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New credit system allows developers to trade stormwater responsibilities

by Andrew Stahl

New credit system allows developers to trade stormwater responsibilities

Last week, The Nature Conservancy in Illinois and the Metropolitan Planning Council announced StormStore, a new program that will allow developers to manage stormwater economically and efficiently and incentivize environmental solutions.

New developments in Cook County are required to manage stormwater runoff at their sites, which can often be unwieldy and costly. StormStore aims to ease the burden, while maintaining high standards for stormwater storage.

The credit trading system will allow developers with limited storage solutions to buy credits from other properties that can accommodate extra stormwater, giving new developments more options and established sites financial compensation.

“This program benefits both parties,” said Jen Jenkins, natural infrastructure project manager at The Nature Conservancy in Illinois. “Developers can continue new site plans without adding pricey control systems, and local landowners can continue creating green infrastructure to reduce flooding in their neighborhoods and get reimbursed for their expenses.”

StormStore is currently in a pilot phase in the Lower Des Plaines and Little Calumet watershed areas, both of which were hit hard by flooding this May.

“StormStore is a great way for developers to get involved with the local community,” said Ryan Wilson, manager of water resources with the Metropolitan Planning Council. “We’re hoping as many eligible projects in these pilot areas as possible participate and purchase credits, and in turn aid these neighborhoods in mitigating floods and supporting the local environment.”

More information on project eligibility and application processes is available on the planning council’s website.

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