Illinois EPA Announces $1 Million in Grant Awards for Unsewered Communities
SPRINGFIELD —Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director John Kim today announced grant awards totaling $1 million in funding to assist unsewered communities with inadequate or nonexistent wastewater collection and treatment systems. The Unsewered Communities Planning Grant Program will assist small and disadvantaged communities to develop project plans that identify solutions to wastewater collection and treatment needs. The program is made possible through Governor Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the first in nearly a decade.
Illinois has more than 200 "unsewered" communities that lack wastewater collection and/or treatment systems. Many of these communities have patchwork systems or decades-old underground "wildcat" pipes that illegally discharge to surface waters. While a lack of planning capacity is often a significant initial barrier for these communities, the biggest hurdle remains the lack of local revenue to invest in the construction and long-term operations and maintenance of modern collection and/or treatment facilities.
"Because of the historic investments of the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, Illinoisans in every part of the state will see significant upgrades in their communities, not only in our roads and bridges but in our wastewater collection and treatment facilities," said Governor JB Pritzker. "The Unsewered Communities Construction Grants program will provide disadvantaged communities across Illinois with the needed funds to improve sewer systems and reduce impacts in the environment. These investments are only one piece of the capital plan and we will continue working to improve the financial wellbeing, health, education and safety of all Illinois residents."
"Proper wastewater collection and treatment is important for the health and welfare of Illinois' communities," said Director Kim. "This grant program was created to assist those communities with the initial funding to develop a formal plan to address the wastewater needs, which could ultimately lead to them submitting an application for an Unsewered Communities Construction Grant from Illinois EPA."
The Unsewered Communities Planning Grant Program (UCPGP) provides communities an opportunity to obtain funding to develop a Project Plan that will address problems with the collection and treatment of wastewater. Information from the Project Plans may also be used to apply for a grant from the Unsewered Communities Construction Grant Program (UCCGP), which was also announced by Illinois EPA in September 2020. Over the next five years, Illinois EPA UCCGP is making $100 million available through Governor Pritzker's bipartisan Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan for construction of wastewater collection and/or treatment facilities.
A list of grant recipients under the UCPGP is attached.
County of Applicant
Madison and St. Clair
New Salem Township