Federal agencies are moving out more federal stimulus aid. The Federal Aviation Administration said March 12 that it had released the first two allocations of its $1.1 billion in airport aid under the stimulus. Those allotments, totaling $12 million, will go to two Pittsburgh-area airports.
In addition, the Dept. of Energy said it plans to release to state and local agencies an initial installment of about $780 million of the $8 billion the stimulus provided to DOE for home weatherization assistance and aid to states' energy offices. DOE says that the initial allocations include $471.8 million for the weatherization program and $307 million for the State Energy Program.
For FAA, the first airport stimulus allocations include $10 million to Pittsburgh International Airport for grading, paving, signs and lighting improvements to one of its four main runways. The other award is $2 billion to the Allegheny County Airport, which serves general-aviation aircraft. That airport will use the money to renovate a taxiway and relocate a ramp. Both airports are operated by the Allegheny County Airport Authority.
In all, the stimulus allocated $1.1 billion to FAA for airport grants, instructing the agency to distribute the money on a discretionary basis to airport authorities that apply for the aid.
FAA must act quickly. The legislation directs the agency to obligate at least half of the airport stimulus funds by June 17, which is 120 days after the stimulus measure's enactment.
DOE says that the weatherization program will permit an average of about $6,500 per home in energy-efficiency upgrades, such as insulation, sealing leaks and improved heating and air conditioning equipment. Participation is limited to families who earn up to 200% of the federal poverty level. In most states, the 200% threshold equals about $44,000 a year for a family of four. The benchmark is higher for those living in Alaska and Hawaii.
The DOE stimulus aid to state energy offices can go for a variety of uses, including rebates for energy audits, funding for renewable-energy electricity generation and energy-efficiency upgrades for state and local government buildings.