Governor Carney Announces New Projects, Protecting Transportation Network Part of Infrastructure Funds Focus

SOUTH BOWERS, Del. – Delaware will advance major planned projects, make road systems more resilient to climate change and apply for funding to serve traditionally disadvantaged areas using significant new federal funds for transportation over the next several years.

The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) — championed by U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, and U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021 — is a once-in-a-generation commitment to improving roads, bridges, transit, water and wastewater systems, broadband, energy and other infrastructure areas. 

Transportation is the largest area of new investment in the BIL. In a visit to South Bowers Beach Wednesday, Governor Carney and Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Nicole Majeski highlighted some of the first decisions on construction and improvements to Delaware’s road network using the funding, which will stretch for the next five years.

Click here to view photos.

A portion of South Bowers Road will be raised up to 5 inches to protect it from both tidal and storm. The previously planned project is an example of the types of projects DelDOT will be able to do with $48.5 million over five years from the BIL for at-risk coastal infrastructure. DelDOT’s new Division of Resiliency and Sustainability will develop a prioritization process for other projects over the next several years.

“Delawareans will travel easier on major routes and have increased confidence in the roads they need to use every day and in emergencies with the projects DelDOT can now accomplish with this funding,” said Governor Carney. “In addition, we will apply for extra federal funding for improvements in New Castle and Laurel that would make a significant difference in the lives of residents in those areas.”

Among the projects the Department will be advancing with other BIL funds:

  • The planned widening of Route 1 between the Christiana Mall and Route 40
  • Improvements to Kenton Road in west Dover between Route 8 and Chestnut Grove Road
  • Long-planned construction of an overpass taking Route 9 traffic over U.S. 113 in Georgetown
  • The next phase of the Georgetown to Lewes Trail from Fisher Road to Airport Road

The Infrastructure Law is providing an additional $160 million over five years to Delaware main highway spending programs.

In addition, Delaware will submit applications in April for two concepts under the federal Local and Regional Project Assistance Grants (RAISE). This is a nationwide competitive program and the U.S. Department of Transportation will announce successful grant recipients by August 12, 2022. Both target traditionally underserved areas, which is a focus of the BIL.

  • Applying for $6.5 million in a federal grant to begin designing an ambitious plan in the Route 9 area near New Castle, reducing the through lanes on Route 9 with saved lane space used to improve pedestrian and bicycle and bus facilities and provide extra green space. The project would also include rebuilt intersections including roundabouts, a center-lane multi-use pathway over the I-295 Expressway and a pedestrian/bicycle path system to knit together the now largely disconnected neighborhoods along the corridor. If design funds are granted, DelDOT would apply to RAISE for construction funding in future years, with total cost estimated at $30 million.
  • Applying for $5.8 million to add bicycle lanes and a sidewalk safely along Discountland Road in Laurel, connecting two affordable housing communities (Holly Brook Farms and Carvel Gardens) to a shopping center that contains a grocery store, bank, pharmacies, physical therapy and other amenities.

“We continue to work to address the infrastructure needs we have across the state, and this landmark bill will bring more funding to Delaware that will have a positive impact on every mode of transportation,” said Secretary of DelDOT Nicole Majeski. 

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure law represents the single largest investment in our nation’s roads and bridges since the construction of the Interstate Highway System nearly 70 years ago — a historic win for Delawareans and all Americans,” said Senator Carper, who as Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, drafted and negotiated the legislation. “When drafting this legislation, we prioritized investments in safety, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists, sustainability, and resilience, all while addressing the backlog of repairs in our nation’s transportation system. It’s great to see this historic funding making its way into communities across Delaware, rebuilding the roads that connect us in a way makes them more resilient in the face of climate change and that allows Delaware to grow our economy at the same time.”

“Passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was a commitment to revitalize our roads and bridges and put transportation projects in Delaware at the forefront of our agenda,” said Senator Coons. “These upcoming projects will put millions of dollars in critical federal funds towards increasing the resiliency of coastal communities, prioritizing climate action, and reaffirming our commitment to upgrading Delaware’s infrastructure.”

“Delawareans rely on our state’s surface transportation infrastructure to live, work, and travel every day,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “With funds secured through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – the largest long-term investment in our nation’s infrastructure in nearly a century that I voted to pass last year – the First State can continue to invest in critical projects to repair and revitalize its roads, highways, and bridges that will improve quality of life and create good-paying jobs at the same time.”

In addition to road and resiliency projects, federal infrastructure funding coming to Delaware in the next several years includes programs for bridges, public transit, electric vehicle charging, carbon reduction, safety improvements and more. 

For more information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, visit: de.gov/infrastructure

###


Governor Carney Announces Five-Year Effort to Improve Water and Wastewater Systems, Protects Residents

NEWARK, Del. – Governor John Carney announced Wednesday that state agencies will begin accepting applications to loan or grant money for drinking water and wastewater system improvements around the state, with capacity for historic levels of investment in water infrastructure from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the state Clean Water Trust, created in 2021.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — championed by U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, and U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and signed by President Biden in November 2021 — is a once-in-a-generation commitment to improving roads, bridges, transit, water and wastewater systems, broadband, energy and other infrastructure areas.

Cities, towns, counties, water companies and communities are eligible to apply for the increased and more flexible funding coming from the federal government to the existing Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) administered by the state Division of Public Health and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF, which focuses on wastewater and stormwater projects) administered by the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. As directed by Congress, these existing processes will manage requests and inquiries related to this funding. The joint DWSRF/CWSRF workshop to begin the 2022 application process takes place Thursday, March 24 at 10 a.m. and pre-registration is open.

On Wednesday, Governor Carney toured a City of Newark water facility that used funding from the state Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to construct a 250,000-gallon storage tank, install a contaminant removal system, and complete plant building upgrades that will allow for additional treatment if needed in the future.

Click here to view photos from the tour.

“Delawareans deserve clean water. It’s as simple as that,” said Governor Carney. “Access to clean and safe water should be a promise we make to our residents, and we need to protect this resource for future generations. The combination of the Clean Water Trust – led by Representative Longhurst and Senator Townsend – and the new federal funding led by Senators Carper, Coons and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, will help us deliver on the promise of clean water for all Delawareans.”

With Delaware’s $315 million for clean water and drinking water from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more money will be available for the next five years for the types of water and wastewater projects traditionally financed by the funds, and with dedicated funding for disadvantaged communities, to address emerging contaminants such as PFAS, and to find and replace remove lead water lines or water line components. Delaware water systems are not known to have many lead water lines, but the funding can be used for a federally required inventory of systems for any lead lines and components that must be completed by October 2024, as well as for any needed replacements.

In the 2022 round of annual loans and grants, Delaware communities will have access to:

  • $29 million for the general Drinking Water fund projects, such as source water protection, treatment, storage, distribution, cybersecurity and sustainable energy projects, which is almost three times as much as usual
  • $16.5 million for the general Clean Water fund projects, such as wastewater treatment plant upgrades, septic elimination projects, and sewer interceptor rehabilitations, which is about twice as much as usual
  • $28 million specifically for lead service drinking water line identification and, if needed, replacement, which is new dedicated funding
  • $8 million for projects to address PFAS or other emerging contaminants in drinking water or wastewater systems, which is also new dedicated funding

Of the traditional project lines and the lead pipe replacement lines, 49 percent of the fund must be provided as forgivable loans or grants to communities that qualify as disadvantaged. The definition of disadvantaged varies by programs but can be updated by the state programs this year to expand the potential access. The emerging contaminant funds also have requirements for spending in disadvantaged communities.

“Clean water is critical to everything we do – from our health to our environment and to our economy – access to safe and clean water is a basic necessity,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Ph.D., R.N. “Thanks to President Biden and our Congressional Delegation, these critical infrastructure funds along with the Clean Water Trust Fund will help ensure clean water for all Delaware communities, particularly the underserved. Protecting our water quality is the foundation of a stronger and healthier Delaware.”

“Planning for the future is a key strategy in responding to emerging contaminants,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “DPH is thankful and pleased to support Newark and other municipalities and communities in providing clean water to residents. The infrastructure investments being made now, and that will be possible with the funds coming to Delaware, will substantially expand DPH’s reach to ensure all Delawareans have access to safe drinking water.”

“With this historic investment, we will be able to advance our goal of clean water for all Delawareans,” said Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Even so, addressing the water challenges of our state will not happen overnight. We have a lot of work to do – work we’ll do together – to support water quality improvement projects in communities across Delaware, particularly our overburdened and underserved communities.”

The federal funding will work in conjunction with the state’s Clean Water Trust, created in 2021 to plan and deploy water investments from multiple funding sources. Because of the five-year increase in infrastructure funding from the federal government, the state water loan programs are urging potential applicants to consider the next several years of improvements, and to potentially apply for planning grants this year that could turn into infrastructure projects that need to be funded in future years.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s provisions include the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act that Senator Carper authored in the Environment and Public Works Committee in the U.S. Senate. Specifically, the law will provide states with increased State Revolving Loan funding and program flexibilities that allow them to invest in community water projects to address aging infrastructure and improve water quality.

“Up and down the state and across the country, we’ve seen the dire consequences when our water infrastructure fails. That’s why we made unprecedented investments in our nation’s water infrastructure through the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Senator Carper. “I am proud that our committee’s work led to this announcement today and that we are now one step closer to ensuring that all Delawareans – and all Americans — have clean and safe drinking water and wastewater.”

“Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right,” said Senator Coons. “The bipartisan infrastructure framework that President Biden signed into law is a blue-collar blueprint for our country to deliver historic investments, including upgrades to our water systems so that every Delawarean can enjoy that right. Thanks to Governor Carney and my colleagues in the congressional delegation, and we’re one step closer to all Delawareans having access to the clean drinking water they deserve.”

“Access to clean, safe, and reliable drinking water has been a mounting crisis in our country including in communities right here in Delaware, and ensuring access is critically important for improving not only Delawareans’ quality of life but our overall public health,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “That’s why I was proud to vote for President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that brings the largest investment in drinking water and wastewater in American history, and I commend Governor Carney for utilizing this funding, compiled with the Clean Water Trust, to ensure Delawareans have access to clean water across the state.”

For more information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, visit: de.gov/infrastructure

###


Delaware Announces Start of Universal Broadband Construction

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney and State Chief Information Officer Jason Clarke of the Department of Technology and Information (DTI) on Thursday announced $56 million in Broadband Infrastructure Grants to begin making high-speed wired broadband connections available to every Delaware home. The award recipients, Comcast, Verizon and Mediacom, are current State of Delaware service providers with existing broadband infrastructure that responded to a grant application released in October 2021. The three companies will extend their existing coverage areas to serve more than 11,600 Delaware homes and businesses which do not have access to high-speed, wired broadband service. Construction is expected to begin in the next few weeks.

Broadband Infrastructure Grant Awards:

  • Comcast – $33.1 million
  • Verizon – $11.8 million
  • Mediacom – $11.1 million

“Stable, high-speed internet connection is important for all Delaware families, students, and businesses,” said Governor Carney. “Now, with the availability of federal funds, we are on our way to giving Delawareans across the state access to connect to school, work, health care, and more. Thank you to the Department of Technology and Information working toward our goal of being the first state to connect every residence and business to broadband internet.”

Over the next 36 months, Comcast, Verizon and Mediacom will build out and extend current infrastructure to deliver fixed, wireline internet access with transmission speeds that, at a minimum, provide 100 megabits per second (100 Mbps) download and 20 megabits per second (20 Mbps) upload.

Delawareans can find out if their area has internet access and report addresses that do not using Delaware’s Broadband Hub (https://gis.broadband.delaware.gov/). DTI plans to update the interactive map with expansion project updates and real-time data. Addresses reported as lacking service during the construction phase will be included within the current project.

“Expanding access to reliable broadband service has long been a priority for Delaware,” said Chief Information Officer of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information Jason Clarke. “Thanks to our ability to leverage funding made available from Congress and the President and with the support of Governor Carney, we are excited to execute on the strategy of our stakeholders and our well-positioned vendor community to close the digital divide in Delaware.” 

The Broadband Infrastructure Grants are part of the $110 million commitment to broadband infrastructure Governor Carney announced in August 2021. Funding for this initiative comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, both of which were supported by the Delaware congressional delegation –  Senator Tom Carper, Senator Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester – and signed into law by President Biden. 

The grants cover up to 75 percent of the capital construction costs, with the internet service providers contributing a minimum 25 percent match. Selections were made based on an efficient edge-out strategy extending the services of current vendors to close broadband gaps as outlined in the Delaware Broadband Strategic Plan. This plan was developed by a diverse group of stakeholders with representation from the public and private sector across the state. Applicants had to be current State of Delaware service providers with existing broadband infrastructure to be eligible for the grant.

“We are thrilled to be given this opportunity to expand Mediacom’s fiber network and increase high-speed broadband access within Delaware,” said Chris Lord, Mediacom’s Director of Government Partnerships. “The staff at the Delaware Department of Technology and Information created an amazingly efficient application process that effectively utilizes public resources to encourage private investment while leveraging existing fiber infrastructure.”  

“Verizon is excited to participate in Delaware’s Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, ” said Tony Lewis, Vice President of Public Policy for Verizon. “This Grant will help Verizon deploy our best in class all-fiber network technology to deliver our flagship Fios Home Internet service — with speeds up to 940 Mbps and no data caps —  to roughly 3,000 additional unserved locations. We appreciate the leadership of Governor Carney and the other State officials in quickly and aggressively implementing the federal funding that President Biden and Congress have made available to help close the digital divide. We look forward to a continued partnership with the State for this and future programs that will flow from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

“We’re proud to partner with the state of Delaware and continue our investment to bring our fiber-rich network and advanced services to residents up and down the state,” said Michael Parker, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Beltway Region. “This partnership will bolster the hundreds of millions of dollars Comcast has already invested in the state to connect thousands of currently unserved homes to our gigabit speed fiber network. Technology is a powerful driver of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth, and we’re committed to helping individuals and communities fully participate in the digital economy.”

For more information on investments with American Rescue Plan Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds, visit de.gov/rescueplan and de.gov/infrastructure.

