$121M awarded to Minnesota to help fight climate change

(ABC 6 News) – President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will deliver up to $121 million to help Minnesota in an ongoing effort to combat the effects of climate change, and address the growing costs of extreme weather events negatively impacting communities.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on Friday announced new guidance and $7.3 billion in formula funding to help states and communities better prepare for and respond to extreme weather events like wildfires, flooding, and extreme heat.

The PROTECT Formula Program will help Minnesota address the climate crisis. The new Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Formula Program funding is available to states over five years to make transportation infrastructure more resilient to future weather events and other natural disasters by focusing on resilience planning, making resilience improvements to existing transportation assets and evacuation routes, and addressing at-risk highway infrastructure.

Minnesota will receive $23 million in Fiscal Year 2022 funding and is eligible to receive up to $121 million over five years to address climate change with a focus on resilience planning, resilience improvements to existing transportation assets and evacuation routes, and at-risk highway infrastructure. Severe weather events experienced by Minnesota in recent years include snowmelt and flooding.

“We see the effects of climate change and extreme weather play out across the country every week, with extreme temperatures and rainfall and resulting flooding and wildfires that damage and in some cases destroy roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “The PROTECT Formula Program will help make transportation infrastructure more resilient to current and future weather events and at the same time make communities safer during these events.”

PROTECT builds on other USDOT actions to address the climate crisis and that support the Biden Administration’s whole-of-government approach to reducing greenhouse gas pollution by 2030.

For more information about the new PROTECT Formula Program and guidance released on Friday, please see FHWA’s website and fact sheet. The five-year funding table for total estimated PROTECT state-by-state funding for Fiscal Years 2022-2026 is available here.