New resources will help rehabilitate canals, dams, levees and other facilities
The Bureau of Reclamation has initiated the first application period for Extraordinary Maintenance (XM) projects that will address aging water and power infrastructure across the West. Newly enacted funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be applied to the program following the new application period requirements set out in the separate Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (Pub. L. 116-260) which became law in December of 2020.
“This month, Reclamation is taking direct action to keep our water and power infrastructure operating reliably into the 21st century,” said ReclamationCommissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “Through a hybrid approach that combines 2021 BIL funding with the updated process set up in 2020, we are bringing the best of both worlds to bear on this problem. We will be in lock step with local partners; and because of that, we’re very confident that it will be a success.”
With the recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, there is $3.2 billion over five years in the Aging Infrastructure Account to be used for extraordinary maintenance needs. Reclamation’s infrastructure is either reserved, which means operated by Reclamation, or transferred, where it is operated by local beneficiary parties through a contract with Reclamation. Both reserved and transferred works are eligible for BIL funding through the application process.
The first application period opened on December 16, 2021—only a month after the BIL was enacted—and it will close on January 31, 2022. Analysis of applications from local beneficiaries will take place during the second and third quarters of fiscal year 2022. There will be additional opportunities to apply for funds and extended repayment at least once each year.
“Reclamation’s relationship with our partners is one of our greatest strengths, and we’re going to heavily leverage that partnership in putting this funding to work,” said Touton. “With the benefit of updated information on the needs at all of these facilities, we are excited to address our infrastructure needs.”
In addition to a planned outreach session on this topic to be held Jan. 7, 2022 – for Tribes at 11 a.m. EST and for all stakeholders at 3 p.m. EST – more information is available at https://www.usbr.gov/bil/. Reclamation regional and area office staff will reach out to transferred works operators and project beneficiaries in the coming weeks to discuss the application process and collaborate with those interested in submitting funding proposals.