All counties in Illinois will be able to establish stormwater commissions that can adopt plans and ordinances under legislation sponsored by State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) and signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner Aug. 10.
“Very few counties in the state have this ability right now,” Rezin said. “For our district, we need better tools to address flooding issues and stormwater mitigation. This new law will help.”
For example, in the 38th Senate District, Bureau, Livingston, and Putnam Counties currently do not have a county stormwater commission. Under this law, they could vote to have a commission.
In a recent report, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources found that over 92 percent of flood damage claims they reviewed were outside of any floodplain.
County floodwater commissions manage their local jurisdictions by helping them reduce flood losses and damages through best practices, mitigation projects, and effective stormwater regulations. They also help in restoring and upgrading drainage areas.
“This legislation was due in large part to our local Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance,” Rezin said. “We saw how other county stormwater commissions, especially through establishing local laws, can play a pivotal role during a flood event by helping reduce flood losses.”
The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.