On Friday August 27, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Lead Service Line and Notification Act into law. The now-law, which was sponsored by State Senator Melinda Bush and State Representative Lamont Robinson, follows years of grassroots advocacy and stakeholder collaboration. With its signing, Illinois joins Michigan and New Jersey as one of only three states in the U.S. to mandate full lead service line replacement. The Illinois law contains the following key provisions:
- Mandates full lead service line replacement by all water systems within a required timeframe based on the number of lead service lines in their system;
- Bans partial lead service line replacement: the dangerous practice of removing only the section from the water main to the property line. This causes disruption to the remaining portion of the service line and can result in significantly increased levels of lead contamination in drinking water.
- Requires water systems to submit an initial service line materials inventory to the state by April 15, 2023 and a final complete inventory by April 15, 2024;
- Requires water systems to submit an initial lead service line replacement plan to the state by April 15, 2024 and an updated plan every April 15th for review by the state until a final comprehensive plan is submitted by April 15, 2027;
- Creates the Lead Service Line Replacement Fund which is dedicated exclusively to fund water systems’ work of identifying and replacing lead service lines;
- Water systems will be required to identify and replace lead service lines during the process of water main replacements beginning January 1, 2022;
- Creates the Lead Service Line Replacement Advisory Board: a multi-sector stakeholder body that will advise the state on best practices in lead service line replacement and implementation and integration of the state’s lead service line replacement goals;
- Establishes a statewide low-income water assistance policy and program that all low-income Illinois residents will be eligible to apply to for monetary assistance to help ensure access to water.
Click here to read the joint press release from stakeholders celebrating the signing of the bill and calling on adequate federal funding to assist with implementation.