Sen. Tammy Duckworth announces $3.5 million from EPA to upgrade Harvey water infrastructure

The city of Harvey will receive $3.5 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its Central Area Water and Sewer Improvement Project, according to U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s office.

The money was secured through a congressionally directed spending request and will be used to implement “long-overdue water infrastructure upgrades to help address chronic flooding and reduce resource costs for breaks and leaks repairs,” according to a news release from the senator’s office.

“These funds … will significantly enhance our city’s infrastructure, ensuring a more sustainable and prosperous future for our residents,” Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark is quoted in the release.

Water in Harvey has been a long-standing issue. In February 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency conducted a sanitary survey of Harvey’s public water system. It found several deficiencies, including a discovery that “a portion of the roof and sides were damaged and peeling.”

The agency also discovered the “exterior of the elevated water tank needed to be scraped and painted.”

While the findings were not deemed an emergency at the time, the agency noted “the significant water deficiencies have the potential to cause or allow water contamination.”

Harvey’s water issues have compounded those of neighboring communities. Dixmoor Village President Fitzgerald Roberts told the Chicago Tribune in October 2021 that a water shortage in her town was attributed to a burst pipe in Harvey.