Un'ted States
             Environmental Protection
Green  Infrastructure Program
Community Partner Profiles
                                                                 2011 Partners
REGION 5:  Northeast  Ohio Regional  Sewer
Community Background
                                                         EPA Contact
                                                       Bob Newport
                                                       US EPA Region 5
                                                       77 West Jackson Boulevard
                                                       Chicago, IL 60604
Cleveland is located in the northeastern corner of Ohio on the shores
of Lake Eerie. The City of Cleveland is home to about 400,000
residents, and the greater metropolitan area is home to more than 2
million. The Cuyahoga River and Ohio Eerie Canal flow through the
city and were a catalyst for the city's urbanization and
industrialization for many decades. Since 1990, however,  Cleveland
has experienced a significant population decline, with the population
falling from more than 500,000 to less than 450,000 in 2008 (representing a 15 percent decline in only
18 years). As the population decline continues, the number of vacant lots grows is growing. The city
now has more than 20,000 vacant lots representing more than 3,300 acres of vacant urban land. The
City of Cleveland has also experienced increasing poverty rates in the past few decades, with the
poverty rate rising from 8.9 percent in 1970 to 10.8 percent in 2000.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (the District) coordinates wastewater and stormwater
management for a large portion of the Cleveland metropolitan area, serving more than one million
residents of Cleveland and its suburbs.  Wastewater and stormwater in the District's service area is
managed by a vast system of sewers and treatment plants, consisting of more than 3,000 miles of local
sewers, 300 miles of interceptor sewers, and three wastewater treatment plants. Within the Greater
Cleveland area, there are a total of 126 permitted outfalls where combined sewer overflows release to
the environment. The District has tracked and recorded these CSO events throughout Cleveland.

Drivers for Green Infrastructure
In 2005, the District entered into negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the EPA, and
the Ohio Environmental  Protection Agency to develop a plan for reducing its CSOs. The purpose of the
negotiations was to develop a Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) that would provide an adequate level of
CSO control within an acceptable time frame, while recognizing the region's finite financial capability.
EPA 832N12005

   Green Infrastructure Community Partner Profiles
2011 Partners
In 2010, the District adopted the negotiated LTCP and signed a consent decree with the DOJ, EPA, and
the Ohio EPA. Unlike the initial plan, the consent decree calls for a mix of both green and gray
infrastructure to reduce CSOs by 44 million gallons by 2018. The initial plan relied solely on large
storage tunnels to capture the large amounts of runoff and sewage within the District.

The inclusion of green infrastructure is intended not only to improve water quality in the Great Lakes,
but also to revitalize the District's communities and to provide more cost-effective investments for rate
payers. With the large flux of residents out of the city, the District is faced with fewer customers to pay
the same bill, and is compelled to collect higher fees from its customers. The green infrastructure
component of the new LTCP will provide the District's customers with a wider range of more visible
benefits in return for their utility fees.
Green Strategies and Programs
Project Clean Lake is the primary vehicle through which the District is implementing green
infrastructure. The project itself guarantees a minimum investment of $42 million in green
infrastructure practices that address the District's stormwater and CSO issue. These practices will
increase the storage, infiltration, and evapotranspiration capacity of the landscape and retain the
runoff that would otherwise flow into the combined system.

The District is considering 38 areas for revitalization. In December 2011, the list of potential areas will
be presented to the federal and state government for review and prioritization. The revitalization will
involve the implementation of best management practices to both capture and treat stormwater

The District would like to convert 1,000  acres of parking lots, roadways, and abandoned buildings to
green spaces and ponds for the community to utilize. The restoration of green space within the
District's boundaries will reduce the volume of stormwater entering the combined  system and thus
reduce the number and frequency of CSOs  in  the Cleveland metropolitan area.

One project that is nearing completion is the Collinwood Recreation Center. This $11 million complex
utilizes bioretention  ponds, sand beds, and a  1,800 gallon cistern to capture stormwater before it
enters the combined sewer system. The site also receives runoff from many of the  vacant lots that line
Lakeshore Boulevard. The project is intended to increase community awareness of and support for
green infrastructure.
For more information: Northest Ohio Regional Sewer District
EPA 832N12005