Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today applauded $284,142 in federal funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to boost innovation and skills training in the Town of Pulaski, and to provide direct technical assistance for initiatives that help develop local economies and infrastructures in Virginia’s 25 Appalachian counties and eight Appalachian cities

“As our economy continues to evolve, we need to make sure that we’re investing in workers across Appalachia and making sure they’re equipped with the skills they need to succeed in new industries,” said the Senators. “We are glad to know that these grants will help set the groundwork for important skills training and economic development in the region.”

  • The Town of Pulaski will receive $44,142 for a project that will help create a plan for a training center and makerspace. The center will seek to increase the number of workers trained in skills needed in the region and provide a location for innovators and entrepreneurs to work. The plan will also assess the potential for programming to include individuals not traditionally able or inclined to seek training such as those pursuing second careers, post-incarceration, or post-addiction.
  • The Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development will receive $240,000 to assist in the administration of the Virginia ARC program, which helps promote long- and short-term economic development, infrastructure development, skills training, telecommunications, local capacity building, entrepreneurial assistance, education, and health care in the Commonwealth’s 25 Appalachian counties and eight Appalachian cities. The funding will support direct technical assistance for initiatives in ARC communities, as well as the salaries and benefits for nine staffers.  

The funding was awarded through ARC, an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties in the Appalachian region. ARC's mission is to innovate, partner, and invest in the growth of new industries in Appalachia to diversify the region’s economy. Warner and Kaine have been strong advocates for a fully funded ARC so that it can continue to increase employment and economic opportunities for those living in Appalachia.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released a statement today following a decision by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to include Warren County in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program:

“Despite increased public awareness about the dangers of opioids, this epidemic continues to devastate families all across the Commonwealth,” said the Senators. “We applaud the Office of National Drug Control Policy for including Warren County in the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA Program. We look forward to seeing these federal resources put to use to prevent future tragedies in Warren County as we continue working to channel additional federal dollars to fight this ongoing crisis.”

Opioid overdoses have surpassed car accidents and gun violence as the leading cause of accidental death in Virginia, with more than 1,500 overdose-related deaths in 2017. In Warren County alone, pharmacies distributed an average of 45 opioid pills per person, per year between 2006 and 2012.

HIDTA, a program created by Congress, is designed to facilitate law enforcement coordination at the federal, state, local, and tribal level in areas designated as critical drug-trafficking regions. In addition to facilitating law enforcement cooperation, HIDTA aims to enhance the sharing of intelligence among law enforcement agencies, facilitate the design of effective enforcement strategies and operations, and support coordinated law enforcement strategies in order to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in the United States.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have long advocated for increased federal funding to combat the opioid epidemic in Virginia. Last year, the Senators worked to successfully pass bipartisan legislation to help communities across Virginia by improving opioid treatment and recovery efforts and providing new tools for law enforcement. In 2016, Sens. Warner and Kaine also successfully advocated for the inclusion of other Virginia counties into HIDTA.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced $110,000 in federal funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will help the Chickahominy Indian Tribe build environmental capacity.

“Last year, we fought for the federal government to finally recognize the Chickahominy tribe, allowing it to compete for educational programs and grants like this one,” said the Senators. “Today, we are glad to see that these federal funds will go towards assisting the Chickahominy people in building a strong environmental program.”

The $110,000 will assist the Chickahominy Indian Tribe in developing a tribal environmental program, developing foundational environmental documents and organizing community events.  

The funding was awarded through the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program, which assists federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia with planning, developing and establishing environmental protection programs in Indian country, and developing and implementing solid and hazardous waste programs on tribal lands. In 2018, Sens. Warner and Kaine successfully passed legislation granting federal recognition for the Chickahominy tribe and five other Virginia tribes.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today announced that the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) in Blacksburg, Va. will receive $15 million in federal funding to support research on safe automated driving integration. The funding, from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), follows aggressive advocacy by Sen. Warner, who personally pressed Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao to grant Virginia the maximum award possible to continue the Commonwealth’s leadership in the growing unmanned systems industry.

“I’ve long called for increased funding for unmanned systems research because I know that innovation and advancement in this field can boost U.S. competitiveness, increase efficiency, and ultimately, improve lives across the globe,” said Sen. Warner, a former technology entrepreneur. “With new technologies, and particularly with automated driving systems, it’s important to get safety right the first time. That’s why I’m so excited to announce that this federal funding will support VTTI in continuing to safely blaze the trail for the future of transportation.”

