SPRINGFIELD —Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Director John Kim today announced two grant opportunities with $20 million in funding available to assist communities with inadequate or nonexistent wastewater collection and treatment facilities. Illinois EPA is making $100 million available through Governor Pritzker’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan over the next five years for construction grants for wastewater collection and/or treatment facilities. Illinois EPA is also making $1 million available for the next four years for planning grants to assist small and disadvantaged communities in developing a project plan that identifies a solution to wastewater collection and treatment needs. Notices of Funding Opportunities have been posted for both programs. Applicants are required to pre-qualify through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal.

“Because of the historic investments of Rebuild Illinois, 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 on the environment. These investments are but one piece of the Rebuild Illinois plan and we will continue working to improve the financial wellbeing, health, education and safety of all Illinois residents.”

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“The Illinois EPA is launching these Unsewered Communities Grant Programs to help provide solutions for the human health and environmental impacts that come with unsewered communities,” said Director Kim. “These programs allow Illinois EPA to provide necessary funding to assist communities that have operated for too long with inadequate or nonexistent wastewater systems.”

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Illinois EPA is aware of more than 200 Illinois communities that have inadequate or nonexistent wastewater collection and treatment facilities. Some communities rely on individual septic tank systems, which often provide inadequate treatment leading to illegal surface discharges. For communities where wastewater “collection” facilities are present, these facilities are often patchworks of decades-old underground “wildcat” systems that also result in illegal surface discharges. For unsewered communities, affordability is the greatest hurdle to overcome.

The Unsewered Communities Planning Grant Program (UCPGP) provides an opportunity to receive grant money to develop a Project Plan that will address problems with the collection and treatment of wastewater. Eventually, this information could be used in the application for a project that would be funded by the Unsewered Communities Construction Grant Program. The UCPGP NOFO can be found at:
All required UCPGP forms and information can also be found at: https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/grants-loans/unsewered-communities/Pages/UCPGP.aspx. Applications for the UCPGP program will be accepted September 23 through 5:00 PM (CST) on November 30, 2020.

The Unsewered Communities Construction Grant Program (UCCGP) provides an opportunity to receive grant funds which would help finance the corrective action needed to address issues with wastewater collection and treatment. The UCCGP NOFO can be found at: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/GATA/grants/sitepages/csfa.aspx?page=opportunity.aspx%3fnofo%3d1667
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 UCCGP will be accepted September 23 through 5:00 PM (CST) on December 31, 2020.

For both grant opportunities, 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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