New Study on Green Infrastructure to Assess Stormwater Management

CNT is working with Illinois EPA, the University of Illinois-Chicago and others to scope out effective statewide stormwater management standards for Illinois that emphasize the use of green infrastructure.

IEPA awarded University of Illinois Urban Planning Program Director Martin Jaffe a grant to assess the use of green infrastructure for urban stormwater management. CNT and the UIC team will be reviewing existing green infrastructure systems and regulatory programs in cities and states across the country, as well as exploring the use of models to determine the effectiveness of these systems in urban environments.

CNT will analyze existing regulatory storm water performance standards to identify those that will be effective to guide green infrastructure adoption in urban areas in Illinois. CNT will also explore the potential to establish a long-term “green infrastructure portfolio standard” in select areas, similar to the renewable energy portfolio standards that have been adopted in many states requiring gradual, measurable increases in renewable energy.

IEPA initiated the study after the Gov. Quinn signed the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act (P.A. 96-0026), legislation proposed by CNT that instructs the Agency to explore ways to bring green infrastructure’s many benefits into state stormwater policy. The legislation also requires that the study team report back to the legislature and the Governor’s Office by June 2010.

“The beauty of green infrastructure,” says Hal Sprague, Senior Policy Associate at CNT, “is that it provides so many benefits to the community. Not only does it help manage stormwater runoff and prevent flooding, but it helps protect lakes and streams from pollution, recharge local groundwater, reduce urban heat island effects – saving energy and money, improve air quality, increase land values, and provide wildlife habitat and recreational space, just to name a few benefits. This study will give IEPA the background information it needs to develop an effective green infrastructure plan for the State of Illinois.”

Read more about CNT’s green infrastructure programs or more about the EPA’s efforts to Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure.

Read more about P.A. 96-0026.