September 12, 2023

Duckworth, Durbin Announce $456,170 to Address Air Pollution in Will County


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $456,170 to the Warehouse Workers' Justice Center through the American Rescue Plan’s Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring Competitive Grant to conduct community-organized air quality testing in areas with high levels of air pollution in Will County, Illinois. The project will generate data on air pollution in low-income neighborhoods near the United States’ largest inland port and will engage community members in planning and decision making around local air quality.

“Far too often, the same—often underserved—communities bear the brunt of pollution and the negative health outcomes associated,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud that the American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for working families across Illinois and help our communities stay healthy and safe. As co-founder of the Senate’s Environmental Justice Caucus, I will keep advocating for clean air, water and land across Illinois and our nation.”

“Unfortunately, there are far too many low-income communities that have borne the impact of environmental and public health threats for far too long with very little action,” said Durbin. “Investing in these neighborhoods is imperative, not only to mitigate the damage, but to ensure an equitable and sustainable future for all Illinoisans.”

The American Rescue Plan, which Duckworth and Durbin both supported, included a $3 billion first-of-its-kind Environmental Justice (EJ) Block Grant program. EJ communities throughout Illinois will be able to use these grants for air pollution remediation, mitigating health risks from extreme heat, reducing indoor toxins and much more. The program also reserves $200 million for technical assistance to help these communities apply for and use these funds.