November 20, 2021

Duckworth: Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Can Help Cahokia Heights Fix Drinking Water and Wastewater Problems


[CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today met with Cahokia Heights residents from Centreville Citizens for Change, Cahokia Heights Mayor Curtis McCall, Sr., and Illinois American Water’s President Justin Ladner to outline how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal can help fix the continued storm water flooding and sanitary sewage issues for Cahokia Heights residents that years of neglect have led to. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, which President Biden signed into law earlier this week, includes Duckworth’s entire Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, which will help rebuild our nation’s crumbling and dangerous water infrastructure. Photos from today’s meeting are available here.

“I worked hard to ensure my Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure bill was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal because places like Cahokia Heights desperately need support to fix their faulty, dangerous and aging water infrastructure that’s been neglected for decades,” Duckworth said. “I’ll keep working with EPA and IEPA and make sure we make these necessary improvements, and to finally bring environmental justice to communities like Cahokia Heights that have been ignored for far too long.”

With DWWIA and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, Duckworth is helping communities like Cahokia Heights by:

  • Helping communities more easily use the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to improve sewer and storm water infrastructure
  • Helping communities more easily use the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to make sure families have access to safe drinking water
  • Improving the ability for communities to seek loan forgiveness and grants for water infrastructure projects, which would help disadvantaged communities like Cahokia Heights qualify for these programs
  • Enabling non-profits to provide technical assistance to small and rural communities to assist them in applications for these types of projects and compliance efforts
  • Lowering the cost-sharing requirements for the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Grants program, helping communities like Cahokia Heights improve their crumbling infrastructure with less financial burden
  • Helping rural and disadvantaged communities more easily access grant funding they’ve historically struggled to access to address sewage and storm water issues.

Duckworth, the chair and co-founder of the U.S. Senate Environmental Justice Caucus, has been a strong advocate for bringing environmental justice to Cahokia Heights, calling on EPA to conduct enhanced monitoring and enforcement of the area and working to provide federal funding to repair the failing water system. Duckworth last met with residents last year to discuss the persistent inland flooding and environmental justice issues the community faces.