Skip to main content

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

After a lifetime dedicated to the environment and a career protecting the region’s water, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Commissioner Debra Shore is set to embark on another critical position of leadership, this time to defend the nation’s environment. President Joe Biden has appointed Commissioner Shore to serve as Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5. Besides Illinois, other states in this region include Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, 35 tribal nations and the Great Lakes.

Commissioner Shore participated in her last Board of Commissioners’ meeting on October 21. In honor of her nearly 15 years on the MWRD Board, her fellow commissioners presented her with a resolution honoring her steadfast service to protecting the water environment and strengthening quality of life for 5.25 million residents in the MWRD service area.

“We will miss having Commissioner Shore on our Board, but few leaders are as deserving and qualified to fulfill this critically important position at the EPA,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “During her time on the Board, Commissioner Shore advanced the cause of environmental and public health protection and advocated for equity and clean water. We thank Commissioner Shore for her service and look forward to future partnerships at the EPA.”

Commissioner Shore was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2006 and was re-elected in 2012 and 2018. She is founding editor of Chicago Wilderness Magazine, an active volunteer restoring prairies and oak savannahs, a founding member of Friends of the Forest Preserves, and a supporter of open space, conservation programs and environmentally conscious water policy.

Over the last 15 years, Commissioner Shore has been a strong advocate for cleaning the Chicago waterways, mitigating flooding, protecting the source of our drinking water in Lake Michigan, responding to climate change and developing a sustainable resource recovery program that includes the reuse of treated water, and the generation of renewable energy. That experience solidified her credentials as a bona fide national leader, according to EPA officials.

“Debra’s knowledge and experience on water infrastructure issues, the impacts of climate change, and the protection of the Great Lakes will help her lead Region 5,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I am grateful to have her joining the team and I look forward to working with her to advance this administration’s priorities and fulfill EPA’s mission.”

Through her effective collaboration on the Board of Commissioners, strong fiscal guidance and determined environmental policies, the MWRD has positioned itself as a worldwide leader. The MWRD maintains a AAA bond rating from Fitch Ratings while also being recognized by peer water professional organizations as a Utility of the Future for its forward-thinking, innovative work to promote communities that are resilient, sustainable and livable.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to serve the people of Cook County,” said Commissioner Shore. “I thank my fellow commissioners and District staff for their devotion to the mission of protecting Lake Michigan, improving water quality, and helping to make our region more resilient in the face of climate change."

21_10xx_Shore_EPA_Region5 (1).pdf

Press Release
Awards and Announcements

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


For more information: