Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Executive Director David St. Pierre was one of only 80 state, federal, local, private and non-profit leaders from across the country invited to participate in a national storm water management conference held at the White House in Washington, D.C., last month.
The “Municipal Stormwater Infrastructure: Going from Grey to Green” conference provided a forum to address municipal storm water management needs, identifying barriers and evaluating options for practical actions. A heavy emphasis was placed on the growing role of green infrastructure.
Storm water entering combined sewer systems results in an excessive amount of water in the system, which can lead to basement backups and flooding. The use of green infrastructure techniques helps to minimize the amount of water entering the system.
“The MWRD is a national leader in incorporating green infrastructure into our flood prevention plans,” said St. Pierre. “We are working closely with the local communities to understand their needs and develop green infrastructure goals to meet those needs.”
In addition to sharing the benefits of the MWRD’s use of green infrastructure technologies, the MWRD is working to implement technologies to reduce the inflow of excess storm water into the sewage system.
“The MWRD has always been in the forefront for finding solutions to problems that affect communities, whether they have a combined sewer system or separate sewer system,” said St. Pierre. “We are equally committed to preserving and protecting our environment now and well into the future, and the use of green infrastructure is integral to that commitment.”
Nationally-based conference participants included the President’s principal environmental policy advisor, representatives from the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Management and Budget, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency leaders who focused emphasized the growing role of green infrastructure.