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November 8, 2016 — Illinois General Election
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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Board of CommissionersCandidate for CommissionerFull 6-year term

Photo of Mariyana T. Spyropoulos

Mariyana T. Spyropoulos

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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protect tax dollars
  • protect our water envrionment
  • strengthen community outreach regarding district programs and services



Attorney, Self (2005–current)
Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District — Elected position (2010–current)
Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District — Appointed position (2009–2010)


John Marshall Law School and Loyola University Chicago JD, MBA, Law and Business (1996)

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (7)

  • Chicago NOW PAC
  • Sierra Club
  • Cook County Farm Bureau
  • Democracy for America
  • Cook County Democratic Party
  • Chicago Federation of Labor

Questions & Answers

Questions from Chicago Sun-Times (8)

How would you expand the removal of such nutrients as phosphorus — which harm aquatic life — to all MWRD plants?
Answer from Mariyana T. Spyropoulos:

We currently have the largest phosphorus facility in the world at our Stickney plant. This facility came on line this year. We have been recognized as a leader in this regard. We are always reviewing how we can improve our faclities to make our process more efficient and effective.

How would you expand public awareness of combined sewer overflow notifications, which are intended in part to alert people recreating in Chicago area waterways?
Answer from Mariyana T. Spyropoulos:

Chicago had the first long term plan in the country to manage combined sewer overflows. The TARP system has been effective in reducing the CSOs. However, we continue to look at opportunities to reduce them. Thornton and McCook Reservoirs will further reduce CSOs, but we can always find ways to improve our performance. Notification in the media and at points of recreation as well as an app for interested in users of the waterways to find out if there have been CSOs, that may interefere with their recreating. 

What do you see as the MWRD’s role in controlling litter in our waterways?
Answer from Mariyana T. Spyropoulos:

MWRD's role is as one fo the stake holders in the region. We work with and will continue to work with various agencies to protect our water environment. We work with the EPA and Friends of the Chicago River, just to name a few, to help ensure clean waters. 

The Sun-Times has written about the problem of tenants on MWRD land who release chemical pollutants into the local waterways. Please provide strategies for the best use of MWRD land holdings to meet the district’s statutory duties and advance the district’s goals.
Answer from Mariyana T. Spyropoulos:

Strategies for best use of MWRD land holdings is how the leases are written so that tenants know their responsibilites and follow-up by MWRD. 

What is the appropriate role of the MWRD in regional efforts to deal with the problems of storm water management and Asian carp?
Answer from Mariyana T. Spyropoulos:

MWRD's role should be and is a leadership role for both. First, with regards to stomwater management, we work closely with municipalities and community organizations to work on projects that will protect communities from flooding. We have also worked with the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools to convert playgrounds from non-permeable surfaces to green infrastructure to absorb stormwater, reducing stormwater in the system.  We are also studying the Cook COunty regiona to develop stormwater master plans to protect the region from flooding. Second, with regards to Asian Carp, we have worked clsoely with the Army Corps of Engineers to assist with the GLIMRIS Report and coming up with solutions to Asian Carp population and travel.  

Why would you say is there still significant flooding in the Chicago region, including the south and north suburbs? What should be the MWRD’s role in mitigating flooding?
Answer from Mariyana T. Spyropoulos:

We have made significant impact on flooding with TARP and all of the localized projects with municipalities that we have worked on. There is still work to be done to reduce flooding. The combination of 40% of Cook County being non-permeable surface and increase in intense rain events with climate change makes it necessary to work with communities to address their specific geographic challenges. We need to increase our use of green infrastructure to absorb stormwater.  

Will more steps need to be taken to alleviate North Side flooding after the Albany Park tunnel opens?
Answer from Mariyana T. Spyropoulos:

Projects such as the Albany Park Tunnel always need to be supported with green infrastructure projects in the area.  Such as the TARP plan is supported with numerous green infrastructrue projects throughout Cook County. 

How would you protect the ducks being sucked into the disinfection facility at the O’Brien Treatment plant?
Answer from Mariyana T. Spyropoulos:

Put up a screen to prevent wildlife getting too close to the facility. 

Videos (1)

Mariyana Spyropoulos on why she wants to remain a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner.

Candidate Contact Info

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