A press release from Govenror Bruce Rauner:
Governor Rauner Announces $4 Million Investment for Lead Service Line Replacement in City of Galesburg
Illinois Prioritizing State Revolving Fund to Address Lead Issues
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner today announced a $4 million investment for lead service line replacements in the City of Galesburg.
A $4 million loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s State Revolving Fund will include principal forgiveness, requiring only the repayment of the interest on the loan.
The loan is expected to cover the cost to replace approximately 2,000 lead service lines, nearly half of the total lead lines in Galesburg. This is the first loan being provided for lead service line replacement.
Illinois EPA anticipates additional lead service line replacement projects, as these projects will receive funding priority by the Agency for the remainder of 2016.
“The City of Galesburg has worked for years to address the issue of lead in the city’s public water supply,” said Governor Rauner. “We are committed to assisting Galesburg and similar communities to ensure a safe and reliable source of drinking water.”
The $4 million investment will be used to replace nearly half of the estimated 4,300 lead service lines identified in the City of Galesburg. City officials expect the project will take up to four years. Upon completion of this first phase, the City will seek additional funding from Illinois EPA to replace the remaining lead service lines.
The Illinois EPA State Revolving Fund receives annual federal funding, which is combined with interest earnings, repayment money and the sale of revenue bonds for an ongoing source of financing for Public Water Supply and Water Pollution Control infrastructure projects.
The City of Galesburg has received national attention for the challenges the community has faced in complying with the federal Lead and Copper Rule. Following a recent request by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the City agreed to provide filters for homes that tested above the federal lead action level.
Galesburg officials have been working closely with the Illinois EPA to address lead issues in the community water supply. Since 2000, the City has removed over 300 lead service lines. In January, the City adjusted the Corrosion Control Treatment and is currently undergoing additional lead monitoring as required by the Illinois EPA.
All community water systems must test for lead in drinking water under the federal Lead and Copper Rule. While lead is not typically found in the finished water produced by a community water supply, lead can be found in drinking water if it is leached from lead service lines or lines with lead solder.