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H.R. 1848 (117th): LIFT America Act


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 11, 2021 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


I

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1848

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 11, 2021

(for himself, Mr. Rush, Ms. Eshoo, Ms. DeGette, Mr. Michael F. Doyle of Pennsylvania, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Butterfield, Ms. Matsui, Ms. Castor of Florida, Mr. Sarbanes, Mr. McNerney, Mr. Welch, Mr. Tonko, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Schrader, Mr. Cárdenas, Mr. Ruiz, Mr. Peters, Mrs. Dingell, Mr. Veasey, Ms. Kuster, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Ms. Barragán, Mr. McEachin, Ms. Blunt Rochester, Mr. Soto, Mr. O'Halleran, Miss Rice of New York, Ms. Craig, Ms. Schrier, Mrs. Trahan, and Mrs. Fletcher) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Science, Space, and Technology, Ways and Means, Education and Labor, Agriculture, and Oversight and Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To rebuild and modernize the Nation’s infrastructure to expand access to broadband and Next Generation 9–1–1, rehabilitate drinking water infrastructure, modernize the electric grid and energy supply infrastructure, redevelop brownfields, strengthen health care infrastructure, create jobs, and protect public health and the environment, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act or the LIFT America Act.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Title I—Universal Broadband and Next Generation 9–1–1

Sec. 10001. Definitions.

Sec. 10002. Sense of Congress.

Sec. 10003. Severability.

Subtitle A—Digital Equity

Sec. 11001. Definitions.

Part 1—Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth

Sec. 11101. Annual report of Office.

Sec. 11102. Study and report on affordability of adoption of broadband service.

Sec. 11103. Authorization of appropriations.

Sec. 11104. Study and recommendations to connect socially disadvantaged individuals.

Part 2—Digital Equity Programs

Sec. 11201. State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program.

Sec. 11202. Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program.

Sec. 11203. Policy research, data collection, analysis and modeling, evaluation, and dissemination.

Sec. 11204. General provisions.

Subtitle B—Broadband Affordability and Pricing Transparency

Part 1—Broadband Affordability

Sec. 12101. Authorization for additional funds for the Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund.

Sec. 12102. Grants to States to strengthen National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier.

Sec. 12103. Federal coordination between National Eligibility Verifier and National Accuracy Clearinghouse.

Sec. 12104. Definitions.

Part 2—Additional Authorization for Emergency Connectivity Fund

Sec. 12201. Additional authorization for Emergency Connectivity Fund.

Part 3—Pricing Transparency

Sec. 12301. Definitions.

Sec. 12302. Broadband transparency.

Sec. 12303. Distribution of data.

Sec. 12304. Coordination with certain other Federal agencies.

Sec. 12305. Adoption of consumer broadband labels.

Sec. 12306. GAO report.

Subtitle C—Broadband Access

Part 1—Expansion of Broadband Access

Sec. 13101. Expansion of broadband access in unserved areas and areas with low-tier or mid-tier service.

Sec. 13102. Tribal internet expansion.

Part 2—Broadband Infrastructure Finance and Innovation

Sec. 13201. Short title.

Sec. 13202. Definitions.

Sec. 13203. Determination of eligibility and project selection.

Sec. 13204. Secured loans.

Sec. 13205. Lines of credit.

Sec. 13206. Alternative prudential lending standards for small projects.

Sec. 13207. Program administration.

Sec. 13208. State and local permits.

Sec. 13209. Regulations.

Sec. 13210. Funding.

Sec. 13211. Reports to Congress.

Part 3—Wi-Fi on School Buses

Sec. 13301. E-rate support for school bus Wi-Fi.

Subtitle D—Community Broadband

Sec. 14001. State, local, public-private partnership, and co-op broadband services.

Subtitle E—Next Generation 9–1–1

Sec. 15001. Further deployment of Next Generation 9–1–1.

Title II—DRINKING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE

Sec. 20001. Drinking Water SRF Funding.

Sec. 20002. Drinking water system resilience funding.

Sec. 20003. PFAS treatment grants.

Sec. 20004. Lead service line replacement.

Sec. 20005. Assistance for areas affected by natural disasters.

Sec. 20006. Allotments for territories.

Title III—CLEAN ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE

Subtitle A—Grid Security and Modernization

Sec. 31001. 21st century power grid.

Sec. 31002. Strategic transformer reserve program.

Subtitle B—Energy Efficient Infrastructure

Part 1—Efficiency Grants for State and Local Governments

Sec. 32101. Energy efficient public buildings.

Sec. 32102. Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.

Part 2—Energy Improvements at Public School Facilities

Sec. 32201. Grants for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy improvements at public school facilities.

Part 3—HOPE for HOMES

Sec. 32301. Definitions.

Subpart A—HOPE training

Sec. 32311. Notice for HOPE Qualification training and grants.

Sec. 32312. Course criteria.

Sec. 32313. HOPE Qualification.

Sec. 32314. Grants.

Sec. 32315. Authorization of appropriations.

Subpart B—Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program

Sec. 32321. Establishment of Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program.

Sec. 32322. Partial system rebates.

Sec. 32323. State administered rebates.

Sec. 32324. Special provisions for moderate income households.

Sec. 32325. Evaluation reports to Congress.

Sec. 32326. Administration.

Sec. 32327. Treatment of rebates.

Sec. 32328. Authorization of appropriations.

Subpart C—General provisions

Sec. 32331. Appointment of personnel.

Sec. 32332. Maintenance of funding.

Part 4—Energy and Water Performance at Federal Facilities

Sec. 32401. Energy and water performance requirement for Federal facilities.

Part 5—Open Back Better

Sec. 32501. Facilities energy resiliency.

Sec. 32502. Personnel.

Subtitle C—Energy Supply Infrastructure

Sec. 33001. Grant program for solar installations located in, or that serve, low-income and underserved areas.

Sec. 33002. Improving the natural gas distribution system.

Sec. 33003. Distributed energy resources.

Sec. 33004. Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator.

Sec. 33005. Dam safety.

Subtitle D—Smart Communities Infrastructure

Part 1—Smart communities

Sec. 34101. 3C energy program.

Sec. 34102. Federal technology assistance.

Sec. 34103. Technology demonstration grant program.

Sec. 34104. Smart city or community.

Part 2—Clean cities coalition program

Sec. 34201. Clean Cities Coalition Program.

Part 3—Vehicle Infrastructure

Subpart A—Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Sec. 34311. Definitions.

Sec. 34312. Electric vehicle supply equipment rebate program.

Sec. 34313. Model building code for electric vehicle supply equipment.

Sec. 34314. Electric vehicle supply equipment coordination.

Sec. 34315. State consideration of electric vehicle charging.

Sec. 34316. State energy plans.

Sec. 34317. Transportation electrification.

Sec. 34318. Federal fleets.

Subpart B—Electric vehicles for underserved communities

Sec. 34321. Expanding access to electric vehicles in underserved and disadvantaged communities.

Sec. 34322. Ensuring program benefits for underserved and disadvantaged communities.

Sec. 34323. Definitions.

Subpart C—Port Electrification and Decarbonization

Sec. 34331. Definitions.

Sec. 34332. Grants to reduce air pollution at ports.

Sec. 34333. Model methodologies.

Sec. 34334. Port electrification.

Sec. 34335. Authorization of appropriations.

Subpart D—Other Vehicles

Sec. 34341. Clean School Bus Program.

Sec. 34342. Pilot program for the electrification of certain refrigerated vehicles.

Sec. 34343. Domestic Manufacturing Conversion Grant Program.

Sec. 34344. Advanced technology vehicles manufacturing incentive program.

Title IV—Health Care Infrastructure

Sec. 40001. Core public health infrastructure for State, local, Tribal, and territorial health departments.

Sec. 40002. Core public health infrastructure and activities for CDC.

Sec. 40003. Hospital infrastructure.

Sec. 40004. Pilot program to improve laboratory infrastructure.

Sec. 40005. 21st century Indian health program hospitals and outpatient health care facilities.

Sec. 40006. Pilot program to improve community-based care infrastructure.

Sec. 40007. Community Health Center Capital Project Funding.

Sec. 40008. Energy efficiency.

Title V—Brownfields Redevelopment

Sec. 50001. Authorization of appropriations.

Sec. 50002. State response programs.

I

Universal Broad­band and Next Generation 9–1–1

10001.

Definitions

In this title:

(1)

Aging individual

The term aging individual has the meaning given the term older individual in section 102 of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3002).

(2)

Appropriate committees of Congress

The term appropriate committees of Congress means—

(A)

the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(B)

the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate;

(C)

the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

(D)

the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.

(3)

Assistant Secretary

The term Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information.

(4)

Commission

The term Commission means the Federal Communications Commission.

(5)

Covered household

The term covered household means a household the income of which does not exceed 150 percent of the poverty threshold, as determined by using criteria of poverty established by the Bureau of the Census, for a household of the size involved.

(6)

Covered populations

The term covered populations means—

(A)

individuals who are members of covered households;

(B)

aging individuals;

(C)

incarcerated individuals, other than individuals who are incarcerated in a Federal correctional facility (including a private facility operated under contract with the Federal Government);

(D)

veterans;

(E)

individuals with disabilities;

(F)

individuals with a language barrier, including individuals who—

(i)

are English learners; or

(ii)

have low levels of literacy;

(G)

individuals who are members of a racial or ethnic minority group; and

(H)

individuals who primarily reside in a rural area.

(7)

Digital literacy

The term digital literacy means the skills associated with using technology to enable users to find, evaluate, organize, create, and communicate information.

(8)

Disability

The term disability has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102).

(9)

Federal agency

The term Federal agency has the meaning given the term agency in section 551 of title 5, United States Code.

(10)

Indian Tribe

The term Indian Tribe has the meaning given such term in section 4(e) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304(e)).

(11)

Institution of higher education

The term institution of higher education

(A)

has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001); and

(B)

includes a postsecondary vocational institution.

(12)

Postsecondary vocational institution

The term postsecondary vocational institution has the meaning given the term in section 102(c) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002(c)).

(13)

Rural area

The term rural area has the meaning given the term in section 13 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 913).

(14)

State

The term State has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 153).

(15)

Veteran

The term veteran has the meaning given the term in section 101 of title 38, United States Code.

10002.

Sense of Congress

(a)

In general

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

a broadband service connection and digital literacy are increasingly critical to how individuals—

(A)

participate in the society, economy, and civic institutions of the United States; and

(B)

access health care and essential services, obtain education, and build careers;

(2)

digital exclusion—

(A)

carries a high societal and economic cost;

(B)

materially harms the opportunity of an individual with respect to the economic success, educational achievement, positive health outcomes, social inclusion, and civic engagement of that individual;

(C)

materially harms the opportunity of areas where it is especially widespread with respect to economic success, educational achievement, positive health outcomes, social cohesion, and civic institutions; and

(D)

exacerbates existing wealth and income gaps, especially those experienced by covered populations and between regions;

(3)

achieving accessible and affordable access to broadband service, as well as digital literacy, for all people of the United States requires additional and sustained research efforts and investment;

(4)

the Federal Government, as well as State, Tribal, and local governments, have made social, legal, and economic obligations that necessarily extend to how the citizens and residents of those governments access and use the internet; and

(5)

achieving accessible and affordable access to broadband service is a matter of social and economic justice and is worth pursuing.

(b)

Broadband service defined

In this section, the term broadband service has the meaning given the term broadband internet access service in section 8.1(b) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation.

10003.

Severability

If any provision of this title, an amendment made by this title, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, the remainder of this title and the amendments made by this title, and the application of such provision or amendment to any other person or circumstance, shall not be affected thereby.

A

Digital Equity

11001.

Definitions

In this subtitle:

(1)

Adoption of broadband service

The term adoption of broadband service means the process by which an individual obtains daily access to broadband service—

(A)

with a download speed of at least 25 megabits per second, an upload speed of at least 3 megabits per second, and a latency that is sufficiently low to allow real-time, interactive applications;

(B)

with the digital skills that are necessary for the individual to participate online; and

(C)

on a—

(i)

personal device; and

(ii)

secure and convenient network.

(2)

Anchor institution

The term anchor institution means a public or private school, a library, a medical or healthcare provider, a museum, a public safety entity, a public housing agency, a community college, an institution of higher education, a religious organization, or any other community support organization or agency.

(3)

Assistant Secretary

The term Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary, acting through the Office.

(4)

Broadband service

The term broadband service has the meaning given the term broadband internet access service in section 8.1(b) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation.

(5)

Covered programs

The term covered programs means the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program established under section 11201 and the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program established under section 11202.

(6)

Digital equity

The term digital equity means the condition in which individuals and communities have the information technology capacity that is needed for full participation in the society and economy of the United States.

(7)

Digital inclusion activities

The term digital inclusion activities

(A)

means the activities that are necessary to ensure that all individuals in the United States have access to, and the use of, affordable information and communication technologies, such as—

(i)

reliable broadband service;

(ii)

internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user; and

(iii)

applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation, and collaboration; and

(B)

includes—

(i)

the provision of digital literacy training;

(ii)

the provision of quality technical support; and

(iii)

promoting basic awareness of measures to ensure online privacy and cybersecurity.

(8)

Eligible State

The term eligible State means—

(A)

with respect to planning grants made available under section 11201(c)(3), a State with respect to which the Assistant Secretary has approved an application submitted to the Assistant Secretary under subparagraph (C) of such section; and

(B)

with respect to capacity grants awarded under section 11201(d), a State with respect to which the Assistant Secretary has approved an application submitted to the Assistant Secretary under paragraph (2) of such section.

(9)

Federal broadband support program

The term Federal broadband support program has the meaning given such term in section 903 of division FF of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260).

(10)

Gender identity

The term gender identity has the meaning given the term in section 249(c) of title 18, United States Code.

(11)

Local educational agency

The term local educational agency has the meaning given the term in section 8101(30) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801(30)).

(12)

Medicaid enrollee

The term Medicaid enrollee means, with respect to a State, an individual enrolled in the State plan under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.) or a waiver of that plan.

(13)

National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier

The term National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier has the meaning given such term in section 54.400 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation).

(14)

Native Hawaiian organization

The term Native Hawaiian organization means any organization—

(A)

that serves the interests of Native Hawaiians;

(B)

in which Native Hawaiians serve in substantive and policymaking positions;

(C)

that has as a primary and stated purpose the provision of services to Native Hawaiians; and

(D)

that is recognized for having expertise in Native Hawaiian affairs, digital connectivity, or access to broadband service.

(15)

Office

The term Office means the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

(16)

Public housing agency

The term public housing agency has the meaning given the term in section 3(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437a(b)).

(17)

SNAP participant

The term SNAP participant means an individual who is a member of a household that participates in the supplemental nutrition assistance program under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.).

(18)

Socially and economically disadvantaged small business concern

The term socially and economically disadvantaged small business concern has the meaning given the term in section 8(a)(4) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)(4)).

(19)

Tribally designated entity

The term tribally designated entity means an entity designated by an Indian Tribe to carry out activities under this subtitle.

(20)

Universal Service Fund Program

The term Universal Service Fund Program has the meaning given such term in section 903 of division FF of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260).

(21)

Workforce development program

The term workforce development program has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (29 U.S.C. 3102).

1

Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth

11101.

Annual report of Office

Section 903(c)(2)(C) of division FF of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(iv)

A description of any non-economic benefits of such broadband deployment efforts, including any effect on civic engagement.

(v)

The extent to which residents of the United States that received broadband as a result of Federal broadband support programs and the Universal Service Fund Programs received broadband at the download and upload speeds required by such programs.

.

11102.

Study and report on affordability of adoption of broadband service

Section 903 of division FF of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsections (g) and (h) as subsections (i) and (j), respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (f) the following:

(g)

Study and report on affordability of adoption of broadband service

(1)

Study

The Office, in consultation with the Commission, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Treasury, and such other Federal agencies as the Office considers appropriate, shall, not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this subsection, and biennially thereafter, conduct a study that examines the following:

(A)

The number of households for which cost is a barrier to the adoption of broadband service, the financial circumstances of such households, and whether such households are eligible for the emergency broadband benefit under section 904 of division N.

(B)

The extent to which the cost of adoption of broadband service is a financial burden to households that have adopted broadband service, the financial circumstances of such financially burdened households, and whether such households are receiving the emergency broadband benefit under section 904 of division N.

(C)

The appropriate standard to determine whether adoption of broadband service is affordable for households, given the financial circumstances of such households.

(D)

The feasibility of providing additional Federal subsidies, including expanding the eligibility for or increasing the amount of the emergency broadband benefit under section 904 of division N, to households to cover the difference between the cost of adoption of broadband service (determined before applying such additional Federal subsidies) and the price at which adoption of broadband service would be affordable.

(E)

How a program to provide additional Federal subsidies as described in subparagraph (D) should be administered to most effectively facilitate adoption of broadband service at the lowest overall expense to the Federal Government, including measures that would ensure that the availability of the subsidies does not result in providers raising the price of broadband service for households receiving subsidies.

(F)

How participation in the Lifeline program of the Commission has changed in the 5 years prior to the date of the enactment of this subsection, including—

(i)

geographic information at the census-block level depicting the scale of change in participation in each area; and

(ii)

information on changes in participation by specific types of Lifeline-supported services, including fixed voice telephony service, mobile voice telephony service, fixed broadband service, and mobile broadband service and, in the case of any Lifeline-supported services provided as part of a bundle of services to which a Lifeline discount is applied, which Lifeline-supported services are part of such bundle and whether or not each Lifeline-supported service in such bundle meets Lifeline minimum service standards.

(G)

How competition impacts the price of broadband service, including the impact of monopolistic business practices by broadband service providers.

(H)

The extent to which, if at all, the Universal Service Fund high-cost programs have enabled access to reasonably comparable telephony and broadband services at reasonably comparable rates in high-cost rural areas as required by the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), including a comparison of the rates charged by recipients of support under such programs in rural areas and rates charged in urban areas, as determined by the Commission’s annual survey.

(2)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this subsection, and biennially thereafter, the Office shall submit to Congress a report on the results of the study conducted under paragraph (1).

(3)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Cost

The term cost means, with respect to adoption of broadband service, the cost of adoption of broadband service to a household after applying any subsidies that reduce such cost.

(B)

Other definitions

The terms adoption of broadband service and broadband service have the meanings given such terms in section 11001 of the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act.

.

11103.

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Assistant Secretary $26,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2022 through 2026 for the operations of the Office.

11104.

Study and recommendations to connect socially disadvantaged individuals

Section 903 of division FF of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260), as amended by section 11102, is further amended by inserting before subsection (i) (as redesignated by such section) the following:

(h)

Study and recommendations To connect socially disadvantaged individuals

(1)

In general

Not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Office, in consultation with the Commission and the Rural Utilities Service of the Department of Agriculture, shall, after public notice and an opportunity for comment, conduct a study to assess the extent to which Federal funds for broadband service, including the Universal Service Fund Programs and other Federal broadband support programs, have expanded access to and adoption of broadband service by socially disadvantaged individuals as compared to individuals who are not socially disadvantaged individuals.

(2)

Report and publication

(A)

Submission

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Office shall submit a report on the results of the study under paragraph (1) to—

(i)

the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives;

(ii)

the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate; and

(iii)

each agency administering a program evaluated by such report.

(B)

Public publication

Contemporaneously with submitting the report required by subparagraph (A), the Office shall publish such report on the public-facing website of the Office.

(C)

Recommendations

The report required by subparagraph (A) shall include recommendations with regard to how Federal funds for the Universal Service Fund Programs and Federal broadband support programs may be dispersed in an a manner that better expands access to and adoption of broadband service by socially disadvantaged individuals as compared to individuals who are not socially disadvantaged individuals.

(3)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Socially disadvantaged individual

The term socially disadvantaged individual has the meaning given that term in section 8 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637).

(B)

Other definitions

The terms adoption of broadband service and broadband service have the meanings given such terms in section 11001 of the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act.

.

2

Digital Equity Programs

11201.

State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program

(a)

Establishment; purpose

(1)

In general

The Assistant Secretary shall establish in the Office the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program (referred to in this section as the Program)—

(A)

the purpose of which is to promote the achievement of digital equity, support digital inclusion activities, and build capacity for efforts by States relating to the adoption of broadband service by residents of those States;

(B)

through which the Assistant Secretary shall make grants to States in accordance with the requirements of this section; and

(C)

which shall ensure that States have the capacity to promote the achievement of digital equity and support digital inclusion activities.

(2)

Consultation with other Federal agencies; no conflict

In establishing the Program under paragraph (1), the Assistant Secretary shall—

(A)

consult with—

(i)

the Secretary of Agriculture;

(ii)

the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development;

(iii)

the Secretary of Education;

(iv)

the Secretary of Labor;

(v)

the Secretary of Health and Human Services;

(vi)

the Secretary of Veterans Affairs;

(vii)

the Secretary of the Interior;

(viii)

the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior;

(ix)

the Commission;

(x)

the Federal Trade Commission;

(xi)

the Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services;

(xii)

the Administrator of the Small Business Administration;

(xiii)

the Federal Cochairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission; and

(xiv)

the head of any other Federal agency that the Assistant Secretary determines to be appropriate; and

(B)

ensure that the Program complements and enhances, and does not conflict with, other Federal broadband support programs and Universal Service Fund Programs.

(3)

Tribal and native hawaiian consultation and engagement

In establishing the Program under paragraph (1), the Assistant Secretary shall conduct robust, interactive, pre-decisional, transparent consultation with Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.

(b)

Administering entity

(1)

Selection; function

The governor (or equivalent official) of a State that wishes to be awarded a grant under this section shall, from among entities that are eligible under paragraph (2), select an administering entity for that State, which shall—

(A)

serve as the recipient of, and administering agent for, any grant awarded to the State under this section;

(B)

develop, implement, and oversee the State Digital Equity Plan for the State described in subsection (c);

(C)

make subgrants to any of the entities described in clauses (i) through (xi) of subsection (c)(1)(D) that is located in the State in support of—

(i)

the State Digital Equity Plan for the State; and

(ii)

digital inclusion activities in the State generally; and

(D)

serve as—

(i)

an advocate for digital equity policies and digital inclusion activities; and

(ii)

a repository of best practice materials regarding the policies and activities described in clause (i).

(2)

Eligible entities

Any of the following entities may serve as the administering entity for a State for the purposes of this section if the entity has demonstrated a capacity to administer the Program on a statewide level:

(A)

The State.

(B)

A political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the State.

(C)

An Indian Tribe located in the State, a tribally designated entity located in the State, or a Native Hawaiian organization located in the State.

(c)

State digital equity plan

(1)

Development; contents

A State that wishes to be awarded a grant under subsection (d) shall develop a State Digital Equity Plan for the State, which shall include—

(A)

an identification of the barriers to digital equity faced by covered populations in the State;

(B)

measurable objectives for documenting and promoting, among each group described in subparagraphs (A) through (H) of section 2(6) located in that State—

(i)

the availability of, and affordability of access to, broadband service and technology needed for the use of broadband service;

(ii)

public awareness of such availability and affordability and of subsidies available to increase such affordability (including subsidies available through the Lifeline program of the Commission), including objectives to—

(I)

inform Medicaid enrollees and SNAP participants, and organizations that serve Medicaid enrollees and SNAP participants, of potential eligibility for the Lifeline program; and

(II)

provide Medicaid enrollees and SNAP participants with information about the Lifeline program, including—

(aa)

how to apply for the Lifeline program; and

(bb)

a description of the prohibition on more than one subscriber in each household receiving a service provided under the Lifeline program;

(iii)

the online accessibility and inclusivity of public resources and services;

(iv)

digital literacy;

(v)

awareness of, and the use of, measures to secure the online privacy of, and cybersecurity with respect to, an individual; and

(vi)

the availability and affordability of consumer devices and technical support for those devices;

(C)

an assessment of how the objectives described in subparagraph (B) will impact and interact with the State’s—

(i)

economic and workforce development goals, plans, and outcomes;

(ii)

educational outcomes;

(iii)

health outcomes;

(iv)

civic and social engagement; and

(v)

delivery of other essential services;

(D)

in order to achieve the objectives described in subparagraph (B), a description of how the State plans to collaborate with key stakeholders in the State, which may include—

(i)

anchor institutions;

(ii)

county and municipal governments;

(iii)

local educational agencies;

(iv)

where applicable, Indian Tribes, tribally designated entities, or Native Hawaiian organizations;

(v)

nonprofit organizations;

(vi)

organizations that represent—

(I)

individuals with disabilities, including organizations that represent children with disabilities;

(II)

aging individuals;

(III)

individuals with a language barrier, including individuals who—

(aa)

are English learners; or

(bb)

have low levels of literacy;

(IV)

veterans;

(V)

individuals residing in rural areas; and

(VI)

incarcerated individuals in that State, other than individuals who are incarcerated in a Federal correctional facility (including a private facility operated under contract with the Federal Government);

(vii)

civil rights organizations;

(viii)

entities that carry out workforce development programs;

(ix)

agencies of the State that are responsible for administering or supervising adult education and literacy activities in the State;

(x)

public housing agencies whose jurisdictions are located in the State; and

(xi)

a consortium of any of the entities described in clauses (i) through (x); and

(E)

a list of organizations with which the administering entity for the State collaborated in developing and implementing the Plan.

(2)

Public availability

(A)

In general

The administering entity for a State shall make the State Digital Equity Plan of the State available for public comment for a period of not less than 30 days before the date on which the State submits an application to the Assistant Secretary under subsection (d)(2).

(B)

Consideration of comments received

The administering entity for a State shall, with respect to an application submitted to the Assistant Secretary under subsection (d)(2)—

(i)

before submitting the application—

(I)

consider all comments received during the comment period described in subparagraph (A) with respect to the application (referred to in this subparagraph as the comment period); and

(II)

make any changes to the plan that the administering entity determines to be appropriate; and

(ii)

when submitting the application—

(I)

describe any changes pursued by the administering entity in response to comments received during the comment period; and

(II)

include a written response to each comment received during the comment period.

(3)

Planning grants

(A)

In general

Beginning in the first fiscal year that begins after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Assistant Secretary shall, in accordance with the requirements of this paragraph, award planning grants to States for the purpose of developing the State Digital Equity Plans of those States under this subsection.

(B)

Eligibility

In order to be awarded a planning grant under this paragraph, a State—

(i)

shall submit to the Assistant Secretary an application under subparagraph (C); and

(ii)

may not have been awarded, at any time, a planning grant under this paragraph.

(C)

Application

A State that wishes to be awarded a planning grant under this paragraph shall, not later than 60 days after the date on which the notice of funding availability with respect to the grant is released, submit to the Assistant Secretary an application, in a format to be determined by the Assistant Secretary, that contains the following materials:

(i)

A description of the entity selected to serve as the administering entity for the State, as described in subsection (b).

(ii)

A certification from the State that, not later than 1 year after the date on which the Assistant Secretary awards the planning grant to the State, the administering entity for that State will submit to the Assistant Secretary a State Digital Equity Plan developed under this subsection, which will comply with the requirements of this subsection, including the requirements of paragraph (2).

(iii)

The assurances required under subsection (e).

(D)

Awards

(i)

Amount of grant

The amount of a planning grant awarded to an eligible State under this paragraph shall be determined according to the formula under subsection (d)(3)(A)(i).

(ii)

Duration

(I)

In general

Except as provided in subclause (II), with respect to a planning grant awarded to an eligible State under this paragraph, the State shall expend the grant funds during the 1-year period beginning on the date on which the State is awarded the grant funds.

(II)

Exception

The Assistant Secretary may grant an extension of not longer than 180 days with respect to the requirement under subclause (I).

(iii)

Challenge mechanism

The Assistant Secretary shall ensure that any eligible State to which a planning grant is awarded under this paragraph may appeal or otherwise challenge in a timely fashion the amount of the grant awarded to the State, as determined under clause (i).

(E)

Use of funds

An eligible State to which a planning grant is awarded under this paragraph shall, through the administering entity for that State, use the grant funds only for the following purposes:

(i)

To develop the State Digital Equity Plan of the State under this subsection.

(ii)
(I)

Subject to subclause (II), to make subgrants to any of the entities described in clauses (i) through (xi) of paragraph (1)(D) to assist in the development of the State Digital Equity Plan of the State under this subsection.

(II)

If the administering entity for a State makes a subgrant described in subclause (I), the administering entity shall, with respect to the subgrant, provide to the State the assurances required under subsection (e).

(d)

State capacity grants

(1)

In general

Beginning not later than 2 years after the date on which the Assistant Secretary begins awarding planning grants under subsection (c)(3), the Assistant Secretary shall each year award grants to eligible States to support—

(A)

the implementation of the State Digital Equity Plans of those States; and

(B)

digital inclusion activities in those States.

(2)

Application

A State that wishes to be awarded a grant under this subsection shall, not later than 60 days after the date on which the notice of funding availability with respect to the grant is released, submit to the Assistant Secretary an application, in a format to be determined by the Assistant Secretary, that contains the following materials:

(A)

A description of the entity selected to serve as the administering entity for the State, as described in subsection (b).

(B)

The State Digital Equity Plan of that State, as described in subsection (c).

(C)

A certification that the State, acting through the administering entity for the State, shall—

(i)

implement the State Digital Equity Plan of the State; and

(ii)

make grants in a manner that is consistent with the aims of the Plan described in clause (i).

(D)

The assurances required under subsection (e).

(E)

In the case of a State to which the Assistant Secretary has previously awarded a grant under this subsection, any amendments to the State Digital Equity Plan of that State, as compared with the State Digital Equity Plan of the State previously submitted.

(3)

Awards

(A)

Amount of grant

(i)

Formula

Subject to clauses (ii), (iii), and (iv), the Assistant Secretary shall calculate the amount of a grant awarded to an eligible State under this subsection in accordance with the following criteria, using the best available data for all States for the fiscal year in which the grant is awarded:

(I)

50 percent of the total grant amount shall be based on the population of the eligible State in proportion to the total population of all eligible States.

(II)

25 percent of the total grant amount shall be based on the number of individuals in the eligible State who are members of covered populations in proportion to the total number of individuals in all eligible States who are members of covered populations.

(III)

25 percent of the total grant amount shall be based on the lack of availability of broadband service and lack of adoption of broadband service in the eligible State in proportion to the lack of availability of broadband service and lack of adoption of broadband service in all eligible States, which shall be determined according to data collected—

(aa)

from the annual inquiry of the Commission conducted under section 706(b) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 1302(b));

(bb)

from the American Community Survey or, if necessary, other data collected by the Bureau of the Census;

(cc)

from the Internet and Computer Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey of the Bureau of the Census;

(dd)

by the Commission pursuant to the rules issued under section 802 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 642); and

(ee)

from any other source that the Assistant Secretary, after appropriate notice and opportunity for public comment, determines to be appropriate.

(ii)

Minimum award

The amount of a grant awarded to an eligible State under this subsection in a fiscal year shall be not less than 0.5 percent of the total amount made available to award grants to eligible States for that fiscal year.

(iii)

Additional amounts

If, after awarding planning grants to States under subsection (c)(3) and capacity grants to eligible States under this subsection in a fiscal year, there are amounts remaining to carry out this section, the Assistant Secretary shall distribute those amounts—

(I)

to eligible States to which the Assistant Secretary has awarded grants under this subsection for that fiscal year; and

(II)

in accordance with the formula described in clause (i).

(iv)

Data unavailable

If, in a fiscal year, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (referred to in this clause as Puerto Rico) is an eligible State and specific data for Puerto Rico is unavailable for a factor described in subclause (I), (II), or (III) of clause (i), the Assistant Secretary shall use the median data point with respect to that factor among all eligible States and assign it to Puerto Rico for the purposes of making any calculation under that clause for that fiscal year.

(B)

Duration

With respect to a grant awarded to an eligible State under this subsection, the eligible State shall expend the grant funds during the 5-year period beginning on the date on which the eligible State is awarded the grant funds.

(C)

Challenge mechanism

The Assistant Secretary shall ensure that any eligible State to which a grant is awarded under this subsection may appeal or otherwise challenge in a timely fashion the amount of the grant awarded to the State, as determined under subparagraph (A).

(D)

Use of funds

The administering entity for an eligible State to which a grant is awarded under this subsection shall use the grant amounts for the following purposes:

(i)
(I)

Subject to subclause (II), to update or maintain the State Digital Equity Plan of the State.

(II)

An administering entity for an eligible State to which a grant is awarded under this subsection may use not more than 20 percent of the amount of the grant for the purpose described in subclause (I).

(ii)

To implement the State Digital Equity Plan of the State.

(iii)
(I)

Subject to subclause (II), to award a grant to any entity that is described in section 11202(b) and is located in the eligible State in order to—

(aa)

assist in the implementation of the State Digital Equity Plan of the State;

(bb)

pursue digital inclusion activities in the State consistent with the State Digital Equity Plan of the State; and

(cc)

report to the State regarding the digital inclusion activities of the entity.

(II)

Before an administering entity for an eligible State may award a grant under subclause (I), the administering entity shall require the entity to which the grant is awarded to certify that—

(aa)

the entity shall carry out the activities required under items (aa), (bb), and (cc) of that subclause;

(bb)

the receipt of the grant shall not result in unjust enrichment of the entity; and

(cc)

the entity shall cooperate with any evaluation—

(AA)

of any program that relates to a grant awarded to the entity; and

(BB)

that is carried out by or for the administering entity, the Assistant Secretary, or another Federal official.

(iv)
(I)

Subject to subclause (II), to evaluate the efficacy of the efforts funded by grants made under clause (iii).

(II)

An administering entity for an eligible State to which a grant is awarded under this subsection may use not more than 5 percent of the amount of the grant for a purpose described in subclause (I).

(v)
(I)

Subject to subclause (II), for the administrative costs incurred in carrying out the activities described in clauses (i) through (iv).

(II)

An administering entity for an eligible State to which a grant is awarded under this subsection may use not more than 3 percent of the amount of the grant for the purpose described in subclause (I).

(e)

Assurances

When applying for a grant under this section, a State shall include in the application for that grant assurances that—

(1)

if any of the entities described in clauses (i) through (xi) of subsection (c)(1)(D) or section 11202(b) is awarded grant funds under this section (referred to in this subsection as a covered recipient), provide that—

(A)

the covered recipient shall use the grant funds in accordance with any applicable statute, regulation, or application procedure;

(B)

the administering entity for that State shall adopt and use proper methods of administering any grant that the covered recipient is awarded, including by—

(i)

enforcing any obligation imposed under law on any agency, institution, organization, or other entity that is responsible for carrying out the program to which the grant relates;

(ii)

correcting any deficiency in the operation of a program to which the grant relates, as identified through an audit or another monitoring or evaluation procedure; and

(iii)

adopting written procedures for the receipt and resolution of complaints alleging a violation of law with respect to a program to which the grant relates; and

(C)

the administering entity for that State shall cooperate in carrying out any evaluation—

(i)

of any program that relates to a grant awarded to the covered recipient; and

(ii)

that is carried out by or for the Assistant Secretary or another Federal official;

(2)

the administering entity for that State shall—

(A)

use fiscal control and fund accounting procedures that ensure the proper disbursement of, and accounting for, any Federal funds that the State is awarded under this section;

(B)

submit to the Assistant Secretary any reports that may be necessary to enable the Assistant Secretary to perform the duties of the Assistant Secretary under this section;

(C)

maintain any records and provide any information to the Assistant Secretary, including those records, that the Assistant Secretary determines is necessary to enable the Assistant Secretary to perform the duties of the Assistant Secretary under this section; and

(D)

with respect to any significant proposed change or amendment to the State Digital Equity Plan for the State, make the change or amendment available for public comment in accordance with subsection (c)(2); and

(3)

the State, before submitting to the Assistant Secretary the State Digital Equity Plan of the State, has complied with the requirements of subsection (c)(2).

(f)

Termination of grant

(1)

In general

In addition to other authority under applicable law, the Assistant Secretary shall terminate a grant awarded to an eligible State under this section if, after notice to the State and opportunity for a hearing, the Assistant Secretary determines, and presents to the State a rationale and supporting information that clearly demonstrates, that—

(A)

the grant funds are not contributing to the development or implementation of the State Digital Equity Plan of the State, as applicable;

(B)

the State is not upholding assurances made by the State to the Assistant Secretary under subsection (e); or

(C)

the grant is no longer necessary to achieve the original purpose for which the Assistant Secretary awarded the grant.

(2)

Redistribution

If the Assistant Secretary, in a fiscal year, terminates a grant under paragraph (1) or under other authority under applicable law, the Assistant Secretary shall redistribute the unspent grant amounts—

(A)

to eligible States to which the Assistant Secretary has awarded grants under subsection (d) for that fiscal year; and

(B)

in accordance with the formula described in subsection (d)(3)(A)(i).

(g)

Reporting and information requirements; internet disclosure

The Assistant Secretary—

(1)

shall—

(A)

require any entity to which a grant, including a subgrant, is awarded under this section to publicly report, for each year during the period described in subsection (c)(3)(D)(ii) or (d)(3)(B), as applicable, with respect to the grant, and in a format specified by the Assistant Secretary, on—

(i)

the use of that grant by the entity;

(ii)

the progress of the entity towards fulfilling the objectives for which the grant was awarded; and

(iii)

the implementation of the State Digital Equity Plan of the State;

(B)

establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure that any entity to which a grant, including a subgrant, is awarded under this section—

(i)

uses the grant amounts in an appropriate manner; and

(ii)

complies with all terms with respect to the use of the grant amounts; and

(C)

create and maintain a fully searchable database, which shall be accessible on the internet at no cost to the public, that contains, at a minimum—

(i)

the application of each State that has applied for a grant under this section;

(ii)

the status of each application described in clause (i);

(iii)

each report submitted by an entity under subparagraph (A);

(iv)

a record of public comments received during the comment period described in subsection (c)(2)(A) regarding the State Digital Equity Plan of a State, as well as any written responses to or actions taken as a result of those comments; and

(v)

any other information that the Assistant Secretary considers appropriate to ensure that the public has sufficient information to understand and monitor grants awarded under this section; and

(2)

may establish additional reporting and information requirements for any recipient of a grant under this section.

(h)

Supplement not supplant

A grant or subgrant awarded under this section shall supplement, not supplant, other Federal or State funds that have been made available to carry out activities described in this section.

(i)

Set asides

From amounts made available in a fiscal year to carry out the Program, the Assistant Secretary shall reserve—

(1)

not more than 5 percent for the implementation and administration of the Program, which shall include—

(A)

providing technical support and assistance, including ensuring consistency in data reporting;

(B)

providing assistance to—

(i)

States, or administering entities for States, to prepare the applications of those States; and

(ii)

administering entities with respect to grants awarded under this section;

(C)

developing the report required under section 11203(a); and

(D)

providing assistance specific to Indian Tribes, tribally designated entities, and Native Hawaiian organizations, including—

(i)

conducting annual outreach to Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations on the availability of technical assistance for applying for or otherwise participating in the Program;

(ii)

providing technical assistance at the request of any Indian Tribe, tribally designated entity, or Native Hawaiian organization that is applying for or participating in the Program in order to facilitate the fulfillment of any applicable requirements in subsections (c) and (d); and

(iii)

providing additional technical assistance at the request of any Indian Tribe, tribally designated entity, or Native Hawaiian organization that is applying for or participating in the Program to improve the development or implementation of a Digital Equity plan, such as—

(I)

assessing all Federal programs that are available to assist the Indian Tribe, tribally designated entity, or Native Hawaiian organization in meeting the goals of a Digital Equity plan;

(II)

identifying all applicable Federal, State, and Tribal statutory provisions, regulations, policies, and procedures that the Assistant Secretary determines are necessary to adhere to for the deployment of broadband service;

(III)

identifying obstacles to the deployment of broadband service under a Digital Equity plan, as well as potential solutions; or

(IV)

identifying activities that may be necessary to the success of a Digital Equity plan, including digital literacy training, technical support, privacy and cybersecurity expertise, and other end-user technology needs; and

(2)

not less than 5 percent to award grants directly to Indian Tribes, tribally designated entities, and Native Hawaiian organizations to allow those Tribes, entities, and organizations to carry out the activities described in this section.

(j)

Rules

The Assistant Secretary may prescribe such rules as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(k)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Assistant Secretary—

(1)

for the award of grants under subsection (c)(3), $60,000,000 for fiscal year 2022, and such amount is authorized to remain available through fiscal year 2026; and

(2)

for the award of grants under subsection (d), $625,000,000 for fiscal year 2022, and such amount is authorized to remain available through fiscal year 2026.

11202.

Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program

(a)

Establishment

(1)

In general

Not later than 30 days after the date on which the Assistant Secretary begins awarding grants under section 11201(d), and not before that date, the Assistant Secretary shall establish in the Office the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program (referred to in this section as the Program), the purpose of which is to award grants to support efforts to achieve digital equity, promote digital inclusion activities, and spur greater adoption of broadband service among covered populations.

(2)

Consultation; no conflict

In establishing the Program under paragraph (1), the Assistant Secretary—

(A)

may consult a State with respect to—

(i)

the identification of groups described in subparagraphs (A) through (H) of section 10001(6) located in that State; and

(ii)

the allocation of grant funds within that State for projects in or affecting the State; and

(B)

shall—

(i)

consult with—

(I)

the Secretary of Agriculture;

(II)

the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development;

(III)

the Secretary of Education;

(IV)

the Secretary of Labor;

(V)

the Secretary of Health and Human Services;

(VI)

the Secretary of Veterans Affairs;

(VII)

the Secretary of the Interior;

(VIII)

the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior;

(IX)

the Commission;

(X)

the Federal Trade Commission;

(XI)

the Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services;

(XII)

the Administrator of the Small Business Administration;

(XIII)

the Federal Cochairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission; and

(XIV)

the head of any other Federal agency that the Assistant Secretary determines to be appropriate; and

(ii)

ensure that the Program complements and enhances, and does not conflict with, other Federal broadband support programs and Universal Service Fund Programs.

(b)

Eligibility

The Assistant Secretary may award a grant under the Program to any of the following entities if the entity is not serving, and has not served, as the administering entity for a State under section 11201(b):

(1)

A political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of a State, including an agency of a State that is responsible for administering or supervising adult education and literacy activities in the State.

(2)

An Indian Tribe, a tribally designated entity, or a Native Hawaiian organization.

(3)

An entity that is—

(A)

a not-for-profit entity; and

(B)

not a school.

(4)

An anchor institution.

(5)

A local educational agency.

(6)

An entity that carries out a workforce development program.

(7)

A consortium of any of the entities described in paragraphs (1) through (6).

(8)

A consortium of—

(A)

an entity described in any of paragraphs (1) through (6); and

(B)

an entity that—

(i)

the Assistant Secretary, by rule, determines to be in the public interest; and

(ii)

is not a school.

(c)

Application

An entity that wishes to be awarded a grant under the Program shall submit to the Assistant Secretary an application—

(1)

at such time, in such form, and containing such information as the Assistant Secretary may require; and

(2)

that—

(A)

provides a detailed explanation of how the entity will use any grant amounts awarded under the Program to carry out the purposes of the Program in an efficient and expeditious manner;

(B)

identifies the period in which the applicant will expend the grant funds awarded under the Program;

(C)

includes—

(i)

a justification for the amount of the grant that the applicant is requesting; and

(ii)

for each fiscal year in which the applicant will expend the grant funds, a budget for the activities that the grant funds will support;

(D)

demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Assistant Secretary that the entity—

(i)

is capable of carrying out the project or function to which the application relates and the activities described in subsection (h)—

(I)

in a competent manner; and

(II)

in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws; and

(ii)

if the applicant is an entity described in subsection (b)(1), will appropriate or otherwise unconditionally obligate from non-Federal sources funds that are necessary to meet the requirements of subsection (e);

(E)

discloses to the Assistant Secretary the source and amount of other Federal, State, or outside funding sources from which the entity receives, or has applied for, funding for activities or projects to which the application relates; and

(F)

provides—

(i)

the assurances that are required under subsection (f); and

(ii)

an assurance that the entity shall follow such additional procedures as the Assistant Secretary may require to ensure that grant funds are used and accounted for in an appropriate manner.

(d)

Award of grants

(1)

Factors considered in award of grants

In deciding whether to award a grant under the Program, the Assistant Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, consider—

(A)

whether—

(i)

an application will, if approved—

(I)

increase access to broadband service and the adoption of broadband service among covered populations to be served by the applicant; and

(II)

not result in unjust enrichment; and

(ii)

the applicant is, or plans to subcontract with, a socially and economically disadvantaged small business concern;

(B)

the comparative geographic diversity of the application in relation to other eligible applications; and

(C)

the extent to which an application may duplicate or conflict with another program.

(2)

Use of funds

(A)

In general

In addition to the activities required under subparagraph (B), an entity to which the Assistant Secretary awards a grant under the Program shall use the grant amounts to support not less than one of the following activities:

(i)

To develop and implement digital inclusion activities that benefit covered populations.

(ii)

To facilitate the adoption of broadband service by covered populations, including by raising awareness of subsidies available to increase affordability of such service (including subsidies available through the Commission), in order to provide educational and employment opportunities to those populations.

(iii)

To implement, consistent with the purposes of this part—

(I)

training programs for covered populations that cover basic, advanced, and applied skills; or

(II)

other workforce development programs.

(iv)

To make available equipment, instrumentation, networking capability, hardware and software, or digital network technology for broadband service to covered populations at low or no cost.

(v)

To construct, upgrade, expend, or operate new or existing public access computing centers for covered populations through anchor institutions.

(vi)

To undertake any other project or activity that the Assistant Secretary finds to be consistent with the purposes for which the Program is established.

(B)

Evaluation

(i)

In general

An entity to which the Assistant Secretary awards a grant under the Program shall use not more than 10 percent of the grant amounts to measure and evaluate the activities supported with the grant amounts.

(ii)

Submission to assistant secretary

An entity to which the Assistant Secretary awards a grant under the Program shall submit to the Assistant Secretary each measurement and evaluation performed under clause (i)—

(I)

in a manner specified by the Assistant Secretary;

(II)

not later than 15 months after the date on which the entity is awarded the grant amounts; and

(III)

annually after the submission described in subclause (II) for any year in which the entity expends grant amounts.

(C)

Administrative costs

An entity to which the Assistant Secretary awards a grant under the Program may use not more than 10 percent of the amount of the grant for administrative costs in carrying out any of the activities described in subparagraph (A).

(D)

Time limitations

With respect to a grant awarded to an entity under the Program, the entity—

(i)

except as provided in clause (ii), shall expend the grant amounts during the 4-year period beginning on the date on which the entity is awarded the grant amounts; and

(ii)

during the 1-year period beginning on the date that is 4 years after the date on which the entity is awarded the grant amounts, may continue to measure and evaluate the activities supported with the grant amounts, as required under subparagraph (B).

(E)

Contracting requirements

All laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors in the performance of construction, alteration, or repair work carried out, in whole or in part, with a grant under the Program shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a similar character in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code. With respect to the labor standards in this subparagraph, the Secretary of Labor shall have the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1267; 5 U.S.C. App.) and section 3145 of title 40, United States Code.

(F)

Neutrality requirement

An employer to which the Assistant Secretary awards a grant under the Program shall remain neutral with respect to the exercise of employees and labor organizations of the right to organize and bargain under the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 151 et seq.).

(G)

Referral of alleged violations of applicable federal labor and employment laws

The Assistant Secretary shall refer any alleged violation of an applicable labor and employment law to the appropriate Federal agency for investigation and enforcement, any alleged violation of subparagraph (E) or (F) to the National Labor Relations Board for investigation and enforcement, utilizing all appropriate remedies up to and including debarment from the Program.

(e)

Federal share

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Federal share of any project for which the Assistant Secretary awards a grant under the Program may not exceed 90 percent.

(2)

Exception

The Assistant Secretary may grant a waiver with respect to the limitation on the Federal share of a project described in paragraph (1) if—

(A)

the applicant with respect to the project petitions the Assistant Secretary for the waiver; and

(B)

the Assistant Secretary determines that the petition described in subparagraph (A) demonstrates financial need.

(f)

Assurances

When applying for a grant under this section, an entity shall include in the application for that grant assurances that the entity will—

(1)

use any grant funds that the entity is awarded in accordance with any applicable statute, regulation, or application procedure;

(2)

adopt and use proper methods of administering any grant that the entity is awarded, including by—

(A)

enforcing any obligation imposed under law on any agency, institution, organization, or other entity that is responsible for carrying out a program to which the grant relates;

(B)

correcting any deficiency in the operation of a program to which the grant relates, as identified through an audit or another monitoring or evaluation procedure; and

(C)

adopting written procedures for the receipt and resolution of complaints alleging a violation of law with respect to a program to which the grant relates;

(3)

cooperate with respect to any evaluation—

(A)

of any program that relates to a grant awarded to the entity; and

(B)

that is carried out by or for the Assistant Secretary or another Federal official;

(4)

use fiscal control and fund accounting procedures that ensure the proper disbursement of, and accounting for, any Federal funds that the entity is awarded under the Program;

(5)

submit to the Assistant Secretary any reports that may be necessary to enable the Assistant Secretary to perform the duties of the Assistant Secretary under the Program; and

(6)

maintain any records and provide any information to the Assistant Secretary, including those records, that the Assistant Secretary determines is necessary to enable the Assistant Secretary to perform the duties of the Assistant Secretary under the Program.

(g)

Termination of grant

In addition to other authority under applicable law, the Assistant Secretary shall—

(1)

terminate a grant awarded to an entity under this section if, after notice to the entity and opportunity for a hearing, the Assistant Secretary determines, and presents to the entity a rationale and supporting information that clearly demonstrates, that—

(A)

the grant funds are not being used in a manner that is consistent with the application with respect to the grant submitted by the entity under subsection (c);

(B)

the entity is not upholding assurances made by the entity to the Assistant Secretary under subsection (f); or

(C)

the grant is no longer necessary to achieve the original purpose for which the Assistant Secretary awarded the grant; and

(2)

with respect to any grant funds that the Assistant Secretary terminates under paragraph (1) or under other authority under applicable law, competitively award the grant funds to another applicant (if such an applicant exists), consistent with the requirements of this section.

(h)

Reporting and information requirements; internet disclosure

The Assistant Secretary—

(1)

shall—

(A)

require any entity to which the Assistant Secretary awards a grant under the Program to, for each year during the period described in clause (i) of subsection (d)(2)(D) with respect to the grant and during the period described in clause (ii) of such subsection with respect to the grant if the entity continues to measure and evaluate the activities supported with the grant amounts during such period, submit to the Assistant Secretary a report, in a format specified by the Assistant Secretary, regarding—

(i)

the use by the entity of the grant amounts; and

(ii)

the progress of the entity towards fulfilling the objectives for which the grant was awarded;

(B)

establish mechanisms to ensure appropriate use of, and compliance with respect to all terms regarding, grant funds awarded under the Program;

(C)

create and maintain a fully searchable database, which shall be accessible on the internet at no cost to the public, that contains, at a minimum—

(i)

a list of each entity that has applied for a grant under the Program;

(ii)

a description of each application described in clause (i), including the proposed purpose of each grant described in that clause;

(iii)

the status of each application described in clause (i), including whether the Assistant Secretary has awarded a grant with respect to the application and, if so, the amount of the grant;

(iv)

each report submitted by an entity under subparagraph (A); and

(v)

any other information that the Assistant Secretary considers appropriate to ensure that the public has sufficient information to understand and monitor grants awarded under the Program; and

(D)

ensure that any entity with respect to which an award is terminated under subsection (g) may, in a timely manner, appeal or otherwise challenge that termination; and

(2)

may establish additional reporting and information requirements for any recipient of a grant under the Program.

(i)

Supplement not supplant

A grant awarded to an entity under the Program shall supplement, not supplant, other Federal or State funds that have been made available to the entity to carry out activities described in this section.

(j)

Set asides

From amounts made available in a fiscal year to carry out the Program, the Assistant Secretary shall reserve—

(1)

not more than 5 percent for the implementation and administration of the Program, which shall include—

(A)

providing technical support and assistance, including ensuring consistency in data reporting;

(B)

providing assistance to entities to prepare the applications of those entities with respect to grants awarded under this section;

(C)

developing the report required under section 11203(a); and

(D)

conducting outreach to entities that may be eligible to be awarded a grant under the Program regarding opportunities to apply for such a grant; and

(2)

not less than 5 percent to award grants directly to Indian Tribes, tribally designated entities, and Native Hawaiian organizations to allow those Tribes, entities, and organizations to carry out the activities described in this section.

(k)

Rules

The Assistant Secretary may prescribe such rules as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(l)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Assistant Secretary $625,000,000 to carry out this section for fiscal year 2022, and such amount is authorized to remain available through fiscal year 2026.

11203.

Policy research, data collection, analysis and modeling, evaluation, and dissemination

(a)

Reporting requirements

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date on which the Assistant Secretary begins awarding grants under section 11201(d), and annually thereafter, the Assistant Secretary shall—

(A)

submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that documents, for the year covered by the report—

(i)

the findings of each evaluation conducted under subparagraph (B);

(ii)

a list of each grant awarded under each covered program, which shall include—

(I)

the amount of each such grant;

(II)

the recipient of each such grant; and

(III)

the purpose for which each such grant was awarded;

(iii)

any termination or modification of a grant awarded under the covered programs, which shall include a description of the subsequent usage of any funds to which such an action applies; and

(iv)

each challenge made by an applicant for, or a recipient of, a grant under the covered programs and the outcome of each such challenge; and

(B)

conduct evaluations of the activities carried out under the covered programs, which shall include an evaluation of—

(i)

whether eligible States to which grants are awarded under the program established under section 11201 are—

(I)

abiding by the assurances made by those States under subsection (e) of that section;

(II)

meeting, or have met, the stated goals of the State Digital Equity Plans developed by the States under subsection (c) of that section;

(III)

satisfying the requirements imposed by the Assistant Secretary on those States under subsection (g) of that section; and

(IV)

in compliance with any other rules, requirements, or regulations promulgated by the Assistant Secretary in implementing that program; and

(ii)

whether entities to which grants are awarded under the program established under section 11202 are—

(I)

abiding by the assurances made by those entities under subsection (f) of that section;

(II)

meeting, or have met, the stated goals of those entities with respect to the use of the grant amounts;

(III)

satisfying the requirements imposed by the Assistant Secretary on those entities under subsection (h) of that section; and

(IV)

in compliance with any other rules, requirements, or regulations promulgated by the Assistant Secretary in implementing that program.

(2)

Public availability

The Assistant Secretary shall make each report submitted under paragraph (1)(A) publicly available in an online format that—

(A)

facilitates access and ease of use;

(B)

is searchable; and

(C)

is accessible—

(i)

to individuals with disabilities; and

(ii)

in languages other than English.

(b)

Authority To contract and enter into other arrangements

The Assistant Secretary may award grants and enter into contracts, cooperative agreements, and other arrangements with Federal agencies, public and private organizations, and other entities with expertise that the Assistant Secretary determines appropriate in order to—

(1)

evaluate the impact and efficacy of activities supported by grants awarded under the covered programs; and

(2)

develop, catalog, disseminate, and promote the exchange of best practices, both with respect to and independent of the covered programs, in order to achieve digital equity.

(c)

Consultation and public engagement

In carrying out subsection (a), and to further the objectives described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b), the Assistant Secretary shall conduct ongoing collaboration and consult with—

(1)

the Secretary of Agriculture;

(2)

the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development;

(3)

the Secretary of Education;

(4)

the Secretary of Labor;

(5)

the Secretary of Health and Human Services;

(6)

the Secretary of Veterans Affairs;

(7)

the Secretary of the Interior;

(8)

the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior;

(9)

the Commission;

(10)

the Federal Trade Commission;

(11)

the Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services;

(12)

the Administrator of the Small Business Administration;

(13)

the Federal Cochairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission;

(14)

State agencies and governors of States (or equivalent officials);

(15)

entities serving as administering entities for States under section 11201(b);

(16)

national, State, Tribal, and local organizations that conduct digital inclusion activities, promote digital equity, or provide digital literacy services;

(17)

researchers, academics, and philanthropic organizations; and

(18)

other agencies, organizations (including international organizations), entities (including entities with expertise in the fields of data collection, analysis and modeling, and evaluation), and community stakeholders, as determined appropriate by the Assistant Secretary.

