The water purification problem is compounded even more because drinking water also is contaminated daily by industry, antiquated lead pipe delivery systems, and weakening government oversight. An estimated 105 million people receive water from public water systems that use groundwater, and one federal agency proclaims that an estimated 22 percent of public wells for those systems have one or more contaminants at unsafe levels for human health.
President Biden recently introduced a massive infrastructure bill designed to reshape the U.S. economy while addressing infrastructure reform. Biden’s stated goal is to achieve 100 percent carbon-free power by 2035.
The proposal also includes $100 billion in funding to upgrade and strengthen the country’s electric grid system, which has been weakened by worsening climate disasters. The proposed legislation would provide new tax credits to support the construction of high-voltage transmission lines, a major hurdle in the expansion of renewable energy. Additionally, it would include a 10-year extension of wind, solar, and battery tax credits, which are set to expire in several years.
Clean air is a major component of sustainability, so increased funding will flow to public transit authorities in an effort to reduce the number of automobiles on roadways. Major initiatives at the local levels of government will provide hundreds of contracting opportunities as public officials attempt to make public transportation more convenient, economical, and attractive.
Industry leaders, investors, regulators, rating agencies, and governmental entities are all watching a strong trend that will likely become a competitive factor in government contracting in the future. The significance of the trend’s impact cannot yet be calculated, but it could be substantial.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) has been a topic of discussion at the corporate level of many large firms for a number of years. Investment groups also are discussing the various components of ESG, and many are seeking investment opportunities for projects that have high ESG metrics. Although no standardized way exists to measure ESG, companies that can point to initiatives and/or policies related to ESG often tout this in annual reports. Morningstar, Bloomberg, and MSCI use their own metrics to report on ESG ratings.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) soon will distribute up to $500 million from a new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program for pre-disaster mitigation projects. The funding is available for public officials at the state and local levels of government.
Dozens of media reports flood our inboxes, and there are newspaper articles daily about the COVID relief bill that Congress is expected to pass very soon. How large will it be? What will the funding cover? When and how will the funding programs work? These are all good questions!
But, once we get the answers, the next hot topic to surface will be related to an infrastructure bill that Congress is expected to pass. What will it include? What type of projects will be covered? How will regions receive funding? How can contractors get involved?
Even though the world is dealing with a pandemic and travel has been discouraged for months, Nov. 29, 2020, set a record for the number of people passing through United States airports during a single day that year. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that approximately 1.2 million citizens flew that Sunday.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has identified 3,304 existing public-use airports and six proposed new airports that are expected to drive spending estimates to approximately $43.6 billion for projects that will be launched over the next few years. That’s an increase of $8.5 billion from the last estimate.