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CCFB News» November 2021

MWRD Commissioner to be Appointed to EPA Post

11/06/2021 @ 1:00 pm

Cook County Farm Bureau has learned that Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Commissioner Debra Shore will be appointed to head the Environmental Protection Agency Region 5, one of the country’s largest offices overseeing air, water, and land pollution issues in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.


Cook County Farm Bureau has worked with Shore in her role with MWRD for over 10 years. Created in 1889, MWRD is a special-purpose district responsible for treating wastewater and stormwater management for residents and businesses in over 880 square miles in northeastern Illinois. Governed by a nine-member board of commissioners, MWRD is home to a $1 billion annual budget and a 2,000-employee workforce. Commissioners are elected at-large in staggered six-year terms.


During Commissioner Shore’s tenure at MWRD she led the District to install disinfection technology at two of the world’s largest wastewater treatment plants and the world’s largest nutrient recovery facility. Under Shore’s leadership the District has transitioned from simply a wastewater treatment facility to a resource recovery agency committed to the recovery of nutrients, biogas, biosolids, and water reuse.


Shore’s work in the area of nutrient recovery and biosolids is most exciting. Continuing in that vein since 2015, the District in collaboration with partners and the Farm Bureau, have engaged in research in the areas of inter-seeded cover cropping, riparian grass buffer, denitrifying bioreactors, runoff irrigation, subirrigation, drainage water management, designer biochar, and watershed-scale nutrient reduction demonstration. This partnership was borne out of EPA’s goals to reduce the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico, restore and protect local and regional water quality in the Mississippi River basin, and improve land management practices throughout these communities. The synergies created by this partnership illustrate the potential nutrient reduction possibilities created when point and nonpoint sources work in collaboration.


Shore has been endorsed by the Cook County Farm Bureau® Political Action Committee in both 2012 and 2018. Earlier this year, Cook County Farm Bureau also submitted a letter of support on behalf of Shore’s appointment to the post to President Joe Biden.


Commissioner Debra Shore

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