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Federal Dollars at Work in the District

Federal Dollars at Work in the District Federal Funding in the District - An Overview 

The US Congress and the President decide how federal funds are spent and determine the broad funding levels and categories for special spending packages for local communities. The District receives annual baseline funding from several federal programs, and it receives additional funding from major spending laws. This additional funding is designed to stimulate fiscal recovery from the pandemic, modernize infrastructure, and fight climate change. The amount of funding DOEE expects to receive from the most recent major spending laws and the projects those funds will support are summarized below.

Benefitting District Residents 

District residents will directly benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars that will flow to the city for environmental projects over the next few years.  Critically, miles of lead pipes will be removed, increasing drinking water safety for the public. New green infrastructure like rain gardens, permeable pavement, and green roofs, will be installed on public and residential land throughout the city, and streams will be restored. This will improve stormwater management, lessen neighborhood flooding, reduce pollution in the Anacostia River, and beautify the District.  Hundreds of single family homes as well as multifamily and public-owned buildings will get energy retrofits to make them more energy efficient and switch their energy source to solar, which will cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and make buildings healthier.

Prioritizing Equity

The federal Justice40 Initiative aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits of certain federal government programs to disadvantaged communities. DOEE is committed to leveraging funds to support environmental justice and equity in the District and strengthen the communities most at risk of being adversely affected by climate change. Climate resiliency is the capacity to cope with hazardous events, such as major tropical storms, extreme heat waves and cold snaps, flooding, and energy disruptions, which impact underserved communities most deeply. DOEE will spend most of the incoming federal funds on programs that support low income residents and households and underserved neighborhoods to increase home energy efficiency and access to renewable energy and lower energy bills. A portion of the funding will also go toward workforce development programs that increase green job training opportunities for District residents.


American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

Enacted in March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides funding to address the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the ARPA program known as the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF), the U.S. Treasury awarded $350 billion in funding to state, local, and tribal governments to make up for lost revenue, support basic public services during the pandemic, and for investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

The District was awarded $2.3 billion in SLFRF funds, which is distributed by the Mayor and Council to District agencies. Through fiscal year 2024, DOEE has received about $122 million in SLFRF funds to support energy and green infrastructure programs. Because SLFRF funds are flexible in how they can be spent, the Mayor and Council can adjust annual allocations as needed to address changing priorities and funding needs. Additional information on the city’s use of SLFRF funds is detailed in the Mayor’s Recovery Plan Performance reports. Outside of SLFRF, DOEE also received ARPA funding directly from federal agencies to support air quality monitoring and to assist low income households in paying energy bills.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for energy and environmental projects
Total Awarded from 2021 to 2024
Funding Source Amount* Projects supported with this funding


US Treasury | State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF)


$121,773,042 

DOEE | Lead and Mold Hazard Mitigation
Assistance to income-eligible households for lead and mold hazard reduction activities

DOEE, DC SEU, DC Green Bank, DHCD | Affordable Housing Retrofit Accelerator (AHRA)
Assistance to affordable multifamily building owners and managers to meet the District’s new energy efficiency standards

DHCA | for BEPS compliance
Assistance to DCHA buildings to meet the District’s new energy efficiency standards

DOEE, DOES | Solar Works
Solar roof installation on low income single family homes and installer job training for disadvantaged District residents

DC SEU | Solar for All
Solar roof installation on low income single family homes and community solar projects for low income renters and residents on multifamily buildings.

DC Water | Lead Pipe Replacement
Replacement of underground lead water pipes with copper or other material to reduce potential health risks associated with lead in drinking water

DOEE | Green Infrastructure Maintenance
Routine cleaning, upkeep, and servicing of District-owned stormwater infrastructure like street bioswales, green roofs, bioretention ponds, rain barrels, and permeable pavement

DOEE, MPD, DPW | Dump Busters
Enforcement of illegal dumping laws to combat trash and litter around the city

DOEE | Kingman Island Rangers
Job training and placement for youth and disadvantaged District residents to be stewards of Kingman and Heritage Islands

DOEE | Home Weatherization Assistance
Assistance to income-eligible households to address certain deferred maintenance in their homes and receive weatherization services

