Saturday, Nov. 8


Communities and groups are asked to submit environmental project ideas   Send a link

[NOV. 8, 2003]  SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois EPA Director Renee Cipriano has announced a new Web page that may help communities identify environmentally-related projects important to their residents.

Illinois EPA's new Web page makes available the newly created Supplemental Environmental Project Idea Bank.

A Supplemental Environmental Project, or SEP, is a project that is funded as a result of an environmental enforcement settlement. In some situations, performance of environmentally beneficial projects can be negotiated with a defendant to reduce the level of penalties that may be imposed as a result of an environmental violation. The SEP Idea Bank will help the Illinois EPA gather ideas on needed projects and initiatives in local communities.

"I want to tap into the tremendous base of knowledge across the state," said Cipriano. "I also want to involve Illinois citizens in the decision-making process of protecting our environment."

In its efforts to gather this information the Illinois EPA is targeting environmental groups, local governmental organizations and environmental justice groups, asking for suggestions. These suggestions will be provided to the defendants financing the SEPs, and they, along with the state will agree on the best project.

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Among the types of projects that may be eligible to receive SEP funding are environmental restoration and protection efforts, waste collection events, and pollution prevention projects. These projects could support studies, such as energy audits; restoration, such as stream bank erosion prevention; or even the purchase of land for parks and natural areas. The funds could also be used to sponsor environmental education training or to subsidize recycling efforts.

"The Illinois EPA has had some real success stories using SEPs," said Cipriano. "We have contributed to the purchase of sensitive wetlands, helped to fund construction of a bicycle and pedestrian bridge, and purchased equipment for a local hazmat team. All of this is a win-win for the community."

Both the information on how to submit a project idea to the agency and a list of the types of possible projects are available at

[Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
news release]

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