StormStore™ - Metropolitan Planning Council

Skip to main content


A stormwater credit trading market for Cook County

MWRD Pilot in Cook County

Building a market for StormStore™: Stormwater credit trading in the Little Calumet + Lower Des Plaines watersheds

Metropolitan Planning Council via Ryan Wilson

StormStore™—a partnership of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC)—is seeking partners and projects within the Little Calumet and Lower Des Plaines watersheds to participate in a Stormwater Credit Trading pilot. This pilot is enabled by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago's (MWRD) recent update to the Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO), which allows developers to comply with stormwater management regulations by developing facilities offsite, but within the same watershed, through 2024. This StormStore™ pilot is intended to demonstrate that compliance with the WMO can be both beneficial to communities and the environment and cost effective for developers.

Who should participate?

There are only a few requirements to qualify for participation in this Pilot. However, for this early stage of market development, some projects are likely to be better than others. The following outlines current requirements and recommendations.

If you are considering purchasing credits as a means of alternative compliance for stormwater management, your project should be:

  • located fully within one of the eligible geographies
  • greater than 0.5 acres
  • able to meet the reduced onsite retention and detention requirements outlined in the ordinance

If you are considering using your site to generate credits, your project should be:

  • located fully within one of the eligible geographies
  • greater than 0.5 acres
  • able to provide new and voluntary stormwater storage for the watershed
  • NOT a single-family home development

You are:

  • an innovator who wants to bring value to your site or community
  • a committed steward to the long-term care and maintenance of your project
  • concerned about inequities in stormwater infrastructure and investment in Cook County
Do you have a project in mind? Would StormStore benefit you? Contact us!

We’re looking for partners in the private sector, conservation organizations, land banks, and residents, in addition to governments. If any of the following describe you or your organization, please contact us:

  • A private-developer who is seeking an innovative way to meet your Watershed Management Ordinance compliance requirements
  • A municipality that has identified projects to address local flooding, or add new park-like amenities to your community
  • An affordable housing developer
  • A consulting engineer, planner, or architect working with developers in these two watersheds
  • A resident community member who has a project identified in a local plan they want to see realized
  • A nonprofit landowner or manager
  • An institution (e.g. school, hospital) that has plans to improve or redevelop your property

Little Calumet River Watershed Planning Area

Priority Support Areas for Supply-sites

Blue Island
Hazel Crest
South Holland
Calumet City

Lower Des Plaines River Watershed Planning Area

Priority Support Areas for Supply-sites

Elmwood Park
River Grove
Franklin Park
Melrose Park
Oak Park
Maine township
Leyden township


The StormStore™ team at TNC and MPC can help you determine if your project is eligible. We encourage you to reach out to us if you are in the early phases of redeveloping your property or have a green or natural infrastructure project in mind.

If you’re interested in developing a supply-site to manage stormwater and sell credits, contact:

Jen Jenkins
Natural Infrastructure Project Manager
The Nature Conservancy
312 580 2138

If you’re interested buying credits to meet your compliance requirements, contact:

Ryan Wilson
Manager of Water Resources
Metropolitan Planning Council
312 863 6018

Learn More

Latest news

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616

Sign up for newsletter and alerts »

Shaping a better, bolder, more equitable future for everyone

For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

Donate »