Public Act 96-26, the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act, required the Illinois EPA to assess and evaluate using green infrastructure to help manage stormwater in Illinois. Illinois EPA worked with the University of Illinois – Chicago to undertake research to assess effective best management practices, green infrastructure standards and institutional and policy frameworks to support the development of a Green Infrastructure Plan for Illinois. The University, Professor Martin Jaffe specifically, provided a report to the Agency that outlines recommendations based on their research of this topic. The Agency received these recommendations and provided a report to the Illinois General Assembly June 2010.
Green infrastructure means any storm water management technique or practice employed with the primary goal of preserving, restoring, or mimicking natural hydrology. Green infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, methods of using soil and vegetation to promote soil percolation, evapotranspiration, and filtration. Green infrastructure includes the preservation and restoration of natural landscape features, such as forests, floodplains, headwaters, and wetlands. Green infrastructure also includes rain gardens, permeable pavements, green roofs, infiltration planters, trees and tree boxes, and rainwater harvesting for non-potable uses, such as toilet flushing and landscape irrigation. (Public Act 96-26)
We had the opportunity to rethink things and possibly use the state revolving loan fund to help fund green infrastructure implementation. It could extend beyond traditional practices to provide incentives/assistance for green infrastructure.
Illinois EPA and its partners developed a report that reviewed the latest available scientific research and institutional knowledge to evaluate and document the following:
The report provided recommendations for Illinois regarding the:
June 2010 Recommendations to Governor and General Assembly
January 2010 GI Stakeholder Meeting at IEPA