July 10, 2024

Duckworth, Schakowsky Announce Nearly $2 Million in Funding they Secured to Help Get the Lead Out of Chicago Daycare Facilities


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09) today announced that a total of $1,959,752 they secured through Fiscal Year 2023 Congressionally Directed Spending and Community Project requests will be sent by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the City of Chicago for lead service line replacement at daycare facilities throughout Chicago. Duckworth successfully secured $1 million for this project through the Senate’s Congressionally Directed Spending process, with Schakowsky securing another $959,752 through the House’s Community Project Funding process. This funding will support the replacement of approximately 122 private side lead service lines primarily in low-income communities within the City of Chicago.

“Our state and our nation are stronger when we invest in our communities and families—and that’s one of the things Congressionally Directed Spending allows us to do,” said Duckworth. “I’m so proud Congresswoman Schakowsky and I were able to secure this critical support for the City of Chicago to help ensure our children have access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water at daycare centers across the city. With this additional funding, made possible by my Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, I’m committed to doing everything I can at the federal level to help achieve our goal of removing every lead pipe in America over the next decade.”

“I am thrilled that the City of Chicago will be receiving $1,959,752 in congressionally directed funding to replace lead service lines at daycares,” said Schakowsky. “There is no safe level of lead and it is especially harmful to children's brain development. This funding will help ensure that our communities’ daycare children have safe and clean drinking water—an effort that I have championed for many years. With more than one million lead pipes in Illinois, the second highest number in the nation, Congress must continue working to guarantee that everyone in our great state has access to clean drinking water. Our children deserve it!”

“As a former public school teacher, I know firsthand how crucial it is to provide safe environments for our children to learn and grow. I believe in investing in people to make a change, and I know that this nearly $2 million to replace lead service lines at daycare facilities shows that our leadership in Washington believes the same,” said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. “I am proud that through the work of our federal partners, we're delivering on our promise to address Chicago’s aged water infrastructure, especially for our youngest and most vulnerable residents. Today's announcement is yet another significant step for the City of Chicago to reaffirm the belief that every child deserves access to safe drinking water into a reality.”

Co-founder of the U.S. Senate’s Environmental Justice Caucus, improving water infrastructure in Illinois and across the country has been one of Duckworth’s top priorities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included Duckworth’s Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA) and is the most significant federal investment in water infrastructure in history. DWWIA, which has a focus on disadvantaged communities, will help rebuild our nation’s crumbling and dangerous water infrastructure and enable communities to repair and modernize their failing wastewater systems.

In Fiscal Year 2024, Duckworth and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) successfully secured more than $264 million through the CDS process for Illinois, $182 million in FY23 and another $211 million for Illinois in FY22. A map detailing where funding has gone throughout Illinois can be found on the Senator’s website. Senator Duckworth works with an Independent Review Board to examine and evaluate worthwhile projects focused on building infrastructure, stimulating economic development and providing essential services for Illinois communities.