Expanding Federal Support for Predevelopment Activities for Nonfederal Domestic Infrastructure Assets, 3455-3457 [2015-01256]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 14 / Thursday, January 22, 2015 / Presidential Documents 3455 Presidential Documents Memorandum of January 16, 2015 Expanding Federal Support for Predevelopment Activities for Nonfederal Domestic Infrastructure Assets Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies The United States is significantly underinvesting in both the maintenance of existing public infrastructure and the development of new infrastructure projects. While there is no replacement for adequate public funding, innovative financing options and increased collaboration between the private and public sectors can help to increase overall investment in infrastructure. However, a major challenge for innovative infrastructure projects, whether using emerging technologies or alternative financing, is the lack of funding for the phases of infrastructure project development that precede actual construction. Infrastructure projects require upfront costs, commonly known as ‘‘predevelopment’’ costs, for activities such as project and system planning, economic impact analyses, preliminary engineering assessments, and environmental review. Although only accounting for a small percentage of total costs, predevelopment activities have considerable influence on which projects will move forward, where and how they will be built, who will fund them, and who will benefit from them. Yet, in light of factors like fiscal constraints, the extent of overall needs, and risk aversion, State, local, and tribal governments tend to focus scarce resources on constructing and developing conventional projects and addressing their most critical infrastructure needs, thereby underinvesting in predevelopment. Greater attention to the predevelopment phase could yield a range of benefits—for example, providing the opportunity to develop longer-term, more innovative, and more complex infrastructure projects and facilitating assessment of a range of financing approaches, including public-private partnerships. Additional investment in predevelopment costs also may enable State, local, and tribal governments to utilize innovations in infrastructure design and emerging technologies, reduce long-term costs to infrastructure project users, and provide other benefits, such as improved environmental performance and enhanced resilience to climate change. The Federal Government can meaningfully expand opportunities for publicprivate collaboration, encourage more transformational projects, and improve project outcomes by encouraging Federal investment in robust predevelopment activities and providing other forms of support, such as technical assistance, to communities during the predevelopment phase. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with O0 Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following: Section 1. Policy. It shall be the policy of the Federal Government for all executive departments and agencies (agencies) that provide grants, technical assistance, and other forms of support for nonfederal domestic infrastructure assets, or regulate the development of these infrastructure assets, to actively support nonfederal predevelopment activities with all available tools, including grants, technical assistance, and regulatory changes, to the extent permitted by law and consistent with agency mission. Agencies shall seek to make predevelopment funding and support available, as permitted by law and consistent with agency mission and where it is in the public interest and does not supplant existing public investment, to encourage opportunities for private sector investment. Agencies shall pay particular VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:43 Jan 21, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\22JAO0.SGM 22JAO0 3456 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 14 / Thursday, January 22, 2015 / Presidential Documents attention to predevelopment activities in sectors where State, local, and tribal governments have traditionally played a significant role, such as surface transportation, drinking water, sewage and storm water management systems, landside ports, and social infrastructure like schools and community facilities. Sec. 2. Definitions. For the purposes of this memorandum: (a) ‘‘Predevelopment activities’’ means activities that provide decisionmakers with the opportunity to identify and assess potential infrastructure projects and modifications to existing infrastructure projects, and to advance those projects from the conceptual phase to actual construction. Predevelopment activities include: (i) project planning, feasibility studies, economic assessments and costbenefit analyses, and public benefit studies and value-for-money analyses; (ii) design and engineering; (iii) financial planning (including the identification of funding and financing options); (iv) permitting, environmental review, and regulatory processes; (v) assessment of the impacts of potential projects on the area, including the effect on communities, the environment, the workforce, and wages and benefits, as well as assessment of infrastructure vulnerability and resilience to climate change and other risks; and (vi) public outreach and community engagement. (b) ‘‘Predevelopment funding’’ means funding for predevelopment activities and associated costs, such as flexible staff, external advisors, convening potential investment partners, and associated legal costs directly related to predevelopment activities. Sec. 3. Federal Action to Support Predevelopment Activities. Agencies shall take the following actions to support predevelopment activities: (a) the Department of Commerce, through the Economic Development Administration’s Public Works grants and Economic Adjustment Assistance grants, and consistent with the programs’ mission and goals, shall take steps to increase assistance for the predevelopment phase of infrastructure projects; (b) the Department of Transportation shall develop guidance to clarify where predevelopment activities are eligible for funding through its programs. To further encourage early collaboration in the project development process, the Department of Transportation shall also clarify options for providing early feedback into environmental review processes; (c) the Department of Homeland Security shall clarify for grantees where predevelopment funding is available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program; tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with O0 (d) the Department of Housing and Urban Development shall clarify for grantees how the Community Development Block Grant program and other Federal funding sources can be used for predevelopment activities; (e) the Department of Agriculture shall develop guidance to clarify where predevelopment activities are eligible for funding through its programs, including grants for water and waste projects pursuant to 7 CFR 1780.1 et seq., the Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households Program, the Community Facilities Grant program, and the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program. To encourage innovative predevelopment work, the Department of Agriculture shall also train Water and Environmental Programs field staff on predevelopment best practices and prioritize predevelopment in the Department of Agriculture’s project development process; and (f) the other members of the Working Group established in section 3 of my memorandum of July 17, 2014 (Expanding Public-Private Collaboration VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:43 Jan 21, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\22JAO0.SGM 22JAO0 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 14 / Thursday, January 22, 2015 / Presidential Documents 3457 on Infrastructure Development and Financing), shall take such steps as appropriate to clarify program eligibilities related to predevelopment activities for nonfederal domestic infrastructure assets. Sec. 4. Implementation, Public Education, and Best Practices. The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency shall develop plans for implementing the requirements of this memorandum, providing technical assistance to nonfederal actors engaged in predevelopment activities, and educating grantees and the public on the benefits of predevelopment and the Federal resources available for these activities. These agencies shall also work together to develop a guide for nonfederal actors undertaking nonfederal predevelopment activities that includes best practices on how to evaluate and compare traditional and alternative financing strategies. No later than 60 days after the date of this memorandum, these agencies shall provide these plans and the best practice guide to the Director of the National Economic Council. Subsequently, these agencies shall provide regular updates to the Director of the National Economic Council on their progress in increasing support for predevelopment activities. Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect: (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals. (b) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. (c) The Secretary of Transportation is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register. THE WHITE HOUSE, Washington, January 16, 2015 [FR Doc. 2015–01256 Billing code 4910–9 VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:43 Jan 21, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\22JAO0.SGM 22JAO0 OB#1.EPS</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with O0 Filed 1–21–15; 11:15 am]

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 14 (Thursday, January 22, 2015)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 3455-3457]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-01256]




                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 14 / Thursday, January 22, 2015 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 3455]]


                Memorandum of January 16, 2015

                
Expanding Federal Support for Predevelopment 
                Activities for Nonfederal Domestic Infrastructure 
                Assets

                Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and 
                Agencies

                The United States is significantly underinvesting in 
                both the maintenance of existing public infrastructure 
                and the development of new infrastructure projects. 
                While there is no replacement for adequate public 
                funding, innovative financing options and increased 
                collaboration between the private and public sectors 
                can help to increase overall investment in 
                infrastructure.

                However, a major challenge for innovative 
                infrastructure projects, whether using emerging 
                technologies or alternative financing, is the lack of 
                funding for the phases of infrastructure project 
                development that precede actual construction. 
                Infrastructure projects require upfront costs, commonly 
                known as ``predevelopment'' costs, for activities such 
                as project and system planning, economic impact 
                analyses, preliminary engineering assessments, and 
                environmental review. Although only accounting for a 
                small percentage of total costs, predevelopment 
                activities have considerable influence on which 
                projects will move forward, where and how they will be 
                built, who will fund them, and who will benefit from 
                them. Yet, in light of factors like fiscal constraints, 
                the extent of overall needs, and risk aversion, State, 
                local, and tribal governments tend to focus scarce 
                resources on constructing and developing conventional 
                projects and addressing their most critical 
                infrastructure needs, thereby underinvesting in 
                predevelopment.

                Greater attention to the predevelopment phase could 
                yield a range of benefits--for example, providing the 
                opportunity to develop longer-term, more innovative, 
                and more complex infrastructure projects and 
                facilitating assessment of a range of financing 
                approaches, including public-private partnerships. 
                Additional investment in predevelopment costs also may 
                enable State, local, and tribal governments to utilize 
                innovations in infrastructure design and emerging 
                technologies, reduce long-term costs to infrastructure 
                project users, and provide other benefits, such as 
                improved environmental performance and enhanced 
                resilience to climate change.

                The Federal Government can meaningfully expand 
                opportunities for public-private collaboration, 
                encourage more transformational projects, and improve 
                project outcomes by encouraging Federal investment in 
                robust predevelopment activities and providing other 
                forms of support, such as technical assistance, to 
                communities during the predevelopment phase.

                Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President 
                by the Constitution and the laws of the United States 
                of America, I hereby direct the following:

                Section 1. Policy. It shall be the policy of the 
                Federal Government for all executive departments and 
                agencies (agencies) that provide grants, technical 
                assistance, and other forms of support for nonfederal 
                domestic infrastructure assets, or regulate the 
                development of these infrastructure assets, to actively 
                support nonfederal predevelopment activities with all 
                available tools, including grants, technical 
                assistance, and regulatory changes, to the extent 
                permitted by law and consistent with agency mission. 
                Agencies shall seek to make predevelopment funding and 
                support available, as permitted by law and consistent 
                with agency mission and where it is in the public 
                interest and does not supplant existing public 
                investment, to encourage opportunities for private 
                sector investment. Agencies shall pay particular

[[Page 3456]]

                attention to predevelopment activities in sectors where 
                State, local, and tribal governments have traditionally 
                played a significant role, such as surface 
                transportation, drinking water, sewage and storm water 
                management systems, landside ports, and social 
                infrastructure like schools and community facilities.

