JOLIET – This week, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) announced that $148 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is coming home to Illinois. Underwood made the announcement at a press conference with Senior Advisor to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu. The funding will flow through Illinois’ Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), programs that provide communities with low-cost financing to improve their water infrastructure and ensure safe drinking water.
“Every person deserves access to safe, reliable drinking water, and today’s announcement to bring federal dollars to our communities will help make that a reality,” said Underwood. “Since day one, I’ve heard from so many communities across the 14th District about their water infrastructure challenges. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Illinois State Revolving Funds will deliver critical investments to meet Illinoisans’ water needs and ensure safe drinking water.”
Joining Underwood and Coordinator Landrieu at the press conference were Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11); Debra Shore, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 Administrator; John Kim, Director of the Illinois EPA; and Mayor of Joliet, Bob O’Dekirk. The press conference was held outside the City of Joliet Aux Sable Wastewater Treatment Plant, which received funding through the CWSRF in 2019 to do capacity improvements on the plant.
Prior to the press conference, Underwood and Coordinator Landrieu held a town hall on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law where they provided updates and answered questions from mayors and local officials in the 14th District. Following the town hall, Underwood and Coordinator Landrieu toured the Aux Sable Wastewater Treatment Plant. Pictures from the press conference, town hall, and tour can be viewed here.
For decades, Illinois has suffered from a lack of investment in its infrastructure, but the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law delivers the single largest federal investment for water infrastructure in history. EPA’s State Revolving Funds (SRF) program will maximize the investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and help replace lead pipes, meet water needs, and reduce communities’ exposure to contaminants. SRFs are part of President Biden’s Justice40 initiative, a plan to deliver at least 40 percent of federal investments in climate and clean energy to underserved communities.
Funding for SRFs is especially critical in Joliet, where the current water source will be unable to meet the city’s needs by 2030. This past March, Underwood secured $3.5 million for Joliet to replace aged, leaking water mains, and she is engaged with the Grand Prairie Water Commission as it oversees the city’s transition to a new water source.