(d)

Technical support and assistance

The Assistant Secretary shall provide technical support and assistance to potential applicants for the covered programs and entities awarded grants under the covered programs, to ensure consistency in data reporting and to meet the objectives of this section.

11204.

General provisions

(a)

Nondiscrimination

(1)

In general

No individual in the United States may, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that is funded in whole or in part with funds made available under this part.

(2)

Enforcement

The Assistant Secretary shall effectuate paragraph (1) with respect to any program or activity described in that paragraph by issuing regulations and taking actions consistent with section 602 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d–1).

(3)

Judicial review

Judicial review of an action taken by the Assistant Secretary under paragraph (2) shall be available to the extent provided in section 603 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d–2).

(b)

Technological neutrality

The Assistant Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, carry out this part in a technologically neutral manner.

(c)

Audit and oversight

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Commerce for audits and oversight of funds made available to carry out this part, $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2022, and such amount is authorized to remain available through fiscal year 2026.

B

Broadband Affordability and Pricing Transparency

1

Broadband Affordability

12101.

Authorization for additional funds for the Emergency Broadband Con­nec­tiv­ity Fund

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund established under subsection (i) of section 904 of title IX of division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260) $6,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 for the purposes described in paragraph (3) of such subsection, and such amount is authorized to remain available through fiscal year 2026.

12102.

Grants to States to strengthen National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier

(a)

In general

Not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall establish a program to provide a grant, from amounts appropriated under subsection (d), to each eligible entity for the purpose described under subsection (b).

(b)

Purpose

The Commission shall make a grant to each eligible entity for the purpose of establishing or amending a connection between the databases of such entity that contain information concerning the receipt by a household, or a member of a household, of benefits under a program administered by such entity (including any benefit provided under the supplemental nutrition assistance program under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.)) and the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier so that the receipt by a household, or a member of a household, of benefits under such benefits program—

(1)

is reflected in the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier; and

(2)

can be used to verify eligibility for—

(A)

the Lifeline program established under subpart E, part 54, of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation); and

(B)

the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program established under section 904(b) of title IX of division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260).

(c)

Disbursement of grant funds

Not later than 60 days after the program established under subsection (a) is established, funds provided under each grant made under such subsection shall be disbursed to the entity receiving such grant.

(d)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated $200,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 for the purposes of carrying out this section, and such amount is authorized to remain available through fiscal year 2026.

(e)

Eligible entities

In this section, the term eligible entity means an entity that—

(1)

is a State or Tribal entity; and

(2)

not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, submits to the Commission an application containing such information as the Commission may require.

12103.

Federal coordination between National Eligibility Verifier and National Accuracy Clearinghouse

Notwithstanding section 11(x)(2)(C)(i) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2020(x)(2)(C)(i)), not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall, in coordination with the Secretary of Agriculture, establish an automated connection, to the maximum extent practicable, between the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier and the National Accuracy Clearinghouse established under section 11(x) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2020(x)) for the supplemental nutrition assistance program.

12104.

Definitions

In this part:

(1)

Automated connection

The term automated connection means a connection between two or more information systems where the manual input of information in one system leads to the automatic input of the same information into any other connected system.

(2)

National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier

The term National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier has the meaning given such term in section 54.400 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation).

(3)

Tribal entity

The term Tribal entity means any of the following:

(A)

The governing body of any Indian or Alaska Native Tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, community, component band, or component reservation, individually recognized (including parenthetically) in the list published most recently as of the date of enactment of this Act pursuant to section 104 of the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 5131).

(B)

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

2

Additional Authorization for Emergency Connectivity Fund

12201.

Additional authorization for Emergency Connectivity Fund

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Emergency Connectivity Fund established under section 7402(c) of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 $2,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 for the purposes described in such section, and such amount is authorized to remain available through fiscal year 2026.

3

Pricing Transparency

12301.

Definitions

In this part:

(1)

Broadband internet access service

The term broadband internet access service has the meaning given the term in section 8.1(b) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation.

(2)

Fixed wireless broadband

The term fixed wireless broadband means broadband internet access service that serves end users primarily at fixed endpoints through stationary equipment connected by the use of radio, such as by the use of unlicensed spectrum.

(3)

Mobile broadband

The term mobile broadband

(A)

means broadband internet access service that serves end users primarily using mobile stations;

(B)

includes services that use smartphones or mobile network-enabled tablets as the primary endpoints for connection to the internet; and

(C)

includes mobile satellite broadband internet access services.

(4)

Provider

The term provider means a provider of fixed or mobile broadband internet access service.

(5)

Satellite broadband

The term satellite broadband means broadband internet access service that serves end users primarily at fixed endpoints through stationary equipment connected by the use of orbital satellites.

(6)

Terrestrial fixed broadband

The term terrestrial fixed broadband means broadband internet access service that serves end users primarily at fixed endpoints through stationary equipment connected by wired technology such as cable, DSL, and fiber.

12302.

Broadband transparency

(a)

Rules

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall issue final rules that include a requirement for the annual collection by the Commission of data relating to the price and subscription rates of terrestrial fixed broadband, fixed wireless broadband, satellite broadband, and mobile broadband.

(2)

Updates

Not later than 90 days after the date on which rules are issued under paragraph (1), and when determined to be necessary by the Commission thereafter, the Commission shall revise such rules to verify the accuracy of data submitted pursuant to such rules.

(3)

Redundancy avoidance

Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the Commission, in order to meet a requirement of this section, to duplicate an activity that the Commission is undertaking as of the date of the enactment of this Act, if the Commission refers to such activity in the rules issued under paragraph (1), such activity meets the requirements of this section, and the Commission discloses such activity to the public.

(b)

Content of rules

The rules issued by the Commission under subsection (a)(1) shall require the Commission to collect from each provider of terrestrial fixed broadband, fixed wireless broadband, mobile broadband, or satellite broadband, data that includes—

(1)

either the weighted average of the monthly prices charged to subscribed households within each census block for each distinct broadband internet access service plan or tier of standalone broadband internet access service, including mandatory equipment charges, usage-based fees, and fees for early termination of required contracts, or the monthly price charged to each subscribed household, including such charges and fees;

(2)

either the mean monthly price within the duration of subscription contracts offered within each census block for each distinct broadband internet access service plan or tier of standalone broadband internet access service, including mandatory equipment charges, usage-based fees, and fees for early termination of required contracts, or the mean monthly price within the duration of subscription contracts offered to each household, including such charges and fees;

(3)

either the subscription rate within each census block for each distinct broadband internet access service plan or tier of standalone broadband internet access service, or information regarding the subscription status of each household to which a subscription is offered;

(4)

data necessary to demonstrate the actual price paid by subscribers of broadband internet access service at each tier for such service in a manner that—

(A)

takes into account any discounts (or similar price concessions); and

(B)

identifies any additional taxes and fees (including for the use of equipment related to the use of a subscription for such service), any monthly data usage limitation at the stated price, and the extent to which the price of the service reflects inclusion within a product bundle; and

(5)

data necessary to assess the resiliency of the broadband internet access service network in the event of a natural disaster or emergency.

(c)

Technical assistance

The Commission shall provide technical assistance to small providers (as defined by the Commission) of broadband internet access service, to ensure such providers can fulfill the requirements of this section.

12303.

Distribution of data

(a)

Availability of data

Subject to subsection (b), the Commission shall make all data relating to broadband internet access service collected under rules required by this part available in a commonly used electronic format to—

(1)

other Federal agencies, including the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, to assist that agency in conducting the study required by subsection (g) of section 903 of division FF of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260), as added by this title;

(2)

a broadband office, public utility commission, broadband mapping program, or other broadband program of a State, in the case of data pertaining to the needs of that State;

(3)

a unit of local government, in the case of data pertaining to the needs of that locality; and

(4)

an individual or organization conducting research for noncommercial purposes or public interest purposes.

(b)

Protection of data

(1)

In general

The Commission may not share any data described in subsection (a) with an entity or individual described in that subsection unless the Commission has determined that the receiving entity or individual has the capability and intent to protect any personally identifiable information contained in the data.

(2)

Determination of personally identifiable information

The Commission—

(A)

shall define the term personally identifiable information, for purposes of paragraph (1), through notice and comment rulemaking; and

(B)

may not share any data under subsection (a) before completing the rulemaking under subparagraph (A).

(c)

Balancing access and protection

If the Commission is unable to determine under subsection (b)(1) that an entity or individual requesting access to data under subsection (a) has the capability to protect personally identifiable information contained in the data, the Commission shall make as much of the data available as possible in a format that does not compromise personally identifiable information, through methods such as anonymization.

12304.

Coordination with certain other Federal agencies

Section 804(b)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 644(b)(2)), as added by the Broadband DATA Act (Public Law 116–130), is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A)(ii), by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting ; and; and

(2)

by amending subparagraph (B) to read as follows:

(B)

coordinate with the Postmaster General, the heads of other Federal agencies that operate delivery fleet vehicles, and the Director of the Bureau of the Census for assistance with data collection whenever coordination could feasibly yield more specific geographic data.

; and

(3)

by striking subparagraph (C).

12305.

Adoption of consumer broadband labels

(a)

Final rule

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall promulgate regulations to promote and incentivize the widespread adoption of broadband consumer labels, as described in the Public Notice of the Commission issued on April 4, 2016 (DA 16–357), to disclose to consumers information regarding broadband internet access service plans.

(b)

Hearings

In issuing the final rule under subsection (a), the Commission shall conduct a series of public hearings to assess, at the time of the proceeding—

(1)

how consumers evaluate broadband internet access service plans; and

(2)

whether disclosures to consumers of information regarding broadband internet access service plans, including those required under section 8.1 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, are available, effective, and sufficient.

12306.

GAO report

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of the Representatives, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate, and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate, a report that evaluates the process used by the Commission for establishing, reviewing, and updating the upload and download broadband internet access service speed thresholds, including—

(1)

how the Commission reviews and updates broadband internet access speed thresholds;

(2)

whether the Commission considers future broadband internet access service speed needs when establishing broadband internet access service speed thresholds, including whether the Commission considers the need, or the anticipated need, for higher upload or download broadband internet access service speeds in the five-year period and the ten-year period after the date on which a broadband internet access service speed threshold is to be established; and

(3)

how the Commission considers the impacts of changing uses of the internet in establishing, reviewing, or updating broadband internet access service speed thresholds, including—

(A)

the proliferation of internet-based business;

(B)

working remotely and running a business from home;

(C)

video teleconferencing;

(D)

distance learning;

(E)

in-house web hosting; and

(F)

cloud data storage.

C

Broadband Access

1

Expansion of Broadband Access

13101.

Expansion of broadband access in unserved areas and areas with low-tier or mid-tier service

(a)

In general

Title VII of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

723.

Expansion of broadband access in unserved areas and areas with low-tier or mid-tier service

(a)

Program established

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Commission, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary, shall establish a program to expand access to broadband service for unserved areas, areas with low-tier service, areas with mid-tier service, and unserved anchor institutions in accordance with the requirements of this section that—

(1)

is separate from any universal service program established pursuant to section 254; and

(2)

does not require funding recipients to be designated as eligible telecommunications carriers under section 214(e).

(b)

Use of program funds

(1)

Expanding access to broadband service through national system of competitive bidding

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this section, the Commission shall award 75 percent of the amounts appropriated under subsection (g) through national systems of competitive bidding to funding recipients only to expand access to broadband service in unserved areas and areas with low-tier service.

(2)

Expanding access to broadband service through States

(A)

Distribution of funds to States

Not later than 255 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Commission shall distribute 25 percent of the amounts appropriated under subsection (g) among the States, as follows:

(i)

$100,000,000 shall be distributed to each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

(ii)

$100,000,000 shall be allocated equally among and distributed to the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.

(iii)

The remainder shall be allocated among and distributed to the entities described in clause (i), in proportion to the population of each such entity.

(B)

Public notice

Not later than 195 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Commission shall issue a public notice informing each State and the public of the amounts to be distributed under this paragraph. The notice shall include—

(i)

the manner in which a State shall inform the Commission of that State’s acceptance or acceptance in part of the amounts to be distributed under this paragraph;

(ii)

the date (which is 30 days after the date on which the public notice is issued) by which such acceptance or acceptance in part is due; and

(iii)

the requirements as set forth under this section and as may be further prescribed by the Commission.

(C)

Acceptance by States

Not later than 30 days after the date on which a public notice is issued under subparagraph (B), each State accepting amounts to be distributed under this paragraph shall inform the Commission of the acceptance or acceptance in part by the State of the amounts to be distributed under this paragraph in the manner described by the Commission in the public notice.

(D)

Requirements for State receipt of amounts distributed

Each State accepting amounts distributed under this paragraph—

(i)

shall only award such amounts through statewide systems of competitive bidding, in the manner prescribed by the State but subject to the requirements as set forth under this section and as may be further prescribed by the Commission;

(ii)

shall make such awards only—

(I)

to funding recipients to expand access to broadband service in unserved areas and areas with low-tier service;

(II)

to funding recipients to expand access to broadband service to unserved anchor institutions; or

(III)

to funding recipients to expand access to broadband service in areas with mid-tier service, but only if a State does not have, or no longer has, any unserved areas or areas with low-tier service;

(iii)

shall conduct separate systems of competitive bidding for awards made to unserved anchor institutions under clause (ii)(II), if a State awards any amounts distributed under this paragraph to unserved anchor institutions;

(iv)

shall return any unused portion of amounts distributed under this paragraph to the Commission within 10 years after the date of the enactment of this section and shall submit a certification to the Commission before receiving such amounts that the State will return such amounts; and

(v)

may not use more than 5 percent of the amounts distributed under this paragraph to administer a system or systems of competitive bidding authorized by this paragraph.

(3)

Federal and State coordination

The Commission, in consultation with the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth, shall establish processes through the rulemaking under subsection (e) to—

(A)

permit a State to elect for the Commission to conduct statewide systems of competitive bidding on behalf of such State as part of, or in coordination with, national systems of competitive bidding;

(B)

assist States in conducting statewide systems of competitive bidding;

(C)

ensure that program funds awarded by the Commission and program funds awarded by the States are not used in the same areas; and

(D)

ensure that program funds and funds awarded through other Federal programs to expand broadband service with a download speed of at least 100 megabits per second, an upload speed of at least 100 megabits per second, and latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications, are not used in the same areas.

(c)

Program requirements

(1)

Technology neutrality required

The entity administering a system of competitive bidding (either a State or the Commission) in making awards may not favor a project using any particular technology.

(2)

Gigabit performance funding

The Commission shall reserve 20 percent of the amounts to be awarded by the Commission under subsection (b)(1), and each State shall reserve 20 percent of the amounts distributed to such State under subsection (b)(2), for bidders committing (with respect to any particular project by such a bidder) to offer, not later than the date that is 4 years after the date on which funding is provided under this section for such project—

(A)

broadband service with a download speed of at least 1 gigabit per second, an upload speed of at least 1 gigabit per second, and latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications; or

(B)

in the case of a project to provide broadband service to an unserved anchor institution, broadband service with a download speed of at least 10 gigabits per second per 1,000 users, an upload speed of at least 10 gigabits per second per 1,000 users, and latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications.

(3)

System of competitive bidding process

The entity administering a system of competitive bidding (either a State or the Commission) shall structure the system of competitive bidding process to—

(A)

first hold a system of competitive bidding only for bidders committing (with respect to any particular project by such a bidder) to offer, not later than the date that is 4 years after the date on which funding is provided under this section for such project—

(i)

broadband service with a download speed of at least 1 gigabit per second, an upload speed of at least 1 gigabit per second, and latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications; or

(ii)

in the case of a project to provide broadband service to an unserved anchor institution, broadband service with a download speed of at least 10 gigabits per second per 1,000 users, an upload speed of at least 10 gigabits per second per 1,000 users, and latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications; and

(B)

after holding the system of competitive bidding required by subparagraph (A), hold one or more systems of competitive bidding, in areas not receiving awards under subparagraph (A), to award funds for projects in areas that are estimated to remain unserved areas, areas with low-tier service, or (to the extent permitted under this section) areas with mid-tier service, or (to the extent permitted under this section) for projects to offer broadband service to anchor institutions that are estimated to remain unserved anchor institutions, after the completion of the projects for which funding is awarded under the system of competitive bidding required by subparagraph (A) or any previous system of competitive bidding under this subparagraph.

(4)

Funds priority preference

There shall be a preference in a system of competitive bidding for projects that would expand access to broadband service in areas where at least 90 percent of the population has no access to broadband service or does not have access to broadband service offered with a download speed of at least 25 megabits per second, with an upload speed of at least 3 megabits per second, and with latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications. Such projects shall be given priority in such system of competitive bidding over all other projects, regardless of how many preferences under paragraph (5) for which such other projects qualify.

(5)

Funds preference

There shall be a preference in a system of competitive bidding, as determined by the entity administering the system of competitive bidding (either a State or the Commission), for any of the following projects:

(A)

Projects with at least 20 percent matching funds from non-Federal sources.

(B)

Projects that would expand access to broadband service on Tribal lands, as defined by the Commission.

(C)

Projects that would provide broadband service with higher speeds than those specified in subsection (d)(2), except in the case of funds awarded under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3).

(D)

Projects that would expand access to broadband service in advance of the time specified in subsection (e)(5), except in the case of funds awarded under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3).

(E)

Projects that would expand access to broadband service to persistent poverty counties or high-poverty areas at subsidized rates.

(F)

Projects that, at least until the date that is 10 years after the date of the enactment of this section, would provide broadband service with comparable speeds to those provided in areas that, on the day before such date of enactment, were not unserved areas, areas with low-tier service, or areas with mid-tier service, with minimal future investment.

(G)

Projects with support from the local community, demonstrated by at least one letter of support from local elected officials in the community.

(H)

Projects that would provide for the deployment of open-access broadband service networks.

(6)

Unserved areas and areas with low-tier or mid-tier service

In determining whether an area is an unserved area, an area with low-tier service, or an area with mid-tier service or whether an anchor institution is an unserved anchor institution for any system of competitive bidding authorized under this section, the Commission shall implement the following requirements through the rulemaking described in subsection (e):

(A)

Data for initial determination

To make an initial determination as to whether an area is an unserved area, an area with low-tier service, or an area with mid-tier service or whether an anchor institution is an unserved anchor institution, the Commission shall—

(i)

use the most accurate and granular data on the map created by the Commission under section 802(c)(1)(B);

(ii)

refine the data described in clause (i) by using—

(I)

other data on access to broadband service obtained or purchased by the Commission;

(II)

other publicly available data or information on access to broadband service; and

(III)

other publicly available data or information on State broadband service deployment programs; and

(iii)

not determine an area is not an unserved area, an area with low-tier service, or an area with mid-tier service, on the basis that one location within such area does not meet the definition of an unserved area, an area with low-tier service, or an area with mid-tier service.

(B)

Initial determination

The Commission shall make an initial determination of the areas that are unserved areas, areas with low-tier service, and areas with mid-tier service and which anchor institutions are unserved anchor institutions not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this section.

(C)

Challenge of determination

(i)

In general

The Commission shall provide for a process for challenging any initial determination regarding whether an area is an unserved area, an area with low-tier service, or an area with mid-tier service or whether an anchor institution is an unserved anchor institution that, at a minimum, provides not less than 45 days for a person to voluntarily submit information concerning—

(I)

the broadband service offered in the area, or a commitment to offer broadband service in the area that is subject to legal sanction if not performed; or

(II)

the broadband service offered to the anchor institution.

(ii)

Streamlined process

The Commission shall ensure that such process is sufficiently streamlined such that a reasonably prudent person may easily participate to challenge such initial determination with little burden on such person.

(D)

Final determination

The Commission shall make a final determination of the areas that are unserved areas, areas with low-tier service, or areas with mid-tier service and which anchor institutions are unserved anchor institutions within 1 year after the date of the enactment of this section.

(7)

Notice, transparency, accountability, and oversight required

The program shall contain sufficient notice, transparency, accountability, and oversight measures to provide the public with notice of the assistance provided under this section, and to deter waste, fraud, and abuse of program funds.

(8)

Competence

(A)

Standards

The Commission shall establish, through the rulemaking described in subsection (e), objective standards to determine that each provider of broadband service seeking to participate in a system of competitive bidding—

(i)

is capable of carrying out the project in a competent manner in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws;

(ii)

has the financial capacity to meet the buildout obligations of the project and requirements as set forth under this section and as may be further prescribed by the Commission; and

(iii)

has the technical and operational capability to provide broadband services in the manner contemplated by the provider’s bid in the system of competitive bidding, including a detailed consideration of the provider’s prior performance in delivering services as contemplated in the bid and the capabilities of the provider’s proposed network to deliver the contemplated services in the area in question.

(B)

Determinations regarding providers

An entity administering a system of competitive bidding (either a State or the Commission) may not permit a provider of broadband service to participate in the system of competitive bidding unless the entity first determines, after notice and an opportunity for public comment, that the provider meets the standards established under subparagraph (A).

(9)

Contracting requirements

All laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors in the performance of construction, alteration, or repair work carried out, in whole or in part, with assistance made available under this section shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a similar character in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code. With respect to the labor standards in this paragraph, the Secretary of Labor shall have the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1267; 5 U.S.C. App.) and section 3145 of title 40, United States Code.

(10)

Rule of construction regarding environmental laws

Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect—

(A)

the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.);

(B)

the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.; commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act);

(C)

the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);

(D)

the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.);

(E)

the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.; commonly referred to as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act); or

(F)

any State or local law that is similar to a law listed in subparagraphs (A) through (E).

(11)

Referral of alleged violations of applicable federal labor and employment laws

The Commission shall refer any alleged violation of an applicable labor and employment law to the appropriate Federal agency for investigation and enforcement, and any alleged violation of paragraph (9) or (12) to the National Labor Relations Board for investigation and enforcement, utilizing all appropriate remedies up to and including debarment from the program.

(12)

Labor organization

(A)

In general

Notwithstanding the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), subparagraphs (B) through (F) shall apply with respect to any funding recipient who is an employer and any labor organization who represents employees of a funding recipient.

(B)

Neutrality requirement

An employer shall remain neutral with respect to the exercise of employees and labor organizations of the right to organize and bargain under the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 151 et seq.).

(C)

Commencement of collective bargaining

Not later than 10 days after receiving a written request for collective bargaining from a labor organization that has been newly recognized or certified as a representative under section 9(a) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 159(a)), or within such further period as the parties agree upon, the parties shall meet and commence to bargain collectively and shall make every reasonable effort to conclude and sign a collective bargaining agreement.

(D)

Mediation and conciliation for failure to reach a collective bargaining agreement

(i)

In general

If the parties have failed to reach an agreement before the date that is 90 days after the date on which bargaining is commenced under subparagraph (C), or any later date agreed upon by both parties, either party may notify the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service of the existence of a dispute and request mediation.

(ii)

Federal mediation and conciliation service

Whenever a request is received under clause (i), the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service shall promptly communicate with the parties and use best efforts, by mediation and conciliation, to bring them to agreement.

(E)

Tripartite arbitration panel

(i)

In general

If the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service is not able to bring the parties to agreement by mediation or conciliation before the date that is 30 days after the date on which such mediation or conciliation is commenced, or any later date agreed upon by both parties, the Service shall refer the dispute to a tripartite arbitration panel established in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Service, with one member selected by the labor organization, one member selected by the employer, and one neutral member mutually agreed to by the parties.

(ii)

Dispute settlement

A majority of the tripartite arbitration panel shall render a decision settling the dispute and such decision shall be binding upon the parties for a period of two years, unless amended during such period by written consent of the parties. Such decision shall be based on—

(I)

the employer’s financial status and prospects;

(II)

the size and type of the employer’s operations and business;

(III)

the employees’ cost of living;

(IV)

the employees’ ability to sustain themselves, their families, and their dependents on the wages and benefits they earn from the employer; and

(V)

the wages and benefits that other employers in the same business provide their employees.

(F)

Prohibition on subcontracting for certain purposes

A funding recipient may not engage in subcontracting for the purpose of circumventing the terms of a collective bargaining agreement with respect to wages, benefits, or working conditions.

(G)

Parties defined

In this paragraph, the term parties means a labor organization that is newly recognized or certified as a representative under section 9(a) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 159(a)) and the employer of the employees represented by such organization.

(d)

Project requirements

Any project funded through the program shall meet the following requirements:

(1)

The project shall adhere to quality-of-service standards as established by the Commission.

(2)

Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (c), the project shall offer broadband service with a download speed of at least 100 megabits per second, an upload speed of at least 100 megabits per second, and latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications.

(3)

The project shall offer broadband service at prices that are comparable to, or lower than, the prices charged for comparable levels of service in areas that were not unserved areas, areas with low-tier service, or areas with mid-tier service on the day before the date of the enactment of this section.

(4)

For any project that involves laying fiber-optic cables along a roadway, the project shall include interspersed conduit access points at regular and short intervals.

(5)

The project shall incorporate prudent cybersecurity and supply chain risk management practices, as specified by the Commission through the rulemaking described in subsection (e), in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Assistant Secretary.

(6)

The project shall incorporate best practices, as defined by the Commission, for ensuring reliability and resiliency of the network during disasters.

(7)

Any funding recipient must agree to have the project meet the requirements established under section 224, as if the project were classified as a utility under such section. The preceding sentence shall not apply to those entities or persons excluded from the definition of the term utility by the second sentence of subsection (a)(1) of such section.

(8)

The project shall offer an affordable option for a broadband service plan under which broadband service is provided—

(A)

with a download speed of at least 50 megabits per second;

(B)

with an upload speed of at least 50 megabits per second; and

(C)

with latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications.

(e)

Rulemaking and distribution and award of funds

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Commission, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary, shall promulgate rules—

(1)

that implement the requirements of this section, as appropriate;

(2)

that establish the design of and rules for the national systems of competitive bidding;

(3)

that establish notice requirements for all systems of competitive bidding authorized under this section that, at a minimum, provide the public with notice of—

(A)

the initial determination of which areas are unserved areas, areas with low-tier service, or areas with mid-tier service;

(B)

the final determination of which areas are unserved areas, areas with low-tier service, or areas with mid-tier service after the process for challenging the initial determination has concluded;

(C)

which entities have applied to bid for funding; and

(D)

the results of any system of competitive bidding, including identifying the funding recipients, which areas each project will serve, the nature of the service that will be provided by the project in each of those areas, and how much funding the funding recipients will receive in each of those areas;

(4)

that establish broadband service buildout milestones and periodic certification by funding recipients to ensure that the broadband service buildout milestones for all systems of competitive bidding authorized under this section will be met;

(5)

that, except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (c), establish a maximum buildout timeframe of three years beginning on the date on which funding is provided under this section for a project;

(6)

that establish periodic reporting requirements for funding recipients and that identify, at a minimum, the nature of the service provided in each area for any system of competitive bidding authorized under this section;

(7)

that establish standard penalties for the noncompliance of funding recipients or projects with the requirements as set forth under this section and as may be further prescribed by the Commission for any system of competitive bidding authorized under this section;

(8)

that establish procedures for recovery of funds, in whole or in part, from funding recipients in the event of the default or noncompliance of the funding recipient or project with the requirements established under this section for any system of competitive bidding authorized under this section; and

(9)

that establish mechanisms to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse within the program for any system of competitive bidding authorized under this section.

(f)

Reports required

(1)

Inspector general and comptroller general report

Not later than June 30 and December 31 of each year following the awarding of the first funds under the program, the Inspector General of the Commission and the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the Committees on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report for the previous 6 months that reviews the program. Such report shall include any recommendations to address waste, fraud, and abuse.

(2)

State reports

Any State that receives funds under the program shall submit an annual report to the Commission on how such funds were spent, along with a certification of compliance with the requirements as set forth under this section and as may be further prescribed by the Commission, including a description of each service provided and the number of individuals to whom the service was provided.

(g)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Commission $79,500,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 to carry out the program, and such amount is authorized to remain available through fiscal year 2026.

(h)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Affordable option

The term affordable option means, with respect to a broadband service plan, that broadband service is provided under such plan at a rate that is determined by the Commission, in coordination with the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth, to be affordable for a household with an income of 136 percent of the poverty threshold, as determined by using criteria of poverty established by the Bureau of the Census, for a four-person household that includes two dependents under the age of 18.

(2)

Anchor institution

The term anchor institution

(A)

means a public or private school, a library, a medical or healthcare provider, a museum, a public safety entity, a public housing agency (as defined in section 3(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437a(b))), a community college, an institution of higher education, a religious organization, or any other community support organization or agency; and

(B)

includes any entity described in subparagraph (A) that serves an Indian Tribe, tribally designated entity, or Native Hawaiian organization.

(3)

Area

The term area means the geographic unit of measurement with the greatest level of granularity reasonably feasible for the Commission to use in making eligibility determinations under this section and in meeting the requirements and deadlines of this section.

(4)

Area with low-tier service

The term area with low-tier service means an area where at least 90 percent of the population has access to broadband service offered—

(A)

with a download speed of at least 25 megabits per second but less than 100 megabits per second;

(B)

with an upload speed of at least 25 megabits per second but less than 100 megabits per second; and

(C)

with latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications.

(5)

Area with mid-tier service

The term area with mid-tier service means an area where at least 90 percent of the population has access to broadband service offered—

(A)

with a download speed of at least 100 megabits per second but less than 1 gigabit per second;

(B)

with an upload speed of at least 100 megabits per second but less than 1 gigabit per second; and

(C)

with latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications.

(6)

Assistant secretary

The term Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information.

(7)

Broadband service

The term broadband service

(A)

means broadband internet access service that is a mass-market retail service, or a service provided to an anchor institution, by wire or radio that provides the capability to transmit data to and receive data from all or substantially all internet endpoints, including any capabilities that are incidental to and enable the operation of the communications service;

(B)

includes any service that is a functional equivalent of the service described in subparagraph (A); and

(C)

does not include dial-up internet access service.

(8)

Collective bargaining

The term collective bargaining means performance of the mutual obligation described in section 8(d) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 158(d)).

(9)

Collective bargaining agreement

The term collective bargaining agreement means an agreement reached through collective bargaining.

(10)

Funding recipient

The term funding recipient means an entity that receives funding for a project under this section, which may include—

(A)

a private entity, a public-private partnership, a cooperative, and a Tribal or municipal broadband service provider; and

(B)

a consortium between any of the entities described in subparagraph (A), including a consortium that includes an investor-owned utility.

(11)

High-poverty area

The term high-poverty area means a census tract with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent, as measured by the most recent 5-year data series available from the American Community Survey of the Bureau of the Census as of the year before the date of the enactment of this section. In the case of a territory or possession of the United States in which no such data is collected from the American Community Survey of the Bureau of the Census as of the year before the date of the enactment of this section, such term includes a census tract with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent, as measured by the most recent Island Areas decennial census of the Bureau of the Census for which data is available as of the year before the date of the enactment of this section.

(12)

Indian Tribe

The term Indian Tribe has the meaning given such term in section 4(e) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304(e)).

(13)

Institution of higher education

The term institution of higher education

(A)

has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001); and

(B)

includes a postsecondary vocational institution.

(14)

Labor organization

The term labor organization has the meaning given the term in section 2 of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 152).

(15)

Native Hawaiian organization

The term Native Hawaiian organization means any organization—

(A)

that serves the interests of Native Hawaiians;

(B)

in which Native Hawaiians serve in substantive and policymaking positions;

(C)

that has as a primary and stated purpose the provision of services to Native Hawaiians; and

(D)

that is recognized for having expertise in Native Hawaiian affairs, digital connectivity, or access to broadband service.

(16)

Persistent poverty county

The term persistent poverty county means any county with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent, as determined in each of the 1990 and 2000 decennial censuses and in the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates of the Bureau of the Census for the most recent year for which the Estimates are available. In the case of a territory or possession of the United States, such term includes any county equivalent area in Puerto Rico with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent, as determined in each of the 1990 and 2000 decennial censuses and in the most recent 5-year data series available from the American Community Survey of the Bureau of the Census as of the year before the date of the enactment of this section, or any other territory or possession of the United States with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent, as determined in each of the 1990 and 2000 Island Areas decennial censuses of the Bureau of the Census and in the most recent Island Areas decennial census of the Bureau of the Census for which data is available as of the year before the date of the enactment of this section.

(17)

Postsecondary vocational institution

The term postsecondary vocational institution has the meaning given the term in section 102(c) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002(c)).

(18)

Program

Unless otherwise indicated, the term program means the program established under subsection (a).

(19)

Project

The term project means an undertaking by a funding recipient under this section to construct and deploy infrastructure for the provision of broadband service.

(20)

State

The term State has the meaning given such term in section 3, except that such term also includes the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.

(21)

Tribally designated entity

The term tribally designated entity means an entity designated by an Indian Tribe for purposes of paragraph (2)(B).

(22)

Unserved anchor institution

The term unserved anchor institution means an anchor institution that has no access to broadband service or does not have access to broadband service offered—

(A)

with a download speed of at least 1 gigabit per second per 1,000 users;

(B)

with an upload speed of at least 1 gigabit per second per 1,000 users; and

(C)

with latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications.

(23)

Unserved area

The term unserved area means an area where—

(A)

the Commission reasonably believes there are potential subscribers of broadband service; and

(B)

at least 90 percent of the population has no access to broadband service or does not have access to broadband service offered—

(i)

with a download speed of at least 25 megabits per second;

(ii)

with an upload speed of at least 25 megabits per second; and

(iii)

with latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications.

.

(b)

Authorization of appropriations for Tribal broadband connectivity program

(1)

In general

Section 905(c) of division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(9)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Assistant Secretary $500,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 to carry out the grant program under this subsection, and such amount is authorized to remain available through fiscal year 2026.

.

(2)

Conforming amendments

Section 905 of division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260) is amended—

(A)

in subsection (c), by inserting or paragraph (9) of this subsection after subsection (b)(1) each place it appears; and

(B)

in subsection (e)—

(i)

in paragraph (1)—

(I)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting after this Act the following: (and, in the case of the grant program under subsection (c), not earlier than 30 days, and not later than 60 days, after the date of enactment of any other law making available amounts to carry out such program); and

(II)

in subparagraph (A), by inserting after eligible entities and covered partnerships the following: (or, in the case of a notice issued by reason of the enactment of a law, other than this Act, making available amounts to carry out the grant program under subsection (c), eligible entities); and

(ii)

in paragraph (2)(A), by inserting after an eligible entity or covered partnership the following: (or, in the case of a notice issued by reason of the enactment of a law, other than this Act, making available amounts to carry out the grant program under subsection (c), an eligible entity).

13102.

Tribal internet expansion

Section 254(b)(3) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 254(b)(3)) is amended by inserting and in Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18, United States Code) and areas with high populations of Indian (as defined in section 19 of the Act of June 18, 1934 (Chapter 576; 48 Stat. 988; 25 U.S.C. 5129)) people after high cost areas.

2

Broadband Infrastructure Finance and Innovation

13201.

Short title

This part may be cited as the Broadband Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2021.

13202.

Definitions

In this part:

(1)

BIFIA program

The term BIFIA program means the broadband infrastructure finance and innovation program established under this part.

(2)

Broadband service

The term broad­band service

(A)

means broadband internet access service that is a mass-market retail service, or a service provided to an entity described in paragraph (11)(B)(ii), by wire or radio that provides the capability to transmit data to and receive data from all or substantially all internet endpoints, including any capabilities that are incidental to and enable the operation of the communications service;

(B)

includes any service that is a functional equivalent of the service described in subparagraph (A); and

(C)

does not include dial-up internet access service.

(3)

Eligible project costs

The term eligible project costs means amounts substantially all of which are paid by, or for the account of, an obligor in connection with a project, including the cost of—

(A)

development phase activities, including planning, feasibility analysis, revenue forecasting, environmental review, historic preservation review, permitting, preliminary engineering and design work, and other preconstruction activities;

(B)

construction and deployment phase activities, including—

(i)

construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, replacement, and acquisition of real property (including land relating to the project and improvements to land), equipment, instrumentation, networking capability, hardware and software, and digital network technology;

(ii)

environmental mitigation; and

(iii)

construction contingencies; and

(C)

capitalized interest necessary to meet market requirements, reasonably required reserve funds, capital issuance expenses, and other carrying costs during construction and deployment.

(4)

Federal credit instrument

The term Federal credit instrument means a secured loan, loan guarantee, or line of credit authorized to be made available under the BIFIA program with respect to a project.

(5)

Investment-grade rating

The term investment-grade rating means a rating of BBB minus, Baa3, bbb minus, BBB (low), or higher assigned by a rating agency to project obligations.

(6)

Lender

The term lender means any non-Federal qualified institutional buyer (as defined in section 230.144A(a) of title 17, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation), known as Rule 144A(a) of the Securities and Exchange Commission and issued under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.)), including—

(A)

a qualified retirement plan (as defined in section 4974(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) that is a qualified institutional buyer; and

(B)

a governmental plan (as defined in section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) that is a qualified institutional buyer.

(7)

Letter of interest

The term letter of interest means a letter submitted by a potential applicant prior to an application for credit assistance in a format prescribed by the Assistant Secretary on the website of the BIFIA program that—

(A)

describes the project and the location, purpose, and cost of the project;

(B)

outlines the proposed financial plan, including the requested credit assistance and the proposed obligor;

(C)

provides a status of environmental review; and

(D)

provides information regarding satisfaction of other eligibility requirements of the BIFIA program.

(8)

Line of credit

The term line of credit means an agreement entered into by the Assistant Secretary with an obligor under section 13205 to provide a direct loan at a future date upon the occurrence of certain events.

(9)

Loan guarantee

The term loan guarantee means any guarantee or other pledge by the Assistant Secretary to pay all or part of the principal of and interest on a loan or other debt obligation issued by an obligor and funded by a lender.

(10)

Obligor

The term obligor means a party that—

(A)

is primarily liable for payment of the principal of or interest on a Federal credit instrument; and

(B)

may be a corporation, company, partnership, joint venture, trust, or governmental entity, agency, or instrumentality.

(11)

Project

The term project means a project—

(A)

to construct and deploy infrastructure for the provision of broadband service; and

(B)

that the Assistant Secretary determines will—

(i)

provide access or improved access to broadband service to consumers residing in areas of the United States that have no access to broadband service or do not have access to broadband service offered—

(I)

with a download speed of at least 100 megabits per second;

(II)

with an upload speed of at least 100 megabits per second; and

(III)

with latency that is sufficiently low to allow multiple, simultaneous, real-time, interactive applications; or

(ii)

provide access or improved access to broadband service to—

(I)

schools, libraries, medical and healthcare providers, community colleges and other institutions of higher education, museums, religious organizations, and other community support organizations and entities to facilitate greater use of broadband service by or through such organizations;

(II)

organizations and agencies that provide outreach, access, equipment, and support services to facilitate greater use of broadband service by low-income, unemployed, aged, and otherwise vulnerable populations;

(III)

job-creating strategic facilities located within a State-designated economic zone, Economic Development District designated by the Department of Commerce, Empowerment Zone designated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or Enterprise Community designated by the Department of Agriculture; or

(IV)

public safety agencies.

(12)

Project obligation

The term project obligation means any note, bond, debenture, or other debt obligation issued by an obligor in connection with the financing of a project, other than a Federal credit instrument.

(13)

Public authority

The term public authority means a Federal, State, county, town or township, Indian Tribe, municipal, or other local government or instrumentality with authority to finance, build, operate, or maintain infrastructure for the provision of broadband service.

(14)

Rating agency

The term rating agency means a credit rating agency registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (as defined in section 3(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a))).

(15)

Secured loan

The term secured loan means a direct loan or other debt obligation issued by an obligor and funded by the Assistant Secretary in connection with the financing of a project under section 13204.

(16)

Small project

The term small project means a project having eligible project costs that are reasonably anticipated not to equal or exceed $20,000,000.

(17)

Subsidy amount

The term subsidy amount means the amount of budget authority sufficient to cover the estimated long-term cost to the Federal Government of a Federal credit instrument—

(A)

calculated on a net present value basis; and

(B)

excluding administrative costs and any incidental effects on governmental receipts or outlays in accordance with the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661 et seq.).

(18)

Substantial completion

The term substantial completion means, with respect to a project receiving credit assistance under the BIFIA program—

(A)

the commencement of the provision of broadband service using the infrastructure being financed; or

(B)

a comparable event, as determined by the Assistant Secretary and specified in the credit agreement.

13203.

Determination of eligibility and project selection

(a)

Eligibility

(1)

In general

A project shall be eligible to receive credit assistance under the BIFIA program if—

(A)

the entity proposing to carry out the project submits a letter of interest prior to submission of a formal application for the project; and

(B)

the project meets the criteria described in this subsection.

(2)

Creditworthiness

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), to be eligible for assistance under the BIFIA program, a project shall satisfy applicable creditworthiness standards, which, at a minimum, shall include—

(i)

adequate coverage requirements to ensure repayment;

(ii)

an investment-grade rating from at least two rating agencies on debt senior to the Federal credit instrument; and

(iii)

a rating from at least two rating agencies on the Federal credit instrument.

(B)

Small projects

In order for a small project to be eligible for assistance under the BIFIA program, such project shall satisfy alternative creditworthiness standards that shall be established by the Assistant Secretary under section 13206 for purposes of this paragraph.

(3)

Application

A State, local government, agency or instrumentality of a State or local government, public authority, public-private partnership, or any other legal entity undertaking the project and authorized by the Assistant Secretary shall submit a project application that is acceptable to the Assistant Secretary.

(4)

Eligible project cost parameters for infrastructure projects

Eligible project costs shall be reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed $2,000,000 in the case of a project or program of projects—

(A)

in which the applicant is a local government, instrumentality of local government, or public authority (other than a public authority that is a Federal or State government or instrumentality);

(B)

located on a facility owned by a local government; or

(C)

for which the Assistant Secretary determines that a local government is substantially involved in the development of the project.

(5)

Dedicated revenue sources

The applicable Federal credit instrument shall be repayable, in whole or in part, from—

(A)

amounts charged to—

(i)

subscribers of broadband service for such service; or

(ii)

subscribers of any related service provided over the same infrastructure for such related service;

(B)

user fees;

(C)

payments owing to the obligor under a public-private partnership; or

(D)

other dedicated revenue sources that also secure or fund the project obligations.

(6)

Applications where obligor will be identified later

A State, local government, agency or instrumentality of a State or local government, or public authority may submit to the Assistant Secretary an application under paragraph (3), under which a private party to a public-private partnership will be—

(A)

the obligor; and

(B)

identified later through completion of a procurement and selection of the private party.

(7)

Beneficial effects

The Assistant Secretary shall determine that financial assistance for the project under the BIFIA program will—

(A)

foster, if appropriate, partnerships that attract public and private investment for the project;

(B)

enable the project to proceed at an earlier date than the project would otherwise be able to proceed or reduce the lifecycle costs (including debt service costs) of the project; and

(C)

reduce the contribution of Federal grant assistance for the project.

(8)

Project readiness

To be eligible for assistance under the BIFIA program, the applicant shall demonstrate a reasonable expectation that the contracting process for the construction and deployment of infrastructure for the provision of broadband service through the project can commence by no later than 90 days after the date on which a Federal credit instrument is obligated for the project under the BIFIA program.

(9)

Public sponsorship of private entities

(A)

In general

If an eligible project is carried out by an entity that is not a State or local government or an agency or instrumentality of a State or local government or a Tribal Government or consortium of Tribal Governments, the project shall be publicly sponsored.

(B)

Public sponsorship

For purposes of this part, a project shall be considered to be publicly sponsored if the obligor can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Assistant Secretary, that the project applicant has consulted with the State, local, or Tribal government in the area in which the project is located, or that is otherwise affected by the project, and that such government supports the proposal.

(b)

Selection among eligible projects

(1)

Establishment of application process

The Assistant Secretary shall establish a rolling application process under which projects that are eligible to receive credit assistance under subsection (a) shall receive credit assistance on terms acceptable to the Assistant Secretary, if adequate funds are available to cover the subsidy costs associated with the Federal credit instrument.

(2)

Preliminary rating opinion letter

The Assistant Secretary shall require each project applicant to provide—

(A)

a preliminary rating opinion letter from at least one rating agency—

(i)

indicating that the senior obligations of the project, which may be the Federal credit instrument, have the potential to achieve an investment-grade rating; and

(ii)

including a preliminary rating opinion on the Federal credit instrument; or

(B)

in the case of a small project, alternative documentation that the Assistant Secretary shall require in the standards established under section 13206 for purposes of this paragraph.

(3)

Technology neutrality required

In selecting projects to receive credit assistance under the BIFIA program, the Assistant Secretary may not favor a project using any particular technology.

(4)

Preference for open-access networks

In selecting projects to receive credit assistance under the BIFIA program, the Assistant Secretary shall give preference to projects providing for the deployment of open-access broadband service networks.

(c)

Federal requirements

(1)

In general

The following provisions of law shall apply to funds made available under the BIFIA program and projects assisted with those funds:

(A)

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.).

(B)

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(C)

54 U.S.C. 300101 et seq. (commonly referred to as the National Historic Preservation Act).

(D)

The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.).

(2)

NEPA

No funding shall be obligated for a project that has not received an environmental categorical exclusion, a finding of no significant impact, or a record of decision under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(3)

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

For purposes of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), any project that receives credit assistance under the BIFIA program shall be considered a program or activity within the meaning of section 606 of such title (42 U.S.C. 2000d–4a).

(4)

Contracting requirements

All laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors in the performance of construction, alteration, or repair work carried out, in whole or in part, with assistance made available through a Federal credit instrument shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a similar character in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code. With respect to the labor standards in this paragraph, the Secretary of Labor shall have the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1267; 5 U.S.C. App.) and section 3145 of title 40, United States Code.

(5)

Neutrality requirement

An employer receiving assistance made available through a Federal credit instrument under this part shall remain neutral with respect to the exercise of employees and labor organizations of the right to organize and bargain under the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 151 et seq.).

(6)

Referral of alleged violations of applicable Federal labor and employment laws

The Assistant Secretary shall refer any alleged violation of an applicable labor and employment law to the appropriate Federal agency for investigation and enforcement, and any alleged violation of paragraph (4) or (5) to the National Labor Relations Board for investigation and enforcement, utilizing all appropriate remedies up to and including debarment from the BIFIA program.

(d)

Application processing procedures

(1)

Notice of complete application

Not later than 30 days after the date of receipt of an application under this section, the Assistant Secretary shall provide to the applicant a written notice to inform the applicant whether—

(A)

the application is complete; or

(B)

additional information or materials are needed to complete the application.

(2)

Approval or denial of application

Not later than 60 days after the date of issuance of the written notice under paragraph (1), the Assistant Secretary shall provide to the applicant a written notice informing the applicant whether the Assistant Secretary has approved or disapproved the application.

(3)

Approval before NEPA review

Subject to subsection (c)(2), an application for a project may be approved before the project receives an environmental categorical exclusion, a finding of no significant impact, or a record of decision under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(e)

Development phase activities

Any credit instrument secured under the BIFIA program may be used to finance up to 100 percent of the cost of development phase activities as described in section 13202(3)(A).

13204.

Secured loans

(a)

In general

(1)

Agreements

Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Assistant Secretary may enter into agreements with one or more obligors to make secured loans, the proceeds of which shall be used—

(A)

to finance eligible project costs of any project selected under section 13203;

(B)

to refinance interim construction financing of eligible project costs of any project selected under section 13203; or

(C)

to refinance long-term project obligations or Federal credit instruments, if the refinancing provides additional funding capacity for the completion, enhancement, or expansion of any project that—

(i)

is selected under section 13203; or

(ii)

otherwise meets the requirements of section 13203.

(2)

Limitation on refinancing of interim construction financing

A loan under paragraph (1) shall not refinance interim construction financing under paragraph (1)(B)—

(A)

if the maturity of such interim construction financing is later than 1 year after the substantial completion of the project; and

(B)

later than 1 year after the date of substantial completion of the project.

(3)

Risk assessment

Before entering into an agreement under this subsection, the Assistant Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall determine an appropriate capital reserve subsidy amount for each secured loan, taking into account each rating letter provided by a rating agency under section 13203(b)(2)(A)(ii) or, in the case of a small project, the alternative documentation provided under section 13203(b)(2)(B).

(b)

Terms and limitations

(1)

In general

A secured loan under this section with respect to a project shall be on such terms and conditions and contain such covenants, representations, warranties, and requirements (including requirements for audits) as the Assistant Secretary determines to be appropriate.

(2)

Maximum amount

The amount of a secured loan under this section shall not exceed the lesser of 49 percent of the reasonably anticipated eligible project costs or, if the secured loan is not for a small project and does not receive an investment-grade rating, the amount of the senior project obligations.

(3)

Payment

A secured loan under this section—

(A)

shall—

(i)

be payable, in whole or in part, from—

(I)

amounts charged to—

(aa)

subscribers of broad­band service for such service; or

(bb)

subscribers of any related service provided over the same infrastructure for such related service;

(II)

user fees;

(III)

payments owing to the obligor under a public-private partnership; or

(IV)

other dedicated revenue sources that also secure the senior project obligations; and

(ii)

include a coverage requirement or similar security feature supporting the project obligations; and

(B)

may have a lien on revenues described in subparagraph (A), subject to any lien securing project obligations.

(4)

Interest rate

The interest rate on a secured loan under this section shall be not less than the yield on United States Treasury securities of a similar maturity to the maturity of the secured loan on the date of execution of the loan agreement.

(5)

Maturity date

The final maturity date of the secured loan shall be the lesser of—

(A)

35 years after the date of substantial completion of the project; and

(B)

if the useful life of the infrastructure for the provision of broadband service being financed is of a lesser period, the useful life of the infrastructure.

(6)

Nonsubordination

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the secured loan shall not be subordinated to the claims of any holder of project obligations in the event of bankruptcy, insolvency, or liquidation of the obligor.

(B)

Preexisting indenture

(i)

In general

The Assistant Secretary shall waive the requirement under subparagraph (A) for a public agency borrower that is financing ongoing capital programs and has outstanding senior bonds under a preexisting indenture, if—

(I)

the secured loan—

(aa)

is rated in the A category or higher; or

(bb)

in the case of a small project, meets an alternative standard that the Assistant Secretary shall establish under section 13206 for purposes of this subclause;

(II)

the secured loan is secured and payable from pledged revenues not affected by project performance, such as a tax-backed revenue pledge or a system-backed pledge of project revenues; and

(III)

the BIFIA program share of eligible project costs is 33 percent or less.

(ii)

Limitation

If the Assistant Secretary waives the nonsubordination requirement under this subparagraph—

(I)

the maximum credit subsidy to be paid by the Federal Government shall be not more than 10 percent of the principal amount of the secured loan; and

(II)

the obligor shall be responsible for paying the remainder of the subsidy cost, if any.

(7)

Fees

The Assistant Secretary may establish fees at a level sufficient to cover all or a portion of the costs to the Federal Government of making a secured loan under this section.

(8)

Non-federal share

The proceeds of a secured loan under the BIFIA program, if the loan is repayable from non-Federal funds—

(A)

may be used for any non-Federal share of project costs required under this part; and

(B)

shall not count toward the total Federal assistance provided for a project for purposes of paragraph (9).

(9)

Maximum federal involvement

The total Federal assistance provided for a project receiving a loan under the BIFIA program shall not exceed 80 percent of the total project cost.

(c)

Repayment

(1)

Schedule

The Assistant Secretary shall establish a repayment schedule for each secured loan under this section based on—

(A)

the projected cash flow from project revenues and other repayment sources; and

(B)

the useful life of the infrastructure for the provision of broadband service being financed.

(2)

Commencement

Scheduled loan repayments of principal or interest on a secured loan under this section shall commence not later than 5 years after the date of substantial completion of the project.

(3)

Deferred payments

(A)

In general

If, at any time after the date of substantial completion of the project, the project is unable to generate sufficient revenues to pay the scheduled loan repayments of principal and interest on the secured loan, the Assistant Secretary may, subject to subparagraph (C), allow the obligor to add unpaid principal and interest to the outstanding balance of the secured loan.

(B)

Interest

Any payment deferred under subparagraph (A) shall—

(i)

continue to accrue interest in accordance with subsection (b)(4) until fully repaid; and

(ii)

be scheduled to be amortized over the remaining term of the loan.

(C)

Criteria

(i)

In general

Any payment deferral under subparagraph (A) shall be contingent on the project meeting criteria established by the Assistant Secretary.

(ii)

Repayment standards

The criteria established pursuant to clause (i) shall include standards for reasonable assurance of repayment.

(4)

Prepayment

(A)

Use of excess revenues

Any excess revenues that remain after satisfying scheduled debt service requirements on the project obligations and secured loan and all deposit requirements under the terms of any trust agreement, bond resolution, or similar agreement securing project obligations may be applied annually to prepay the secured loan without penalty.

(B)

Use of proceeds of refinancing

The secured loan may be prepaid at any time without penalty from the proceeds of refinancing from non-Federal funding sources.

(d)

Sale of secured loans

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), as soon as practicable after substantial completion of a project and after notifying the obligor, the Assistant Secretary may sell to another entity or reoffer into the capital markets a secured loan for the project if the Assistant Secretary determines that the sale or reoffering can be made on favorable terms.

(2)

Consent of obligor

In making a sale or reoffering under paragraph (1), the Assistant Secretary may not change the original terms and conditions of the secured loan without the written consent of the obligor.

(e)

Loan guarantees

(1)

In general

The Assistant Secretary may provide a loan guarantee to a lender in lieu of making a secured loan under this section if the Assistant Secretary determines that the budgetary cost of the loan guarantee is substantially the same as that of a secured loan.

(2)

Terms

The terms of a loan guarantee under paragraph (1) shall be consistent with the terms required under this section for a secured loan, except that the rate on the guaranteed loan and any prepayment features shall be negotiated between the obligor and the lender, with the consent of the Assistant Secretary.

(f)

Streamlined application process

(1)

In general

The Assistant Secretary shall develop one or more expedited application processes, available at the request of entities seeking secured loans under the BIFIA program, that use a set or sets of conventional terms established pursuant to this section.

(2)

Terms

In establishing the streamlined application process required by this subsection, the Assistant Secretary may allow for an expedited application period and include terms such as those that require—

(A)

that the project be a small project;

(B)

the secured loan to be secured and payable from pledged revenues not affected by project performance, such as a tax-backed revenue pledge, tax increment financing, or a system-backed pledge of project revenues; and

(C)

repayment of the loan to commence not later than 5 years after disbursement.

13205.

Lines of credit

(a)

In general

(1)

Agreements

Subject to paragraphs (2) through (4), the Assistant Secretary may enter into agreements to make available to one or more obligors lines of credit in the form of direct loans to be made by the Assistant Secretary at future dates on the occurrence of certain events for any project selected under section 13203.

(2)

Use of proceeds

The proceeds of a line of credit made available under this section shall be available to pay debt service on project obligations issued to finance eligible project costs, extraordinary repair and replacement costs, operation and maintenance expenses, and costs associated with unexpected Federal or State environmental restrictions.

(3)

Risk assessment

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), before entering into an agreement under this subsection, the Assistant Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and each rating agency providing a preliminary rating opinion letter under section 13203(b)(2)(A), shall determine an appropriate capital reserve subsidy amount for each line of credit, taking into account the rating opinion letter.

(B)

Small projects

Before entering into an agreement under this subsection to make available a line of credit for a small project, the Assistant Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall determine an appropriate capital reserve subsidy amount for each such line of credit, taking into account the alternative documentation provided under section 13203(b)(2)(B) instead of preliminary rating opinion letters provided under section 13203(b)(2)(A).

(4)

Investment-grade rating requirement

The funding of a line of credit under this section shall be contingent on—

(A)

the senior obligations of the project receiving an investment-grade rating from 2 rating agencies; or

(B)

in the case of a small project, the project meeting an alternative standard that the Assistant Secretary shall establish under section 13206 for purposes of this paragraph.

(b)

Terms and limitations

(1)

In general

A line of credit under this section with respect to a project shall be on such terms and conditions and contain such covenants, representations, warranties, and requirements (including requirements for audits) as the Assistant Secretary determines to be appropriate.

