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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Transcript: Port Infrastructure Development Program 2022 Notice of Funding Opportunity Public Presentation

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Opening Remarks by Acting Administrator Lucinda Lessley

Thanks so much. Thank you. I am extraordinarily pleased to join you Linda. And of course my colleagues from Department of Transportation in the Maritime Administration to talk about was truly a historic day for the Maritime Administration. 

As indicated, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making $2.25 billion available through our Port Infrastructure Development Program grants. And today we announce the availability of the first $450 million of funding from that investment. The PIDP program has existed for a couple of years, but this is the largest single infusion of funds through the program in program's history. As you know, the President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is focused on modernizing all facets of America's transportation networks, to improve connections for all people and to meet our growing demand for cargo movement domestically as well as abroad. 

The modernization of our port infrastructure is critical to support goods movement throughout the nation to support both our imports and our exports. There's obviously been a lot of focus on port infrastructure recently, as we've talked about the need to strengthen supply chain resiliency and to ensure that our interconnected freight and goods movement network continues to work for the American people. We have seen an extraordinary record volume of cargos moves through our ports over the past year as our economic recovery has continued. 

And I want to take a moment and thank all of our transportation workers, particularly our longshore workers, our rail workers, truckers, and our warehouse workers for the extraordinary effort they have made to meet this unprecedented surge in cargo volumes. The investments that are made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help us continue to modernize our port infrastructure to support good paying jobs in the maritime industry and to support supply chain efficiency. 

We are very clear here at the Maritime Administration about how critical our ports, our inland waterways and our small shipyards are and that's why we are so excited about the incredible investment being made today. The Port Infrastructure Development Program is a dedicated source of funding, which will make grants available to improve facilities within or outside of and directly related to operations or an inter metal connection to postal seaports inland river ports. And of course, Great Lakes ports. Late last year, we awarded more than $241 million in funding from the PIDP program, grants were made to projects in 19 states in one territory they funded for example, the construction of new ship berths for renovation years a conversion of vacant industrial areas in support of offshore wind manufacturing projects and the development of port properties that will support the staging of cargo and increased cargo throughput. We also supported rail infrastructure and intermodal connections. 

This year promises to be an extraordinary one for our PIDP. A NOFO making $450 million available in funding was announced today. I will also note that this funding could be increased if there are additional appropriations. And if there are, we will amend the NOFO accordingly. In the NOFO for our funding today, the applicant eligibility remains the same as in previous rounds an applicant must be a governmental entity but a private entities that should be operated by a terminal and partner with a governmental entity. Particularly the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expanded the list of eligible projects to include projects that focus on operational improvements and boards as well as projects that improve port resilience. However, all projects must improve the movement of goods is our overarching focus to support supply chain resiliency and to further our economic and national security needs.

The criteria for evaluating projects include the safety, efficiency and reliability improvements that would be achieved by the project, how the project supports economic vitality, vitality, and how it would leverage additional funding to support the federal funding would be provided to the program for a number of merit criteria, for example, how a project would address climate change and environmental justice and how it would advance equity and feed opportunities. 

I will stop here and turn it to Lynda and team who will get into more detail about some of the specifics on the NOFO. I want to emphasize that the application deadline is May 16. All applications have to be in by 11:59 on May 16 and we will anticipate making awards hopefully, early in the fall. We encourage all applicants to apply and really look forward to reviewing your applications and seeing all of the exciting project ideas that are presented.