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Public Act 096-0026


 

Public Act 0026 96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY



 


 
Public Act 096-0026
 
SB1489 Enrolled LRB096 10752 JDS 20941 b

    AN ACT concerning safety.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Green
Infrastructure for Clean Water Act.
 
    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    "Agency" means the Illinois Environmental Protection
Agency.
    "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.
 
    Section 10. Legislative findings.
    (a) The General Assembly finds that:
        (1) urban storm water, when not properly controlled and
    treated, can cause pollution of the waters of the State,
    threaten public health, and damage property by carrying
    pollutants from our highways, streets, roads, parking
    lots, driveways, sidewalks, alleys, lawns, and other
    surfaces of low permeability into lakes, rivers, streams,
    and ponds;
        (2) development can increase storm water runoff by
    increasing the size and number of paved and other
    impervious surfaces within a watershed and decreasing the
    extent of vegetated and other permeable surface areas that
    control storm water runoff through natural infiltration
    and evapotranspiration and groundwater recharge;
        (3) current urban storm water related threats to the
    State's water resources include pollution, increased water
    temperatures, flooding, groundwater depletion, loss of
    habitat, stream bank erosion, sewer overflows, basement
    backups, contaminated drinking water sources, and
    sedimentation of waterways; and
        (4) some studies show that preserving and expanding
    natural and built green infrastructure can minimize
    negative impacts and enhance the resilience of water
    infrastructure and water bodies.
    (b) The General Assembly also finds that there are a number
of potential benefits from the use of green infrastructure,
including:
        (1) Cleaner Water. Green infrastructure can reduce the
    volume of storm water runoff in combined and separate sewer
    systems, and the concentrations of pollutants in those
    discharges.
        (2) Enhanced Water Supplies. Most green infrastructure
    approaches allow at least a portion of storm water to
    infiltrate surrounding soil, where it recharges the
    groundwater and stream base flows, contributing to
    drinking water supplies and helping to stabilize aquatic
    ecosystems. Green infrastructure systems that capture and
    reuse storm water also help to conserve other water
    sources.
        (3) Reduced Flooding. Green infrastructure can help
    control surface flooding and stabilize local hydrology by
    reducing peak flows.
        (4) Cleaner Air. Trees and vegetation improve air
    quality by filtering many airborne pollutants, thereby
    helping to reduce the incidence of respiratory illness.
        (5) Increased Energy Efficiency. Trees and other
    vegetation create shade, reduce the amount of heat
    absorbing materials, and emit water vapor, which controls
    surface temperature, thus helping to alleviate the urban
    heat island effect. Limiting impervious surface, using
    light colored impervious surfaces and green roofs also
    mitigates extreme urban temperatures. By helping to lower
    ambient temperatures and, when incorporated on and around
    buildings, helping to shade and insulate buildings from
    wide temperature swings, green infrastructure can reduce
    the energy needed for heating and cooling. Green roofs and
    shade can increase the life span of roofs, thus reducing
    the need for production and transportation of conventional
    roof materials. Energy use associated with pumping and
    treating can be reduced as storm water is diverted from
    wastewater collection, conveyance, and treatment systems.
        (6) Mitigation of and Adaptation to Impacts of Climate
    Change. Green infrastructure strategies can reduce energy
    demands and, thus, greenhouse gas emissions by reducing
    storm water volume and the associated treatment required,
    reducing the amount of potable water needed, providing
    thermal insulation and shade for buildings, mitigating the
    urban heat island effect, and sequestering carbon. These
    strategies can also help with adaptation to projected
    climate change impacts, including increased storm
    intensity, flood potential, and impacts on the quantity of
    surface and ground water supplies.
        (7) Wildlife Habitat. Stream buffers, wetlands, parks,
    meadows, and other forms of green infrastructure increase
    biodiversity within the urban environment.
        (8) Community Benefits. Trees and plants improve urban
    aesthetics and community livability by providing
    recreational and scenic wildlife areas. Studies show that
    property values are higher, violence is reduced, and crime
    is reduced when trees and other vegetation are present.
        (9) Health Benefits. Studies show that people who have
    access to the open space provided by green infrastructure
    in their communities get more exercise, live longer, and
    report better health in general. Exposure to green
    infrastructure (even through a window) improves mental
    functioning, reduces stress, and reduces recovery time
    from surgery.
        (10) Green Jobs. Designing, installing, and
    maintaining green infrastructure creates new jobs for
    architects, designers, engineers, construction workers,
    maintenance workers, landscape architects, landscapers,
    nurseries, and related services.
        (11) Cost Savings. Using green infrastructure in
    certain situations can save or reduce (i) capital costs
    associated with paving, constructing curbs and gutters,
    and building large collection and conveyance systems; (ii)
    operating and maintenance expenses for treatment plants,
    pumping stations, pipes, and other hard infrastructure;
    (iii) energy costs for pumping water; (iv) costs associated
    with treatment during wet weather; and (v) costs of
    repairing the damage caused by storm water, such as stream
    bank restoration and flood damage.
 
    Section 15. IEPA Study. By June 30, 2010, the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency, in consultation with the
Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois
Department of Transportation, the Capital Development Board,
storm water management agencies, and other interested parties
that the Agency deems appropriate to include, shall submit to
the General Assembly and the Governor a report that reviews the
latest available scientific research and institutional
knowledge to evaluate and document the following:
    (a) The nature and extent of urban storm water impacts on
water quality in watersheds in Illinois;
    (b) Potential urban storm water management performance
standards to address flooding, water pollution, stream
erosion, habitat quality, and the effectiveness of green
infrastructure practices to achieve such standards;
    (c) The prevalence of green infrastructure use in Illinois;
    (d) The costs and benefits of green versus grey
infrastructure;
    (e) Existing and potential new urban storm water management
regulatory programs and methods and feasibility of integrating
a State program with existing and potential regional and local
programs in Illinois;
    (f) Findings and recommendations for adopting an urban
storm water management regulatory program in Illinois which
includes performance standards and encourages the use of green
infrastructure to achieve those standards; and
    (g) The feasibility and consequences of devoting 20% of the
Water Revolving Fund to green infrastructure, water and energy
efficiency improvements, and other environmentally innovative
activities on a long-term basis.
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 6/30/2009