(2)

Maximum amounts

The total amount of a line of credit under this section shall not exceed 33 percent of the reasonably anticipated eligible project costs.

(3)

Draws

Any draw on a line of credit under this section shall—

(A)

represent a direct loan; and

(B)

be made only if net revenues from the project (including capitalized interest, but not including reasonably required financing reserves) are insufficient to pay the costs specified in subsection (a)(2).

(4)

Interest rate

The interest rate on a direct loan resulting from a draw on the line of credit shall be not less than the yield on 30-year United States Treasury securities, as of the date of execution of the line of credit agreement.

(5)

Security

A line of credit issued under this section—

(A)

shall—

(i)

be payable, in whole or in part, from—

(I)

amounts charged to—

(aa)

subscribers of broad­band service for such service; or

(bb)

subscribers of any related service provided over the same infrastructure for such related service;

(II)

user fees;

(III)

payments owing to the obligor under a public-private partnership; or

(IV)

other dedicated revenue sources that also secure the senior project obligations; and

(ii)

include a coverage requirement or similar security feature supporting the project obligations; and

(B)

may have a lien on revenues described in subparagraph (A), subject to any lien securing project obligations.

(6)

Period of availability

The full amount of a line of credit under this section, to the extent not drawn upon, shall be available during the 10-year period beginning on the date of substantial completion of the project.

(7)

Rights of third-party creditors

(A)

Against Federal Government

A third-party creditor of the obligor shall not have any right against the Federal Government with respect to any draw on a line of credit under this section.

(B)

Assignment

An obligor may assign a line of credit under this section to—

(i)

one or more lenders; or

(ii)

a trustee on the behalf of such a lender.

(8)

Nonsubordination

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a direct loan under this section shall not be subordinated to the claims of any holder of project obligations in the event of bankruptcy, insolvency, or liquidation of the obligor.

(B)

Pre-existing indenture

(i)

In general

The Assistant Secretary shall waive the requirement of subparagraph (A) for a public agency borrower that is financing ongoing capital programs and has outstanding senior bonds under a preexisting indenture, if—

(I)

the line of credit—

(aa)

is rated in the A category or higher; or

(bb)

in the case of a small project, meets an alternative standard that the Assistant Secretary shall establish under section 13206 for purposes of this subclause;

(II)

the BIFIA program loan resulting from a draw on the line of credit is payable from pledged revenues not affected by project performance, such as a tax-backed revenue pledge or a system-backed pledge of project revenues; and

(III)

the BIFIA program share of eligible project costs is 33 percent or less.

(ii)

Limitation

If the Assistant Secretary waives the nonsubordination requirement under this subparagraph—

(I)

the maximum credit subsidy to be paid by the Federal Government shall be not more than 10 percent of the principal amount of the secured loan; and

(II)

the obligor shall be responsible for paying the remainder of the subsidy cost.

(9)

Fees

The Assistant Secretary may establish fees at a level sufficient to cover all or a portion of the costs to the Federal Government of providing a line of credit under this section.

(10)

Relationship to other credit instruments

A project that receives a line of credit under this section also shall not receive a secured loan or loan guarantee under section 13204 in an amount that, combined with the amount of the line of credit, exceeds 49 percent of eligible project costs.

(c)

Repayment

(1)

Terms and conditions

The Assistant Secretary shall establish repayment terms and conditions for each direct loan under this section based on—

(A)

the projected cash flow from project revenues and other repayment sources; and

(B)

the useful life of the infrastructure for the provision of broadband service being financed.

(2)

Timing

All repayments of principal or interest on a direct loan under this section shall be scheduled—

(A)

to commence not later than 5 years after the end of the period of availability specified in subsection (b)(6); and

(B)

to conclude, with full repayment of principal and interest, by the date that is 25 years after the end of the period of availability specified in subsection (b)(6).

13206.

Alternative prudential lending standards for small projects

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Assistant Secretary shall establish alternative, streamlined prudential lending standards for small projects receiving credit assistance under the BIFIA program to ensure that such projects pose no additional risk to the Federal Government, as compared with projects that are not small projects.

13207.

Program administration

(a)

Requirement

The Assistant Secretary shall establish a uniform system to service the Federal credit instruments made available under the BIFIA program.

(b)

Fees

The Assistant Secretary may collect and spend fees, contingent on authority being provided in appropriations Acts, at a level that is sufficient to cover—

(1)

the costs of services of expert firms retained pursuant to subsection (d); and

(2)

all or a portion of the costs to the Federal Government of servicing the Federal credit instruments.

(c)

Servicer

(1)

In general

The Assistant Secretary may appoint a financial entity to assist the Assistant Secretary in servicing the Federal credit instruments.

(2)

Duties

A servicer appointed under paragraph (1) shall act as the agent for the Assistant Secretary.

(3)

Fee

A servicer appointed under paragraph (1) shall receive a servicing fee, subject to approval by the Assistant Secretary.

(d)

Assistance from expert firms

The Assistant Secretary may retain the services of expert firms, including counsel, in the field of municipal and project finance to assist in the underwriting and servicing of Federal credit instruments.

(e)

Expedited processing

The Assistant Secretary shall implement procedures and measures to economize the time and cost involved in obtaining approval and the issuance of credit assistance under the BIFIA program.

(f)

Assistance to small projects

Of the amount appropriated under section 13210(a), and after the set-aside for administrative expenses under section 13210(b), not less than 20 percent shall be made available for the Assistant Secretary to use in lieu of fees collected under subsection (b) for small projects.

13208.

State and local permits

The provision of credit assistance under the BIFIA program with respect to a project shall not—

(1)

relieve any recipient of the assistance of any obligation to obtain any required State or local permit or approval with respect to the project;

(2)

limit the right of any unit of State or local government to approve or regulate any rate of return on private equity invested in the project; or

(3)

otherwise supersede any State or local law (including any regulation) applicable to the construction or operation of the project.

13209.

Regulations

The Assistant Secretary may promulgate such regulations as the Assistant Secretary determines to be appropriate to carry out the BIFIA program.

13210.

Funding

(a)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Assistant Secretary $5,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 to carry out this part, and such amount is authorized to remain available through fiscal year 2026.

(b)

Administrative expenses

Of the amount appropriated under subsection (a), the Assistant Secretary may use not more than 5 percent for the administration of the BIFIA program.

13211.

Reports to Congress

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 2 years thereafter, the Assistant Secretary shall submit to Congress a report summarizing the financial performance of the projects that are receiving, or have received, assistance under the BIFIA program, including a recommendation as to whether the objectives of the BIFIA program are best served by—

(1)

continuing the program under the authority of the Assistant Secretary; or

(2)

establishing a Federal corporation or federally sponsored enterprise to administer the program.

(b)

Application process report

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Assistant Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report that includes a list of all of the letters of interest and applications received for assistance under the BIFIA program during the preceding fiscal year.

(2)

Inclusions

(A)

In general

Each report under paragraph (1) shall include, at a minimum, a description of, with respect to each letter of interest and application included in the report—

(i)

the date on which the letter of interest or application was received;

(ii)

the date on which a notification was provided to the applicant regarding whether the application was complete or incomplete;

(iii)

the date on which a revised and completed application was submitted (if applicable);

(iv)

the date on which a notification was provided to the applicant regarding whether the project was approved or disapproved; and

(v)

if the project was not approved, the reason for the disapproval.

(B)

Correspondence

Each report under paragraph (1) shall include copies of any correspondence provided to the applicant in accordance with section 13203(d).

3

Wi-Fi on School Buses

13301.

E-rate support for school bus Wi-Fi

(a)

Definition

In this section, the term school bus means a passenger motor vehicle that is—

(1)

designed to carry a driver and not less than 5 passengers; and

(2)

used significantly to transport early child education, elementary school, or secondary school students to or from school or an event related to school.

(b)

Rulemaking

Notwithstanding the limitations under paragraphs (1)(B) and (2)(A) of section 254(h) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 254(h)) regarding the authorized recipients and uses of discounted telecommunications services, not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall commence a rulemaking to make the provision of Wi-Fi access on school buses eligible for support under the E-rate program of the Commission set forth under subpart F of part 54 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations.

D

Community Broadband

14001.

State, local, public-private partnership, and co-op broadband services

Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 1302) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e) and inserting after subsection (c) the following:

(d)

State, local, public-Private partnership, and co-Op advanced telecommunications capability and services

(1)

In general

No State statute, regulation, or other State legal requirement may prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting any public provider, public-private partnership provider, or cooperatively organized provider from providing, to any person or any public or private entity, advanced telecommunications capability or any service that utilizes the advanced telecommunications capability provided by such provider.

(2)

Antidiscrimination safeguards

(A)

Public providers

To the extent any public provider regulates competing private providers of advanced telecommunications capability or services that utilize advanced telecommunications capability, such public provider shall apply its ordinances and rules without discrimination in favor of itself or any provider that it owns of services that utilize advanced telecommunications capability.

(B)

Public-private partnership providers

To the extent any State or local entity that is part of a public-private partnership provider regulates competing private providers of advanced telecommunications capability or services that utilize advanced telecommunications capability, such State or local entity shall apply its ordinances and rules without discrimination in favor of such public-private partnership provider or any provider that such State or local entity or public-private partnership provider owns of services that utilize advanced telecommunications capability.

(3)

Savings clause

Nothing in this subsection shall exempt a public provider, public-private partnership provider, or cooperatively organized provider from any Federal or State telecommunications law or regulation that applies to all providers of advanced telecommunications capability or services that utilize such advanced telecommunications capability.

; and

(2)

in subsection (e), as redesignated—

(A)

in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking this subsection and inserting this section;

(B)

by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (3);

(C)

by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:

(2)

Cooperatively organized provider

The term cooperatively organized provider means an entity that is treated as a cooperative under Federal tax law and that provides advanced telecommunications capability, or any service that utilizes such advanced telecommunications capability, to any person or public or private entity.

; and

(D)

by adding at the end the following:

(4)

Public provider

The term public provider means a State or local entity that provides advanced telecommunications capability, or any service that utilizes such advanced telecommunications capability, to any person or public or private entity.

(5)

Public-private partnership provider

The term public-private partnership provider means a public-private partnership, between a State or local entity and a private entity, that provides advanced telecommunications capability, or any service that utilizes such advanced telecommunications capability, to any person or public or private entity.

(6)

State or local entity

The term State or local entity means a State or political subdivision thereof, any agency, authority, or instrumentality of a State or political subdivision thereof, or an Indian Tribe (as defined in section 4(e) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304(e))).

.

E

Next Generation 9–1–1

15001.

Further deployment of Next Generation 9–1–1

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The 9–1–1 systems of the United States, while a model for the entire world, lack the advanced functionality, interoperability, reliability, and capabilities that come with the adoption of new digital communications technologies.

(2)

Communications technologies currently available to the public, including first responders and other public safety personnel, have substantially outpaced the legacy communications technologies still used by most emergency communications centers in the 9–1–1 systems of the United States.

(3)

This lack of modern technology, when coupled with other challenges, is impacting the ability of the 9–1–1 systems of the United States to efficiently and effectively provide responses to emergencies.

(4)

Modernizing the 9–1–1 systems of the United States to incorporate the new and evolving capabilities of broadband voice and data communications is essential for the safety and security of the public, including first responders and other public safety personnel.

(5)

Efforts to modernize the 9–1–1 systems of the United States to date, while laudable and important, have been limited due to a lack of funding and inconsistent or unclear policies related to the governance, deployment, and operations of Next Generation 9–1–1.

(6)

A nationwide strategy for Next Generation 9–1–1 has become essential to help guide the transition and create a common framework for implementation of Next Generation 9–1–1 while preserving State, regional, and local control over the governance and technology choices of the 9–1–1 systems of the United States.

(7)

Accelerated implementation of Next Generation 9–1–1 will—

(A)

increase compatibility with emerging communications trends;

(B)

enhance the flexibility, reliability, and survivability of the 9–1–1 systems of the United States during major incidents;

(C)

improve emergency response for the public, including first responders and other public safety personnel;

(D)

promote the interoperability of the 9–1–1 systems of the United States with emergency response providers including users of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network being deployed by the First Responder Network Authority; and

(E)

increase the cost effectiveness of operating the 9–1–1 systems of the United States.

(b)

Sense of congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

the 9–1–1 professionals in the United States perform important and lifesaving work every day, and need the tools and communications technologies to perform the work effectively in a world with digital communications technologies;

(2)

the transition from the legacy communications technologies used in the 9–1–1 systems of the United States to Next Generation 9–1–1 is a national priority and a national imperative;

(3)

the United States should complete the transition described in paragraph (2) as soon as practicable;

(4)

the United States should develop a nationwide framework that facilitates cooperation among Federal, State, and local officials on deployment of Next Generation 9–1–1 in order to meet that goal;

(5)

the term Public Safety Answering Point becomes outdated in a broadband environment and 9–1–1 centers are increasingly and appropriately being referred to as emergency communications centers; and

(6)

9–1–1 authorities and emergency communications centers should have sufficient resources to implement Next Generation 9–1–1, including resources to support associated geographic information systems (commonly known as GIS), and cybersecurity measures.

(c)

Statement of policy

It is the policy of the United States that—

(1)

Next Generation 9–1–1 should be technologically and competitively neutral;

(2)

Next Generation 9–1–1 should be interoperable and reliable;

(3)

the governance and control of the 9–1–1 systems of the United States, including Next Generation 9–1–1, should remain at the State, regional, and local level; and

(4)

individuals in the United States should receive information on how to best utilize Next Generation 9–1–1 and on its capabilities and usefulness.

(d)

Coordination of next generation 9–1–1 implementation

Part C of title I of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act (47 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

159.

Coordination of next generation 9–1–1 implementation

(a)

Additional functions of 9–1–1 implementation coordination office

(1)

Authority

The Office shall implement the provisions of this section.

(2)

Management plan

(A)

Development

The Assistant Secretary and the Administrator shall develop and may modify a management plan for the grant program established under this section, including by developing—

(i)

plans related to the organizational structure of such program; and

(ii)

funding profiles for each fiscal year of the duration of such program.

(B)

Submission to congress

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this section or 90 days after the date on which the plan is modified, as applicable, the Assistant Secretary and the Administrator shall submit the management plan developed or modified, as applicable, under subparagraph (A) to—

(i)

the Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Appropriations of the Senate; and

(ii)

the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(3)

Purpose of office

The Office shall—

(A)

take actions, in concert with coordinators designated in accordance with subsection (b)(2)(A)(ii), to improve coordination and communication with respect to the implementation of Next Generation 9–1–1;

(B)

develop, collect, and disseminate information concerning practices, procedures, and technology used in the implementation of Next Generation 9–1–1;

(C)

advise and assist eligible entities in the preparation of implementation plans required under subsection (b)(2)(A)(iii);

(D)

provide technical assistance to grantees in support of efforts to explore efficiencies related to Next Generation 9–1–1 functions;

(E)

receive, review, and recommend the approval or disapproval of applications for grants under subsection (b); and

(F)

oversee the use of funds provided by such grants in fulfilling such implementation plans.

(4)

Annual reports

Not later than October 1 of each year, the Assistant Secretary and the Administrator shall submit to Congress a report on the activities of the Office to meet the requirements described under paragraph (3) for the previous year.

(5)

Nationwide next generation 9–1–1 security operations center

(A)

Establishment

There is established within the Office the Nationwide Next Generation 9–1–1 Security Operations Center.

(B)

Organization

The Office shall consider the recommendations of the Next Generation 9–1–1 Advisory Board established under section 160 in selecting the appropriate personnel to best fulfill the Center’s mission.

(C)

Mission

The Center shall—

(i)

serve as a centralized emergency communications cybersecurity center that has the ability to provide integrated intrusion, detection and prevention services at multiple levels and layers, in support of local operations;

(ii)

provide forensic data to cyber responders and investigators in the event of an incident;

(iii)

activate pre-planned mitigation measures as agreed upon with emergency communications centers and as appropriate during a cyber incident;

(iv)

assist application vendors and third parties with a public safety mission, such as mental health hotlines, telehealth providers, vehicle telematics provider, and alarm companies, in ensuring secure connectivity and providing vetted and secure services; and

(v)

assist Federal, State, and local law enforcement in identifying cyber criminals whether located in the United States or internationally.

(b)

Next generation 9–1–1 implementation grants

(1)

Grants

The Assistant Secretary and the Administrator, acting through the Office, shall provide grants to eligible entities for—

(A)

the implementation of Next Generation 9–1–1;

(B)

establishing and maintaining Next Generation 9–1–1;

(C)

training directly related to Next Generation 9–1–1 if—

(i)

the cost related to the training does not exceed 3 percent of the total grant award, or up to 5 percent of the total grant award if sufficiently justified to the Office; and

(ii)

permissible costs may include—

(I)

actual wages incurred for travel and attendance, including any necessary overtime pay and backfill wage;

(II)

travel expenses;

(III)

instructor expenses; and

(IV)

facility costs and training materials;

(D)

public outreach and education on how best to use Next Generation 9–1–1 and the capabilities and usefulness of Next Generation 9–1–1; and

(E)

administrative cost associated with planning and implementation of Next Generation 9–1–1, including any cost related to planning for and preparing an application and related materials as required by this subsection, if—

(i)

the cost is fully documented in materials submitted to the Office; and

(ii)

the cost is reasonable, necessary, and does not exceed 1 percent of the total grant award for an eligible entity and 1 percent of the total grant award for an emergency communications center.

(2)

Coordination required

In providing grants under paragraph (1), the Assistant Secretary and the Administrator, acting through the Office, shall require an eligible entity to certify in the application that—

(A)

in the case of an eligible entity that is a State, the entity—

(i)

has coordinated the application with the emergency communications centers located within the jurisdiction of the entity;

(ii)

has designated a single officer or governmental body to serve as the State point of contact to coordinate the implementation of Next Generation 9–1–1 for that State, except that such designation need not vest such coordinator with direct legal authority to implement Next Generation 9–1–1 or to manage emergency communications operations; and

(iii)

has developed and submitted a plan for the coordination and implementation of Next Generation 9–1–1 that—

(I)

ensures interoperability by requiring the use of commonly accepted standards;

(II)

ensures reliable operations;

(III)

enables emergency communications centers to process, analyze, and store multimedia, data, and other information;

(IV)

incorporates the use of effective cybersecurity resources;

(V)

uses open and competitive request for proposal processes, including through shared government procurement vehicles, for deployment of Next Generation 9–1–1;

(VI)

documents how input was received and accounted for from relevant rural and urban emergency communications centers, regional authorities, local authorities, and Tribal authorities;

(VII)

includes a governance body or bodies, either by creation of new or use of existing body or bodies, for the development and deployment of Next Generation 9–1–1 that—

(aa)

ensures full notice and opportunity for participation by relevant stakeholders; and

(bb)

consults and coordinates with the State point of contact required by clause (ii);

(VIII)

creates efficiencies related to Next Generation 9–1–1 functions, including cybersecurity and the virtualization and sharing of infrastructure, equipment, and services; and

(IX)

that an effective, competitive approach to establishing authentication, credentialing, secure connections, and access is utilized, including by—

(aa)

requiring certificate authorities to be capable of cross-certification with other authorities;

(bb)

avoiding risk of a single point of failure or vulnerability; and

(cc)

adhering to Federal agency best practices such as those promulgated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and

(B)

in the case of an eligible entity that is a Tribal Organization, the Tribal Organization has complied with clauses (i) and (iii) of subparagraph (A), and the State in which the Tribal Organization is located has complied with clause (ii) of such subparagraph.

(3)

Criteria

(A)

In general

Not later than 9 months after the date of the enactment of this section, the Assistant Secretary and the Administrator shall issue regulations, after providing the public with notice and an opportunity to comment, prescribing the criteria for selection for grants under this subsection.

(B)

Requirements

The criteria shall—

(i)

include performance requirements and a schedule for completion of any project to be financed by a grant under this subsection; and

(ii)

specifically permit regional or multi-State applications for funds.

(C)

Updates

The Assistant Secretary and the Administrator shall update such regulations as necessary.

(4)

Grant certifications

Each applicant for a grant under this subsection shall certify to the Assistant Secretary and the Administrator at the time of application, and each applicant that receives such a grant shall certify to the Assistant Secretary and the Administrator annually thereafter during any period of time the funds from the grant are available to the applicant, that—

(A)

no portion of any designated 9–1–1 charges imposed by a State or other taxing jurisdiction within which the applicant is located are being obligated or expended for any purpose other than the purposes for which such charges are designated or presented during the period beginning 180 days immediately preceding the date on which the application was filed and continuing through the period of time during which the funds from the grant are available to the applicant;

(B)

any funds received by the applicant will be used to support deployment of Next Generation 9–1–1 that ensures reliability and, by requiring the use of commonly accepted standards, interoperability;

(C)

the State in which the applicant resides has established, or has committed to establish no later than 3 years following the date on which the funds are distributed to the applicant, a sustainable funding mechanism for Next Generation 9–1–1 and effective cybersecurity resources to be deployed pursuant to the grant;

(D)

the applicant will promote interoperability between Next Generation 9–1–1 emergency communications centers and emergency response providers including users of the nationwide public safety broadband network implemented by the First Responder Network Authority;

(E)

the applicant has or will take steps to coordinate with adjoining States to establish and maintain Next Generation 9–1–1; and

(F)

the applicant has developed a plan for public outreach and education on how to best use Next Generation 9–1–1 and on its capabilities and usefulness.

(5)

Condition of grant

Each applicant for a grant under this subsection shall agree, as a condition of receipt of the grant, that if the State or other taxing jurisdiction within which the applicant is located, during any period of time during which the funds from the grant are available to the applicant, fails to comply with the certifications required under paragraph (4), all of the funds from such grant shall be returned to the Office.

(6)

Penalty for providing false information

Any applicant that provides a certification under paragraph (5) knowing that the information provided in the certification was false shall—

(A)

not be eligible to receive the grant under this subsection;

(B)

return any grant awarded under this subsection during the time that the certification was not valid; and

(C)

not be eligible to receive any subsequent grants under this subsection.

(7)

Prohibition

Grants provided under this subsection may not be used—

(A)

for any component of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network; or

(B)

to make any payments to a person who has been, for reasons of national security, prohibited by any entity of the Federal Government from bidding on a contract, participating in an auction, or receiving a grant.

(8)

Funding and termination

In addition to any funds authorized for grants under section 158, there is authorized to be appropriated $15,000,000,000 for fiscal years 2022 through 2026, of which $24,000,000 may be used by the Office for reasonable and necessary administrative costs associated with the grant program and to establish the Nationwide Next Generation 9–1–1 Security Operations Center under subsection (a)(5).

(c)

Definitions

In this section and section 160:

(1)

9–1–1 request for emergency assistance

The term 9–1–1 request for emergency assistance means a communication, such as voice, text, picture, multimedia, or any other type of data that is sent to an emergency communications center for the purpose of requesting emergency assistance.

(2)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(3)

Commonly accepted standards

The term commonly accepted standards means the technical standards followed by the communications industry for network, device, and Internet Protocol connectivity that enable interoperability, including but not limited to—

(A)

standards developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF), and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU); and

(B)

standards approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) that meet the definition of interoperable within this section.

(4)

Designated 9–1–1 charges

The term designated 9–1–1 charges means any taxes, fees, or other charges imposed by a State or other taxing jurisdiction that are designated or presented as dedicated to deliver or improve 9–1–1 services, E9–1–1 services (as defined in section 158(e)), or Next Generation 9–1–1.

(5)

Eligible entity

The term eligible entity

(A)

means a State or a Tribal organization (as defined in section 4(l) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304));

(B)

includes public authorities, boards, commissions, and similar bodies created by one or more eligible entities described in subparagraph (A) to coordinate or provide Next Generation 9–1–1; and

(C)

does not include any entity that has failed to submit the certifications required under subsection (b)(4).

(6)

Emergency communications center

The term emergency communications center means a facility that is designated to receive a 9–1–1 request for emergency assistance and perform one or more of the following functions:

(A)

Process and analyze 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance and other gathered information.

(B)

Dispatch appropriate emergency response providers.

(C)

Transfer or exchange 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance and other gathered information with other emergency communications centers and emergency response providers.

(D)

Analyze any communications received from emergency response providers.

(E)

Support incident command functions.

(7)

Emergency response provider

The term emergency response provider has the meaning given that term under section 2 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101).

(8)

Interoperable

The term interoperable or interoperability means the capability of emergency communications centers to receive 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance and related data such as location information and callback numbers from the public, then process and share the 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance and related data with other emergency communications centers and emergency response providers without the need for proprietary interfaces and regardless of jurisdiction, equipment, device, software, service provider, or other relevant factors.

(9)

Nationwide

The term nationwide means each State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, any other territory or possession of the United States, and each federally recognized Indian Tribe.

(10)

Nationwide public safety broadband network

The term nationwide public safety broadband network has the meaning given the term in section 6001 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (47 U.S.C. 1401).

(11)

Next generation 9–1–1

The term Next Generation 9–1–1 means an interoperable, secure, Internet Protocol-based system that—

(A)

employs commonly accepted standards;

(B)

enables the appropriate emergency communications centers to receive, process, and analyze all types of 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance;

(C)

acquires and integrates additional information useful to handling 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance; and

(D)

supports sharing information related to 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance among emergency communications centers and emergency response providers.

(12)

Office

The term Office means the Next Generation 9–1–1 Implementation Coordination Office established under section 158.

(13)

Reliability

The term reliability or reliable means the employment of sufficient measures to ensure the ongoing operation of Next Generation 9–1–1 including through the use of geo-diverse, device- and network-agnostic elements that provide more than one physical route between end points with no common points where a single failure at that point would cause all to fail.

(14)

State

The term State means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

(15)

Sustainable funding mechanism

The term sustainable funding mechanism means a funding mechanism that provides adequate revenues to cover ongoing expenses, including operations, maintenance, and upgrades.

160.

Establishment of Next Generation 9–1–1 Advisory Board

(a)

Establishment

The Assistant Secretary and Administrator, acting through the Office, shall establish a Next Generation 9–1–1 Advisory Board (in this section referred to as the Board) to advise the Office in carrying out its duties and responsibilities under this section and section 159.

(b)

Membership

(1)

Voting members

Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Assistant Secretary and Administrator, acting through the Office, shall appoint 16 public safety members to the Board, of which—

(A)

4 members shall be representative of local law enforcement officials;

(B)

4 members shall be representative of fire and rescue officials;

(C)

4 members shall be representative of emergency medical service officials; and

(D)

4 members shall be representative of 9–1–1 professionals.

(2)

Diversity of membership

Members shall be representatives of State and local governments, chosen to reflect geographic and population density differences as well as public safety organizations at the national level across the United States.

(3)

Expertise

All members shall have specific expertise necessary for developing technical requirements under this section, such as technical expertise, and public safety communications and 9–1–1 expertise.

(4)

Rank and file members

A rank and file member from each of the public safety disciplines listed in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C), of paragraph (1) shall be appointed as a voting member of the Board and shall be selected from an organization that represents their public safety discipline at the national level.

(c)

Period of Appointment

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), members of the Board shall be appointed for the life of the Board.

(2)

Removal for cause

A member of the Board may be removed for cause upon the determination of the Assistant Secretary and Administrator.

(d)

Vacancies

Any vacancy in the Board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

(e)

Quorum

A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.

(f)

Chairperson and vice chairperson

The Board shall select a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson from among the voting members of the Board.

(g)

Duties of the board

Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Board shall submit to the Office recommendations concerning:

(1)

the importance of deploying Next Generation 9–1–1 in rural and urban areas;

(2)

the importance of ensuring flexibility in guidance, rules, and grant funding to allow for technology improvements;

(3)

the value of creating efficiencies related to Next Generation 9–1–1 functions, including cybersecurity and the virtualization and sharing of core infrastructure;

(4)

the value of enabling effective coordination among State, local, Tribal, and territorial government entities to ensure that the needs of emergency communications centers in both rural and urban areas are taken into account in each plan for the coordination and implementation of Next Generation 9–1–1; and

(5)

the relevance of existing cybersecurity resources to Next Generation 9–1–1 procurement and deployment.

(h)

Consideration by the office

The Office shall consider the recommendations of the Board as the Office carries out the responsibilities of the Office under this section.

(i)

Exemption from FACA

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Board.

(j)

Duration of authority

The Board shall remain in place throughout the period that grant funds are authorized under section 159(b)(1) to provide additional advice from time to time to the Office.

.

(e)

Savings provision

Nothing in this section or any amendment made by this section shall affect any application pending or grant awarded under section 158 of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act (47 U.S.C. 942) before the date of the enactment of this section.

II

DRINKING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE

20001.

Drinking Water SRF Funding

(a)

Funding

(1)

State revolving loan funds

Section 1452(m)(1) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–12(m)(1)) is amended—

(A)

in subparagraph (B), by striking and;

(B)

in subparagraph (C), by striking 2021. and inserting 2021;; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(D)

$4,140,000,000 for fiscal year 2022;

(E)

$4,800,000,000 for fiscal year 2023; and

(F)

$5,500,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2024 through 2026.

.

(2)

Indian reservation drinking water program

Section 2001(d) of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–270) is amended by striking 2022 and inserting 2026.

(3)

Voluntary school and child care program lead testing grant program

Section 1464(d)(8) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–24(d)(8)) is amended by striking and 2021 and inserting through 2026.

(4)

Drinking water fountain replacement for schools

Section 1465(d) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–25(d)) is amended by striking 2021 and inserting 2026.

(5)

Grants for state programs

Section 1443(a)(7) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–2(a)(7)) is amended by striking and 2021 and inserting through 2026.

(b)

American iron and steel products

Section 1452(a)(4)(A) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–12(a)(4)(A)) is amended by striking During fiscal years 2019 through 2023, funds and inserting Funds.

20002.

Drinking water system resilience funding

Section 1433(g)(6) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300i–2(g)(6)) is amended—

(1)

by striking 25,000,000 and inserting 50,000,000; and

(2)

by striking 2020 and 2021 and inserting 2022 through 2026.

20003.

PFAS treatment grants

(a)

Establishment of PFAS infrastructure grant program

Part E of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

1459E.

Assistance for community water systems affected by pfas

(a)

Establishment

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Administrator shall establish a program to award grants to affected community water systems to pay for capital costs associated with the implementation of eligible treatment technologies.

(b)

Applications

(1)

Guidance

Not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of this section, the Administrator shall publish guidance describing the form and timing for community water systems to apply for grants under this section.

(2)

Required information

The Administrator shall require a community water system applying for a grant under this section to submit—

(A)

information showing the presence of PFAS in water of the community water system; and

(B)

a certification that the treatment technology in use by the community water system at the time of application is not sufficient to remove all detectable amounts of PFAS.

(c)

List of eligible treatment technologies

Not later than 150 days after the date of enactment of this section, and every 2 years thereafter, the Administrator shall publish a list of treatment technologies that the Administrator determines are effective at removing all detectable amounts of PFAS from drinking water.

(d)

Priority for funding

In awarding grants under this section, the Administrator shall prioritize affected community water systems that—

(1)

serve a disadvantaged community;

(2)

will provide at least a 10-percent cost share for the cost of implementing an eligible treatment technology; or

(3)

demonstrate the capacity to maintain the eligible treatment technology to be implemented using the grant.

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section not more than $500,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

(2)

Special rule

Of the amounts authorized to be appropriated by paragraph (1), $25,000,000 are authorized to be appropriated for each of fiscal years 2022 and 2023 for grants under subsection (a) to pay for capital costs associated with the implementation of eligible treatment technologies during the period beginning on October 1, 2014, and ending on the date of enactment of this section.

(f)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Affected community water system

The term affected community water system means a community water system that is affected by the presence of PFAS in the water in the community water system.

(2)

Disadvantaged community

The term disadvantaged community has the meaning given that term in section 1452.

(3)

Eligible treatment technology

The term eligible treatment technology means a treatment technology included on the list published under subsection (c).

.

(b)

Definition

Section 1401 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300f) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(17)

PFAS

The term PFAS means a perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substance with at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.

.

20004.

Lead service line replacement

(a)

In general

Section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–12) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(u)

Lead service line replacement

(1)

In general

In addition to the capitalization grants to eligible States under subsection (a)(1), the Administrator shall offer to enter into agreements with eligible States, Indian Tribes, and the territories described in subsection (j) to make capitalization grants, including letters of credit, to such States, Indian Tribes, and territories under this subsection to fund the replacement of lead service lines.

(2)

Allotments

(A)

States

Funds made available under this subsection shall be allotted and reallotted to the extent practicable, to States as if allotted or reallotted under subsection (a)(1) as a capitalization grant under such subsection.

(B)

Indian Tribes

The Administrator shall set aside 11/2 percent of the amounts made available each fiscal year to carry out this subsection to make grants to Indian Tribes.

(C)

Other areas

The funds made available under this subsection shall be allotted to territories described in subsection (j) in accordance with such subsection.

(3)

Priority

Each State that has entered into a capitalization agreement pursuant to this section shall annually prepare a plan that identifies the intended uses of the amounts made available pursuant to this subsection, which shall—

(A)

comply with the requirements of subsection (b)(2); and

(B)

provide, to the maximum extent practicable, that priority for the use of funds be given to projects that replace lead service lines serving disadvantaged communities and environmental justice communities.

(4)

American made iron and steel and prevailing wages

The requirements of paragraphs (4) and (5) of subsection (a) shall apply to any project carried out in whole or in part with funds made available under this subsection.

(5)

Limitation

(A)

Prohibition on partial line replacement

None of the funds made available under this subsection may be used for partial lead service line replacement if, at the conclusion of the service line replacement, drinking water is delivered to a household, or to a property under the jurisdiction of a local educational agency, through a publicly or privately owned portion of a lead service line.

(B)

No homeowner contribution

Any recipient of funds made available under this subsection shall offer to replace any privately owned portion of the lead service line at no cost to the private owner.

(6)

State contribution

Notwithstanding subsection (e), agreements under paragraph (1) shall not require that the State deposit in the State loan fund from State moneys any contribution before receiving funds pursuant to this subsection.

(7)

Authorization of appropriations

(A)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $4,500,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026. Such sums shall remain available until expended.

(B)

Additional amounts

To the extent amounts authorized to be appropriated under this subsection in any fiscal year are not appropriated in that fiscal year, such amounts are authorized to be appropriated in a subsequent fiscal year. Such sums shall remain available until expended.

(8)

Definitions

For purposes of this subsection:

(A)

Disadvantaged community

The term disadvantaged community has the meaning given such term in subsection (d)(3).

(B)

Environmental justice community

The term environmental justice community means any population of color, community of color, indigenous community, or low-income community that experiences a disproportionate burden of the negative human health and environmental impacts of pollution or other environmental hazards.

(C)

Lead service line

The term lead service line means a pipe and its fittings, which are not lead free (as defined in section 1417(d)), that connect the drinking water main to the building inlet.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 1452(m)(1) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–12(m)(1)) is amended by striking (a)(2)(G) and (t) and inserting (a)(2)(G), (t), and (u).

20005.

Assistance for areas affected by natural disasters

Section 2020 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–270) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b)(1), by striking subsection (e)(1) and inserting subsection (f)(1);

(2)

by redesignating subsections (c) through (e) as subsections (d) through (f), respectively;

(3)

by inserting after subsection (b) the following:

(c)

Assistance for territories

The Administrator may use funds made available under subsection (f)(1) to make grants to Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands for the purposes of providing assistance to eligible systems to restore or increase compliance with national primary drinking water regulations.

; and

(4)

in subsection (f), as so redesignated—

(A)

in the heading, by striking State revolving fund capitalization; and

(B)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting and to make grants under subsection (c) of this section, before to be available; and

(ii)

in subparagraph (A), by inserting or subsection (c), as applicable after subsection (b)(1).

20006.

Allotments for territories

Section 1452(j) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–12(j)) is amended by striking 0.33 percent and inserting 1.5 percent.

III

CLEAN ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE

A

Grid Security and Modernization

31001.

21st century power grid

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Energy shall establish a program to provide financial assistance to eligible partnerships to carry out projects related to the modernization of the electric grid, including—

(1)

projects for the deployment of technologies to improve monitoring of, advanced controls for, and prediction of performance of, a distribution system; and

(2)

projects related to transmission system planning and operation.

(b)

Eligible projects

Projects for which an eligible partnership may receive financial assistance under subsection (a)—

(1)

shall be designed to improve the resiliency, performance, or efficiency of the electric grid, while ensuring the continued provision of safe, secure, reliable, and affordable power;

(2)

may be designed to deploy a new product or technology that could be used by customers of an electric utility; and

(3)

shall demonstrate—

(A)

secure integration and management of energy resources, including through distributed energy generation, combined heat and power, microgrids, energy storage, electric vehicles charging infrastructure, energy efficiency, demand response, or controllable loads; or

(B)

secure integration and interoperability of communications and information technologies related to the electric grid.

(c)

Cybersecurity plan

Each project carried out with financial assistance provided under subsection (a) shall include the development of a cybersecurity plan written in accordance with guidelines developed by the Secretary of Energy.

(d)

Privacy effects analysis

Each project carried out with financial assistance provided under subsection (a) shall include a privacy effects analysis that evaluates the project in accordance with the Voluntary Code of Conduct of the Department of Energy, commonly known as the DataGuard Energy Data Privacy Program, or the most recent revisions to the privacy program of the Department.

(e)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Eligible partnership

The term eligible partnership means a partnership consisting of two or more entities, which—

(A)

may include—

(i)

any institution of higher education;

(ii)

a National Laboratory;

(iii)

a State or a local government or other public body created by or pursuant to State law;

(iv)

an Indian Tribe;

(v)

a Federal power marketing administration; or

(vi)

an entity that develops and provides technology; and

(B)

shall include at least one of any of—

(i)

an electric utility;

(ii)

a Regional Transmission Organization; or

(iii)

an Independent System Operator.

(2)

Electric utility

The term electric utility has the meaning given that term in section 3(22) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 796(22)), except that such term does not include an entity described in subparagraph (B) of such section.

(3)

Federal power marketing administration

The term Federal power marketing administration means the Bonneville Power Administration, the Southeastern Power Administration, the Southwestern Power Administration, or the Western Area Power Administration.

(4)

Independent System Operator; Regional Transmission Organization

The terms Independent System Operator and Regional Transmission Organization have the meanings given those terms in section 3 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 796).

(5)

Institution of higher education

The term institution of higher education has the meaning given that term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).

(f)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Energy to carry out this section $700,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026, to remain available until expended.

31002.

Strategic transformer reserve program

(a)

Establishment

The Secretary of Energy shall establish a program to reduce the vulnerability of the electric grid to physical attack, cyber attack, electromagnetic pulse, geomagnetic disturbances, severe weather, climate change, and seismic events, including by—

(1)

ensuring that large power transformers, generator step-up transformers, and other critical electric grid equipment are strategically located to ensure timely replacement of such equipment as may be necessary to restore electric grid function rapidly in the event of severe damage to the electric grid due to physical attack, cyber attack, electromagnetic pulse, geomagnetic disturbances, severe weather, climate change, or seismic events; and

(2)

establishing a coordinated plan to facilitate transportation of large power transformers and other critical electric grid equipment.

(b)

Transformer resilience and advanced components program

The program established under subsection (a) shall include implementation of the Transformer Resilience and Advanced Components program to—

(1)

improve large power transformers and other critical electric grid equipment by reducing their vulnerabilities; and

(2)

develop, test, and deploy innovative equipment designs that are more flexible and offer greater resiliency of electric grid functions.

(c)

Strategic equipment reserves

(1)

Authorization

In carrying out the program established under subsection (a), the Secretary may establish one or more federally owned strategic equipment reserves, as appropriate, to ensure nationwide access to reserve equipment.

(2)

Consideration

In establishing any federally owned strategic equipment reserve, the Secretary may consider existing spare transformer and equipment programs and requirements established by the private sector, regional transmission operators, independent system operators, and State regulatory authorities.

(d)

Consultation

The program established under subsection (a) shall be carried out in consultation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, the Electric Reliability Organization, and owners and operators of critical electric infrastructure and defense and military installations.

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $75,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

B

Energy Efficient Infrastructure

1

Efficiency Grants for State and Local Governments

32101.

Energy efficient public buildings

(a)

Grants

Section 125(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15822(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)—

(A)

by inserting Standard 90.1 of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, after the International Energy Conservation Code,; and

(B)

by striking ; or and inserting a semicolon;

(2)

in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; or; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(3)

through benchmarking programs to enable use of building performance data to evaluate the performance of energy efficiency investments over time.

.

(b)

Assurance of improvement

Section 125 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15822) is amended by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections (c) and (d), respectively, and inserting after subsection (a) the following:

(b)

Assurance of improvement

(1)

Verification

A State agency receiving a grant for activities described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) shall ensure, as a condition of eligibility for assistance pursuant to such grant, that a unit of local government receiving such assistance obtain third-party verification of energy efficiency improvements in each public building with respect to which such assistance is used.

(2)

Guidance

The Secretary may provide guidance to State agencies to comply with paragraph (1). In developing such guidance, the Secretary shall consider available third-party verification tools for high-performing buildings and available third-party verification tools for energy efficiency retrofits.

.

(c)

Administration

Section 125(c) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as so redesignated, is amended—

(1)

in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking State energy offices receiving grants and inserting A State agency receiving a grant;

(2)

in paragraph (1), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon;

(3)

in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(4)

by adding at the end the following:

(3)

ensure that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors in the performance of construction, alteration, or repair work financed in whole or in part with assistance received pursuant to this section shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a similar character in the locality, as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code (and with respect to such labor standards, the Secretary of Labor shall have the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1267; 5 U.S.C. App.) and section 3145 of title 40, United States Code).

.

(d)

Authorization of appropriations

Section 125(d) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as so redesignated, is amended by striking $30,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010 and inserting $100,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

32102.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program

(a)

Purpose

Section 542(b)(1) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17152(b)(1)) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon;

(2)

in subparagraph (B), by striking the semicolon and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(C)

diversifies energy supplies, including by facilitating and promoting the use of alternative fuels;

.

(b)

Use of funds

Section 544 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17154) is amended—

(1)

by amending paragraph (9) to read as follows:

(9)

deployment of energy distribution technologies that significantly increase energy efficiency or expand access to alternative fuels, including—

(A)

distributed resources;

(B)

district heating and cooling systems; and

(C)

infrastructure for delivering alternative fuels;

;

(2)

in paragraph (13)(D), by striking and;

(3)

by redesignating paragraph (14) as paragraph (15); and

(4)

by adding after paragraph (13) the following:

(14)

programs for financing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and zero-emission transportation (and associated infrastructure) capital investments, projects, and programs—

(A)

which may include loan programs and performance contracting programs for leveraging of additional public and private sector funds, and programs which allow rebates, grants, or other incentives for the purchase and installation of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and zero-emission transportation (and associated infrastructure) measures; or

(B)

in addition to or in lieu of programs described in subparagraph (A), which may be used in connection with public or nonprofit buildings owned and operated by a State, a political subdivision of a State or an agency or instrumentality of a State, or an organization exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of title 26, United States Code; and

.

(c)

Competitive grants

Section 546(c)(2) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17156(c)(2)) is amended by inserting , including projects to expand the use of alternative fuels before the period at the end.

(d)

Funding

Section 548(a) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17158(a)) is amended to read as follows:

(a)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

Grants

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for the provision of grants under the program $3,500,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

(2)

Administrative costs

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for administrative expenses of the program $35,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

.

(e)

Technical amendments

Section 543 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17153) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (c), by striking subsection (a)(2) and inserting subsection (a)(3); and

(2)

in subsection (d), by striking subsection (a)(3) and inserting subsection (a)(4).

2

Energy Improvements at Public School Facilities

32201.

Grants for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy improvements at public school facilities

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Eligible entity

The term eligible entity means a consortium of—

(A)

one local educational agency; and

(B)

one or more—

(i)

schools;

(ii)

nonprofit organizations;

(iii)

for-profit organizations; or

(iv)

community partners that have the knowledge and capacity to partner and assist with energy improvements.

(2)

Energy improvements

The term energy improvements means—

(A)

any improvement, repair, or renovation, to a school that will result in a direct reduction in school energy costs including but not limited to improvements to building envelope, air conditioning, ventilation, heating system, domestic hot water heating, compressed air systems, distribution systems, lighting, power systems and controls;

(B)

any improvement, repair, renovation, or installation that leads to an improvement in teacher and student health including but not limited to indoor air quality, daylighting, ventilation, electrical lighting, and acoustics; and

(C)

the installation of renewable energy technologies (such as wind power, photovoltaics, solar thermal systems, geothermal energy, hydrogen-fueled systems, biomass-based systems, biofuels, anaerobic digesters, and hydropower) involved in the improvement, repair, or renovation to a school.

(b)

Authority

From amounts made available for grants under this section, the Secretary of Energy shall provide competitive grants to eligible entities to make energy improvements authorized by this section.

(c)

Priority

In making grants under this subsection, the Secretary shall give priority to eligible entities that have renovation, repair, and improvement funding needs and are—

(1)

a high-need local educational agency, as defined in section 2102 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6602); or

(2)

a local educational agency designated with a metrocentric locale code of 41, 42, or 43 as determined by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in conjunction with the Bureau of the Census, using the NCES system for classifying local educational agencies.

(d)

Competitive criteria

The competitive criteria used by the Secretary shall include the following:

(1)

The fiscal capacity of the eligible entity to meet the needs for improvements of school facilities without assistance under this section, including the ability of the eligible entity to raise funds through the use of local bonding capacity and otherwise.

(2)

The likelihood that the local educational agency or eligible entity will maintain, in good condition, any facility whose improvement is assisted.

(3)

The potential energy efficiency and safety benefits from the proposed energy improvements.

(e)

Applications

To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, an applicant must submit to the Secretary an application that includes each of the following:

(1)

A needs assessment of the current condition of the school and facilities that are to receive the energy improvements.

(2)

A draft work plan of what the applicant hopes to achieve at the school and a description of the energy improvements to be carried out.

(3)

A description of the applicant’s capacity to provide services and comprehensive support to make the energy improvements.

(4)

An assessment of the applicant’s expected needs for operation and maintenance training funds, and a plan for use of those funds, if any.

(5)

An assessment of the expected energy efficiency and safety benefits of the energy improvements.

(6)

A cost estimate of the proposed energy improvements.

(7)

An identification of other resources that are available to carry out the activities for which funds are requested under this section, including the availability of utility programs and public benefit funds.

(f)

Use of grant amounts

(1)

In general

The recipient of a grant under this section shall use the grant amounts only to make the energy improvements contemplated in the application, subject to the other provisions of this subsection.

(2)

Operation and maintenance training

The recipient may use up to 5 percent for operation and maintenance training for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements (such as maintenance staff and teacher training, education, and preventative maintenance training).

(3)

Audit

The recipient may use funds for a third-party investigation and analysis for energy improvements (such as energy audits and existing building commissioning).

(4)

Continuing education

The recipient may use up to 1 percent of the grant amounts to develop a continuing education curriculum relating to energy improvements.

(g)

Contracting requirements

(1)

Davis-bacon

Any laborer or mechanic employed by any contractor or subcontractor in the performance of work on any energy improvements funded by a grant under this section shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor under subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Davis-Bacon Act).

(2)

Competition

Each applicant that receives funds shall ensure that, if the applicant carries out repair or renovation through a contract, any such contract process—

(A)

ensures the maximum number of qualified bidders, including small, minority, and women-owned businesses, through full and open competition; and

(B)

gives priority to businesses located in, or resources common to, the State or the geographical area in which the project is carried out.

(h)

Reporting

Each recipient of a grant under this section shall submit to the Secretary, at such time as the Secretary may require, a report describing the use of such funds for energy improvements, the estimated cost savings realized by those energy improvements, the results of any audit, the use of any utility programs and public benefit funds and the use of performance tracking for energy improvements (such as the Department of Energy: Energy Star program or LEED for Existing Buildings).

(i)

Best practices

The Secretary shall develop and publish guidelines and best practices for activities carried out under this section.

(j)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $100,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

3

HOPE for HOMES

32301.

Definitions

In this part:

(1)

Contractor certification

The term contractor certification means an industry recognized certification that may be obtained by a residential contractor to advance the expertise and education of the contractor in energy efficiency retrofits of residential buildings, including—

(A)

a certification provided by—

(i)

the Building Performance Institute;

(ii)

the Air Conditioning Contractors of America;

(iii)

the National Comfort Institute;

(iv)

the North American Technician Excellence;

(v)

RESNET;

(vi)

the United States Green Building Council; or

(vii)

Home Innovation Research Labs; and

(B)

any other certification the Secretary determines appropriate for purposes of the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program.

(2)

Contractor company

The term contractor company means a company—

(A)

the business of which is to provide services to residential building owners with respect to HVAC systems, insulation, air sealing, or other services that are approved by the Secretary;

(B)

that holds the licenses and insurance required by the State in which the company provides services; and

(C)

that provides services for which a partial system rebate, measured performance rebate, or modeled performance rebate may be provided pursuant to the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program.

(3)

Energy audit

The term energy audit means an inspection, survey, and analysis of the energy use of a building, including the building envelope and HVAC system.

(4)

Home

The term home means a manufactured home (as such term is defined in section 603 of the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5402)), or a residential dwelling unit in a building with no more than 4 dwelling units that—

(A)

is located in the United States;

(B)

was constructed before the date of enactment of this Act; and

(C)

is occupied at least 6 months out of the year.

(5)

Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program

The term Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program means the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program established under section 32321.

(6)

Homeowner

The term homeowner means the owner of an owner-occupied home or a tenant-occupied home.

(7)

Home valuation certification

The term home valuation certification means the following home assessments:

(A)

Home Energy Score.

(B)

PEARL Certification.

(C)

National Green Building Standard.

(D)

LEED.

(E)

Any other assessment the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

(8)

HOPE Qualification

The term HOPE Qualification means the qualification described in section 32313.

(9)

HOPE training credit

The term HOPE training credit means a HOPE training task credit or a HOPE training supplemental credit.

(10)

HOPE training task credit

The term HOPE training task credit means a credit described in section 32312(a).

(11)

HOPE training supplemental credit

The term HOPE training supplemental credit means a credit described in section 32312(b).

(12)

HVAC system

The term HVAC system means a system—

(A)

consisting of a heating component, a ventilation component, and an air-conditioning component; and

(B)

which components may include central air conditioning, a heat pump, a furnace, a boiler, a rooftop unit, and a window unit.

(13)

Measured performance rebate

The term measured performance rebate means a rebate provided in accordance with section 32323 and described in subsection (e) of that section.

(14)

Modeled performance rebate

The term modeled performance rebate means a rebate provided in accordance with section 32323 and described in subsection (d) of that section.

(15)

Moderate income

The term moderate income means, with respect to a household, a household with an annual income that is less than 80 percent of the area median income, as determined annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(16)

Multifamily building

The term multifamily building means a structure with 5 or more tenant-occupied residential dwelling units that—

(A)

is located in the United States;

(B)

was constructed before the date of enactment of this Act; and

(C)

is occupied at least 6 months out of the year.

(17)

Multifamily building owner

The term multifamily building owner means the owner of a tenant-occupied multifamily building.

(18)

Partial system rebate

The term partial system rebate means a rebate provided in accordance with section 32322.

(19)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.

(20)

State

The term State includes—

(A)

a State;

(B)

the District of Columbia;

(C)

the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;

(D)

Guam;

(E)

American Samoa;

(F)

the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;

(G)

the United States Virgin Islands; and

(H)

any other territory or possession of the United States.

(21)

State energy office

The term State energy office means the office or agency of a State responsible for developing the State energy conservation plan for the State under section 362 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6322).

A

HOPE training

32311.

Notice for HOPE Qualification training and grants

Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Building Technologies Office of the Department of Energy, shall issue a notice that includes—

(1)

criteria established under section 32312 for approval by the Secretary of courses for which credits may be issued for purposes of a HOPE Qualification;

(2)

a list of courses that meet such criteria and are so approved; and

(3)

information on how individuals and entities may apply for grants under this subpart.

32312.

Course criteria

(a)

HOPE training task credit

(1)

Criteria

The Secretary shall establish criteria for approval of a course for which a credit, to be known as a HOPE training task credit, may be issued, including that such course—

(A)

is equivalent to at least 30 hours in total course time;

(B)

is accredited by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council or is determined to be equivalent by the Secretary;

(C)

is, with respect to a particular job, aligned with the relevant National Renewable Energy Laboratory Job Task Analysis, or other credentialing program foundation that helps identify the necessary core knowledge areas, critical work functions, or skills, as approved by the Secretary;

(D)

has established learning objectives; and

(E)

includes, as the Secretary determines appropriate, an appropriate assessment of such learning objectives that may include a final exam, to be proctored on-site or through remote proctoring, or an in-person field exam.

(2)

Included courses

The Secretary shall approve one or more courses that meet the criteria described in paragraph (1) for training related to—

(A)

contractor certification;

(B)

energy auditing or assessment, including energy audits and assessments relevant to multifamily buildings;

(C)

home and multifamily building energy systems (including HVAC systems);

(D)

insulation installation and air leakage control;

(E)

health and safety regarding the installation of energy efficiency measures or health and safety impacts associated with energy efficiency retrofits; and

(F)

indoor air quality.

(b)

HOPE training supplemental credit criteria

The Secretary shall establish criteria for approval of a course for which a credit, to be known as a HOPE training supplemental credit, may be issued, including that such course provides—

(1)

training related to—

(A)

small business success, including management, home energy efficiency software, or general accounting principles;

(B)

the issuance of a home valuation certification;

(C)

the use of Wi-Fi-enabled technology in an energy efficiency upgrade; or

(D)

understanding and being able to participate in the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program; and

(2)

as the Secretary determines appropriate, an appropriate assessment of such training that may include a final exam, to be proctored on-site or through remote proctoring, or an in-person field exam.

(c)

Existing approved courses

The Secretary may approve a course that meets the applicable criteria established under this section that is approved by the applicable State energy office or relevant State agency with oversight authority for residential energy efficiency programs.

(d)

In-Person and online training

An online course approved pursuant to this section may be conducted in-person, but may not be offered exclusively in-person.

32313.

HOPE Qualification

(a)

Issuance of credits

(1)

In general

The Secretary, or an entity authorized by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (2), may issue—

(A)

a HOPE training task credit to any individual that completes a course that meets applicable criteria under section 32312; and

(B)

a HOPE training supplemental credit to any individual that completes a course that meets the applicable criteria under section 32312.

(2)

Other entities

The Secretary may authorize a State energy office implementing an authorized program under subsection (b)(2), an organization described in section 32314(b), and any other entity the Secretary determines appropriate, to issue HOPE training credits in accordance with paragraph (1).

(b)

HOPE Qualification

(1)

In general

The Secretary may certify that an individual has achieved a qualification, to be known as a HOPE Qualification, that indicates that the individual has received at least 3 HOPE training credits, of which at least 2 shall be HOPE training task credits.

(2)

State programs

The Secretary may authorize a State energy office to implement a program to provide HOPE Qualifications in accordance with this subpart.

32314.

Grants

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall, to the extent amounts are made available in appropriations Acts for such purposes, provide grants to support the training of individuals toward the completion of a HOPE Qualification.

(b)

Provider organizations

(1)

In general

The Secretary may provide a grant of up to $20,000 under this section to an organization to provide training online, including establishing, modifying, or maintaining the online systems, staff time, and software and online program management, through a course that meets the applicable criteria established under section 32312.

(2)

Criteria

In order to receive a grant under this subsection, an organization shall be—

(A)

a nonprofit organization;

(B)

an educational institution; or

(C)

an organization that has experience providing training to contractors that work with the weatherization assistance program implemented under part A of title IV of the Energy Conservation and Production Act (42 U.S.C. 6861 et seq.) or equivalent experience, as determined by the Secretary.

(3)

Additional certifications

In addition to any grant provided under paragraph (1), the Secretary may provide an organization up to $5,000 for each additional course for which a HOPE training credit may be issued that is offered by the organization.

