Press Release from Governor Pat Quinn’s Office:
SPRING VALLEY – Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $9.5 million investment from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan to overhaul and repair the Spring Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant suffered extensive damage during this year’s flooding and, combined with its advanced age, was in dire need of repair. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to helping communities across Illinois improve their infrastructure and be better prepared for future floods.
“The flood waters may have receded, but we need to prepare for the future of Spring Valley,” Governor Quinn said. “This treatment plant is a vital part of life for everyone who lives in this community and we need to do everything we can to make sure it can operate for decades to come.”
In April, the Illinois River broke one of the plant’s levees and flooded it, causing extensive structural and grounds damage as well as to equipment, including its generator and electrical systems. The plant was originally constructed in 1958 and has not had a major upgrade since 1985. Even without the impact of flooding, most of the plant has reached the end of its service life and it is no longer capable of consistently meeting effluent standards for several materials listed in its required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Because of these problems, Spring Valley has been under a consent order to address these issues and has been working with state officials to move the plant project forward.
The plant currently pumps about 850,000 gallons a day and serves nearly 6,000 people in Spring Valley. The funding will be used for facility renovation, including the repair or replacement beyond its usable life and sludge removal from the aerated lagoon with the goal of complying with its IEPA permits. The project should be complete by 2017.
“This project underscores the importance of having modern water infrastructure not only for public safety, but for the progress of a community,” Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Bonnett said. “While these floods caused enormous hardship, they are an opportunity for communities to look forward and see how state capital funding and Governor Quinn’s Clean Water Initiative can help them improve their quality of life.”
Governor Quinn also provided an update on his administration’s efforts to help communities recover from the flood using both state resources and disaster assistance funding obtained through the federal government. When the historic flooding began in mid-April, Governor Quinn led an aggressive response and recovery effort for families and businesses that were impacted. As part of the flood response, Governor Quinn declared 35 counties disaster areas. Beginning on April 18, Governor Quinn activated the State Emergency Operations Center and called a State of Emergency to alert the federal government and deploy state resources. Governor Quinn visited impacted communities across the state, and worked to get federal aid as quickly as possible for every resident, business and local government in need.
To date, more than $200 million in federal grants and low-interest loans have been approved to help people and businesses in those 35 counties.
In May, Governor Quinn successfully secured a federal disaster declaration that made these grants and loans available. Federal aid approved to date includes $162.5 million in FEMA grants to more than 62,000 people whose homes and personal items were damaged or destroyed. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $46.4 million in loans for people and businesses affected by flooding. Governor Quinn also secured federal aid to help local governments in 40 counties recover most of their expenses for response and recovery from April floods.
The Spring Valley project is part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest capital construction programs in the nation.