Feb. 5, 2014 -- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is addressing critical infrastructure throughout the state by doubling the investment in clean water projects through the Illinois Clean Water Initiative (ICWI). Further, he has earmarked $2 billion for projects such as replacing ancient water mains, upgrading sewers and building wastewater treatment plants statewide.
As part of Quinn's agenda to protect the environment by modernizing water infrastructure, local governments can use ICWI funds for a variety of projects, including replacing aging water mains, upgrading water towers, or bringing wastewater treatment facilities in line with federal standards. In Cook County for example, the ICWI is helping to meet the clean water needs of more than five million residents and creating thousands of jobs.
"These are good jobs: jobs for welders, cement masons, truck drivers, operating engineers, pipefitters, painters, and carpenters," said Quinn. "To date, we've received 91 clean water applications, and this year, we'll expand our Clean Water Initiative -- and double this investment -- to include critical stormwater and flood control projects," he said in his 2014 State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan. 29.
|IL Gov. Pat Quinn pictured at the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant on Feb. 13, 2013, to announce funding assistance to the MWRD through the Illinois Clean Water Initiative. (Photo credit: MWRD)|
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) applauded Quinn for his commitment to clean water and flood protection. "This is excellent news for all of the communities in the District's service area," said MWRD President Kathleen Meany. "This program has already allowed the District to move forward in an expedited manner on disinfection and a variety of flood protection projects. These resources allow the District to meet our obligations in fulfilling our mission while providing meaningful jobs. I strongly encourage local governments to pursue funding for their water infrastructure projects through the Clean Water Initiative."
Quinn launched the ICWI in his 2012 State of the State Address to help local governments facing a critical need to overhaul aging drinking water and wastewater treatment plants and distribution and collection systems. The ICWI is funded with annual federal grants, funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and additional principal and interest from loan repayments.
To read Governor Quinn's State of the State address, click here.
To learn more about the ICWI, visit www.CleanWater.Illinois.gov.