(c)

Contractor company

The Secretary may provide a grant under this section of $1,000 per employee to a contractor company, up to a maximum of $10,000, to reimburse the contractor company for training costs for employees, and any home technology support needed for an employee to receive training pursuant to this section. Grant funds provided under this subsection may be used to support wages of employees during training.

(d)

Trainees

The Secretary may provide a grant of up to $1,000 under this section to an individual who receives a HOPE Qualification.

(e)

State energy office

The Secretary may provide a grant under this section to a State energy office of up to $25,000 to implement an authorized program under section 32313(b).

32315.

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subpart $500,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2022 through 2026, to remain available until expended.

B

Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program

32321.

Establishment of Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program

The Secretary shall establish a program, to be known as the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, to—

(1)

provide rebates in accordance with section 32322; and

(2)

provide grants to States to carry out programs to provide rebates in accordance with section 32323.

32322.

Partial system rebates

(a)

Amount of rebate

In carrying out the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, and subject to the availability of appropriations for such purpose, the Secretary shall provide a homeowner or multifamily building owner a rebate, to be known as a partial system rebate, of, except as provided in section 32324, up to—

(1)

$800 for the purchase and installation of insulation and air sealing within a home of the homeowner or the household living in a multifamily building; and

(2)

$1,500 for the purchase and installation of insulation and air sealing within a home of the homeowner or the household living in a multifamily building and replacement of an HVAC system, the heating component of an HVAC system, or the cooling component of an HVAC system, of such home.

(b)

Specifications

(1)

Cost

The amount of a partial system rebate provided under this section shall, except as provided in section 32324, not exceed 30 percent of cost of the purchase and installation of insulation and air sealing under subsection (a)(1), or the purchase and installation of insulation and air sealing and replacement of an HVAC system, the heating component of an HVAC system, or the cooling component of an HVAC system, under subsection (a)(2). Labor may be included in such cost but may not exceed—

(A)

in the case of a rebate under subsection (a)(1), 50 percent of such cost; and

(B)

in the case of a rebate under subsection (a)(2), 25 percent of such cost.

(2)

Replacement of an HVAC system, the heating component of an HVAC system, or the cooling component of an HVAC system

In order to qualify for a partial system rebate described in subsection (a)(2)—

(A)

any HVAC system, heating component of an HVAC system, or cooling component of an HVAC system installed shall be Energy Star Most Efficient certified;

(B)

installation of such an HVAC system, the heating component of an HVAC system, or the cooling component of an HVAC system, shall be completed in accordance with standards specified by the Secretary that are at least as stringent as the applicable guidelines of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America that are in effect on the date of enactment of this Act;

(C)

if ducts are present, replacement of an HVAC system, the heating component of an HVAC system, or the cooling component of an HVAC system shall include duct sealing; and

(D)

the installation of insulation and air sealing shall occur within 6 months of the replacement of the HVAC system, the heating component of an HVAC system, or the cooling component of an HVAC system.

(c)

Additional incentives for contractors

In carrying out the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, the Secretary may provide a $250 payment to a contractor per home of a homeowner or household living in a multifamily building for which—

(1)

a partial system rebate is provided under this section for the installation of insulation and air sealing, or installation of insulation and air sealing and replacement of an HVAC system, the heating component of an HVAC system, or the cooling component of an HVAC system, by the contractor;

(2)

the applicable homeowner has signed and submitted to the Secretary a release form made available pursuant to section 32326(b) authorizing the contractor access to information in the utility bills of the homeowner or the applicable multifamily building owner has signed and submitted an agreement with the contractor to provide whole-building aggregate information about the building’s energy use; and

(3)

the contractor inputs, into the Department of Energy’s Building Performance Database—

(A)

the energy usage for the home of a homeowner or for the household living in a multifamily building for the 12 months preceding, and the 24 months following, the installation of insulation and air sealing or installation of insulation and air sealing and replacement of an HVAC system, the heating component of an HVAC system, or the cooling component of an HVAC system;

(B)

a description of such installation or installation and replacement; and

(C)

the total cost to the homeowner or multifamily building owner for such installation or installation and replacement.

(d)

Process

(1)

Forms; rebate processing system

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall—

(A)

develop and make available rebate forms required to receive a partial system rebate under this section;

(B)

establish a Federal rebate processing system which shall serve as a database and information technology system that will allow homeowners and multifamily building owners to submit required rebate forms; and

(C)

establish a website that provides information on partial system rebates provided under this section, including how to determine whether particular measures qualify for a rebate under this section and how to receive such a rebate.

(2)

Submission of forms

In order to receive a partial system rebate under this section, a homeowner or multifamily building owner shall submit the required rebate forms, and any other information the Secretary determines appropriate, to the Federal rebate processing system established pursuant to paragraph (1).

(e)

Funding

(1)

Limitation

For each fiscal year, the Secretary may not use more than 50 percent of the amounts made available to carry out this subpart to carry out this section.

(2)

Allocation

The Secretary shall allocate amounts made available to carry out this section for partial system rebates among the States using the same formula as is used to allocate funds for States under part D of title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6321 et seq.).

32323.

State administered rebates

(a)

Funding

In carrying out the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, and subject to the availability of appropriations for such purpose, the Secretary shall provide grants to States to carry out programs to provide rebates in accordance with this section.

(b)

State participation

(1)

Plan

In order to receive a grant under this section a State shall submit to the Secretary an application that includes a plan to implement a State program that meets the minimum criteria under subsection (c).

(2)

Approval

Not later than 60 days after receipt of a completed application for a grant under this section, the Secretary shall either approve the application or provide to the applicant an explanation for denying the application.

(c)

Minimum criteria for State programs

Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish and publish minimum criteria for a State program to meet to qualify for funding under this section, including—

(1)

that the State program be carried out by the applicable State energy office or its designee;

(2)

that a rebate be provided under a State program only for a home energy efficiency retrofit that—

(A)

is completed by a contractor who meets minimum training requirements and certification requirements set forth by the Secretary;

(B)

includes installation of one or more home energy efficiency retrofit measures for a home that together are modeled to achieve, or are shown to achieve, a reduction in home energy use of 20 percent or more from the baseline energy use of the home;

(C)

does not include installation of any measure that the Secretary determines does not improve the thermal energy performance of the home, such as a pool pump, pool heater, spa, or EV charger; and

(D)

includes, after installation of the applicable home energy efficiency retrofit measures, a test-out procedure conducted in accordance with guidelines issued by the Secretary of such measures to ensure—

(i)

the safe operation of all systems post retrofit; and

(ii)

that all improvements are included in, and have been installed according to—

(I)

manufacturers installation specifications; and

(II)

all applicable State and local codes or equivalent standards approved by the Secretary;

(3)

that the State program utilize—

(A)

for purposes of modeled performance rebates, modeling software approved by the Secretary for determining and documenting the baseline energy use of a home and the reductions in home energy use resulting from the implementation of a home energy efficiency retrofit; and

(B)

for purposes of measured performance rebates, methods and procedures approved by the Secretary for determining and documenting the baseline energy use of a home and the reductions in home energy use resulting from the implementation of a home energy efficiency retrofit, including methods and procedures for use of advanced metering infrastructure, weather-normalized data, and open source standards, to measure such baseline energy use and such reductions in home energy use;

(4)

that the State program include implementation of a quality assurance program—

(A)

to ensure that home energy efficiency retrofits are achieving the stated level of energy savings, that efficiency measures were installed correctly, and that work is performed in accordance with procedures developed by the Secretary, including through quality-control inspections for a portion of home energy efficiency retrofits completed by each applicable contractor; and

(B)

under which a quality-control inspection of a home energy efficiency retrofit is performed by a quality assurance provider who—

(i)

is independent of the contractor for such retrofit; and

(ii)

will confirm that such contractor is a contractor who meets minimum training requirements and certification requirements set forth by the Secretary;

(5)

that the State program include requirements for a homeowner, contractor, or rebate aggregator to claim a rebate, including that the homeowner, contractor, or rebate aggregator submit any applicable forms approved by the Secretary to the State, including a copy of the certificate provided by the applicable contractor certifying projected or measured reduction of home energy use;

(6)

that the State program may include requirements for an entity to be eligible to serve as a rebate aggregator to facilitate the delivery of rebates to homeowners or contractors;

(7)

that the State program include procedures for a homeowner to transfer the right to claim a rebate to the contractor performing the applicable home energy efficiency retrofit or to a rebate aggregator that works with the contractor; and

(8)

that the State program provide that a homeowner, contractor, or rebate aggregator may claim more than one rebate under the State program, and may claim a rebate under the State program after receiving a partial system rebate under section 32322, provided that no 2 rebates may be provided with respect to a home using the same baseline energy use of such home.

(d)

Modeled performance rebates

(1)

In general

In carrying out a State program under this section, a State may provide a homeowner, contractor, or rebate aggregator a rebate, to be known as a modeled performance rebate, for an energy audit of a home and a home energy efficiency retrofit that is projected, using modeling software approved by the Secretary, to reduce home energy use by at least 20 percent.

(2)

Amount

(A)

In general

Except as provided in section 32324, and subject to subparagraph (B), the amount of a modeled performance rebate provided under a State program shall be equal to 50 percent of the cost of the applicable energy audit of a home and home energy efficiency retrofit, including the cost of diagnostic procedures, labor, reporting, and modeling.

(B)

Limitation

Except as provided in section 32324, with respect to an energy audit and home energy efficiency retrofit that is projected to reduce home energy use by—

(i)

at least 20 percent, but less than 40 percent, the maximum amount of a modeled performance rebate shall be $2,000; and

(ii)

at least 40 percent, the maximum amount of a modeled performance rebate shall be $4,000.

(e)

Measured performance rebates

(1)

In general

In carrying out a State program under this section, a State may provide a homeowner, contractor, or rebate aggregator a rebate, to be known as a measured performance rebate, for a home energy efficiency retrofit that reduces home energy use by at least 20 percent as measured using methods and procedures approved by the Secretary.

(2)

Amount

(A)

In general

Except as provided in section 32324, and subject to subparagraph (B), the amount of a measured performance rebate provided under a State program shall be equal to 50 percent of the cost, including the cost of diagnostic procedures, labor, reporting, and energy measurement, of the applicable home energy efficiency retrofit.

(B)

Limitation

Except as provided in section 32324, with respect to a home energy efficiency retrofit that is measured as reducing home energy use by—

(i)

at least 20 percent, but less than 40 percent, the maximum amount of a measured performance rebate shall be $2,000; and

(ii)

at least 40 percent, the maximum amount of a measured performance rebate shall be $4,000.

(f)

Coordination of rebate and existing State-Sponsored or utility-Sponsored programs

A State that receives a grant under this section is encouraged to work with State agencies, energy utilities, nonprofits, and other entities—

(1)

to assist in marketing the availability of the rebates under the applicable State program;

(2)

to coordinate with utility or State managed financing programs;

(3)

to assist in implementation of the applicable State program, including installation of home energy efficiency retrofits; and

(4)

to coordinate with existing quality assurance programs.

(g)

Administration and oversight

(1)

Review of approved modeling software

The Secretary shall, on an annual basis, list and review all modeling software approved for use in determining and documenting the reductions in home energy use for purposes of modeled performance rebates under subsection (d). In approving such modeling software each year, the Secretary shall ensure that modeling software approved for a year will result in modeling of energy efficiency gains for any type of home energy efficiency retrofit that is at least as substantial as the modeling of energy efficiency gains for such type of home energy efficiency retrofit using the modeling software approved for the previous year.

(2)

Oversight

If the Secretary determines that a State is not implementing a State program that was approved pursuant to subsection (b) and that meets the minimum criteria under subsection (c), the Secretary may, after providing the State a period of at least 90 days to meet such criteria, withhold grant funds under this section from the State.

32324.

Special provisions for moderate income households

(a)

Certifications

The Secretary shall establish procedures for certifying that the household of a homeowner or that, in the case of a multifamily building, the majority of households in the building is moderate income for purposes of this section.

(b)

Percentages

Subject to subsection (c), for households that are certified pursuant to the procedures established under subsection (a) as moderate income the—

(1)

amount of a partial system rebate under section 32322 shall not exceed 60 percent of the applicable purchase and installation costs described in section 32322(b)(1); and

(2)

amount of—

(A)

a modeled performance rebate under section 32323 provided shall be equal to 80 percent of the applicable costs described in section 32323(d)(2)(A); and

(B)

a measured performance rebate under section 32323 provided shall be equal to 80 percent of the applicable costs described in section 32323(e)(2)(A).

(c)

Maximum amounts

For households that are certified pursuant to the procedures established under subsection (a) as moderate income the maximum amount—

(1)

of a partial system rebate—

(A)

under section 32322(a)(1) for the purchase and installation of insulation and air sealing within a home of the homeowner or the household living in a multifamily building shall be $1,600; and

(B)

under section 32322(a)(2) for the purchase and installation of insulation and air sealing within a home of the homeowner or the household living in a multifamily building and replacement of an HVAC system, the heating component of an HVAC system, or the cooling component of an HVAC system, of such home, shall be $3,000;

(2)

of a modeled performance rebate under section 32323 for an energy audit and home energy efficiency retrofit that is projected to reduce home energy use as described in—

(A)

section 32323(d)(2)(B)(i) shall be $4,000; and

(B)

section 32323(d)(2)(B)(ii) shall be $8,000; and

(3)

of a measured performance rebate under section 32323 for a home energy efficiency retrofit that reduces home energy use as described in—

(A)

section 32323(e)(2)(B)(i) shall be $4,000; and

(B)

section 32323(e)(2)(B)(ii) shall be $8,000.

(d)

Outreach

The Secretary shall establish procedures to—

(1)

provide information to households of homeowners or multifamily building owners that are certified pursuant to the procedures established under subsection (a) as moderate income regarding other programs and resources relating to assistance for energy efficiency upgrades of homes, including the weatherization assistance program implemented under part A of title IV of the Energy Conservation and Production Act (42 U.S.C. 6861 et seq.); and

(2)

refer such households and owners, as applicable, to such other programs and resources.

32325.

Evaluation reports to Congress

(a)

In general

Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act and annually thereafter until the termination of the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the use of funds made available to carry out this subpart.

(b)

Contents

Each report submitted under subsection (a) shall include—

(1)

how many home energy efficiency retrofits have been completed during the previous year under the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program;

(2)

an estimate of how many jobs have been created through the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, directly and indirectly;

(3)

a description of what steps could be taken to promote further deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits;

(4)

a description of the quantity of verifiable energy savings, homeowner energy bill savings, and other benefits of the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program;

(5)

a description of any waste, fraud, or abuse with respect to funds made available to carry out this subpart; and

(6)

any other information the Secretary considers appropriate.

32326.

Administration

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall provide such administrative and technical support to contractors, rebate aggregators, States, and Indian Tribes as is necessary to carry out this subpart.

(b)

Information collection

The Secretary shall establish, and make available to a homeowner, or the homeowner’s designated representative, seeking a rebate under this subpart, release forms authorizing access by the Secretary, or a designated third-party representative to information in the utility bills of the homeowner with appropriate privacy protections in place.

32327.

Treatment of rebates

For purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, gross income shall not include any rebate received under this subpart.

32328.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this subpart $1,200,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026, to remain available until expended.

(b)

Tribal allocation

Of the amounts made available pursuant to subsection (a) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall work with Indian Tribes and use 2 percent of such amounts to carry out a program or programs that as close as possible reflect the goals, requirements, and provisions of this subpart, taking into account any factors that the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

C

General provisions

32331.

Appointment of personnel

Notwithstanding the provisions of title 5, United States Code, regarding appointments in the competitive service and General Schedule classifications and pay rates, the Secretary may appoint such professional and administrative personnel as the Secretary considers necessary to carry out this part.

32332.

Maintenance of funding

Each State receiving Federal funds pursuant to this part shall provide reasonable assurances to the Secretary that it has established policies and procedures designed to ensure that Federal funds provided under this part will be used to supplement, and not to supplant, State and local funds.

4

Energy and Water Performance at Federal Facilities

32401.

Energy and water performance requirement for Federal facilities

Section 543 of the National Energy Conservation Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 8253) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in the subsection heading, by striking Energy Performance Requirement for Federal Buildings and inserting Energy and water performance requirement for Federal facilities;

(B)

by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), the head of each agency shall—

(A)

for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2030, reduce average facility energy intensity (as measured in British thermal units per gross square foot) at facilities of the agency by 2.5 percent each fiscal year relative to the average facility energy intensity of the facilities of the agency in fiscal year 2018;

(B)

for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2030, improve water use efficiency and management, including stormwater management, at facilities of the agency by reducing agency water consumption intensity—

(i)

by reducing the potable water consumption by 54 percent by fiscal year 2030, relative to the potable water consumption at facilities of the agency in fiscal year 2007, through reductions of 2 percent each fiscal year (as measured in gallons per gross square foot);

(ii)

by reducing the industrial, landscaping, and agricultural water consumption of the agency, as compared to a baseline of that consumption at facilities of the agency in fiscal year 2010, through reductions of 2 percent each fiscal year (as measured in gallons); and

(iii)

by installing appropriate infrastructure features at facilities of the agency to improve stormwater and wastewater management; and

(C)

to the maximum extent practicable, in carrying out subparagraphs (A) and (B), take measures that are life cycle cost-effective.

;

(C)

in paragraph (2)—

(i)

by striking (2) An agency and inserting the following:

(2)

Energy and water intensive facility exclusion

An agency

;

(ii)

by striking building and inserting facility;

(iii)

by inserting and water after energy each place it appears; and

(iv)

by striking buildings and inserting facilities; and

(D)

by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the following:

(3)

Recommendations

Not later than December 31, 2029, the Secretary shall—

(A)

review the results of the implementation of the energy and water performance requirements established under paragraph (1); and

(B)

submit to Congress recommendations concerning energy and water performance requirements for fiscal years 2031 through 2040.

;

(2)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

in paragraph (1), by striking Federal building or collection of Federal buildings each place it appears and inserting Federal facility;

(B)

in paragraph (2)—

(i)

by striking buildings and inserting facilities; and

(ii)

by striking building and inserting facility; and

(C)

in paragraph (3), by adding at the end the following: Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act, the Secretary shall issue guidelines to establish criteria for exclusions to water performance requirements under paragraph (1). The Secretary shall update the criteria for exclusions under this subsection as appropriate to reflect changing technology and other conditions.;

(3)

in subsection (d)(2), by striking buildings and inserting facilities;

(4)

in subsection (e)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

by striking By October 1 and inserting the following:

(A)

Energy

By October 1

;

(ii)

by striking buildings each place it appears and inserting facilities; and

(iii)

by adding at the end the following:

(B)

Water

By February 1, 2025, in accordance with guidelines established by the Secretary under paragraph (2), each agency shall use water meters at facilities of the agency where doing so will assist in reducing the cost of water used at such facilities.

;

(B)

in paragraph (2)—

(i)

in subparagraph (A), by striking paragraph (1). and inserting paragraph (1)(A). Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act, the Secretary, in consultation with such departments and entities, shall establish guidelines for agencies to carry out paragraph (1)(B).;

(ii)

in subparagraph (B)—

(I)

by amending clause (i)(II) to read as follows:

(II)

the extent to which metering is expected to result in increased potential for energy and water management, increased potential for energy and water savings, energy and water efficiency improvements, and cost savings due to utility contract aggregation; and

;

(II)

in clause (iii), by striking buildings and inserting facilities; and

(III)

in clause (iv), by striking building and inserting facility; and

(C)

in paragraph (4)(B), by striking buildings each place it appears and inserting facilities;

(5)

in subsection (f)—

(A)

in the subsection heading, by striking buildings and inserting facilities;

(B)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking In this subsection and inserting In this section;

(ii)

in subparagraph (B)(i)(II), by inserting and water after energy; and

(iii)

in subparagraph (C)(i), by inserting that consumes energy or water and is before owned or operated; and

(C)

in paragraph (8)—

(i)

by striking building each place it appears and inserting facility;

(ii)

in subparagraph (A), by adding at the end the following: The energy manager shall enter water use data for each metered facility that is (or is a part of) a facility that meets the criteria established by the Secretary under paragraph (2)(B) into a facility water use benchmarking system.; and

(iii)

in subparagraph (B), by striking this subsection and inserting the date of enactment of the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act; and

(6)

in subsection (g)(1)—

(A)

by striking building and inserting facility; and

(B)

by striking energy efficient and inserting energy and water efficient.

5

Open Back Better

32501.

Facilities energy resiliency

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Covered project

The term covered project means a building project at an eligible facility that—

(A)

increases—

(i)

resiliency, including—

(I)

public health and safety;

(II)

power outages;

(III)

natural disasters;

(IV)

indoor air quality; and

(V)

any modifications necessitated by the COVID–19 pandemic;

(ii)

energy efficiency;

(iii)

renewable energy; and

(iv)

grid integration; and

(B)

may have combined heat and power and energy storage as project components.

(2)

Early childhood education program

The term early childhood education program has the meaning given the term in section 103 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1003).

(3)

Elementary school

The term elementary school has the meaning given the term in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(4)

Eligible facility

The term eligible facility means a public facility, as determined by the Secretary, including—

(A)

a public school, including an elementary school and a secondary school;

(B)

a facility used to operate an early childhood education program;

(C)

a local educational agency;

(D)

a medical facility;

(E)

a local or State government building;

(F)

a community facility;

(G)

a public safety facility;

(H)

a day care center;

(I)

an institution of higher education;

(J)

a public library; and

(K)

a wastewater treatment facility.

(5)

Environmental justice community

The term environmental justice community means any population of color, community of color, indigenous community, or low-income community that experiences a disproportionate burden of the negative human health and environmental impacts of pollution or other environmental hazards.

(6)

Institution of higher education

The term institution of higher education has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).

(7)

Local educational agency

The term local educational agency has the meaning given the term in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(8)

Low income

The term low income means an annual household income equal to, or less than, the greater of—

(A)

an amount equal to 80 percent of the median income of the area in which the household is located, as reported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and

(B)

200 percent of the Federal poverty line.

(9)

Low-income community

The term low-income community means any census block group in which 30 percent or more of the population are individuals with low income.

(10)

Secondary school

The term secondary school has the meaning given the term in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(11)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.

(12)

State

The term State has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6202).

(13)

State Energy Program

The term State Energy Program means the State Energy Program established under part D of title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6321 et seq.).

(14)

Tribal organization

(A)

In general

The term tribal organization has the meaning given the term in section 3765 of title 38, United States Code.

(B)

Technical amendment

Section 3765(4) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking section 4(l) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b(l)) and inserting section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304).

(b)

State programs

(1)

Establishment

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall distribute grants to States under the State Energy Program, in accordance with the allocation formula established under that Program, to implement covered projects.

(2)

Use of funds

(A)

In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), grant funds under paragraph (1) may be used for technical assistance, project facilitation, and administration.

(B)

Technical assistance

A State may use not more than 10 percent of grant funds received under paragraph (1) to provide technical assistance for the development, facilitation, management, oversight, and measurement of results of covered projects implemented using those funds.

(C)

Environmental justice and other communities

To support communities adversely impacted by the COVID–19 pandemic, a State shall use not less than 40 percent of grant funds received under paragraph (1) to implement covered projects in environmental justice communities or low income communities.

(D)

Private financing

A State receiving a grant under paragraph (1) shall—

(i)

to the extent practicable, leverage private financing for cost-effective energy efficiency, renewable energy, resiliency, and other smart-building improvements, such as by entering into an energy service performance contract; but

(ii)

maintain the use of grant funds to carry out covered projects with more project resiliency, public health, and capital-intensive efficiency and emission reduction components than are typically available through private energy service performance contracts.

(E)

Guidance

In carrying out a covered project using grant funds received under paragraph (1), a State shall, to the extent practicable, adhere to guidance developed by the Secretary pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111–5; 123 Stat. 115) relating to distribution of funds, if that guidance will speed the distribution of funds under this subsection.

(3)

No matching requirement

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a State receiving a grant under paragraph (1) shall not be required to provide any amount of matching funding.

(4)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date on which grants are distributed under paragraph (1), and each year thereafter until the funds appropriated under paragraph (5) are no longer available, the Secretary shall submit a report on the use of those funds (including in the communities described in paragraph (2)(C)) to—

(A)

the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(B)

the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives;

(C)

the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate;

(D)

the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and

(E)

the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives.

(5)

Funding

In addition to any amounts made available to the Secretary to carry out the State Energy Program, there is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $3,600,000,000 to carry out this subsection for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026, to remain available until expended.

(6)

Supplement, not supplant

Funds made available under paragraph (5) shall supplement, not supplant, any other funds made available to States for the State Energy Program or the weatherization assistance program established under part A of title IV of the Energy Conservation and Production Act (42 U.S.C. 6861 et seq.).

(c)

Federal Energy Management Program

(1)

In general

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall use the funds appropriated under paragraph (4) to provide grants under the AFFECT program under the Federal Energy Management Program of the Department of Energy to implement covered projects.

(2)

Private financing

A recipient of a grant under paragraph (1) shall—

(A)

to the extent practicable, leverage private financing for cost-effective energy efficiency, renewable energy, resiliency, and other smart-building improvements, such as by entering into an energy service performance contract; but

(B)

maintain the use of grant funds to carry out covered projects with more project resiliency, public health, and capital-intensive efficiency and emission reduction components than are typically available through private energy service performance contracts.

(3)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date on which grants are distributed under paragraph (1), and each year thereafter until the funds appropriated under paragraph (4) are no longer available, the Secretary shall submit a report on the use of those funds to—

(A)

the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(B)

the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives;

(C)

the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate;

(D)

the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and

(E)

the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives.

(4)

Funding

In addition to any amounts made available to the Secretary to carry out the AFFECT program described in paragraph (1), there is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $500,000,000 to carry out this subsection, to remain available until September 30, 2025.

(d)

Tribal organizations

(1)

In general

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, acting through the head of the Office of Indian Energy, shall distribute funds made available under paragraph (3) to Tribal organizations to implement covered projects.

(2)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date on which funds are distributed under paragraph (1), and each year thereafter until the funds made available under paragraph (3) are no longer available, the Secretary shall submit a report on the use of those funds to—

(A)

the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(B)

the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives;

(C)

the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate;

(D)

the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and

(E)

the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives.

(3)

Funding

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $1,500,000,000 to carry out this subsection, to remain available until September 30, 2025.

(e)

Use of American iron, steel, and manufactured goods

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), none of the funds made available by or pursuant to this section may be used for a covered project unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.

(2)

Exceptions

The requirement under paragraph (1) shall be waived by the head of the relevant Federal department or agency in any case or category of cases in which the head of the relevant Federal department or agency determines that—

(A)

adhering to that requirement would be inconsistent with the public interest;

(B)

the iron, steel, and manufactured goods needed for the project are not produced in the United States—

(i)

in sufficient and reasonably available quantities; and

(ii)

in a satisfactory quality; or

(C)

the inclusion of iron, steel, and relevant manufactured goods produced in the United States would increase the overall cost of the project by more than 25 percent.

(3)

Waiver publication

If the head of a Federal department or agency makes a determination under paragraph (2) to waive the requirement under paragraph (1), the head of the Federal department or agency shall publish in the Federal Register a detailed justification for the waiver.

(4)

International agreements

This subsection shall be applied in a manner consistent with the obligations of the United States under all applicable international agreements.

(f)

Wage rate requirements

(1)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly or assisted in whole or in part by the Federal Government pursuant to this section shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a similar character in the locality, as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code (commonly known as the Davis-Bacon Act).

(2)

Authority

With respect to the labor standards specified in paragraph (1), the Secretary of Labor shall have the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1267; 5 U.S.C. App.) and section 3145 of title 40, United States Code.

32502.

Personnel

(a)

In general

To carry out section 32501, the Secretary of Energy shall hire within the Department of Energy—

(1)

not less than 300 full-time employees in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy;

(2)

not less than 100 full-time employees, to be distributed among—

(A)

the Office of General Counsel;

(B)

the Office of Procurement Policy;

(C)

the Golden Field Office;

(D)

the National Energy Technology Laboratory; and

(E)

the Office of the Inspector General; and

(3)

not less than 20 full-time employees in the Office of Indian Energy.

(b)

Timeline

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall—

(1)

hire all personnel under subsection (a); or

(2)

certify that the Secretary is unable to hire all personnel by the date required under this subsection.

