Funding Available for Flood Control in Illinois
Governor Quinn’s announcement of a new $1 billion Clean Water Initiative to overhaul the Illinois’s “aging water infrastructure” left one thing out—stormwater. But don’t worry! CNT has good news for communities seeking to improve water quality and reduce urban flooding, according to our inquiry to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, stormwater is included.
Since the Governor has ordered that this money should be invested in local and regional projects through the State Revolving Loan Funds, now is a perfect time for local governments and counties to apply for low interest loans (1.93%) for their water supply and stormwater projects that will prevent leaks, improve water quality and reduce urban flooding.
On the stormwater side, Illinois EPA, which administers the loans, is specifically interested in applications for stormwater projects that cost-effectively reduce pollution, such as with green infrastructure projects that use infiltration, evapotranspiration and collection of stormwater for reuse. March 31, 2013 is the deadline for filing “pre-applications” for loan funding in the next fiscal year, beginning October 1, 2013. Information on how to apply for these low interest loans for drinking water, wastewater and stormwater projects can be found on the IEPA’s website.
Because stormwater projects have only recently become eligible for loans, the forms on the IEPA website do not yet reflect the changes. IEPA requests that applicants contact them directly to discuss their pre-applications.
CNT’s research on urban flooding reveals the magnitude of the damage to homes and properties as a result of poor stormwater infrastructure. Thousands of Illinois homes and businesses are affected each year by property flooding. The results—sewer backups, basement seepage, property damage and street ponding —collectively cost residents and businesses millions of dollars annually.
Communities attempting to comply with federal stormwater management and pollution prevention requirements have traditionally received little or no financial assistance, whereas wastewater and water supply utilities have been eligible for the low interest loans provided by the revolving funds for several decades.
The $1Billion Initiative is expected to create 28,500 jobs annually, protect public health, and drive community and business growth across Illinois.
For more information, contact Hal Sprague, Manager of Water Policy.