SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced grants totaling $515,500 to help sewerless communities that lack sewage collection and treatment systems. In 2020, the Illinois EPA has committed to making available up to $1 million over four years for planning grants to help small, disadvantaged communities develop a project plan that identifies a solution to needs. collection and treatment of wastewater. Grand Ridge and Dana are each set to receive $30,000 to address sewage collection and treatment issues.

“From day one of my administration, I have been committed to the health, safety and well-being of all Illinois,” Governor JB Pritzker said.

Communities are considered “sewerless” if they do not have sewage collection and/or treatment systems. Many of these communities have patchwork systems or decades-old “wild” underground pipes that illegally discharge into surface waters. For a majority of these communities, there is a lack of local revenue to invest in the construction and long-term operation and maintenance of adequate collection and treatment facilities. Additionally, many lack the planning ability to identify solutions and develop project plans.

The Unsewered Communities Planning Grant Program (UCPGP) offers communities the opportunity to obtain funding to develop a project plan that will address wastewater collection and treatment issues. The information in the project plans can also be used to apply for a grant from the Sewerless Communities Building Grant Program (UCCGP). Illinois EPA’s UCCGP is making $100 million available over five years under Governor Pritzker’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan to build wastewater collection and/or treatment facilities .