United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 28, 2020

§ 602.
Determination of eligibility and project selection
(a)
Eligibility.—
(1)
In general.—
A project shall be eligible to receive credit assistance under the TIFIA program if—
(A)
the entity proposing to carry out the project submits a letter of interest prior to submission of a formal application for the project; and
(B)
the project meets the criteria described in this subsection.
(2)
Creditworthiness.—
(A)
In general.—
To be eligible for assistance under the TIFIA program, a project shall satisfy applicable creditworthiness standards, which, at a minimum, shall include—
(i)
a rate covenant, if applicable;
(ii)
adequate coverage requirements to ensure repayment;
(iii)
an investment grade rating from at least 2 rating agencies on debt senior to the Federal credit instrument; and
(iv)
a rating from at least 2 rating agencies on the Federal credit instrument, subject to the condition that, with respect to clause (iii), if the total amount of the senior debt and the Federal credit instrument is less than $75,000,000, 1 rating agency opinion for each of the senior debt and Federal credit instrument shall be sufficient.
(B)
Senior debt.—
Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), in a case in which the Federal credit instrument is the senior debt, the Federal credit instrument shall be required to receive an investment grade rating from at least 2 rating agencies, unless the credit instrument is for an amount less than $75,000,000, in which case 1 rating agency opinion shall be sufficient.
(3)
Inclusion in transportation plans and programs.—
A project shall satisfy the applicable planning and programming requirements of sections 134 and 135 at such time as an agreement to make available a Federal credit instrument is entered into under the TIFIA program.
(4)
Application.—
A State, local government, public authority, public-private partnership, or any other legal entity undertaking the project and authorized by the Secretary shall submit a project application that is acceptable to the Secretary.
(5)
Eligible project cost parameters.—
(A)
In general.—
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a project under the TIFIA program shall have eligible project costs that are reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed the lesser of—
(i)
$50,000,000; and
(ii)
33⅓ percent of the amount of Federal highway funds apportioned for the most recently completed fiscal year to the State in which the project is located.
(B)
Exceptions.—
(i)
Intelligent transportation systems.—
In the case of a project principally involving the installation of an intelligent transportation system, eligible project costs shall be reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed $15,000,000.
(ii)
Transit-oriented development projects.—
In the case of a project described in section 601(a)(12)(E), eligible project costs shall be reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed $10,000,000.
(iii)
Rural projects.—
In the case of a rural infrastructure project or a project capitalizing a rural projects fund, eligible project costs shall be reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed $10,000,000, but not to exceed $100,000,000.
(iv)
Local infrastructure projects.—
Eligible project costs shall be reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed $10,000,000 in the case of a project or program of projects—
(I)
in which the applicant is a local government, public authority, or instrumentality of local government;
(II)
located on a facility owned by a local government; or
(III)
for which the Secretary determines that a local government is substantially involved in the development of the project.
(6)
Dedicated revenue sources.—
The applicable Federal credit instrument shall be repayable, in whole or in part, from—
(A)
tolls;
(B)
user fees;
(C)
payments owing to the obligor under a public-private partnership; or
(D)
other dedicated revenue sources that also secure or fund the project obligations.
(7)
Public sponsorship of private entities.—
In the case of a project that is undertaken by an entity that is not a State or local government or an agency or instrumentality of a State or local government, the project that the entity is undertaking shall be publicly sponsored as provided in paragraph (3).
(8)
Applications where obligor will be identified later.—
A State, local government, agency or instrumentality of a State or local government, or public authority may submit to the Secretary an application under paragraph (4), under which a private party to a public-private partnership will be—
(A)
the obligor; and
(B)
identified later through completion of a procurement and selection of the private party.
(9)
Beneficial effects.—
The Secretary shall determine that financial assistance for the project under the TIFIA program will—
(A)
foster, if appropriate, partnerships that attract public and private investment for the project;
(B)
enable the project to proceed at an earlier date than the project would otherwise be able to proceed or reduce the lifecycle costs (including debt service costs) of the project; and
(C)
reduce the contribution of Federal grant assistance for the project.
(10)
Project readiness.—
(A)
In general.—
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), to be eligible for assistance under the TIFIA program, the applicant shall demonstrate a reasonable expectation that the contracting process for construction of the project can commence by no later than 90 days after the date on which a Federal credit instrument is obligated for the project under the TIFIA program.
(B)
Rural projects fund.—
In the case of a project capitalizing a rural projects fund, the State infrastructure bank shall demonstrate, not later than 2 years after the date on which a secured loan is obligated for the project under the TIFIA program, that the bank has executed a loan agreement with a borrower for a rural infrastructure project in accordance with section 610. After the demonstration is made, the bank may draw upon the secured loan. At the end of the 2-year period, to the extent the bank has not used the loan commitment, the Secretary may extend the term of the loan or withdraw the loan commitment.
(b)
Selection Among Eligible Projects.—
(1)
Establishment.—
The Secretary shall establish a rolling application process under which projects that are eligible to receive credit assistance under subsection (a) shall receive credit assistance on terms acceptable to the Secretary, if adequate funds are available to cover the subsidy costs associated with the Federal credit instrument.
(2)
Master credit agreements.—
(A)
Program of related projects.—
The Secretary may enter into a master credit agreement for a program of related projects secured by a common security pledge on terms acceptable to the Secretary.
(B)
Adequate funding not available.—
If the Secretary fully obligates funding to eligible projects for a fiscal year and adequate funding is not available to fund a credit instrument, a project sponsor of an eligible project may elect to enter into a master credit agreement and wait to execute a credit instrument until the fiscal year for which additional funds are available to receive credit assistance.
(3)
Preliminary rating opinion letter.—
The Secretary shall require each project applicant to provide a preliminary rating opinion letter from at least 1 rating agency—
(A)
indicating that the senior obligations of the project, which may be the Federal credit instrument, have the potential to achieve an investment-grade rating; and
(B)
including a preliminary rating opinion on the Federal credit instrument.
(c)
Federal Requirements.—
(1)
In general.—
In addition to the requirements of this title for highway projects, the requirements of chapter 53 of title 49 for transit projects, and the requirements of section 5333(a) of title 49 for rail projects, the following provisions of law shall apply to funds made available under the TIFIA program and projects assisted with those funds:
(A)
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.).
(B)
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
(C)
The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.).
(2)
NEPA.—
No funding shall be obligated for a project that has not received an environmental categorical exclusion, a finding of no significant impact, or a record of decision under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
(d)
Application Processing Procedures.—
(1)
Notice of complete application.—
Not later than 30 days after the date of receipt of an application under this section, the Secretary shall provide to the applicant a written notice to inform the applicant whether—
(A)
the application is complete; or
(B)
additional information or materials are needed to complete the application.
(2)
Approval or denial of application.—
Not later than 60 days after the date of issuance of the written notice under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall provide to the applicant a written notice informing the applicant whether the Secretary has approved or disapproved the application.
(e)
Development Phase Activities.—
Any credit instrument secured under the TIFIA program may be used to finance up to 100 percent of the cost of development phase activities as described in section 601(a)(1)(A).
(Added Pub. L. 105–178, title I, § 1503(a), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 243, § 182; renumbered § 602 and amended Pub. L. 109–59, title I, §§ 1601(b), (c), 1602(b)(2), (5), (d), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1240, 1247; Pub. L. 112–141, div. A, title II, § 2002, July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 611; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title II, § 2001(b), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1440.)
cite as: 23 USC 602