles Traveled Pilot Program
- $75 million to create a pilot program to “test the feasibility of a road usage fee and other user-based alternative revenue mechanisms to maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.”
- Recall completion — Additional reporting to and by NHTSA on recall campaigns and completion rates. Manufacturers would have to submit 8 quarterly reports instead of the current 6 quarterly reports during a recall campaign. In addition, manufacturers would have to submit an annual report for an additional 3 years after completion of the last quarterly report. NHTSA would also begin publishing recall completion rates for each manufacturer.
- Automatic shutoff — Requires NHTSA rulemaking for automatic shutoff within 2 years and a study on the need for rulemaking relative to vehicle rollaway.
- Crash avoidance technology — Requires a NHTSA rule to establish minimum performance standards for crash avoidance technology and that all vehicles be equipped with forward collision warning with AEB and lane departure warning with lane keep assist. The timeline for the rulemaking and phase-in are subject to the discretion of the Secretary of Transportation.
- Supporting Global harmonization — The Secretary of Transportation shall cooperate, to the maximum extent practicable, with foreign governments, nongovernmental stakeholder groups, the motor vehicle industry, and consumer groups with respect to global harmonization of vehicle regulations as a means for improving motor vehicle safety.
- Early warning reporting — Manufacturers must report the relevant early warning reporting data contained in a settlement with an RV consumer regardless of whether there is a provision in the settlement that does not allow disclosure. This provision also directs NHTSA to conduct a study to identify improvements to early warning reporting data.
- Advanced impaired driving technology — Directs NHTSA to engage in rulemaking requiring deployment of advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology in vehicles within 3 years of the date of enactment of this Act.
- Child safety — Similar to the Hot Cars Act, this requires rulemaking related to pediatric heatstroke. Specifically, within 2 years of the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary of Transportation must issue a final rule requiring all new passenger motor vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating to be equipped with a system to alert the operator to check rear-designated seating positions after the vehicle engine or motor is deactivated by the operator.
Vehicle Safety Reports & Studies
- Rulemaking report — Requires a report to Congress on why NHTSA has not completed previously mandated rulemakings.
- Recall engagement — Requires a report from the Comptroller General on improving completion of open recalls, a separate study by the Comptroller General on recalls in ridesharing services, and a study and report by NHTSA on improving recall notices.
- Reduction of driver distraction — Requires research and a report on driver monitoring systems within three years. Rulemaking is subject to the results of the research and considerations of Sec. 30111.
- Improved vehicle safety databases — Requires NHTSA to review and update their traffic safety databases to make them more user-friendly and accessible.
- Hood and bumper standards — Requires notice and comment on potential updates to hood and bumper standards that takes into consideration crash avoidance technologies, pedestrian safety, and potential for harmonization with global standards. A report to Congress will result.