Following Shaheen provision being signed into law, NBRC announces grants for communities impacted by forest product plant closures
WASHINGTON — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, applauded the Northern Border Regional Commission’s (NBRC) announcement that grant applications for communities impacted by forest product plant closures are now being accepted for fiscal year (FY) 2019. In addition to securing $20 million in NBRC funding in the FY 2019 spending bill that was signed into law, Shaheen included language to ensure portions of NBRC funds be directed to assist rural communities affected by past mill closures, as well as support new markets and the infrastructure needs of the forest products industry. Federal funds from both FY18 and 19 appropriations legislation totaling $7 million in federal grants will be set-aside through her provision to help communities impacted by forest product plant closures.
“The Northern Border Regional Commission plays an important role in our rural communities, and particularly in areas that are economically distressed due to forest product plant closures,” said Shaheen. “The shuttering of these plants is a serious issue in northern New Hampshire, which is why the federal assistance provided through the NBRC is such a critical tool for impacted areas. I encourage Granite State leaders to take advantage of this resource and look at the high-priority projects in their region that will benefit from these federal dollars — from expanding broadband access to improving crumbling infrastructure – and apply today!”
More information on the grant application process can be found at www.nbrc.cgsrvr.com/.
The NBRC provides federal support throughout northern New Hampshire and has funded grants that spur economic and community development in the North Country. Shaheen has led efforts in Congress that support and invest in the NBRC, and included her bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand the NBRC’s reach in the Farm Bill that was signed into law last month. With support from Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), the legislation expanded the NBRC to include Cheshire County and communities in Belknap County.
Shaheen has long advocated for America’s forests and initiatives that would survey and repurpose biomass for clean energy initiatives. Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) – the Community Wood Energy Innovation Act — was included in the Farm Bill signed into law last month. Their bipartisan bill incentivizes investments in energy-efficient wood energy systems and supports facilities that repurpose low-grade, low-value wood that would otherwise be sent to landfills. Last year, Shaheen introduced the Forest Incentives Program Act, legislation that would provide incentives for private forest owners to improve and maintain sustainable forest management and for non-residential building owners to use less energy-intensive products, such as wood, as building materials.