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April 7, 2009

Illinois EPA posts plans and lists of eligible projects for federal stimulus funds on web site

Springfield—Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott has announced that the draft Intended Use Plans (IUP) for federal stimulus funds, as submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have been posted on the Agency’s web site at: www.epa.state.il.us for public review and comment. The IUPs include state funding lists of eligible entities that have applied to the Agency seeking financial assistance to fund waste water and drinking water projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The IUPs serve as planning documents for the Agency and explain the activities that are anticipated for ARRA funding.

As expected, the need far exceeds available funding.  The list submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes 746 projects totaling $3.24 billion for wastewater projects, and 895 projects totaling $1.46 billion for drinking water projects.  The Illinois EPA will receive $180 million for wastewater projects and $80 million for drinking water projects through ARRA. However, Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed capital bill would enable an additional $260 million to be used for these projects, matching the stimulus allocation and increasing the number of projects that can be funded.

Projects that are not able to be financed at this time with ARRA and capital bill funds would still be eligible for funding through Illinois’ existing State Revolving Fund.  President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget proposes doubling the amount of infrastructure money available to the states.

The state funding lists include all projects that appear on the previously established Fiscal Year 2009 Project Priority List, plus those projects that were added to the Fiscal Year 2009 Project Priority List through the application process. Funds will be dispersed on a “readiness to proceed” basis, meaning that priority will be given to projects that have submitted viable and complete technical and engineering documents, and will be funded in the order in which applications are completed, as funds are available.

The Agency’s goal is to provide funding to all eligible projects, to the extent that applications are completed and funds are available, in the form of zero percent interest loans with a portion of the principal forgiven. Additionally, the Agency will reserve a portion of the supplemental funds provided under the ARRA for projects or project components focused on “green” infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements, or other environmentally innovative activities.

The Agency has also posted a Public Notice for these documents on the Web site. This Public Notice cites the federal and state criteria for distribution of waste water and drinking water infrastructure funds through the existing State Revolving Loan Program Fund. The Illinois EPA will accept public comments on the draft IUPs through midnight April 24, 2009. The Public Notice and the draft IUPs may be found at http://www.epa.state.il.us/water/financial-assistance/economic-stimulus/index.html.




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