Apply Now! Illinois EPA Initiates New Green Infrastructure Grant Program
On September 17, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Director Doug Scott announced the Green Infrastructure Grant (or GIG) Program for stormwater management projects. Green infrastructure uses natural systems—rain gardens, bioswales, trees, green rooftops—to manage stormwater, reduce flooding risk, and improve water quality. Scott made the announcement while standing in front of Aurora’s new police headquarters, where several cost-effective green infrastructure practices were installed to take advantage of the natural site drainage.
The IEPA has set aside $5,000,000 through 2011 to fund projects that meet their criteria. The competitive grant program is significant news for municipalities, non-profit organizations, universities, land management agencies, soil and water conservation districts and others that want to apply for state funding for design and construction of green infrastructure projects for stormwater management.
The GIG Program will fund three different categories—combined sewer overflow rehabilitation, stormwater retention and infiltration, and green infrastructure small projects—and will limit the amount of money available in each category. There are 19 criteria that IEPA will use to evaluate project applications. Some criteria will be given higher priority, including those that preserve or restore the natural hydrology, reduce pollution, minimize stormwater runoff volume, and recharge groundwater.
CNT recommends that municipalities, non-profit organizations and other eligible applicants immediately begin to identify eligible projects and evaluate what criteria those projects would meet. For more information, please contact Hal Sprague, CNT Senior Policy Associate, at 773-269-4046.