Duckworth, Durbin Announce Over $1.5 Million for Environmental Cleanup Across Illinois
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), of the U.S. Senate Environmental Justice Caucus, announced $1,550,000 in federal funding today to help eliminate toxic pollutants from five contaminated sites in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods across Illinois. The cleanup and assessment grants are provided by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Program, which provides financial assistance to those working to assess and safely clean up contaminated properties whose expansion, redevelopment or reuse is complicated by hazardous substances or pollution.
“Eliminating contaminated sites is an important step to protect the health of children and families, and it is also a necessary step to help spur development, job creation and economic growth for affected communities,” Duckworth said. “I started the Senate’s first Environmental Justice Caucus to raise awareness of the fact that low-income communities face public health challenges like these at higher rates than other communities, and I’ll keep working on that caucus and with Senator Durbin to help ensure that all Illinoisans can breathe clean air and live in a safe environment without fear of toxins and pollution.”
“These federal funds will help clean up abandoned and contaminated sites in under-served and economically disadvantaged communities,” Durbin said. “Restoring the brownfields can provide an environment for economic development and job opportunities. Senator Duckworth and I will continue fighting for federal investments that make our communities healthier and safer.”
The following communities will receive funding from the EPA under this announcement:
- City of Waukegan: $400,000 Cleanup Grant for hazardous substances cleanup at the former Fansteel property along Lake Michigan
- City of Rock Falls: $250,000 Cleanup Grant for hazardous substances cleanup at the former Limestone Building along the Rock River
- City of Peoria: $200,000 Assessment Grant for hazardous substances and $100,000 Assessment Grant for petroleum to conduct environmental site assessments and complete two cleanup plans in the Near Northside neighborhood
- City of South Beloit: $200,000 Assessment Grant for hazardous substances and $100,000 Assessment Grant for petroleum to conduct environmental site assessments and develop cleanup plans for the Confluence Revitalization Area
- City of Rockford: $175,000 Assessment Grant for hazardous substances and $125,000 Assessment Grant for petroleum to conduct environmental site assessments and develop cleanup plans for South Main Rail Yards, the South Main Street Water Power District/South Downtown and the Barber Colman Village and Morgan Street Corridor in the South Main Gateway neighborhood
In April 2019, Senator Duckworth formed the Senate’s first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tom Carper (D-DE) to call Congress’ attention to the many environmental justice issues affecting our nation. The caucus will raise awareness of the many environmental and pollution issues that have created public health challenges, which disproportionately impact low income communities and communities of color. Last month, the EPA added the Schroud property on Chicago’s South Side to the list of EPA’s Superfund priority sites for cleanup after repeated requests from Senator Duckworth.
Senator Durbin was an original cosponsor of the Environmental Justice Act of 2017 and consistently has worked to increase funding for EPA’s Brownfield program as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Grants awarded by EPA’s Brownfield Program provide communities across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S.
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