Second round of lead service line funding announced

Communities working to identify lead service lines and develop an inventory have a second opportunity to secure funding. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director John J. Kim announced additional funding to help meet requirements outlined in the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act (LSLRN) is available.

The Lead Service Line Inventory (LSLI) Grant Program offers grants ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 to local governments to create a complete lead service line inventory. The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is posted to the Illinois EPA website.

Fehr Graham has helped clients secure more than $25 million in lead service line replacement funding and has replaced more than 2,000 service lines for municipalities. During the first round of funding, Fehr Graham helped Du Quoin secure $40,000 to create a lead service line inventory. Some of the firm's lead service line replacement projects across Illinois include:

  • Managing construction in Sycamore. Fehr Graham helped the City secure funding through the Illinois EPA State Revolving Fund to replace lead service lines and complete the bidding process so Sycamore could hire contractors and the firm could oversee construction.
  • Collaborating with the Village of Forreston. Fehr Graham completed and received approval on the Illinois EPA project plan for lead service line replacement to allow principal dollars to be allocated to the community. The firm is also providing construction observation services.

The LSLRN Act requires owners and operators of community water supplies (CWS) deliver a complete water service line material inventory to the Illinois EPA no later than April 15, 2024. The inventory must report the composition of all service lines within the CWS's distribution system. Illinois EPA announced the first funding cycle in October 2022. To offer additional funding, the General Assembly subsequently passed and Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation that provided additional appropriation authority to Illinois EPA for the LSLI Grant Program.

The Illinois EPA is well aware of the need for funding assistance for communities to meet the requirements of the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act. With the first LSLI funding opportunity, we received applications far exceeding the funds available, and it is our hope that this new funding cycle will provide funding to many more communities working to meet the inventory requirements of the LSLRN Act."

John J. Kim, Illinois EPA Director

The LSLI Grant Program uses a portion of Illinois EPA Public Water Supply Loan Program (PWSLP) funds generated from loan repayments. Illinois EPA expects to award $5 million with this round and anticipates distributing this amount across 100-250 grants. Funding will be limited, based on the number of service connections within the community, to a maximum of $50,000 per applicant. LSLI grant recipients may request supplemental funding in the form of a low-interest loan through the Illinois EPA's PWSLP in conjunction with funding to replace lead service lines.

The latest LSLI NOFO, and all required forms and information, can be found on the Illinois EPA website. Applications for the LSLI Grant Program will be accepted March 3-April 25. All applicants must prequalify through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal.

To learn more about how Fehr Graham's expertise in lead service line projects can help manage the challenges of planning and replacing lead service lines, contact us or call 815.394.4700.