Illinois EPA awards over $2.7 million in funding to replace lead service lines in Galena

(UI) — Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim has awarded approximately $2.76 million in funding to the city of Galena (Jo Daviess County) to replace lead service lines in the community.

The funding is provided through the Illinois EPA's State Revolving Fund (SRF), which provides low-interest loan funding for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater projects. The funding is in the form of principal forgiveness, so the city of Galena will not have to repay any of the $2,755,000 in funding.

"Community water supplies throughout Illinois are focusing on the need to identify and remove lead service lines from drinking water infrastructure," said Director Kim. "This funding will help the city of Galena alleviate potential lead exposure within the community stemming from lead service lines."

The city anticipates using the funding to replace approximately 300 lead services lines in the community. Lead is a toxic metal that can accumulate in the body over time. Lead can enter drinking water when corrosion of pipes and/or fixtures occurs. Service lines are small pipes that carry drinking water from water mains into homes. Many older homes built prior to 1990 may have lead service lines or lead containing plumbing fixtures or faucets. Eliminating lead service lines in homes will help to reduce lead exposure for residents.

Since 2017, the Illinois EPA has provided Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) principal forgiveness for projects directly related to activities that reduce or eliminate lead from potable water. Under the Water Infrastructure Fund Transfer Act allotment, Illinois EPA provided $122 million in funding for LSLR from 2017-2023. This award to Galena is the first distribution through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. For fiscal year 2024, Illinois EPA has set an initial cap of $2,755,000 per loan recipient for principal forgiveness to extend the reach of the allotted funds to as many communities as possible.

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