The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Cassidy announces $5M for Louisiana infrastructure

Tribune Content Agency

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy announced on Wednesday that the U.S. Environment Protection Agency is giving Louisiana a grant of almost $5 million for solid waste infrastructure, with nearly $1 million going to West Monroe.

The grant was given as a part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, of which Cassidy was an author.

The IIJA provided $1.2 trillion for infrastructure spending, including funding for clean energy, bridge and road repairs, expanded access to high-speed internet, and public transportation.

According to Cassidy’s website, the $1 million given to West Monroe will go towards the expansion of covered space for receiving, processing and storing recyclables, as well as providing equipment that will enable the city to accept and process additional waste.

“No one wants to see trash in the streets, rivers and lakes in Louisiana. This infrastructure funding will help keep our communities healthier for our children and cleaner for all,” Cassidy said.

The other $4 million being granted to Louisiana will go to New Orleans in an effort to develop a 10-year Solid Waste Master Plan, along with expanding the city’s current residential curbside recycling program. 

The recent funds given to Louisiana focus on waste infrastructure, but the bill has contributed to many new projects. 

Some of these projects include the local restoration of Lake Pontchartrain, coastal hurricane protection and state broadband improvements.

The hundreds of billions that the U.S. has pushed into national infrastructure because of the IIJA is benefiting Louisiana. 

During the presidential campaign, one of Biden’s key campaign promises was revamping America’s infrastructure, and after negotiation, the IIJA became the final bipartisan agreement.

Cassidy was on a bipartisan group of senators to help write the bill after Republicans disagreed with the initial Democratic proposal.

While Cassidy sees the IIJA as a “major victory”, Louisiana’s other U.S. Senator, John Kennedy, voted against the bill. Kennedy was concerned that Louisiana would lose money and the state’s taxpayers would not benefit as much as other states. 

“This bill shortchanges Louisiana and America,” Kennedy said. “I support infrastructure, but not ‘at any cost.’” 

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