SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced grant awards totaling $1 million in funding to help unsewered communities with poor 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.
“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,” ”said Governor JB Pritzker. “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.”
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||Applicant||Grant Amount|
|Madison and St. Clair||Collinsville||$30,000|
|Pike||New Salem Township||$30,000|
|Rock Island||Port Byron||$19,000|