Community Development Block Grant: A catalyst for positive change
Does your neighborhood have at least 51% low-to-moderate income individuals? If so, you may qualify for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a federally funded program to support community development in low-income populations. This program's stringent eligibility requirements are governed by the Code of Federal Regulations. To qualify, at...
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Unlock potential: Master the EPA brownfields grant guidelines for funding opportunities
Are you ready to transform an under-used space in your community? Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its third round of brownfield grants, totaling $235 million. It is anticipated that approximately 200 grants will be awarded through the Brownfields Program. With this grant, the EPA partners with federal and state a...
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Understanding the impacts of secondary contaminants in drinking water
Secondary contaminants in drinking water, also known as nuisance chemicals, do not pose potential health hazards but they may cause water to smell or taste unpleasant and appear cloudy or discolored. Drinking water with secondary contaminants can be extremely off-putting, even if it is safe and may cause people to change their consumption behaviors...
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EPA brownfield grant recipients to transform Illinois communities
Source: U.S. EPA Since its inception in 1995, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program has provided nearly $2.37 billion in grants to remediate contaminated sites and sustainably reuse them. The EPA Brownfields Program funds brownfield assessment, cleanup, revolving loans, environmental job training, technical assistan...
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Unlocking urban potential: U.S. government incentives spark development in former office spaces
The COVID-19 pandemic might have ushered in a remote workplace trend, but that doesn't mean urban landscapes are poised for tumbleweed. Rather, opportunities abound for residential development as the U.S. government incentivizes transitions for high-vacancy office buildings. The White House recently announced details for its Housing Supply and Acti...
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Securing funding for wastewater treatment plants in rural communities
Many rural communities across the United States rely on wastewater treatment processes that fall short of environmental and public health protection standards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have introduced several funding mechanisms to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in smal...
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Lagoon wastewater treatment: how to upgrade systems for small communities
Lagoon wastewater treatment systems are mostly found in small, rural and tribal communities in the U.S. and are used as the only method of treating community wastewater. Small communities of fewer than 3,000 residents usually prefer sewage lagoons because of their energy efficiency and low costs. However, recent wastewater treatment requirements, i...
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Upgrading your wastewater treatment plant design to meet NFPA 820 compliance
To help public sector officials minimize fire and explosion hazards, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publishes preventative requirements, fire codes and building standards. Used in alignment with state building codes, the NFPA 820 standard is specific to wastewater collection, transportation and treatment plants. Methane generated b...
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Implications for lead and copper rule revisions
Are you familiar with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI)? What are the implications for lead and copper rule revisions?How do the revisions help protect your community from lead exposure in drinking water? Since its 1991 publication, the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) has undergone several revisions,...
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Wisconsin's leader in lead service line replacement for safer drinking water
In 2020, Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 9,600 children younger than 16 were poisoned by lead. The same year, the Public Service Commission estimated the number of lead service lines statewide at 173,052. Since then, community leaders have raised the priority levels on lead service line replacement projects to mitigate the threat o...
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Orphaned wells projects get boost from federal grants
The phrase "orphaned wells" describes approximately 3.5 million oil or gas wells abandoned by fossil fuel organizations across the U.S. Disconnected because of viability, bankruptcy or neglect, these wells have no legal owners, operators or responsible parties to plug and restore them. Orphaned wells pose serious threats to human and environmental ...
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Long term wastewater treatment planning is key to successful design, financing
Long-term, comprehensive planning is key to successful wastewater treatment systems. Without a strong plan, a community's ability to facilitate development may be limited by its wastewater infrastructure – or worse, its rivers, lakes, streams and residents' basements may be at risk from failing wastewater infrastructure. A Master Plan will consider...
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Need to replace your lead service lines? Illinois just announced a state grant program to help
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a grant program yesterday to create a Lead Service Line Inventory that will help communities meet requirements outlined in the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act. Because Illinois has more lead water pipes than any state in the U.S., this is another step toward helping mun...
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Small town revitalization grants spur redevelopment
Small town revitalization seeks to improve livability and economic activity in small towns. Increasing urbanization, aging infrastructure and the ongoing pandemic have all put a strain on available resources. Small town revitalization grants, however, offer funding to spur redevelopment projects. The approach your town takes to revitalization will ...
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A safer start: Grant helps Forreston improve school routes
 More than $12 million available; funding proposals accepted until Sept. 30 As teachers and students head back to their classrooms, I'm happy to see those in my hometown of Forreston, Illinois, have a safer way to get to and from school. Those who live or work nearby might have noticed some road construction this summer around the school build...
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Get grant funding to Rebuild Illinois downtowns, commercial corridors
There's more good news and more grant money available to help stimulate local economies throughout Illinois. The $50 million Rebuild Illinois Main Street and Downtown Capital Program is the latest effort to stimulate local economies in areas hit hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic. "This first-of-its-kind program recognizes and addresses the impac...
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Storm Water Solutions highlights Postville, Iowa, project
Storm Water Solutions captured the story on how Postville, Iowa, improved its water quality, stormwater management and public education, earning the 2021 Stormwater and Urban Watershed Partner of the Year. 
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Solutions after struggle: Spending American Rescue Plan Act funds
Fehr Graham is working with communities across Illinois to develop strategies on how to win and invest their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. We are rapidly responding to emerging project needs and client priorities. Navigating the program and how to use the money can be a daunting task. Now is the time to act. And we're here to help. Gov. ...
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Funding management keeps infrastructure project on track
Because money can be one of the major challenges when it comes to completing infrastructure projects, having multiple funding sources on a project is like a dream come true. Having various resources to pay for work reduces the burden on taxpayers and the need for what can sometimes turn into lengthy fundraising efforts. That was the case when it wa...
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American Rescue Plan provides public infrastructure improvement opportunities
For those of us working to improve roads, water, sewer and the quality of life for all, it's an exciting time. After the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed on March 11, more than 19,000 municipalities in the U.S. will get money to make critical investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. While the $195.3 billion allocated to state...
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