(c)

Contract hires

(1)

In general

If the Secretary makes a certification under subsection (b)(2), the Secretary may hire on a contract basis not more than 50 percent of the personnel required to be hired under subsection (a).

(2)

Duration

An individual hired on a contract basis under paragraph (1) shall have an employment term of not more than 1 year.

(d)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section $84,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

(e)

Report

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter for 2 years, the Secretary shall submit a report on progress made in carrying out subsection (a) to—

(1)

the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(2)

the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives;

(3)

the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate;

(4)

the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and

(5)

the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives.

C

Energy Supply Infrastructure

33001.

Grant program for solar installations located in, or that serve, low-income and underserved areas

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Beneficiary

The term beneficiary means a low-income household or a low-income household in an underserved area.

(2)

Community solar facility

The term community solar facility means a solar generating facility that—

(A)

through a voluntary program, has multiple subscribers that receive financial benefits that are directly attributable to the facility;

(B)

has a nameplate rating of 5 megawatts AC or less; and

(C)

is located in the utility distribution service territory of subscribers.

(3)

Community solar subscription

The term community solar subscription means a share in the capacity, or a proportional interest in the electricity generation, of a community solar facility.

(4)

Covered facility

The term covered facility means—

(A)

a community solar facility—

(i)

that is located in an underserved area; or

(ii)

at least 50 percent of the capacity of which is reserved for low-income households;

(B)

a solar generating facility located at a residence of a low-income household; or

(C)

a solar generating facility located at a multi-family affordable housing complex.

(5)

Covered State

The term covered State means a State with processes in place to ensure that covered facilities deliver financial benefits to low-income households.

(6)

Eligible entity

The term eligible entity means—

(A)

a nonprofit organization that provides services to low-income households or multi-family affordable housing complexes;

(B)

a developer, owner, or operator of a community solar facility that reserves a portion of the capacity of the facility for subscribers who are members of low-income households or for low-income households that otherwise financially benefit from the facility;

(C)

a covered State, or political subdivision thereof;

(D)

an Indian Tribe or a tribally owned electric utility;

(E)

a Native Hawaiian community-based organization;

(F)

any other national or regional entity that has experience developing or installing solar generating facilities for low-income households that maximize financial benefits to those households; and

(G)

an electric cooperative or municipal electric utility (as such terms are defined in section 3 of the Federal Power Act).

(7)

Eligible installation project

The term eligible installation project means a project to install a covered facility in a covered State.

(8)

Eligible planning project

The term eligible planning project means a project to carry out pre-installation activities for the development of a covered facility in a covered State.

(9)

Eligible project

The term eligible project means—

(A)

an eligible planning project; or

(B)

an eligible installation project.

(10)

Feasibility study

The term feasibility study means any activity to determine the feasibility of a specific solar generating facility, including a customer interest assessment and a siting assessment, as determined by the Secretary.

(11)

Indian Tribe

The term Indian Tribe means any Indian Tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village, Regional Corporation, or Village Corporation (as defined in, or established pursuant to, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.

(12)

Interconnection service

The term interconnection service has the meaning given such term in section 111(d)(15) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2621(d)(15)).

(13)

Low-income household

The term low-income household means that income in relation to family size which—

(A)

is at or below 200 percent of the poverty level determined in accordance with criteria established by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, except that the Secretary may establish a higher level if the Secretary determines that such a higher level is necessary to carry out the purposes of this section;

(B)

is the basis on which cash assistance payments have been paid during the preceding 12-month period under titles IV and XVI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 1381 et seq.) or applicable State or local law; or

(C)

if a State elects, is the basis for eligibility for assistance under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8621 et seq.), provided that such basis is at least 200 percent of the poverty level determined in accordance with criteria established by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(14)

Multi-family affordable housing complex

The term multi-family affordable housing complex means any federally subsidized affordable housing complex in which at least 50 percent of the units are reserved for low-income households.

(15)

Native Hawaiian community-based organization

The term Native Hawaiian community-based organization means any organization that is composed primarily of Native Hawaiians from a specific community and that assists in the social, cultural, and educational development of Native Hawaiians in that community.

(16)

Program

The term program means the program established under subsection (b).

(17)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.

(18)

Solar generating facility

The term solar generating facility means—

(A)

a generator that creates electricity from light photons; and

(B)

the accompanying hardware enabling that electricity to flow—

(i)

onto the electric grid;

(ii)

into a facility or structure; or

(iii)

into an energy storage device.

(19)

State

The term State means each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

(20)

Subscriber

The term subscriber means a person who—

(A)

owns a community solar subscription, or an equivalent unit or share of the capacity or generation of a community solar facility; or

(B)

financially benefits from a community solar facility, even if the person does not own a community solar subscription for the facility.

(21)

Underserved area

The term underserved area means—

(A)

a geographical area with low or no photovoltaic solar deployment, as determined by the Secretary;

(B)

a geographical area that has low or no access to electricity, as determined by the Secretary;

(C)

a geographical area with an average annual residential retail electricity price that exceeds the national average annual residential retail electricity price (as reported by the Energy Information Agency) by 50 percent or more; or

(D)

trust land, as defined in section 3765 of title 38, United States Code.

(b)

Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a program to provide financial assistance to eligible entities to—

(1)

carry out planning projects that are necessary to establish the feasibility, obtain required permits, identify beneficiaries, or secure subscribers to install a covered facility; or

(2)

install a covered facility for beneficiaries in accordance with this section.

(c)

Applications

(1)

In general

To be eligible to receive assistance under the program, an eligible entity shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(2)

Inclusion for installation assistance

(A)

Requirements

For an eligible entity to receive assistance for a project to install a covered facility, the Secretary shall require the eligible entity to include—

(i)

information in the application that is sufficient to demonstrate that the eligible entity has obtained, or has the capacity to obtain, necessary permits, subscribers, access to an installation site, and any other items or agreements necessary to comply with an agreement under subsection (g)(1) and to complete the installation of the applicable covered facility;

(ii)

a description of the mechanism through which financial benefits will be distributed to beneficiaries or subscribers; and

(iii)

an estimate of the anticipated financial benefit for beneficiaries or subscribers.

(B)

Consideration of planning projects

The Secretary shall consider the successful completion of an eligible planning project pursuant to subsection (b)(1) by the eligible entity to be sufficient to demonstrate the ability of the eligible entity to meet the requirements of subparagraph (A)(i).

(d)

Selection

(1)

In general

In selecting eligible projects to receive assistance under the program, the Secretary shall—

(A)

prioritize—

(i)

eligible installation projects that will result in the most financial benefit for subscribers, as determined by the Secretary;

(ii)

eligible installation projects that will result in development of covered facilities in underserved areas; and

(iii)

eligible projects that include apprenticeship, job training, or community participation as part of their application; and

(B)

ensure that such assistance is provided in a manner that results in eligible projects being carried out on a geographically diverse basis within and among covered States.

(2)

Determination of financial benefit

In determining the amount of financial benefit for low-income households of an eligible installation project, the Secretary shall ensure that all calculations for estimated household energy savings are based solely on electricity offsets from the applicable covered facility and use formulas established by the State or local government with jurisdiction over the applicable covered facility for verifiable household energy savings estimates that accrue to low-income households.

(e)

Assistance

(1)

Form

The Secretary may provide assistance under the program in the form of a grant (which may be in the form of a rebate) or a low-interest loan.

(2)

Multiple projects for same facility

(A)

In general

An eligible entity may apply for assistance under the program for an eligible planning project and an eligible installation project for the same covered facility.

(B)

Separate selections

Selection by the Secretary for assistance under the program of an eligible planning project does not require the Secretary to select for assistance under the program an eligible installation project for the same covered facility.

(f)

Use of assistance

(1)

Eligible planning projects

An eligible entity receiving assistance for an eligible planning project under the program may use such assistance to pay the costs of pre-installation activities associated with an applicable covered facility, including—

(A)

feasibility studies;

(B)

permitting;

(C)

site assessment;

(D)

on-site job training, or other community-based activities directly associated with the eligible planning project; or

(E)

such other costs determined by the Secretary to be appropriate.

(2)

Eligible installation projects

An eligible entity receiving assistance for an eligible installation project under the program may use such assistance to pay the costs of—

(A)

installation of a covered facility, including costs associated with materials, permitting, labor, or site preparation;

(B)

storage technology sited at a covered facility;

(C)

interconnection service expenses;

(D)

on-site job training, or other community-based activities directly associated with the eligible installation project;

(E)

offsetting the cost of a subscription for a covered facility described in subparagraph (A) of subsection (a)(4) for subscribers that are members of a low income household; or

(F)

such other costs determined by the Secretary to be appropriate.

(g)

Administration

(1)

Agreements

(A)

In general

As a condition of receiving assistance under the program, an eligible entity shall enter into an agreement with the Secretary.

(B)

Requirements

An agreement entered into under this paragraph—

(i)

shall require the eligible entity to maintain such records and adopt such administrative practices as the Secretary may require to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section and the agreement;

(ii)

with respect to an eligible installation project shall require that any solar generating facility installed using assistance provided pursuant to the agreement comply with local building and safety codes and standards; and

(iii)

shall contain such other terms as the Secretary may require to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.

(C)

Term

An agreement under this paragraph shall be for a term that begins on the date on which the agreement is entered into and ends on the date that is 2 years after the date on which the eligible entity receives assistance pursuant to the agreement, which term may be extended once for a period of not more than 1 year if the eligible entity demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that such an extension is necessary to complete the activities required by the agreement.

(2)

Use of funds

Of the funds made available to provide assistance to eligible installation projects under this section over the period of fiscal years 2022 through 2026, the Secretary shall use—

(A)

not less than 50 percent to provide assistance for eligible installation projects with respect to which low-income households make up at least 50 percent of the subscribers to the project; and

(B)

not more than 50 percent to provide assistance for eligible installation projects with respect to which low-income households make up at least 25 percent of the subscribers to the project.

(3)

Regulations

Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register regulations to carry out this section, which shall take effect on the date of publication.

(h)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section $200,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026, to remain available until expended.

(2)

Amounts for planning projects

Of the amounts appropriated pursuant to this section over the period of fiscal years 2022 through 2026, the Secretary shall use not more than 15 percent of funds to provide assistance to eligible planning projects.

(i)

Relationship to other assistance

The Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, encourage eligible entities that receive assistance under this section to leverage such funds by seeking additional funding through federally or locally subsidized weatherization and energy efficiency programs.

33002.

Improving the natural gas distribution system

(a)

Program

The Secretary of Energy shall establish a grant program to provide financial assistance to States to offset the incremental rate increases paid by low-income households resulting from the implementation of infrastructure replacement, repair, and maintenance programs that are approved by the rate-setting entity and designed to accelerate the necessary replacement, repair, or maintenance of natural gas distribution systems.

(b)

Date of eligibility

Awards may be provided under this section to offset rate increases described in subsection (a) occurring on or after the date of enactment of this Act.

(c)

Prioritization

The Secretary shall collaborate with States to prioritize the distribution of grants made under this section. At a minimum, the Secretary shall consider prioritizing the distribution of grants to States which have—

(1)

authorized or adopted enhanced infrastructure replacement programs or innovative rate recovery mechanisms, such as infrastructure cost trackers and riders, infrastructure base rate surcharges, deferred regulatory asset programs, and earnings stability mechanisms; and

(2)

a viable means for delivering financial assistance to low-income households.

(d)

Auditing and reporting requirements

The Secretary shall establish auditing and reporting requirements for States with respect to the performance of eligible projects funded pursuant to grants awarded under this section.

(e)

Prevailing wages

All laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors in the performance of construction, alteration, or repair work assisted, in whole or in part, by a grant under this section shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40. With respect to the labor standards in this subsection, the Secretary of Labor shall have the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1267; 5 U.S.C. App.) and section 3145 of title 40.

(f)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Innovative rate recovery mechanisms

The term innovative rate recovery mechanisms means rate structures that allow State public utility commissions to modify tariffs and recover costs of investments in utility replacement incurred between rate cases.

(2)

Low-income household

The term low-income household means a household that is eligible to receive payments under section 2605(b)(2) of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8624(b)(2)).

(g)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section $250,000,000 in each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

33003.

Distributed energy resources

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Combined heat and power system

The term combined heat and power system means generation of electric energy and heat in a single, integrated system that meets the efficiency criteria in clauses (ii) and (iii) of section 48(c)(3)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, under which heat that is conventionally rejected is recovered and used to meet thermal energy requirements.

(2)

Demand response

The term demand response means changes in electric usage by electric utility customers from the normal consumption patterns of the customers in response to—

(A)

changes in the price of electricity over time; or

(B)

incentive payments designed to induce lower electricity use at times of high wholesale market prices or when system reliability is jeopardized.

(3)

Distributed energy

The term distributed energy means energy sources and systems that—

(A)

produce electric or thermal energy close to the point of use using renewable energy resources or waste thermal energy;

(B)

generate electricity using a combined heat and power system;

(C)

distribute electricity in microgrids;

(D)

store electric or thermal energy; or

(E)

distribute thermal energy or transfer thermal energy to building heating and cooling systems through a district energy system.

(4)

District energy system

The term district energy system means a system that provides thermal energy to buildings and other energy consumers from one or more plants to individual buildings to provide space heating, air conditioning, domestic hot water, industrial process energy, and other end uses.

(5)

Islanding

The term islanding means a distributed generator or energy storage device continuing to power a location in the absence of electric power from the primary source.

(6)

Loan

The term loan has the meaning given the term direct loan in section 502 of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661a).

(7)

Microgrid

The term microgrid means an integrated energy system consisting of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources, including generators and energy storage devices, within clearly defined electrical boundaries that—

(A)

acts as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid; and

(B)

can connect and disconnect from the grid to operate in both grid-connected mode and island mode.

(8)

Renewable energy resource

The term renewable energy resource includes—

(A)

biomass;

(B)

geothermal energy;

(C)

hydropower;

(D)

landfill gas;

(E)

municipal solid waste;

(F)

ocean (including tidal, wave, current, and thermal) energy;

(G)

organic waste;

(H)

photosynthetic processes;

(I)

photovoltaic energy;

(J)

solar energy; and

(K)

wind.

(9)

Renewable thermal energy

The term renewable thermal energy means heating or cooling energy derived from a renewable energy resource.

(10)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.

(11)

Thermal energy

The term thermal energy means—

(A)

heating energy in the form of hot water or steam that is used to provide space heating, domestic hot water, or process heat; or

(B)

cooling energy in the form of chilled water, ice, or other media that is used to provide air conditioning, or process cooling.

(12)

Waste thermal energy

The term waste thermal energy means energy that—

(A)

is contained in—

(i)

exhaust gases, exhaust steam, condenser water, jacket cooling heat, or lubricating oil in power generation systems;

(ii)

exhaust heat, hot liquids, or flared gas from any industrial process;

(iii)

waste gas or industrial tail gas that would otherwise be flared, incinerated, or vented;

(iv)

a pressure drop in any gas, excluding any pressure drop to a condenser that subsequently vents the resulting heat;

(v)

condenser water from chilled water or refrigeration plants; or

(vi)

any other form of waste energy, as determined by the Secretary; and

(B)
(i)

in the case of an existing facility, is not being used; or

(ii)

in the case of a new facility, is not conventionally used in comparable systems.

(b)

Distributed energy loan program

(1)

Loan program

(A)

In general

Subject to the provisions of this paragraph and paragraphs (2) and (3), the Secretary shall establish a program to provide to eligible entities—

(i)

loans for the deployment of distributed energy systems in a specific project; and

(ii)

loans to provide funding for programs to finance the deployment of multiple distributed energy systems through a revolving loan fund, credit enhancement program, or other financial assistance program.

(B)

Eligibility

Entities eligible to receive a loan under subparagraph (A) include—

(i)

a State, territory, or possession of the United States;

(ii)

a State energy office;

(iii)

a tribal organization (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304));

(iv)

an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)); and

(v)

an electric utility, including—

(I)

a rural electric cooperative;

(II)

a municipally owned electric utility; and

(III)

an investor-owned utility.

(C)

Selection requirements

In selecting eligible entities to receive loans under this subsection, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure—

(i)

regional diversity among eligible entities to receive loans under this section, including participation by rural States and small States; and

(ii)

that specific projects selected for loans—

(I)

expand on the existing technology deployment program of the Department of Energy; and

(II)

are designed to achieve one or more of the objectives described in subparagraph (D).

(D)

Objectives

Each deployment selected for a loan under subparagraph (A) shall promote one or more of the following objectives:

(i)

Improved security and resiliency of energy supply in the event of disruptions caused by extreme weather events, grid equipment or software failure, or terrorist acts.

(ii)

Implementation of distributed energy in order to increase use of local renewable energy resources and waste thermal energy sources.

(iii)

Enhanced feasibility of microgrids, demand response, or islanding.

(iv)

Enhanced management of peak loads for consumers and the grid.

(v)

Enhanced reliability in rural areas, including high energy cost rural areas.

(E)

Restrictions on use of funds

Any eligible entity that receives a loan under subparagraph (A) may only use the loan to fund programs relating to the deployment of distributed energy systems.

(2)

Loan terms and conditions

(A)

Terms and conditions

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in providing a loan under this subsection, the Secretary shall provide the loan on such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines, after consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, in accordance with this subsection.

(B)

Specific appropriation

No loan shall be made unless an appropriation for the full amount of the loan has been specifically provided for that purpose.

(C)

Repayment

No loan shall be made unless the Secretary determines that there is reasonable prospect of repayment of the principal and interest by the borrower of the loan.

(D)

Interest rate

A loan provided under this section shall bear interest at a fixed rate that is equal or approximately equal, in the determination of the Secretary, to the interest rate for Treasury securities of comparable maturity.

(E)

Term

The term of the loan shall require full repayment over a period not to exceed the lesser of—

(i)

20 years; or

(ii)

90 percent of the projected useful life of the physical asset to be financed by the loan (as determined by the Secretary).

(F)

Use of payments

Payments of principal and interest on the loan shall—

(i)

be retained by the Secretary to support energy research and development activities; and

(ii)

remain available until expended, subject to such conditions as are contained in annual appropriations Acts.

(G)

No penalty on early repayment

The Secretary may not assess any penalty for early repayment of a loan provided under this subsection.

(H)

Return of unused portion

In order to receive a loan under this subsection, an eligible entity shall agree to return to the general fund of the Treasury any portion of the loan amount that is unused by the eligible entity within a reasonable period of time after the date of the disbursement of the loan, as determined by the Secretary.

(I)

Comparable wage rates

Each laborer and mechanic employed by a contractor or subcontractor in performance of construction work financed, in whole or in part, by the loan shall be paid wages at rates not less than the rates prevailing on similar construction in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code.

(3)

Rules and procedures; disbursement of loans

(A)

Rules and procedures

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall adopt rules and procedures for carrying out the loan program under paragraph (1).

(B)

Disbursement of loans

Not later than 1 year after the date on which the rules and procedures under subparagraph (A) are established, the Secretary shall disburse the initial loans provided under this subsection.

(4)

Reports

Not later than 2 years after the date of receipt of the loan, and annually thereafter for the term of the loan, an eligible entity that receives a loan under this subsection shall submit to the Secretary a report describing the performance of each program and activity carried out using the loan, including itemized loan performance data.

(5)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection such sums as are necessary.

(c)

Technical assistance and grant program

(1)

Establishment

(A)

In general

The Secretary shall establish a technical assistance and grant program (referred to in this subsection as the program)—

(i)

to disseminate information and provide technical assistance directly to eligible entities so the eligible entities can identify, evaluate, plan, and design distributed energy systems; and

(ii)

to make grants to eligible entities so that the eligible entities may contract to obtain technical assistance to identify, evaluate, plan, and design distributed energy systems.

(B)

Technical assistance

The technical assistance described in subparagraph (A) shall include assistance with one or more of the following activities relating to distributed energy systems:

(i)

Identification of opportunities to use distributed energy systems.

(ii)

Assessment of technical and economic characteristics.

(iii)

Utility interconnection.

(iv)

Permitting and siting issues.

(v)

Business planning and financial analysis.

(vi)

Engineering design.

(C)

Information dissemination

The information disseminated under subparagraph (A)(i) shall include—

(i)

information relating to the topics described in subparagraph (B), including case studies of successful examples;

(ii)

computer software and databases for assessment, design, and operation and maintenance of distributed energy systems; and

(iii)

public databases that track the operation and deployment of existing and planned distributed energy systems.

(2)

Eligibility

Any nonprofit or for-profit entity shall be eligible to receive technical assistance and grants under the program.

(3)

Applications

(A)

In general

An eligible entity desiring technical assistance or grants under the program shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(B)

Application process

The Secretary shall seek applications for technical assistance and grants under the program—

(i)

on a competitive basis; and

(ii)

on a periodic basis, but not less frequently than once every 12 months.

(C)

Priorities

In selecting eligible entities for technical assistance and grants under the program, the Secretary shall give priority to eligible entities with projects that have the greatest potential for—

(i)

facilitating the use of renewable energy resources;

(ii)

strengthening the reliability and resiliency of energy infrastructure to the impact of extreme weather events, power grid failures, and interruptions in supply of fossil fuels;

(iii)

improving the feasibility of microgrids or islanding, particularly in rural areas, including high energy cost rural areas;

(iv)

minimizing environmental impact, including regulated air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions; and

(v)

maximizing local job creation.

(4)

Grants

On application by an eligible entity, the Secretary may award grants to the eligible entity to provide funds to cover not more than—

(A)

100 percent of the costs of the initial assessment to identify opportunities;

(B)

75 percent of the cost of feasibility studies to assess the potential for the implementation;

(C)

60 percent of the cost of guidance on overcoming barriers to implementation, including financial, contracting, siting, and permitting issues; and

(D)

45 percent of the cost of detailed engineering.

(5)

Rules and procedures

(A)

Rules

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall adopt rules and procedures for carrying out the program.

(B)

Grants

Not later than 120 days after the date of issuance of the rules and procedures for the program, the Secretary shall issue grants under this subsection.

(6)

Reports

The Secretary shall submit to Congress and make available to the public—

(A)

not less frequently than once every 2 years, a report describing the performance of the program under this subsection, including a synthesis and analysis of the information provided in the reports submitted to the Secretary under subsection (b)(4); and

(B)

on termination of the program under this subsection, an assessment of the success of, and education provided by, the measures carried out by eligible entities during the term of the program.

(7)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $250,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2022 through 2026, to remain available until expended.

33004.

Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator

Title XVI of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–58, as amended) is amended by adding at the end the following new subtitle:

C

Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator

1621.

Definitions

In this subtitle:

(1)

Accelerator

The term Accelerator means the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator established under section 1622.

(2)

Board

The term Board means the Board of Directors of the Accelerator.

(3)

Chief executive officer

The term chief executive officer means the chief executive officer of the Accelerator.

(4)

Climate-impacted communities

The term climate-impacted communities includes—

(A)

communities of color, which include any geographically distinct area the population of color of which is higher than the average population of color of the State in which the community is located;

(B)

communities that are already or are likely to be the first communities to feel the direct negative effects of climate change;

(C)

distressed neighborhoods, demonstrated by indicators of need, including poverty, childhood obesity rates, academic failure, and rates of juvenile delinquency, adjudication, or incarceration;

(D)

low-income communities, defined as any census block group in which 30 percent or more of the population are individuals with low income;

(E)

low-income households, defined as a household with annual income equal to, or less than, the greater of—

(i)

an amount equal to 80 percent of the median income of the area in which the household is located, as reported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and

(ii)

200 percent of the Federal poverty line;

(F)

Tribal communities;

(G)

persistent poverty counties, defined as any county that has had a poverty rate of 20 percent or more for the past 30 years as measured by the 2000, 2010, and 2020 decennial censuses;

(H)

communities disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and other hazards that can lead to negative public health effects; and

(I)

communities that are economically reliant on fossil fuel-based industries.

(5)

Climate resilient infrastructure

The term climate resilient infrastructure means any project that builds or enhances infrastructure so that such infrastructure—

(A)

is planned, designed, and operated in a way that anticipates, prepares for, and adapts to changing climate conditions; and

(B)

can withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions caused by these climate conditions.

(6)

Electrification

The term electrification means the installation, construction, or use of end-use electric technology that replaces existing fossil-fuel-based technology.

(7)

Energy efficiency

The term energy efficiency means any project, technology, function, or measure that results in the reduction of energy use required to achieve the same level of service or output prior to the application of such project, technology, function, or measure, or substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions relative to emissions that would have occurred prior to the application of such project, technology, function, or measure.

(8)

Fuel switching

The term fuel switching means any project that replaces a fossil-fuel-based heating system with an electric-powered system or one powered by biomass-generated heat.

(9)

Green bank

The term green bank means a dedicated public or nonprofit specialized finance entity that—

(A)

is designed to drive private capital into market gaps for low- and zero-emission goods and services;

(B)

uses finance tools to mitigate climate change;

(C)

does not take deposits;

(D)

is funded by government, public, private, or charitable contributions; and

(E)

invests or finances projects—

(i)

alone; or

(ii)

in conjunction with other investors.

(10)

Qualified projects

The term qualified projects means the following kinds of technologies and activities that are eligible for financing and investment from the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator, either directly or through State, Territorial, and local green banks funded by the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator:

(A)

Renewable energy generation, including the following:

(i)

Solar.

(ii)

Wind.

(iii)

Geothermal.

(iv)

Hydropower.

(v)

Ocean and hydrokinetic.

(vi)

Fuel cell.

(B)

Building energy efficiency, fuel switching, and electrification.

(C)

Industrial decarbonization.

(D)

Grid technology such as transmission, distribution, and storage to support clean energy distribution, including smart-grid applications.

(E)

Agriculture and forestry projects that reduce net greenhouse gas emissions.

(F)

Clean transportation, including the following:

(i)

Battery electric vehicles.

(ii)

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

(iii)

Hydrogen vehicles.

(iv)

Other zero-emissions fueled vehicles.

(v)

Related vehicle charging and fueling infrastructure.

(G)

Climate resilient infrastructure.

(H)

Any other key areas identified by the Board as consistent with the mandate of the Accelerator as described in section 1623.

(11)

Renewable energy generation

The term renewable energy generation means electricity created by sources that are continually replenished by nature, such as the sun, wind, and water.

1622.

Establishment

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subtitle, there shall be established a nonprofit corporation to be known as the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator.

(b)

Limitation

The Accelerator shall not be an agency or instrumentality of the Federal Government.

(c)

Full faith and credit

The full faith and credit of the United States shall not extend to the Accelerator.

(d)

Nonprofit status

The Accelerator shall maintain its status as an organization exempt from taxation under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.).

1623.

Mandate

The Accelerator shall make the United States a world leader in combating the causes and effects of climate change through the rapid deployment of mature technologies and scaling of new technologies by maximizing the reduction of emissions in the United States for every dollar deployed by the Accelerator, including by—

(1)

providing financing support for investments in the United States in low- and zero-emissions technologies and processes in order to rapidly accelerate market penetration;

(2)

catalyzing and mobilizing private capital through Federal investment and supporting a more robust marketplace for clean technologies, while avoiding competition with private investment;

(3)

enabling climate-impacted communities to benefit from and afford projects and investments that reduce emissions;

(4)

providing support for workers and communities impacted by the transition to a low-carbon economy;

(5)

supporting the creation of green banks within the United States where green banks do not exist; and

(6)

causing the rapid transition to a clean energy economy without raising energy costs to end users and seeking to lower costs where possible.

1624.

Finance and investment division

(a)

In general

There shall be within the Accelerator a finance and investment division, which shall be responsible for—

(1)

the Accelerator’s greenhouse gas emissions mitigation efforts by directly financing qualifying projects or doing so indirectly by providing capital to State, Territorial, and local green banks;

(2)

originating, evaluating, underwriting, and closing the Accelerator’s financing and investment transactions in qualified projects;

(3)

partnering with private capital providers and capital markets to attract coinvestment from private banks, investors, and others in order to drive new investment into underpenetrated markets, to increase the efficiency of private capital markets with respect to investing in greenhouse gas reduction projects, and to increase total investment caused by the Accelerator;

(4)

managing the Accelerator’s portfolio of assets to ensure performance and monitor risk;