State and Local Government Committee
The State and Local Government Committee offers programs and events specifically for local and regional governments and policymakers. The Committee also tracks local/state green building related legislation/policies and conducts green building related presentations for local governments.
Meeting Schedule and Information
This committee meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 5:30pm at:
222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1502
Last meeting: 15 April
Our three main working groups are addressing:
– Support for the Clean Jobs Coalition movement to pass new legislation fixing our Illinois renewable portfolio standard and establishing goals for the use renewable energy as well as ways to manage carbon emissions limits
– Driving building practices that help tackle the growing problem of storm-water damage and environmental impact in urban areas
– Spreading the important best-practice of energy bench-marking for commercial and residential buildings as adopted in the City of Chicago
SLGC members: interested in representing the SLGC at events? How about helping advance sustainability in Illinois’ laws and legislation? Interested in writing a Spotlight on a sustainability issue close to you? Join us at our next meeting and let us know!
From Illinois Environmental Council: An Update on The Illinois General Assembly’s Green Caucus Key Legislation
learn more: May 26 factsheet
RPS/solar Update Provided by Illinois Environmental Council
The legislature decided not to take up the long-term structural fix to the RPS this year. This is a huge disappointment and we should let our legislators know that this is a critical issue that they cannot keep ignoring.
In light of this development, we have negotiated a bill, HB 2427, that authorizes a one-time supplemental procurement of $30 million from the Renewable Energy Resources Fund. That fund currently has $53 million in ratepayer money, but to date the Illinois Power Agency has been unable to spend it for technical statutory reasons. This year they may be able to spend the entire $53 million, though there is no guarantee, and that is why this special on-time supplemental procurement is necessary. It guarantees that at least $30 million will be spent, and in this case will be spent on exclusively solar. The IPA will determine the process for participation through an ICC docket, which will happen this summer and fall. The procurement of solar is expected next Spring.
HB 2427 is sponsored by Sen. Don Harmon and Rep. Kelly Burke. The bill will start in the Senate and will move to the House for concurrence, meaning the House cannot change anything. Amendment 3 to HB 2427 is the supplemental procurement language. The IPA and ICC had some technical changes, and the Senate wanted to include some language on contractor qualifications, which will be included in an a fourth Amendment. The bill will go to committee today or Monday. We do not know of any opposition and we expect it to pass.
This is not a permanent solution, but it will give a boost to our solar economy while we continue to fight for a bigger, better, long-term solution for renewable energy.
The Increasing Threat of Urban Flooding
“Urban flooding” means the inundation of property in a built environment, particularly in more densely populated areas, caused by rainfall overwhelming the capacity of drainage systems, such as storm sewers.
The Illinois General Assembly is taking note of this serious problem by introducing legislation on point. SB 2966, the URBAN FLOODING AWARENESS ACT, has passed the Senate and is now making its way through the Illinois house. As of May 14th, SB 296 has been placed on the calendar for 2nd Reading – Short Debate.
SB 2966 would require that by June 30, 2015, the Department of Natural Resources, in consultation with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and a number of other Illinois and local offices and agencies to submit a report that reviews and evaluates the latest available information, and institutional knowledge relating in part to:
The issue of urban flooding is now being taken up by the courts to determine the responsibility and liability of governmental agencies and offices in relation to damage caused by increases in major flooding events. As explained in the recently filed Illinois Fanners Insurance Company v. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago et. al: “The common, central and fundamental issue in this action is whether the Defendants have failed to safely operate retention basins, detention basins, tributary enclosed sewers and tributary open sewers/drains for the purpose of safely conveying storm water.”
The USGBC-IL Chapter could be a valuable resource for our legislators, communities, and other interested organizations on methods that mitigate the damage caused by urban flooding. Let us know if you are interested in the issue and how you may help SLGC on it!
Is LEED for “Tiny Houses” the next rating system? Learn more about the trends towards “tiny homes” which is seen by many to be a panacea for social and environmental ills. thetinylife.com
Chicago approves ban on plastic shopping bags! Read more at huffingtonpost.com.
State and Local Media Links
Links and Program Information
The Green Codes Landscape in a World of Standards and Rating Systems presented by Chris Chwedyk
USGBC-IL Chapter Forum/State & Local Government Committee
Co-Chair: Alan Lopez