The IMAGINE Act would create new grant programs – one at the Federal Highway Administration for bridge construction and repair and one at the Environmental Protection Agency for water treatment and distribution – that provide funding to municipalities to use innovative materials like composites and others in projects designed to reduce lifecycle and maintenance costs and extend the service life beyond traditional performance. It would also promote research on the next generation of infrastructure solutions by authorizing Innovative Material Innovation Hubs and creating an interagency taskforce on standards development for innovative infrastructure.
The bill has been introduced in the Senate (S. 3341) by Sens. Whitehouse (D-RI), Alexander (R-TN), Rounds (R-SD) and Booker (D-NJ) and in the House (H.R. 6653) by Reps. Esty (D-CT), Comstock (R-VA), and Cicilline (D-RI). ACMA worked with these offices for close to two years to develop the IMAGINE Act from infancy. Along the way, we’ve secured support from companies and associations across the infrastructure value chain and started a coalition committed to the effort. This coalition will be essential in seeing the tenets of the IMAGINE Act signed into law.
For ACMA as an advocacy force, this is a historic moment. We are no longer just along for the ride on legislation, we are now in the driver’s seat. And we are not pushing one composite solution, we are advocating for a paradigm shift in how this country handles infrastructure investment.
But the journey is far from over. To see the IMAGINE Act signed into law, or its major tenets integrated into a broader infrastructure package, we need to significantly increase support on Capitol Hill for these ideas. Composites companies all around America can make a difference by securing their members of Congress as sponsors of the IMAGINE Act. ACMA has developed an online toolkit to help our members reach their elected leaders, and we hope you’ll join us in action.
Together we can change the way America thinks about our built environment. It’s going to be a long hard journey, but I hope you’ll join us for the ride.