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Biden-Harris Administration and EPA Announce Delivery of Historic Water Infrastructure Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Illinois

CHICAGO (October 11, 2022) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced more than $148 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to the state of Illinois for water infrastructure improvements.

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates more than $50 billion to EPA toward repairing the nation’s essential water infrastructure, in turn helping communities access clean, safe, and reliable drinking water, prevent flooding, collect and treat wastewater to protect public health, and safeguard vital waterways.   

Following a town hall with local elected officials, EPA Regional Administrator Debra Shore joined White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, Congressman Bill Foster, Illinois EPA Director John Kim, and Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk on a tour of the City of Joliet Aux Sable Wastewater Treatment Plant.

"President Biden has been clear—we cannot leave any community behind as we rebuild America's infrastructure with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law," said White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu. "Because of his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, nearly half of the additional SRF funding will now be grants or forgivable loans, making accessing these critical water resources easier for small, rural and disadvantaged communities."

"The historic investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is accelerating critical infrastructure upgrades in communities, especially those overburdened by water challenges,” said EPA Regional Administrator Debra Shore. "EPA is proud to partner with Illinois to maximize the benefits of these resources – including modernized infrastructure, lead service line replacement, and increased resiliency to climate impacts – in communities where they’re most needed.”

“Every person deserves access to safe, reliable drinking water, and today’s announcement will help make that a reality,” said U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14). “From my first day in Congress, I’ve heard from so many communities across the 14th District about their significant water infrastructure challenges. Now, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Illinois State Revolving Funds will help deliver on those needs, and I am so excited to be here in our community with Coordinator Landrieu and our local partners today to announce these federal dollars coming home.”

“Every household – no matter their zip code – deserves safe drinking water, and clean lakes, streams, and rivers for future generations to enjoy. I was proud to work with Rep. Underwood to secure $3.5 million in federal funding to support the work being done to replace aging service lines, including lead lines, in Joliet,” said U.S. Representative Bill Foster (IL-11). “In addition, I’m proud to be advocating for over $3 million in funding to support the Joliet area as they to tap into Lake Michigan as their primary source of drinking water. Paired with the historic investments found in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these projects will ensure our country has the water resources it deserves for decades to come.”

“Illinois EPA’s SRF Program has provided over $6.1 billion in financial assistance over the last decade to Illinois communities for water infrastructure projects,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim. “We are pleased that USEPA has approved our plan for the FY22 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds, which will offer even more opportunities for municipalities and water systems to benefit from grants and below-market loans, especially for disadvantaged communities with the greatest needs. Illinois EPA looks forward to continuing to work with our local, state, and federal partners to address aging drinking and wastewater systems and protect human health and the environment.”

Illinois has been awarded more than $148 million in capitalization grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law through its State Revolving Funds (SRFs) program. These grants supplement nearly $79 million in regular FY22 funding to Illinois’ SRFs program. An additional $139 million in FY22 capitalization grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are forthcoming.

EPA's SRFs are part of President Biden's Justice40 initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits from certain federal programs flow to underserved communities. Furthermore, nearly half the funding available through the SRFs thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law must be grants or principal forgiveness loans that remove barriers to investing in essential water infrastructure in underserved communities across America.

Illinois has submitted and obtained EPA’s approval of their plans for use of the FY22 funding announced today. Capitalization grants will continue to be awarded, on a rolling, state-by-state basis, as more states submit applications; states will also receive awards over the course of the next four years. Once grants are awarded, state programs will begin to deliver the funds as grants and loans to communities across their state.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents the largest-ever funding opportunity for investing in water infrastructure. Find out more about Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs and other programs that help communities manage their water resources on EPA's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law page.

Click here to read the full press release on the EPA website.

© Copyright 2023 United States Environmental Protection AgencyNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 284

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The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency or the EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

EPA's purpose is to ensure that:

  • all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;
  • national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
  • federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
  • environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies...