The Village of Buckley secured a $5 million state grant to help pay for a new sanitary sewer system. Gov. JB Pritzker and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director John J. Kim announced more than $21 million in grants to six communities across the state through the Illinois EPA's Unsewered Communities Construction Grant Program (UCCGP). Through the Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, these grants are earmarked for underserved communities to build wastewater collection and/or treatment systems.
Located in Iroquois County, Buckley is unsewered, meaning it has no wastewater collection or treatment facilities. The Village will use the money to construct a system that will include sanitary sewer, two pump stations and a sanitary sewer force main. As part of the project, all septic tanks will eventually be abandoned.
No community should be forced to function without a high-quality water infrastructure system. The historic Rebuild Illinois capital plan is ushering our state’s wastewater infrastructure into the 21st century, providing solutions that work for everyone. Thanks to this grant program, residents across the state will reap the benefits of a safe home, clean streets, clean water and clean air."
JB Pritzker, Governor
Most Buckley residents use privately-owned septic tanks, which can pollute the environment and discourage economic development. Fehr Graham has helped the Village maintain compliance with the Illinois EPA while the firm developed plans to connect to a central wastewater collection system and find funding to help pay for the massive project. Fehr Graham's comprehensive approach to engineering, technical assistance, facility planning and funding made Buckley competitive during the latest grant funding cycle.
This is the second of five planned funding rounds for the program, which awards money to areas with no wastewater collection and/or treatment facilities. Under Pritzker's bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the Illinois EPA is making $100 million available over five years through grants to build wastewater collection and/or treatment facilities. The UCPGP provides up to $1 million annually in small-scale grants to help communities develop construction plans.
"These grants will provide vital funding to communities that currently do not have the ability to properly and adequately collect and treat wastewater, which can result in negative impacts on the surrounding environment, public health concerns for residents, and a barrier for economic development," Kim said. "These projects demonstrate what is possible when a community has the financial resources needed to address basic human health needs."
Communities that received UCCGP grants are listed here. More information about unsewered communities' construction and planning grant programs can be found here.