CHICAGO — Illinois and Chicago leaders announced the dispersal of $336 million to Chicago to aid efforts in removing lead service lines across the city.
An example is already being seen on the city’s South Side.
“We’re pulling out the lead and putting in a copper line,” said Chicago Department of Water Management Commissioner Andrea Cheng, describing steps behind lead service line replacements.
The task will be done to replace water mains and up to 30,000 service line connections throughout the city.
Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth spoke about the importance of the move.
“In just our state, we have 23% of the entire nation’s supply of lead service lines are right here in Illinois and most of it is in Chicago and Chicagoland area,” the state senator said.
On the national level, there are about 9 million lead service lines, of which 400,000 are in Chicago.
“It’s an honor to be here and see money we appropriate in Washington actually coming to the neighborhoods of Chicago,” said Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. “Tax-paying families of Chicago and Illinois are seeing the benefits of this. Why is this important? Because there is no acceptable level of exposure to lead.”
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said preserving the city’s primary water source, Lake Michigan, is paramount.
“We are so fortunate to have this freshwater resource, which is why we need to take long-lasting actions to ensure Chicago’s water safely reaches every single tap in this city for generations to come,” Johnson said.
The project will also support more than 2,700 jobs in the city. Officials say the award will help the growing number of homeowners applying for the program.
“We’ve had almost 3,800 people [apply],” Cheng said. “It’s a great program.”
Homeowners can see if they qualify and learn about the different programs by clicking here.