The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) announced significant changes to the Watershed Management Ordinance that has implications for property owners and developers throughout Cook County.
These changes are directly linked to newly published rainfall data and are impacting stormwater management practices across the state of Illinois. The MWRD is not the only agency adopting changes since the release of the data. Lake County and DuPage County are expected to follow suit.
About the MWRD and the Impacts of the Ordinance
The MWRD has the authority by the state of Illinois to regulate and oversee stormwater management in Cook County (excluding the City of Chicago). The new Watershed Management Ordinance revisions reflect observed changes in weather patterns and analysis of vulnerable flooding areas in the county. It is the agency’s responsibility to uphold public health and safety standards on projects under its jurisdiction.
EEA expects the requirements for stormwater detention to rise across Cook County. These changes will increase project costs associated with managing larger amounts of water on site and releasing it at slower rates. However, an opportunity exists for landowners and developers who act quickly.
An Opportunity to Plan Ahead
The MWRD will begin enforcing these ordinance revisions for all projects submitted after January 1, 2020. Expediting submittals to the MWRD prior to this date offers design team partners and owners an opportunity to avoid these increased costs, and construct their projects under the current rules. This incentivizes owners who are currently designing to act quickly to maintain project budgets and land use plans. We encourage our clients considering land development projects in Cook County in the near future to take advantage of this cost-saving opportunity.
For more information about submitting your project prior to the 2020 deadline, contact your current EEA project team member or reach out to our Technical Director, Tom Hill, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (847) 223-4804 ext. 23.