Better Stormwater Management in Cook County: A Step Towards Separation

A draft Cook County Watershed Management Ordinance is out on public review, which would facilitate our goals of hydrologic separation and improving water quality. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago is responsible for ensuring treatment and quality of storm and wastewater, and has put forth this ordinance to establish protection for residents by better managing stormwater from new and redeveloped areas. This ordinance will minimize the negative impacts of development in flood-prone areas by establishing responsibility for stormwater storage and release. It will also encourage green infrastructure and wetlands protection, which will capture and hold stormwater runoff and prevent further flooding risks. The Great Lakes Commission and Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative in their Restoring the Natural Divide report identified the need for improved stormwater management and prevention of flood damage as critical to the goal of permanent separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. With intensifying storms coupled with further development, the adoption of a Watershed Management Ordinance to protect our waterways is imperative. To move forward on separation and Cook County’s pressing water problems, attend a public hearing or send comments and support MWRD’s draft Watershed Management Ordinance.

The four public hearings are scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. as follows:

West Central Municipal Conference
When: Wednesday, July 24
Where: Northlake City Hall, 55 E. North Ave

Southwest Conference of Mayors
When: Monday, August 5, 2013
Where: Chicago Ridge Village Hall, 10455 S Ridgeland Ave

Northwest Municipal Conference
When: Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Where: Mount Prospect Village Hall, 50 S. Emerson Street

South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association
When: Thursday, August 8, 2013
Where: SSMMA Main Office, 1904 W. 174th Street, East Hazel Crest

Written comments can be sent to MWRD Director of Engineering Catherine O’Connor at:

The entire draft may also be read online at:

Sierra Club has made it easy for you to send an email in support of the ordinance HERE.

Posted July 19, 2013