In the Wake of Water Issues Plaguing Dixmoor Rush Calls on EPA to Study Water Supply and Delivery Systems for Chicago South Suburbs (Washington, DC) — In the wake of a weekslong water supply crisis in Dixmoor, Illinois, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan on Wednesday urging the EPA to immediately conduct a study on the water supply and delivery systems for the south suburbs of Chicago.
“I am writing to bring attention to an ongoing problem in many of the suburban villages and towns in my district,” Rush wrote. “For far too long, these communities have struggled to secure affordable and dependable supplies of clean water for their residents. My constituents in the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois need and deserve a clean supply of fresh water, but this cannot be guaranteed as we do not know the state of the water supply and distribution systems throughout the region.”
“Unfortunately, this is not a new problem,” Rush continued, citing water contamination from toxic chemicals discovered in the Village of Crestwood in 2009, and a similar chemical contamination issue brought to light in Sauk Village just a few years later. “Most recently, thousands of my constituents in Dixmoor were forced to go without reliable water for weeks on end due to a break in a water main. Even after the break was repaired, there have been challenges providing adequate pressure to deliver water to residents, and these challenges remain ongoing. This is simply an unacceptable and disgraceful state of affairs,” Rush wrote.
Rush pointed out that Dixmoor is one of many south suburbs with aging water infrastructure and that “the financial straits that many of these south suburban municipalities find themselves in due to structural disadvantages and the COVID-19 pandemic mean that they are simply not in a fiscal place to take on their water issues alone.”
Illinois is in line to receive approximately $1.7 billion to improve water infrastructure from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month and will be signed into law by President Biden today. Overall, the legislation provides $55 billion in funding for water infrastructure across the country.
“These funds can be used to provide the help that towns like Dixmoor so desperately need, but in order for the funds to be properly distributed, we must have a comprehensive understanding of the water supply and delivery system for the south suburbs of Chicago,” Rush concluded. “Therefore, I respectfully request that the EPA commits to ensuring the completion of a study on the water supply and delivery systems for the south suburbs of Chicago immediately.”
The full text of Rep. Rush’s letter to EPA is available here.
In the Wake of Water Issues Plaguing Dixmoor Rush Calls on EPA to Study Water Supply and Delivery Systems for Chicago South Suburbs