April 05, 2023

Duckworth, Durbin Join Biden Administration in Announcing More Than $332 Million for Water Infrastructure Upgrades in Illinois

Announcement of $6.5 billion to improve drinking water systems across the nation represents a major phase in implementing Senator Duckworth’s Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, which was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law


[ROCKFORD, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)—author of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s water infrastructure division—and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) yesterday joined U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan in announcing more than $6.5 billion for states, Tribes and territories for essential drinking water infrastructure upgrades across the nation through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), including $332 million for Illinois. EPA is increasing the investments available to rebuild the nation’s water infrastructure through a $6 billion boost authorized by Duckworth’s Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, which constituted the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s water infrastructure authorization. Duckworth’s bipartisan DWWIA authorizes this critical water infrastructure funding for states, which is further boosted by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s supplemental funding dedicated to replacing dangerous lead service lines to help provide safe drinking water for communities. Photos from this week’s announcement are available here

“I was proud to be in Rockford this week to help EPA announce this historic SRF funding, which was made possible by my Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, that will help upgrade, improve and repair water infrastructure in Illinois and around the country,” said Duckworth. “Because of my DWWIA bill, I’m also pleased that a portion of this funding will be available as grants and loan forgiveness to ensure these investments reach the most underserved communities and give all of our water systems this opportunity. Every American—no matter their race, income or zip code—deserves to have confidence that the systems carrying and processing the water they use every day are safe, clean and reliable.”

“Environmental injustice has allowed drinking water infrastructure failures to proliferate in communities like Rockford,” said Durbin. “Thankfully, with the help of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, almost $330 million is being brought home to Illinois to confront a monumental task: to ensure our communities know and trust their water is safe to drink. Rockford will finally be able to implement their plans to improve the lives of their residents and I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to deliver more federal funding to communities like them.”

“Every community deserves access to safe, clean drinking water,” said Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s historic infrastructure investments in America, we have an unprecedented opportunity to revitalize America’s drinking water systems, support the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of removing 100% of lead pipes across our country, and protect communities from PFAS pollution.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included Duckworth’s Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act to help rebuild our nation’s crumbling and dangerous water infrastructure and enable communities to repair and modernize their failing wastewater systems.

These DWSRF allotments to states are based on the results of EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment (DWINSA). The survey, which is required by the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act, assesses the nation’s public water systems’ infrastructure needs every four years and the findings are used to allocate DWSRF grants to states. The drinking water utilities need $625 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 20 years to ensure the nation’s public health, security, and economic well-being.

At the direction of Congress, EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Assessment, for the first time included a survey on lead service lines and is projecting a national total of 9.2 million lead service lines across the country. This best available national and state-level projections of service line counts will help advance a unique opportunity to employ a separate lead service line allotment formula for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law DWSRF Lead Service Line Replacement Funding that is based on need. Almost $3 billion of the funding announced today will be provided specifically for lead service line identification and replacement, taking a key step toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of achieving 100% lead free water systems.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is investing over $50 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure improvements across the country between FY 2022 and FY 2026. In its second year of implementation, $6 billion of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will be available to states, Tribes, and territories through the DWSRF. Of that funding, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $3 billion in lead service line identification and improvement, $800 million to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and $2.2 billion in other critical drinking water system improvements. Additionally, approximately $500 million will also be available through the DWSRF annual appropriations, established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. For more information, including a state-by-state allocation of 2023 funding, click here.