August 03, 2021

Duckworth and Durbin Highlight Clean Water Initiatives in Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal That Would Help Illinois


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works’ (EPW) Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water & Wildlife, and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today highlighted billions of dollars in funding for clean water infrastructure and projects included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal that will help protect Illinoisans and improve water safety across the state. Currently, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal fully authorizes Duckworth’s bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA), which would help rebuild our nation’s crumbling and dangerous water infrastructure. Along with DWWIA’s significant increases to State Revolving Funds used to build and update water and wastewater infrastructure, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal also includes $15 billion to replace lead service lines and $10 billion for the treatment of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl) chemicals nationwide.

“No Illinoisan should be forced to drink water that’s contaminated with dangerous chemicals that could put their health and the health of their families at risk,” said Duckworth. “Years of failure to make adequate investments in our water infrastructure has led us to this point and now, with my bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act as a critical component of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, we can tackle this public health crisis head on and make sure that every American can drink safe, clean water.”

“We know PFAS poses a complicated and dangerous public health threat to drinking water sources in Illinois. Communities will be able to use funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal to clean up contamination and implement prevention measures. In 2021, no one should have to worry about turning on the tap in their home. This long-overdue infrastructure bill will empower localities and neighborhoods to take on these ‘forever chemicals’,” Durbin said.

A recent report showed that more than 100 communities around Illinois have contaminated drinking water sources, endangering the health of millions of Illinoisans.

The $10 billion in PFAS funding includes:

  • $4 billion to address PFAS in drinking water through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund;
  • $5 billion for small and disadvantaged communities to address emerging contaminants, including PFAS and;
  • $1 billion to address emerging contaminants, including PFAS, in wastewater through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal also includes the following provisions to remove lead pipes:

  • $15 billion in direct funding to the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds for lead service line replacement and;
  • Authorizations of over $500 million in lead testing and reductions programs, including in schools.

Duckworth’s DWWIA passed unanimously out of the EPW committee and in April, passed the Senate by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 89-2.