“New technologies like automated vehicles create exciting opportunities, as well as some challenges, and there is no better place to hone our understanding of these issues than the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. From auto safety testing to road design to the incorporation of new technology into our transportation network, VTTI is the gold standard, and these grants will go toward research that will incur long-term benefits for the Commonwealth and beyond,” said U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).

“Receiving these prestigious awards from the U.S. Department of Transportation is an honor and fantastic for Virginia Tech and Virginia. Over the years, VTTI has established itself as a global leader for automated vehicle evaluation and development. We are very happy to take these important steps to move automated vehicles forward to save lives, improve mobility across the population, and reduce the impact of vehicle emissions,” said Tom Dingus, director of VTTI and endowed professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics at Virginia Tech.

The funding is comprised of two $7.5 million grants that will support two VTTI projects. One project will seek to define, develop, and demonstrate key dynamic scenarios and their potential solutions for safe interaction of vehicles equipped with automated driving systems in a Northern Virginia corridor optimized for vehicle automation. The other will seek to develop and demonstrate a Fleet Concept of Operations to provide the trucking industry with clear guidelines on how to safely implement, and benefit from trucks equipped with automated driving systems.

The grants were awarded through the Automated Driving System (ADS) Demonstration Grants program, which provides federal funding to demonstration projects that test the safe integration of automated driving systems into the Nation’s on-road transportation system. These grants aim to gather significant safety data to inform rulemaking, foster collaboration amongst state and local government and private partners, and test the safe integration of ADS on U.S. roads. 

Sen. Warner has been a longtime advocate for research and investment in unmanned systems, including driverless cars, drones, and unmanned maritime vehicles. Last year, he helped ensure Virginia’s participation in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP). He also introduced a successful bipartisan amendment to double funding for unmanned aircraft systems and introduced bipartisan legislation designed to advance the development of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). 

Last month, Sen. Warner joined local and industry leaders at Lonesome Pine Airport in Wise, Va. to unveil a sign marking the first FAA-approved unmanned aircraft system delivery in the United States in 2015.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $1,455,722.85 in federal funding for the Lexington, Manassas, Bristol, and Portsmouth Fire Departments. The funding will be awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.

“It’s crucial for firefighters to have the tools necessary to best serve their communities,” the Senators said. “We’re pleased to announce this funding to help local fire departments across Virginia purchase equipment to enhance public safety.”

The following Virginia fire departments will receive funding under the AFG program:

  • The City of Lexington Fire Department will receive $88,460.95 to purchase equipment.
  • The City of Manassas Fire Department will receive $332,500 to purchase personal protective equipment.
  • The City of Bristol Fire Department will receive $404,761.90 to purchase communications equipment.
  • The City of Portsmouth Fire Department will receive $630,000 to purchase equipment.

FEMA’s AFG program works to strengthen the safety of the public and firefighters by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and State Fire Training Academies for critically-needed resources.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $125,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update outdated equipment at police and fire departments in Augusta County, Halifax County, and the town of Glade Spring. The funding will help improve emergency response times and public safety in these communities.

“The men and women serving our communities need functional, up-to-date equipment that allows them to effectively do their jobs,” said the Senators. “We’re pleased that this funding will help enhance public safety in the Commonwealth.”

The following localities will receive funding:

  • In Augusta County, $50,000 will go towards the purchase of updated equipment for the Churchville Volunteer Fire Department.
  • In Halifax County, $50,000 will go towards the purchase of four new sheriff’s vehicles to replace outdated vehicles that pose a safety hazard to employees and, as a result of unreliable emergency response times, to the general public.
  • In Glade Springs, $25,000 will go towards the purchase of a 2019 Dodge Durango police vehicle. The purchase will allow the town to replace an older vehicle that poses a safety hazard to employees and, as a result of unreliable emergency response times, to the general public.

The funding comes from USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grants program, which seeks to develop key community facilities that provide essential services to the public in rural areas.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced $9,771,259 in federal funding to support access to safe and affordable housing in Norfolk, Roanoke City, and Loudoun County. This funding, from the United States Department of Housing (HUD), was awarded through three grant programs – the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), and the Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESG).

“We are happy to know that these federal dollars will help back efforts in Norfolk, Roanoke City, and Loudoun County to increase access to suitable, reasonably-priced housing for families who need it the most,” said the Senators.

