Top 10 Takeaways from the Rural and Tribal Assistance Program Notice of Funding Opportunity

The Build America Bureau of the U.S. DOT released a new Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program. This pilot program comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and supports rural and tribal communities with technical assistance to plan for upcoming infrastructure projects. Over the next five years, $10 million will be available through this program to advance infrastructure work. Interested parties can review a copy of the 4-page application here. 

The EC’s top ten takeaways from this NOFO include:  

  1. A local match is not required. Communities will not have to find additional funds to support this grant. 
  2. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants can expect a response to their application within 60 days of receipt.  
  3. The application will open at 2 p.m. ET on August 14, 2023.  
  4. Eligible applicants include:
    • Local units of government outside an urbanized area with a population of at least 150,000 residents; 
    • A state working on a project outside an urbanized area with a population of at least 150,000 residents; 
    • Federally recognized Indian Tribes; 
    • The Department of Hawaiian Homelands. 
  5. Assistance will be awarded as a direct monetary grant, and reimbursement will come from the Federal government every month for eligible expenses. 
  6. The first round of funding will combine FY22 and FY23 to disperse $3.4 million to awarded applicants. FY2022 awards authorize up to $320,000 per community, and FY2023 will award up to $360,000 per community. 
  7. Funds are expected to provide early-stage development assistance for rural and tribal infrastructure projects. These activities include feasibility studies, engineering design, environmental review, cost-benefit analyses, and financial feasibility. See examples of eligible uses of funding. 
  8. A successful application meets the following two criteria:
    • Appropriateness of services requested. 
    • Viability of grant fund requested. 
  9. The Bureau seeks applications that pursue safety, economic strength and global competitiveness, equity, climate and sustainability, transformation, and organizational excellence. 
  10. To provide further information about the pilot program, the DOT hosted a webinar on June 15 at 3 p.m. ET. A recording will be posted on the program’s webpage. 

Amy Malaki

Amy Malaki is the Director of Partnerships and Policy at SkyNRG and SkyNRG Americas, pioneering global leaders in sustainable aviation fuel production and supply. Prior to SkyNRG, Amy was the Associate Director for the transportation portfolio at the ClimateWorks Foundation where she developed philanthropic investment strategies to advance a sustainable, equitable and low-carbon mobility system. She also pioneered the organization’s international aviation decarbonization strategy. Prior to that she focused on Asia business development at Better Place, a Silicon Valley electric vehicle network startup. She has a B.A. in Chinese and China studies from the University of Washington and an M.A. in international policy studies (energy and environment) from Stanford University.