water pipe tube 3SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford is happy to announce that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has awarded grants to 48 communities in need of lead service line replacements, including a $50,000 grant to Melrose Park.

“This program will support communities with the necessary fund to identify and map out the types of water lines that exist in their drinking water supply,” said Lightford (D-Maywood). “By creating a full inventory of our lead lines in Illinois, we can target areas where replacements are needed most, and continue to work with communities to improve drinking water across the state.”

Melrose Park distributes water to six different public water systems in the area which include Bellwood, Maywood, Stone Park, Northlake, Hillside Berkeley Water Commission, and Leyden Township Water District.

The Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act requires owners and operators of community water supplies in Illinois to submit a complete water service line material inventory for the Illinois EPA’s approval no later than April 15, 2024. The complete inventory must report the composition of all service lines within the CWS’s distribution system.

The Lead Service Line Inventory Grant Program uses Illinois EPA Public Water Supply Loan Program funding generated from loan repayments. Illinois EPA conducted a review of all grant applications to determine priority and will fund 48 projects for a total of $2,000,000. Of the 48 funded projects, 40 are in areas with environmental justice concerns. Grantees may request supplemental funding in the form of a low-interest loan through the Illinois EPA’s PWSLP in conjunction with funding to replace lead service lines.

“Clean drinking water is vital to the survival of our communities and these funds are one step forward to ensuring it is accessible to everyone,” Lightford said.

Illinois EPA anticipates another funding opportunity will be announced in the coming weeks. Additional information on the program is available on the Illinois EPA website.