Hazel Crest, Ill., to improve drinking water by removing 2,700 lead service lines

(UI) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore joined Rep. Robin Kelly, Mayor Vernard L. Alsberry Jr., First Assistant Deputy Governor Shareese Pryor, and Illinois EPA Director John Kim to highlight federal and state funding to help Hazel Crest, Illinois, identify and replace lead service lines, ultimately preventing exposure to lead in drinking water. 

The Village of Hazel Crest is one of 123 inaugural partners in the White House’s Get the Lead Out initiative, announced in January 2023. The Village approved a resolution to remove all 2,700 lead service lines within Hazel Crest, while prioritizing its most vulnerable residents in its lead pipe replacement plan. 

Funding received by Hazel Crest was made possible, in part, by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Recently, EPA announced more than $240 million in additional Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for projects throughout Illinois, including Hazel Crest. This funding builds on the Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan and EPA’s Get the Lead Out Initiative. 

During the Hazel Crest event, Regional Administrator Shore and other state and local elected officials met with residents and observed a lead service line replacement. Lead can cause a range of serious health impacts, including irreversible harm to brain development in children. To protect children and families, President Biden has committed to replacing every lead pipe in the country.

“Lead service lines are a major obstacle for community water supplies in Illinois, and Hazel Crest joins many of our communities in pursuing funding opportunities like these to help with the cost of removing the threat of lead in drinking water for their residents,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim.

“This assistance from the Get the Lead Out initiative along with funding from Illinois EPA through our robust State Revolving Fund will help to provide critical funding to prioritized disadvantaged communities that might have no other resources to take on this challenge.”  

In May, EPA announced $3 billion from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help every state and territory identify and replace lead service lines, preventing exposure to lead in drinking water. These funds will be distributed through EPA’s successful Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and takes another major step to advance the Administration’s commitment to environmental justice.

The $9 billion in total funding announced to date through EPA’s Lead Service Line Replacement Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program is expected to replace up to 1.7 million lead pipes nationwide, securing clean drinking water for countless families.



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