State Launches $1 Billion Clean Water Initiative

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The following is a statement from the Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey:

"The City of Rockford is grateful to Governor Quinn and his team for continuing to support our community. At a time of very difficult financial challenges, this no-cost loan program has given us a great way to invest in critical public infrastructure to maintain an outstanding water supply."

The City of Rockford recently completed a major water system improvement using $44.5 million in State funding and grants.  The project included construction contracts with 18 local contractors. 

CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois officials say they're ready to launch a $1 billion program to improve water quality and fix outdated infrastructure.

That means fixing broken water mains, constructing wastewater treatment plants and upgrading sewers.

Gov. Pat Quinn says the initiative will create about 28,500 jobs. Details of the plan were expected to be released Thursday afternoon during an event with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

The money will be distributed through low-interest loans to local governments and comes from a state program backed by federal money.

Quinn previewed the push for improved water systems during his State of the State address earlier this year.

State environmental officials say hundreds of local governments have expressed interest. Applications will be taken by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and projects are expected to begin next year.

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