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Illinois EPA Announces Second Notice of Funding Opportunity for Unsewered Communities Construction Grants

Press Release - Monday, September 12, 2022

$20 Million Available for Construction Grants for Wastewater Collection and/or Treatment Facilities

SPRINGFIELD —Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim today announced a new funding opportunity to assist communities where there are currently no wastewater collection and/or treatment facilities. As part of Governor Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, Illinois EPA is making $20 million available for grants through the Unsewered Communities Construction Grant Program, which seeks proposals for projects that will provide wastewater collection and/or treatment facilities for areas where there are currently none. A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) has been posted to the Illinois EPA website.

"No community should face the dangerous effects of untreated or mismanaged wastewater," said Governor JB Pritzker. "I signed Rebuild Illinois into law precisely to help areas across our state receive funding for critical upgrades. With IEPA's support, local projects can rebuild sewer and wastewater infrastructure, creating construction and engineering jobs, and securing safe and clean water for their communities."

"We know our small and disadvantage communities are working to provide a safe and healthy environment for their residents. For many of those communities, obtaining funding to develop appropriate wastewater collection and treatment systems is the primary hurdle," said Director Kim. "Through our Unsewered Communities Grant Programs, we have already awarded over 50 grants to communities to develop project plans that will address wastewater problems. We anticipate many of those project plans are ready to move to the construction phase, which is the goal of this funding opportunity."

In 2020, Illinois EPA committed to making $100 million in Unsewered Communities Construction Grant Program (UCCGP) funds available over five years. This is the second round of funding for the UCCGP. The first round provided essential funding to five communities, which were announced in December of 2021.

The UCCGP is one of two grant programs benefiting communities that do not currently have wastewater collection and treatment facilities. The Unsewered Communities Planning Grant Program (UCPGP) provides funding for initial project plans for these communities, while the UCCGP provides an opportunity to receive grant money for design engineering, construction engineering, and construction related activities. If a portion of the project includes the abandonment of old septic systems, the applicant may include those associated costs within construction. The goal of both these programs is to provide a solution to the human health hazards and environmental impacts resulting from the lack of wastewater collection and treatment.

All required UCCGP forms and information can be found at: https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/grants-loans/unsewered-communities/Pages/UCCGP.aspx. Applications for the UCPGP program will be accepted September 12, 2022 through 12:00 PM (CST) on November 15, 2022.

Applicants must pre-qualify through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal.

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