###


Delaware to Solicit Water Quality Improvement Projects With Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding

Virtual Public Workshop Scheduled on March 24

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, in conjunction with the Division of Public Health, will begin soliciting for new water quality improvement projects March 24 as DNREC and DPH start to develop 2022 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving (DWSRF) project priority lists. Projects must be listed on the CWSRF and DWSRF project priority lists to be considered for funding – this year, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding for clean water and drinking water projects will be provided through the existing State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs.

Notices of Intent (NOI) for SRF wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and related infrastructure projects must be received by DNREC Environmental Finance by close of business at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 25.

DNREC will hold a State Revolving Loan Fund virtual public workshop at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 24 offering a detailed overview of the CWSRF and DWSRF programs. Attendees will get guidance on requesting financial assistance for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project needs. Pre-registration for the virtual workshop is required.

Workshop attendees also will learn how SRF programs administered by DNREC Environmental Finance can provide a wide range of financial assistance, including:

  • A one-stop loan application process for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project assistance, including new funding available under the B
  • New under BIL – supplemental funding available to address emerging contaminants and lead service line replacement
  • New under BIL – additional subsidies to disadvantaged communities for water infrastructure projects
  •  

The workshop also will cover information about planning tools to assist SRF applicants

  • Wastewater, drinking water, and surface water matching planning grants
  • Asset management planning grants
  • Project planning advances
  • Planning and design loans

Additionally, the workshop will offer guidance on how and when to submit projects for funding consideration; project ranking criteria; project construction requirements, and how to apply for infrastructure planning grants. Information on the loan and grant programs and applications can be found at de.gov/envfinance.

Applications for wastewater, drinking water, surface water matching planning grants are also due by DNREC close of business at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 25.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Environmental Finance team administers Delaware’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, making funding available to municipalities, the private sector, nonprofit organizations and individuals. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov.


Delaware to Adopt Zero Emission Vehicle Regulation

Goal is to Increase Electric Vehicle Availability, Purchases in First State and Save Delaware Drivers Money

WILMINGTON, Del. — Governor John Carney on Thursday announced that Delaware will join 13 other states in adopting California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations, providing drivers looking to purchase an electric vehicle with more choices at Delaware dealerships.

“In 2017, we signed on to the U.S. Climate Alliance, committing to reduce our carbon emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025. Adopting ZEV regulations will help us make progress on those goals, as well as the other goals outlined in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan,” said Governor Carney. “By adopting the ZEV regulations, Delaware drivers won’t have to go out of state to find an electric vehicle to purchase, and our dealerships will benefit by keeping Delaware customers in Delaware. By creating a better environment for the sale and purchase of electric vehicles, and aligning the environment with massive investments in infrastructure from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will create a positive electric vehicle future in our state.”

Managed by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), the ZEV program is designed to accelerate the commercialization of battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles. The regulations mandate that a certain percentage of the vehicles delivered for sale in a state are ZEV vehicles. Manufacturers receive credits for each delivered vehicle based on the type of vehicle, range and other factors. Each year, manufacturers must meet a ZEV credit amount that is based on average annual sales. In states already in the program, the automobile industry has successfully met the required percentage.

Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware. DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin said increasing the number of zero emission vehicles on Delaware roads, along with building out the state’s electric vehicle charging network are key strategies outlined in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, a result of a two year-long process involving residents, businesses, and technical experts.

Advancing these strategies will reduce carbon pollutionimprove air quality and help support fuel savings for the average consumer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, switching to an electric vehicle could save a household approximately $500 to $1,000 on fuel costs per year. Electric vehicles also tend to have lower maintenance costs than gasoline cars, which also reduces ownership costs.

“Since 2015, Delaware has managed several successful incentive programs to encourage residents and businesses to switch to clean transportation alternatives,” said Secretary Garvin. “In tandem with the electric transportation infrastructure investments being made by the state, ZEV will help provide momentum to our transition to an electric transportation future.”

The DNREC Clean Vehicle Rebate Program currently offers rebates up to $2,500 within 90 days of a vehicle purchase or lease before June 30, 2022. In November, DNREC also announced a $1.4 million grant program to expand Delaware’s electric charging network. Funding will be targeted to increase the availability of electric vehicle infrastructure in areas where access to fast charging stations is limited. 

In addition, the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide almost $18 million to Delaware over five years to build out the state’s electric vehicle charging networks along major routes, and contains possible funding opportunities for electric transit buses, electric school buses and other electric vehicle infrastructure.

Implementation of the ZEV regulations would not take place until model year 2027 (2026) to provide manufacturers time to adjust their inventories and prepare dealerships. There are currently at least 45 ZEV models available to customers in the United States, and over 1.5 million ZEVs have been sold nationwide.

###