US HHS | Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (US LIHEAP) $14,560,741 DOEE | Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (DC LIHEAP)
Energy bill payment assistance for low income households
US HHS | Low Income Home Water Assistance Program (US LIHWAP) $1,347,544 DOEE | Low Income Home Water Assistance Program
Water bill payment assistance for low income households
US EPA | American Rescue Plan Programs $ 914,500 DOEE | Air Quality Planning and Monitoring
Various programs for air quality planning and monitoring in disadvantaged communities
Total for energy and environmental projects $138,595,827  

* Values have been rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount. *Last updated January 2024.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)

Passed in November 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) - also known as the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act – is a $1.2 trillion national investment package for modernizing transportation, drinking water, high speed internet, clean energy, and climate resilience infrastructure throughout the country.    


The District will receive $3.3 billion over five years. About 80% of this funding will go toward public transit and lead pipe replacement projects implemented by WMATA and DC Water.  Most of the remaining funding will go toward transportation improvements and high speed internet expansion. Learn more about the District’s Build Back Better Infrastructure Task Force.  There will also be opportunities for the District to receive more funding through competitive grant programs administered by a number of federal agencies.

DOEE anticipates receiving roughly $83 million in BIL formula funding from 2022 to 2026 (based on population and census data) specifically to support green infrastructure and energy programs.  There are rules and guidelines for how and by when these funds must be spent.  Most of this funding will flow into preapproved existing environmental programs, while some funds may be used to set up new programs as outlined in the table below. 

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) formula funding awards for environmental projects
Total anticipated from 2022 to 2026
Funding source Amount Projects supported by this funding and lead agencies

US EPA | Drinking Water
State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)

Capitalization and Emerging Contaminants

$149,000,000  DC Water
Replacement, upgrades, and expansions to the drinking water distribution system including treatment improvements to assess contaminants

US EPA | Drinking Water
State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)

Reducing Lead in Drinking Water

$141,750,000 DC Water | Lead Pipe Replacement
Replacement of underground lead water pipes with copper or other material to reduce potential health risks associated with lead in drinking water

DC Water Total

$290,750,000

 

US EPA | Clean Water
State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)
$62,000,000 DOEE | Clean Water Construction Program
Design and construction projects to retrofit District property and public space to promote water quality improvements to District streams and rivers such as green streets, cisterns for rain water harvesting, and stream restoration
US EPA | Chesapeake Bay Program $2,500,000 DOEE | RiverSmart Homes
Installation of rain barrels, shade trees, rain gardens, bay scaping, vegetation, and permeable pavers for single family homes of all incomes
US EPA | Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) State and Tribal Response Program $1,400,000 Brownfield Assessments
Assessment and cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination left behind by several former dry cleaning sites to reduce vapor intrusion risks at sites and adjacent properties
US DOE | Weatherization Assistance Program (US WAP) $5,200,000 DOEE | Weatherization Assistance Program (DC WAP)
Energy audits and energy efficient home improvements like insulation, duct sealing, HVAC repairs or replacement, and efficient lighting and appliances of low income single family homes

US HHS | Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
(US LIHEAP)

$1,500,000 DOEE | Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (DC LIHEAP)
Energy bill payment assistance for low income households
US DOE | Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grant Program (EERLF) $4,400,000 DOEE, DC Green Bank
Grants and loans for energy efficiency improvements to publicly-owned and privately-owned buildings
US DOE | State Energy Program (SEP) $3,000,000 TBD
US DOE | Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EERBG) $1,900,000 TBD
US DOE | Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid $1,500,000 DOEE
Funding to improve the resilience of DC’s electric grids
DOEE Total $83,400,000  

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

Passed in August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides $370 billion for the nation over eight years for clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate resilience. Federal agencies are currently developing guidelines for new funding programs. DOEE will be awarded some direct formula funding and intends to apply for relevant competitive grants in the coming years. The IRA also provides rebates and tax credits to consumers to help households offset costs for energy-efficiency and renewable energy home upgrades. Learn more about how to take advantage of these programs by visiting DOEE’s IRA home energy incentives web page. The following table provides information on non-competitive or formula funding that DOEE expects to receive under the IRA over the next few years, though not all grants have been awarded yet.

