Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Package – Summary of Transportation, Energy and Environmental Provisions | Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

On Friday, December 23, 2022, Congress passed a $1.7 trillion year-end omnibus spending package which will fund the federal government through FY2023. The bill will be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law in the coming days and includes $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs and $858 billion in defense funding. Below is a summary of the transportation, energy and environmental components of the omnibus package.

Transportation Provisions

The omnibus package provides a total of $106.3 billion in budgetary resources for the US Department of Transportation (DOT), an increase of $3.4 billion from the FY2022 enacted level and $1.9 billion above the President’s 2023 budget request. The bill includes:

  • $800 million for National Infrastructure Investments, also known as RAISE grants and previously known as TIGER and BUILD grants. These grants will provide funding for planning and capital investment into projects that modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail and intermodal transportation. Fifty percent of the program’s funds are designated for urban areas while the other 50% is designated for rural areas.
  • $19 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)a $564 million increase above fiscal year 2022. This includes $1.6 billion for aviation safety and $558.6 million for discretionary Airport Improvement Grants and projects.
  • $62.9 billion for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for formula programs (funded by the Highway Trust Fund) that focus on improving the safety of America’s highways, consistent with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). This also includes $3.4 billion for highway infrastructure programs and projects.
  • $837.6 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and $1.2 billion for the National Highway Safety Administrationalso for safety programs consistent with BIL.
  • $3.4 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an increase of $78.9 million above the FY2022 enacted amount. This includes $560 million for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program, $25 billion above the amount for FY2022. One billion dollars are also included in FY2023 advance appropriations. $2.45 billion is included for Amtrak, an increase of $121.6 from FY2022. This includes $1.26 billion for Northeast Corridor Grants and $1.19 billion for National Network Grants.
  • $16.9 billion for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), including $13.6 billion for Transit Formula Grants to expand bus fleets and increase the transit state of good repair as outlined in BIL. $2.6 billion is included for Capital Investment Grants, an increase of $387 million above FY2022 levels, which will create new transit routes across the country. $542 million is also included for Transit Infrastructure Grants and projects to assist transit agencies in purchasing reduced and zero emission buses and improving urban and rural ferry systems among other priorities.
  • $896.1 million for the Maritime Administration, which is $56.4 million above the President’s budget request. This includes funding for programs that protect US maritime interest from criminal activity, including $318 million for the Maritime Security Program, $60 million for the Tanker Security Program. $120.7 million is included for State Maritime Academies, along with $75 million for shore-side infrastructure for said academies.

Energy Provisions

The US Department of Energy (DOE) received $46.5 billion in total funding from the package, an increase of nearly $1.69 billion over the FY2022 funding levels. This includes:

  • $3.46 billion for DOEs Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), representing the highest funding levels for this office on record and a $260 million increase over FY2022 levels. This office supports critical green energy programs, including those for marine, wind and solar energy, along with electric vehicle technologies, hydrogen research and development, weatherization assistance programs, and renewable grid integration.
  • $89 million for DOEs Office of Clean Energy demonstration, a $68 million increase over FY2022 levels. This new agency created by BIL supports demonstrations for clean energy technology, including clean hydrogen, carbon capture, grid-scale energy storage and small modular reactors, among others.
  • $470 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop next-generation energy technologies.
  • $1.8 billion for nuclear energy, an increase of $118 million above FY2022 levels. That includes funding for advanced reactor demonstration projects, small modular reactors and to support the high-assay low-enriched uranium program for advanced reactor fuel development.
  • $1 billion to help restore Puerto Rico’s electrical grid after it sustained severe damage from hurricanes. This funding amount falls short of the President’s request for $3 billion.
  • $890 million for the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management to advance carbon capture and storage and mitigate hard-to-decarbonize sectors.
  • $207 million for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Biden administration tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to supply shortages resulting from western sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. These funding levels are below the FY2022 enacted level.

Outside of DOE, the bill includes $5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Managed by the US Department of Health and Human Services, LIHEAP assists eligible low-income households with their heating and cooling energy costs, bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, weatherization and energy-related home repairs.

Environmental Provisions

The bill provides key investments in programs related to environmental remediation, mitigation and enforcement. These include:

  • $10.135 billion in funds are provided to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)an increase of $576 million from the FY2022 enacted amount.
  • A $72 million increase for EPA’s enforcement and compliance programs, a $32 million increase for clean air programs, a $33 million increase for water programs and a $20 million increase for toxic chemical programs.
  • $600 million to rebuild the city of Jackson, Mississippi’s failing water infrastructure. In August, the city experienced a water crisis after its treatment plan was forced to shut down indefinitely due to severe flooding from the nearby Pearl River.
  • Funding for EPA’s State Revolving Funds for drinking water and sewer systems have received the same level of funding as last year at $2.76 billion, although they are receiving $43 billion in supplementary funds from BIL over the next five years.
  • $1.3 billion for EPA’s efforts to clean up Superfund sites, a $50 million increase over last year.
  • $100 million for EPA for both its efforts to clean up brownfield sites and diesel emissions reduction grants, an increase of $8 million for both programs.
  • $108 million for EPA’s environmental justice initiatives, an $8 million increase over last year.

*Faegre Drinker Policy Assistant Andrew Bryant contributed to this article.

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