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Illinois receives $240.9 million for lead service line replacement

7 May 2024 10:08 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

Illinois is receiving nearly $241 million to identify and replace lead service lines, which connect water mains to people’s homes, the federal Environmental Protection Agency said last week. [Health News Illinois]

The effort aims to prevent kids from being exposed to lead in drinking water. Lead can have serious health impacts, including irreversible harm to brain development in children.

The funding comes through the federal bipartisan infrastructure law. Overall, the law invests $15 billion to identify and replace lead service lines.

The agency estimates that the nation has 9 million lead service lines. To date, the funding announced from the program, available through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, is expected to replace up to 1.7 million lead pipes.

Gov. JB Pritzker noted the $240.9 million investment is the largest amount any state will receive. He said the announcement "demonstrates President (Joe) Biden’s commitment to improving the lives of our state’s vulnerable residents."

The agency announced last month that Chicago will collaborate with Milwaukee and Detroit to highlight emerging best practices around lead pipe replacement, including overcoming common challenges.

“Through direct exchanges with counterparts in other Great Lakes big cities, the … partnership will empower Chicago further with proven strategies to reverse these historic trends and accelerate lead service line replacement in the neighborhoods that need it most,” Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement.


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