The funding will be awarded as below.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing, and expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons:     

Recipient

Amount

 

Norfolk

$4,384,883

Roanoke City

$1,734,157

Loudoun County

$1,324,740

 

The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) provides formula grants to states and localities to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership as well as providing direct rental assistance to low-income people. HOME is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households:

Recipient

Amount

 

Norfolk

$1,191,349

Roanoke City

$622,255

The Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESG) provides funding to engage homeless individuals and families living on the street, improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families, rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families, and prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless:

Recipient

Amount

 

Norfolk

$366,887

Roanoke City

$146,988


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WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced that eight Virginia airports will receive $13,260,486 in funds from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help enhance new and existing infrastructure. The airports receiving funding serve the following Virginia cities: Charlottesville, Culpeper, Danville, Farmville, Mattaponi, Melfa, Quinton, and Roanoke.  

“We’re pleased to announce this funding to help Virginia airports improve their infrastructure,” said the Senators. “These grants will support our local airports as they work to make travel easier for Virginians.”

Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport will receive a grant of $3,690,181 to expand an apron.

Culpeper Regional Airport will receive a grant of $330,400 to remove obstructions.

Danville Regional Airport will receive a grant of $3,553,544 to rehabilitate an apron.

Farmville Regional Airport will receive a grant of $3,437,861 to rehabilitate a runway as well as reconstruct its lighting.

Middle Peninsula Regional Airport will receive a grant of $1,624,500 to rehabilitate a taxiway.

Accomack County Airport will receive a grant of $94,500 to rehabilitate an apron.

New Kent County Airport will receive a grant of $300,000 to conduct an environmental study.

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport will receive a grant of $229,500 to reconstruct airfield guidance signs, reconstruct runway lighting, and reconstruct taxiway lighting.

This funding was granted through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP), a program that provides grants for the planning and development of public-use airports that are significant to national air transportation.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced $1,060,000 in federal funding from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to support various improvement projects at airports in Newport News, Norfolk, Winchester, and Orange County.

“We’re happy to announce this federal funding for much-needed airport improvement projects,” said the Senators. “These grants will fund projects to upgrade our airports and make it safer to travel in and out of the Commonwealth.”  

  • Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport will receive $300,000.
  • Norfolk International Airport will receive $225,000.
  • Winchester Regional Airport will receive $420,000.
  • Orange County Airport will receive $115,000.

The funding was awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program, which supports infrastructure improvement projects at airports across the nation, including the construction and rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, and aprons. Sens. Warner and Kaine have long fought for increased investments to infrastructure, including for Virginia’s airports, and have pushed back against the Trump Administration’s suggested budget cuts to DOT to ensure that critical upgrades like these can happen. Additionally, Sen. Warner introduced a bill earlier this year to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure, create jobs, and generate economic stimulus.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today applauded more than $590,000 in federal funding for Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to expand digital access to library collections.

“Academic libraries are an invaluable resource with the potential to benefit universities and communities across the Commonwealth, said the Senators. “We are thrilled that this grant will allow Virginia Tech and the Blacksburg community to activate a wealth of existing knowledge and continue to foster learning and innovation.”

  • $505,214 will allow Virginia Tech University Libraries to deploy cutting-edge computer science and machine learning technologies to advance discovery, use, and potential for reuse of the knowledge hidden in the text of books and book-length documents. In collaboration with Virginia Tech Computer Science and Old Dominion University Computer Science, the effort will devise methods for the extracting and analyzing segments of long documents (chapters, reference lists, tables, figures), as well as methods for summarizing individual chapters of longer texts to enable findability.
  • $87,151 will go towards developing a model for community engagement that fosters robust partnerships among academic libraries and regional organizations in Blacksburg, Va. This model will help expand digital access to collections and networks that are rich in cultural heritage but are isolated due to a lack of robust digital infrastructures.

This funding was awarded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grants for Libraries program, which funds projects that enhance the quality of library and archive services nationwide by advancing theory and practice.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $844,100 in federal grants and loans for the towns of Quantico, Stanley, Pennington Gap, Marion, Galax, Cape Charles, and Exmore to purchase nine vehicles and equipment through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Rural Development.

“We’re pleased to support rural communities in Virginia with federal funding to improve safety and boost public facilities,” the Senators said. “This funding will help ensure that these communities can replace outdated equipment and better serve residents.”

The following localities will receive funding as follows:

The Town of Quantico will receive a grant of $21,600 and a loan of $17,800 to purchase a 2018 Ford F-150 police truck to provide reliable public safety services for the town of Quantico's residents. This new vehicle will replace a 27-year-old high mileage truck.

