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13 Ill. Communities To Share $5M In 'Green' Grants

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Thirteen Illinois communities will split more than $5 million in state grants to help reduce the risk of flooding and pollution caused by storms.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the so-called "green infrastructure" grants Saturday.

The money will help fund projects to prevent harmful runoff from making its way into water supplies. The projects include installing permeable pavement and rain gardens or using soil and vegetation to restore forests, floodplains and wetlands.

The projects reduce the risk runoff from rain and snow will travel into waterways, picking up pollutants such as litter, fertilizer and pesticides, along the way.

Among the initiatives receiving funding is a $1.3 million plan to turn a former brownfield site in Sterling into an eco-tourism destination along the Rock River.