                Sec. 2. Definitions. For the purposes of this 
                memorandum:

                    (a) ``Predevelopment activities'' means activities 
                that provide decisionmakers with the opportunity to 
                identify and assess potential infrastructure projects 
                and modifications to existing infrastructure projects, 
                and to advance those projects from the conceptual phase 
                to actual construction. Predevelopment activities 
                include:

(i) project planning, feasibility studies, economic assessments and cost-
benefit analyses, and public benefit studies and value-for-money analyses;

(ii) design and engineering;

(iii) financial planning (including the identification of funding and 
financing options);

(iv) permitting, environmental review, and regulatory processes;

(v) assessment of the impacts of potential projects on the area, including 
the effect on communities, the environment, the workforce, and wages and 
benefits, as well as assessment of infrastructure vulnerability and 
resilience to climate change and other risks; and

(vi) public outreach and community engagement.

                    (b) ``Predevelopment funding'' means funding for 
                predevelopment activities and associated costs, such as 
                flexible staff, external advisors, convening potential 
                investment partners, and associated legal costs 
                directly related to predevelopment activities.

                Sec. 3. Federal Action to Support Predevelopment 
                Activities. Agencies shall take the following actions 
                to support predevelopment activities:

                    (a) the Department of Commerce, through the 
                Economic Development Administration's Public Works 
                grants and Economic Adjustment Assistance grants, and 
                consistent with the programs' mission and goals, shall 
                take steps to increase assistance for the 
                predevelopment phase of infrastructure projects;
                    (b) the Department of Transportation shall develop 
                guidance to clarify where predevelopment activities are 
                eligible for funding through its programs. To further 
                encourage early collaboration in the project 
                development process, the Department of Transportation 
                shall also clarify options for providing early feedback 
                into environmental review processes;
                    (c) the Department of Homeland Security shall 
                clarify for grantees where predevelopment funding is 
                available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program;
                    (d) the Department of Housing and Urban Development 
                shall clarify for grantees how the Community 
                Development Block Grant program and other Federal 
                funding sources can be used for predevelopment 
                activities;
                    (e) the Department of Agriculture shall develop 
                guidance to clarify where predevelopment activities are 
                eligible for funding through its programs, including 
                grants for water and waste projects pursuant to 7 CFR 
                1780.1 et seq., the Special Evaluation Assistance for 
                Rural Communities and Households Program, the Community 
                Facilities Grant program, and the Watershed and Flood 
                Prevention Operations Program. To encourage innovative 
                predevelopment work, the Department of Agriculture 
                shall also train Water and Environmental Programs field 
                staff on predevelopment best practices and prioritize 
                predevelopment in the Department of Agriculture's 
                project development process; and
                    (f) the other members of the Working Group 
                established in section 3 of my memorandum of July 17, 
                2014 (Expanding Public-Private Collaboration

[[Page 3457]]

                on Infrastructure Development and Financing), shall 
                take such steps as appropriate to clarify program 
                eligibilities related to predevelopment activities for 
                nonfederal domestic infrastructure assets.

                Sec. 4. Implementation, Public Education, and Best 
                Practices. The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, 
                Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, 
                Energy, and Homeland Security, and the Environmental 
                Protection Agency shall develop plans for implementing 
                the requirements of this memorandum, providing 
                technical assistance to nonfederal actors engaged in 
                predevelopment activities, and educating grantees and 
                the public on the benefits of predevelopment and the 
                Federal resources available for these activities. These 
                agencies shall also work together to develop a guide 
                for nonfederal actors undertaking nonfederal 
                predevelopment activities that includes best practices 
                on how to evaluate and compare traditional and 
                alternative financing strategies. No later than 60 days 
                after the date of this memorandum, these agencies shall 
                provide these plans and the best practice guide to the 
                Director of the National Economic Council. 
                Subsequently, these agencies shall provide regular 
                updates to the Director of the National Economic 
                Council on their progress in increasing support for 
                predevelopment activities.

                Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this 
                memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise 
                affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or 
the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

                    (b) This memorandum is not intended to, and does 
                not, create any right or benefit, substantive or 
                procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any 
                party against the United States, its departments, 
                agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or 
                agents, or any other person.
                    (c) The Secretary of Transportation is hereby 
                authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in 
                the Federal Register.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    Washington, January 16, 2015

[FR Doc. 2015-01256
Filed 1-21-15; 11:15 am]
Billing code 4910-9