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Illinois Environmental Jobs Sustained through Potential Projects

Posted on April 14, 2009

The approval of several new projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would help create and maintain many Illinois environmental jobs. Click here to view environmental job listings.

Doug Scott, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency director recently announced the draft Intended Use Plans for federal stimulus funds have been submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The plans also are available on the agency’s Web site for public review and comment. Public comments will be accepted through April 24.

The list includes state funding of eligible entities that have applied to the IEPA seeking financial assistance to fund waste water and drinking projects. The IUPs serve as planning documents for the agency and explain the activities anticipated under the funding.

One potential problem is that the list of needed projects exceeds the available funding amount. The list includes 746 projects totaling $3.24 billion for wastewater projects and 895 projects totaling $1.46 billion for drinking water projects. However, the IEPA expects to receive $180 million for wastewater projects and $80 million for drinking water projects. A proposed capital bill from Gov. Pat Quinn would add an additional $260 million for these projects.

Projects that include viable and complete technical and engineering documents will be given priority and projects will be funded in the order in which applications are completed. The IEAP hopes to provide funding to eligible projects through zero percent interest loans with a portion of the principal forgiven.

The IEAP also plans to reserve a portion of the funding for projects or project components that focus on green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements and other environmentally-innovative activities.

Those projects that aren’t eligible for financing at this time through either the ARRA or the capital bill would be eligible for funding through Illinois’ existing State Revolving Fund. The upcoming national budget proposes doubling the amount of infrastructure money available to states.

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