Pallone Unveils Comprehensive Infrastructure Package

May 11, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Today in Carteret, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) unveiled legislation to invest in America’s infrastructure, create jobs and modernize our economy for the 21st century. Congressman Pallone’s bill provides for funding for a comprehensive 21st Century infrastructure package including key areas such as broadband, drinking water, healthcare, the electric grid, brownfield redevelopment and renewable energy. The Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act, or LIFT America Act, sets out five years of funding for essential infrastructure improvements, job growth, and greater protections for public health and the environment.  Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman, Kevin Duncan, Chair of the Middlesex County Building and Construction Trades Council and Doug O'Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey joined Congressman Pallone at the event. 

“At a time when our nation’s infrastructure is either crumbling or in desperate need of modernization, it’s time we make real and significant investments for the future,” said Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06). “The LIFT America Act is a blueprint for critical investments in our nation’s infrastructure that will also create jobs, protect public health, and the environment. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to advance these key investments in American infrastructure.”

The LIFT America Act includes investments in several key areas including:

·         $22.56 billion for drinking water infrastructure to protect public health and create jobs, including increased investment in drinking water State Revolving Funds and additional funding to replace lead service lines, address lead in school drinking water, and prepare for the impacts of climate change;

·         $2.25 billion for Brownfields redevelopment to revitalize communities and create jobs by returning valuable land to productive use;

·         Over $17 billion for energy infrastructure, including $4 billion for modern, secure, efficient, and resilient electric grid infrastructure, $9 billion for resilient and renewable energy supply including methane pipeline replacement, and more than $4 billion for energy efficiency efforts and smart communities;

·         More than $3 billion for healthcare infrastructure, to re vive the successful Hill-Burton hospital infrastructure program, fund medical facility infrastructure in Indian Country, support state labs fighting Zika and other infectious diseases, and support community based health care infrastructure; and

·         $40 billion for the deployment of secure and resilient broadband, to expand access for communities nationwide while protecting privacy and promoting security by design;

 

“Investing in our nation’s infrastructure makes sense for everyone. It will provide good jobs for the skilled men and women of the unions I am proud to represent. It will improve our local economies, and keep our nation competitive in an ever globalizing economy,” said President Bill Mullen of the NJ Building & Construction Trades Council. “We need to rebuild New Jersey’s bridges and roads, but there are also opportunities to build hospitals, improve our energy grid, and turn unused contaminated sites into vibrant parts of our communities. The LIFT America Act is a chance for our elected officials in Washington to come together and put Americans to work.”

 

“Fixing and expanding our infrastructure should be a no-brainer for Congress," said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “From fixing lead pipes to strengthening our electric grid to weatherizing our schools, Rep. Pallone's LIFT Act provides a vision forward for how to strengthen our communities, our environment and economy. This should be a bipartisan push and we urge the full delegation to support this."

The LIFT America Act will invest in programs with proven records of job creation, including the drinking water State Revolving Fund and the Brownfields Redevelopment program.  The legislation requires the use of American made iron and steel for drinking water projects and hospital construction and requires the payment of prevailing wages. The bill will also spur new high-paying technology jobs by supporting deployment of smart buildings, smart grid, and Smart Communities technology. The LIFT America Act also provides much-needed funding to repair and replace aging infrastructure that will have significant public health benefits, especially for children.  The bill includes funding to get lead out of school drinking water, replace polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-laden lighting fixtures with safer and more energy efficient alternatives in schools, and reduce diesel emissions from school buses.