SPRINGFIELD – Governor George H. Ryan today released $38 million in state funds to continue a joint state and federal program that helps Illinois communities clean up, reduce and control pollution in local water supplies.
The state allocation allows the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to capture $190 million in federal funds to be used on clean water programs and anti-pollution projects throughout Illinois.
“My administration has placed a priority on cleaning and protecting the environment – our land, our air and our water,” Ryan said. “These funds are a clear signal that we value our environment and will be vigilant in protecting it for future generations.”
The governor’s Illinois FIRST program assured the EPA had all of the funds necessary to capture all federal money available to Illinois. Prior to 1999, Illinois was only able to capture a portion of the federal funds available in the program to control pollution and protect drinking water.
Since 1999, the state has earmarked a total of $87 million from the sale of bonds as the state’s share of the Water Pollution Control Revolving Loan Program. The governor released the Fiscal Year 2003 allocation of $19 million, which enables the EPA
to capture $95 million in federal funds.
The governor also released an appropriation of $19 million that was carried over from Fiscal Year 2002 because local projects needing the money were not ready to begin.
Each $19 million allocation actually funds two programs -- $12 million for the Water Pollution Control Program, which targets wastewater and sewage treatment facilities, and $7 million for the Public Water Supply Loan Program, which targets drinking water supplies.
The two programs help local governments undertake expensive water pollution control and mitigation projects. Since 1989, more than 380 loans to local governments totaling $1.4 billion have been made to control water pollution. The drinking water program, which began in 1997, has resulted in 132 loans for local communities totaling $209 million.