Updates on the progress of the StormStore™ pilot, and hopes for moving forward with the cost-effective, and environmental-friendly pilot program.
StormStore ™ is a partnership between The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). MPC is dedicated to finding innovative solutions to advance equitable stormwater management across the Chicagoland region. In 2020, our team kicked off a pilot to establish a new marketplace, StormStore™, and we continue to look for the first projects in Cook County to take advantage of the incentives of stormwater trading.
The beginning stages of StormStore™
I was fortunate to join the MPC team at the tail-end of 2019 with some runway to get to know my amazing colleagues ahead of what would be a wildly challenging and successful year for our StormStore™ partnership. I feel doubly fortunate to have inherited the momentum built by the partnership’s research, advocacy, and coalition-building. Through our partnership with The Nature Conservancy—and the many advisors and stakeholders who were and remain engaged—a pretty clear value statement for why 2020 is the time for our region to pilot a new approach for managing regional watersheds.
Need a refresher on the StormStore™ initiative? Check out the following blog posts, and video provided by our partners at Calumet City!
StormStore™ progress throughout 2020
Despite pandemic-related delays, the political will was aligned for a unanimous vote in May 2020 by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board of Commissioners to approve a five-year pilot for the use of 'Offsite [stormwater management] Facilities' for new construction and redevelopment projects. By taking a 'Do No Harm' approach, MWRD effectively enable developers to invest the portion of the stormwater management capacity regulated for their site that provides no significant value in community where there is already ample capacity to be invested in another part of the watershed that will see much greater returns on Investment. The demand community wins by realizing a project that may have otherwise not been viable due to the site constraints or cost of compliance, while the supply community wins by receiving investment in new, voluntary, nature-based infrastructure.
2021: Possible trades for the Little Calumet and Lower Des Plaines
Metropolitan Planning Council via Ryan Wilson
A nature-based stormwater facility integrated into a campus redevelopment.
By the end of the 2020, we were involved in rigorous discussion with MWRD on how to accelerate success of this novel environmental market; we had kicked-off the Phase 1 of a new web presence and trading platform for StormStore.org; and we had a handful of projects considering buying credits or developing credits to sell into the marketplace. Looking forward to 2021, I’m optimistic that we’ll see the first steps towards trades in the Little Calumet and Lower Des Plaines watersheds. If we’re really fortunate, we’ll see purpose-built StormStore™ credit-generating projects that drive community-benefits back to the community where it constructed.
Get in touch with the StormStore™ team
Have questions about how to get started? Please reach out. Let us know if you represent a municipality, landowner, developer, or consultant, or simply are interested in seeing StormStore™ in your community.
Email Ryan at Rwilson@metroplanning.org or call (312) 863-6018.
Today, StormStore™ is shaping how buyers and sellers will connect with each other through our emergent marketplace. In the near future, we will have an accessible, centralized marketplace that can support all of your credit trading needs, whether you’re a resident seeking benefit for your community, a municipality seeking to build capacity to manage urban flooding, or a developer trying to build on a constrained site. There’s still much work to be done to ensure the StormStore™ marketplace is accessible, equitable, and builds resilience and capacity in communities where is most needed. We look forward to working with you and many partners to make it happen.