SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John J. Kim today announced the Prairie du Pont Watershed grant opportunity with up to $1 million in funding to develop a community-endorsed watershed-based plan and voluntarily implemented projects designed to reduce stormwater runoff and fix minor sewer system infrastructure issues within the project area. A Notice of Funding Opportunity has been posted. Applicants are required to pre-qualify through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal.

“Illinois EPA is pleased to offer this initial funding opportunity to help provide some relief to residents in the Centreville, Alorton, and East St. Louis area. The complex network of wastewater system and flooding issues in this region require a focused approach and financial and technical resources from a number of different regulatory agencies,” said Illinois EPA Director John Kim. “Our staff has been engaged in productive discussions with local residents, community groups, advocacy organizations, and elected officials to identify short and long-term steps to reduce the stress on the existing sewage collective system and improve local surface and groundwater quality. The Pritzker Administration is committed to continuing to work with all stakeholders to address these longstanding issues.”

The communities of Centreville, Alorton, and East St. Louis currently experience significant flooding and sewage backups. These problems are caused by a combination of natural causes, human development activities, and the operation and maintenance of an older sewer system. A plan is needed to help identify best management practices to improve stormwater runoff controls appropriate for the watershed. Such measures will seek to reduce the number and duration of flood events and to help provide long-term relief to the existing sewer collection system.

The Prairie du Pont project will engage local stakeholders (including residents) to develop the plan while implementing best management practices and making needed sewer system infrastructure repairs. These projects will help the watershed planning committee and local homeowners understand how these practices work and help them identify which types of practices need to be included in the final watershed-based plan.

The Agency is seeking project proposals from applicants that have experience in the successful development of an Illinois EPA approved watershed-based plan and also have coordinated the implementation of best management practices.

Applications for the Prairie du Pont NOFO are due by close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Thursday, December 10, 2020. For more information, visit: https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/forms/water-forms/Pages/financial-assistance.aspx.

Applicants may not apply for a grant until they are pre-qualified through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal.

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