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 municipalities mitigate lead service lines in public water supplies.
Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim announced the opportunity for municipalities and the Notice of Funding Opportunity has been posted to the Illinois EPA website. The Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act requires owners and operators of community water supplies (CWS) in Illinois to deliver a complete composition of water service line material inventory to the Illinois EPA no later than April 15, 2024.
Who is eligible? Municipalities that have prequalified through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal with a Median Household Income Level lower than the state's.
How much will municipalities receive? Grants will be given in the range of $20,000-$50,000 per applicant. Matching funds are not required. Amounts will be determined by the number of lead service lines anticipated in the community, as shown in this chart:
|SERVICE CONNECTIONS WITHIN APPLICANT'S CWS
|MAXIMUM GRANT AMOUNT
|5,000+ Service Connections
|1,000-4,999 Service Connections
|100-999 Service Connections
|Fewer than 100 Service Connections
When is the grant deadline? Dec. 2, 2022
When will the grants be announced? If your project is selected for funding, you will be notified by Dec. 24, 2022.
Important: Applicants must have a Median Household Income (MHI) below the state average of $72,205. Applicants with an MHI above the state average are not eligible for Illinois EPA Lead Service Line Inventory (LSLI) grant program funding.
The LSLI Grant Program will use a portion of Illinois EPA Public Water Supply Loan Program (PWSLP) loan funds generated from loan repayments. Illinois EPA expects to award a total of $2 million and anticipates giving 40 to 100 awards. Applicants could require supplemental funding and can request it in the form of a low-interest loan through the Illinois EPA's PWSLP.
For more information on funding through the PWSLP, call 217.782.2027 and ask to speak with the Infrastructure Financial Assistance Section Project Manager. All required forms and information can be found here on the Illinois EPA website. Applications for the LSLI Grant Program will be accepted Oct. 18, 2022, through noon Dec. 2, 2022.
With nearly 700,000 lead water pipes connecting homes to water mains, lead service line replacement in communities across Illinois is challenging. Funding lead service line projects is only part of the process. Service line replacement is a multiyear, communitywide endeavor that requires strategic planning. Fehr Graham helps with funding, data collection, site supervision, water engineering and more. Our experienced team has managed projects to replace more than 1,000 service lines. We work with communities to create comprehensive plans to mitigate the dangers lead service lines bring.
Our lead service line replacement projects across Illinois include: