Illinois to launch $1 billion in water projects

October 18, 2012

The Associated Press

Illinois officials say they're ready to launch a $1 billion program to improve water quality and fix outdated infrastructure.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