Latest Issues Facing Our Industry

NAIOP Corporate & NAIOP Chicago identify key issues to track and monitor at the national and state levels that effect our members, member companies, and the commercial real estate industry as a whole.

Stormwater Credit Trading in Cook County | June 25, 2020

In May, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) took action to update the Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO) which governs how public and private landowners manage rain that falls on new and redeveloped project sites. This work, a collaborative effort of MWRD staff and the WMO Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), marks a nearly decade long effort by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) to enable Stormwater Credit Trading in Cook County.

With these amendments, developers now have greater flexibility to comply with the WMO by using offsite stormwater management facilities.

Key Details for Developers:

  • This pilot is authorized for the next 5-years in two geographies outside the City of Chicago and within Cook County–the Lower Des Plaines and the Little Calumet watershed planning areas.
  • Projects seeking a WMO Permit within these geographies will be allowed to use offsite facilities to manage up to 50% of the required volume control, and as much as 100% of the required detention volume.
  • These changes unlock opportunities to develop constrained commercial, residential, and industrial sites, such as those around regional transit and other infill redevelopments.

Here’s How Stormwater Credit Trading Works:

  • Stormwater Credit Trading is a market-based approach that supports developers who seek more affordable compliance options, and encourages the development of stormwater controls in communities where it is most needed building resiliency and economic opportunity.
  • When the market is fully operational, developers will be able to “Buy” credits from a landowner who has credits to “Sell.”  These credits will be generated when a land owner constructs a permitted stormwater facility which exceeds the stormwater management requirements of the WMO.
  • Through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, MPC is establishing StormStore—a market administrator that will provide connections, verification, trade support, and tracking to developers who would like to Buy and Sell credits in this market.
  • Currently in the early stages of establishment, StormStore is seeking developers, property owners, and community partners who seek to manage stormwater in creative ways that achieve many co-benefits for our region.

If you are interested in learning more, or discussing a project could benefit from this pilot program contact: Ryan Wilson (MPC) at

You can determine whether your project is within an eligible geography by searching the map: