More than $138 million in FY22 infrastructure investments will directly benefit Alaskan communities
ANCHORING – Interior Secretary Deb Haaland kicked off a week-long trip to Alaska on Tuesday, where she met with local, state, elected and Alaska Native leaders; employees of the Ministry of the Interior; and stakeholders to highlight ongoing efforts to support sustainable economies statewide.
During her first day of meetings in Anchorage, Secretary Haaland discussed the more than $138 million available to the state in fiscal year 2022 through President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure act. The events also helped to highlight the Tour of the Biden-Harris administration’s Building A Better America rural infrastructurewhich highlights how the infrastructure investments of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act will have a transformative and lasting impact on communities across rural America.
In Alaska, these critical infrastructure investments and funding opportunities will help ensure that communities, especially in rural and Indigenous communities, have healthy lands and waters, continued access to the outdoors, and the basis for future jobs and economic opportunities.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Act investments that will directly benefit Alaskan communities in fiscal year 2022 through the Department of the Interior include:
- $75.5 million to create jobs by cleaning up orphan oil and gas wells
- In January, the Ministry of the Interior announcement $53.4 million made available to Alaska under the bipartisan Infrastructure Act to create jobs by cleaning up orphan oil and gas wells across the country. Historic investments to clean up these dangerous sites will create well-paying, unionized jobs, catalyze economic growth and revitalization, and reduce dangerous methane leaks. The fiscal year 2022 omnibus bill allocated an additional $22.1 million for legacy well cleanups in the state.
- $25 million for Pretty Rocks landslide in Denali National Park and Preserve
- The National Park Service recently approved a plan that will pave the way for a long-term solution to the Pretty Rocks Landslide on Denali Park Road in Denali National Park and Preserve. With an initial investment of $25 million in critical funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the NPS will begin construction in the summer of 2022 and maintain the project on an accelerated schedule. During construction, visitors will continue to have access to unparalleled wildlife views, Denali views, frontcountry trails, hiking and backcountry camping. Construction will begin in the summer of 2022 and is expected to last two years.
- $19.9 million to support state wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation
- In February, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced $19.9 million in funding for Alaska through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR)to support national and local outdoor recreational opportunities, as well as wildlife and habitat conservation efforts. Part of the WSFR program was reauthorized by the bipartisan Infrastructure Act. The WSFR program encourages cooperative partnerships among federal and state agencies, working alongside hunters, anglers, and other outdoor interests, to enhance recreational opportunities while advancing sustainable resource goals.
- $10 million to reduce forest fire risk
- This investment will help deliver the Department’s program Five-year monitoring, maintenance and treatment plan . This processing work feeds local communities by reducing wildfire risk and employing tribal members, youth and veterans. Fuel treatments will be completed on over 240,000 acres over the next two years. In collaboration with more than 80 partners, this work will include the use of prescribed burns on 7,500 acres and the completion of treatments on 9,500 acres in the wildland urban interface.
- $4.2 million to revitalize abandoned mining lands
- In February, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement announcement $1.3 million in fiscal 2022 funding is being made available to Alaska to create well-paying union jobs and catalyze economic opportunity by reclaiming abandoned mining lands (AMLs) under the law bipartisan on infrastructure. The law allocates AML funding over 15 years, which will help communities eliminate hazardous environmental conditions and pollution caused by old coal mines. This historic funding allocation is expected to cover the vast majority of abandoned coal mining land listed in this country. In March, the Ministry of the Interior announcement An additional $2.8 million is being made available to Alaska for anti-money laundering rehabilitation efforts in fiscal year 2022.
- $3.5 million for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fish passage projects
- The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently announcement that three projects in Alaska will receive $3.5 million in bipartisan Infrastructure Act funding this year to support aquatic ecosystems and restore open waters, enabling better fish migration and protecting communities from flooding. This investment will bolster efforts to address outdated or outdated dams, culverts, levees and other barriers that fragment our country’s rivers and streams, helping to restore fish passages and aquatic connectivity by removing or bypassing barriers.
- Funding available to build climate resilience in tribal communities
- During a bipartisan Alaska Infrastructure Law Symposium in Anchorage earlier this month, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announcementit is investing $46 million to address the unique impacts of climate change on Indigenous communities. The Department is currently accepting proposals from tribes and tribal organizations for this seed funding for projects and initiatives that address and build resilience and adaptation to climate change; ocean and coastal management; community-driven resettlement and protection-in-place activities; and internships and youth engagement. Funding for this opportunity came from the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and fiscal year 2022 appropriations.