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding for energy and environmental projects
Total anticipated starting in 2023
Funding source Amount Projects supported by this funding
US DOE | Home Efficiency Rebates $29,808,850  DOEE | IRA Rebates
Rebates for high-efficiency electric appliances, heat pumps, and other products to make homes more energy efficient
US DOE | Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates $29,635,400
US EPA | Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) $3,000,000

DOEE | CPRG
Funding for District and regional greenhouse gas reduction planning efforts

US EPA | State-Based Home Energy Efficiency Contractor Training Grants

$1,048,490 

DOEE
Funding to train contractors for home energy-efficiency and electrification upgrades 
US EPA |  Clean Air Act Grants $286,137  DOEE
Collaboration with local atmospheric scientists and community outreach on air quality issues
US DOE | Assistance for Latest and Zero Building Energy Code Adoption TBD DOB
Energy-efficient building code development
Total $63,778,877   

Competitive Federal Grants

Competitive federal grants are not guaranteed funds like state and local formula funding.  Rather, interested applicants (such as a city or state, a local agency, a community organization, or a private sector applicant) must develop proposals and compete to win those awards.  Proposals are reviewed by a panel of experts who score the applications based on selection criteria outlined in the initial grant notice. Both the BIL and IRA programs will offer competitive grant opportunities, which are published on federal agencies’ web sites and at www.grants.gov as they become available. 

Despite many of these programs being highly competitive with hundreds of jurisdictions submitting proposals, DOEE and other District agencies are committed to pursuing opportunities that could further advance the city’s sustainability, climate action, and environmental justice goals.  The following table summarizes some of the recent BIL and IRA grants District agencies and affiliated entities are pursuing to fund environmental projects in the District.

Competitive (BIL and IRA) federal grants for energy and environmental projects

Federal Grant Program

Lead Applicant

Proposed environmental project

Applied

Awarded

Electric Vehicle Charger Reliability (FHWA) DOEE Install a 4-port 150kW vehicle charging station at Benning Rd and 34th St (Ward 7) Nov 2023 $588,000

Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience (NOAA)

DOEE

Wetland restoration along the Anacostia River

Nov 2023

Pending

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Solar for All (US EPA)

DOEE

Solar deployment in low-income and disadvantaged communities

Oct 2023

Pending

Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program (US DOT)

DOEE

Installation of public EV charging stations across the District and Capital Bikeshare electrification

June 2023

$0

Pollution Prevention Grant (US EPA)

DOEE

Technical and cost assistance for cleaning service providers in Wards 5, 7, and 8 to transition to sustainable products and practices

June 2023

$500,000

Renew America's Schools (US DOE)

DGS

Energy efficiency improvements at DC public schools

March 2023

$0

Resilient & Efficient Codes​ (US DOE)

NBI

Energy efficient building code development

Mar 2023

$1,000,000

Recycling Education & Outreach (US EPA)

DOEE

Battery recycling campaign and rechargeable battery promotion

Feb 2023

$0

Regional Invasive Species (USDA)

MWCOG

Detection and rapid response to invasive plants that threaten urban forests

Feb 2023

$0

Flood Mitigation Assistance (FEMA)

HSEMA

Scoping phase for DC Watts Branch flood mitigation concept design plan

Jan 2023

$581,000

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) (FEMA)

HSEMA

Floodproofing and infrastructure improvements to increase power resilience at the Eastern Avenue stormwater pump station

Jan 2023

$670,749

SMART (US DOT)

DDOT

Intersection safety sensors and electric vehicle charging

Nov 2022

$0

Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction
(US EPA)

DOEE

Stream restoration, algal river pollution scrubber, and stormwater retention credit (SRC) program

Nov 2022

$0

Brownfield Community Wide Assessment​ (US EPA)

DOEE

Assessment of brownfield properties in lower income neighborhoods​

Nov 2022

Pending

Brownfield Job Training​ (US EPA)

DOEE

Job training and placement in brownfield remediation ​

Aug 2022

$0

Clean School Bus (US EPA)

OSSE

Clean school bus purchase

Aug 2022

$7,625,000

America the Beautiful (US NFWF)

DOEE

Stream, wetlands, and meadow planning and restoration

July 2022

$0

RAISE (US DOT)

DDOT

Four mile walking and biking trail in Ward 8 along South Capitol Street

Apr 2022

$10,000,000

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