• The Town of Stanley will receive a grant of $35,700 and loan of $29,300 to purchase two Dodge Durangos to provide public and emergency services in Page County. 

• The Town of Pennington Gap will receive a grant of $50,000 and loan of $269,000 to purchase a new, properly equipped pumper truck. The truck is a 2019 crew cab pumper with a 1,250-gallon-per-minute pump and a 1,000-gallon tank and will replace a 1987 pumper. The new truck will be able to transport up to five people instead of only two, as allowed in the old truck.

• The Town of Marion will receive a grant of $50,000 and loan of $180,000 to purchase a properly equipped 4x4 Type 1 ambulance. The current ambulances are 10 to 21 years old. The town has been affected by the opioid crisis in Southwest Virginia, which has increased the number of ambulance calls for the Emergency Services Department. The present ambulance fleet is not sufficient to provide adequate coverage and services for the town and surrounding areas.

• The City of Galax will receive a grant of $25,000 and loan of $23,700 to purchase two police vehicles. The police vehicles are used 24 hours a day/7 days a week by three rotating shifts. They accumulate high mileage quickly, averaging 40,000 miles a year. Some of the older, high-mileage vehicles need to be replaced because they are no longer considered safe and reliable.

• The Town of Cape Charles will receive a grant of $11,000 and loan of $23,000 to purchase a police vehicle. Each of the town of Cape Charles' six police officers has a vehicle. The town has a six-year rotation policy, where they take the oldest vehicle or the one with the most mechanical problems out of service for the safety of their officers and town residents.

• The Town of Exmore will receive a grant of $50,000 and loan of $58,000 to purchase a six-wheel sanitation vehicle to serve the town of Exmore's residents and businesses. The town has two trucks for trash pickup. One of those vehicles was retired due to its age and poor condition, leaving one high-mileage 10-year-old truck to service the entire town.

USDA’s Community Facilities Program provides funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $8,655,600 in federal funding from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to support improvements at airports in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

“We’re excited to announce this funding that will help improve travel for Virginians,” the Senators said. “These grants will revitalize our airports with much-needed upgrades to help ensure safer travel in and out of the Commonwealth.”

  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will receive $4,921,500.
  • Leesburg Executive Airport will receive $900,000.
  • Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport will receive $2,834,100.

The funding was awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program within DOT. The program supports infrastructure improvement projects at airports across the country, including runways, taxiways, aprons, terminals, aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles, and snow removal equipment. Warner and Kaine have long fought for funding for Virginia’s airports and pushed back against the Trump Administration’s suggested budget cuts to DOT to ensure that upgrades like these can happen.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $1,021,000 in federal funding from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to support a runway expansion project at Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive Airport (VTMEA) in Blacksburg, Va.

“We’re excited to announce this funding to expand runway 12/30 so that the airport can better serve the needs of local residents, businesses, and the Virginia Tech community,” said the Senators.

The funding was awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program, which supports infrastructure improvement projects at airports across the country, including the construction and rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, and aprons. Sens. Warner and Kaine have long fought for increased investments to infrastructure, including for Virginia’s airports, and have pushed back against the Trump Administration’s suggested budget cuts to DOT to ensure that critical upgrades like these can happen. Additionally, Sen. Warner introduced legislation earlier this year to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure, create jobs, and generate economic stimulus.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that the University of Lynchburg will receive $1,446,533 in federal funding from the National Science Foundation to increase the effectiveness of future STEM teachers in teaching students with learning or developmental disabilities at schools in Lynchburg City, Amherst County, Bedford County, and Campbell County.

“With national and local STEM teacher shortages, this funding could not come at a better time for our Commonwealth,” said the Senators. “We are thrilled that this project will help equip future STEM teachers with the training they need to teach students with disabilities, while also working to make sure that educators better reflect the diverse communities they serve.” 

The NSF grant will go towards funding a project led by the University of Lynchburg, in partnership with Central Virginia Community College, the nonprofit Beacon of Hope, and the Lynchburg City, Amherst County, Bedford County, and Campbell County school districts. The project will seek to recruit 22 undergraduate students majoring in STEM fields, such as biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, or mathematics, and working to obtain their teacher certification. It will utilize experiential teaching opportunities to train these future STEM educators, who must be versed in specific educational techniques in order to properly serve students with learning or developmental disabilities. Additionally, the project will also focus on increasing teacher diversity and develop pathways for students at community colleges to transfer to the University of Lynchburg, where they can obtain their secondary teacher certification while pursuing a STEM degree. 

 

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