Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center

About the Great Lakes EFC

The Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center is a partnership between the U.S. EPA and the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. Our mission is to help in the financing of investments to improve environmental quality and assure a sustainable future for regulated communities in Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin).

The Great Lakes EFC is a technical assistance, training, and research resource for state and local government, private sector, and non-profit organizations. Great Lakes EFC helps solve financial problems related to environmental facilities and resources.

Our mission is to help in the financing of investments to improve environmental quality and assure a sustainable future for regulated communities in Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin).

We will achieve the Great Lakes EFC mission by providing technical assistance to regulated communities and analysis that helps to propel the centerís mission.

Featured Projects:

Opportunities for Stationary Fuel Cell Applications in Ohio: Public Finance and Other Strategies

Ohio has not, heretofore, been a major player in the deployment of stationary fuel cell applications, notwithstanding its status as a leader in developing fuel cell technology. One reason for this is that in the years since fuel cells became commercially available, fuel cell power generation had struggled to be cost effective in Ohio due to a combination low electricity prices and high natural gas prices, the latter being the most common fuel for stationary fuel cell applications.

Small Water Systems Project

The Great Lakes EFC is working with the other EFCs nationwide in partnership to build small water systems managerial and financial capacity through a range of technical assistance, workshops, and trainings. The efforts of the Small Water System Project work to improve system management through: a bettering understanding of system assets, assistance in finding opportunities for cost savings and possible sources of funding, looking for collaborative opportunities with other systems, increasing energy and water efficiency, and developing sound fiscal policies and practices.

The Small Water System Project’s areas of assistance include:

  • Asset management and capital improvement planning
  • Fiscal planning and rate setting
  • Water loss reduction
  • Energy management
  • Water system collaboration and partnerships
  • Managerial and financial leadership
  • Funding coordination

Rates Dashboards for Ohio, Northern Illinois, & Wisconsin

The Rates Dashboards are interactive tools designed to assist utility managers, finance directors, Board members, state and local officials, reporters, and customers in comparing their residential water and wastewater rates against multiple characteristics, including utility finances, system size, customer base demographics, and geography. The Northern Illinois Dashboard provides information for the Chicago Metropolitan area (which includes: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties). The Ohio Dashboard provides statewide coverage. The Wisconsin Dashboard provides statewide coverage.

Upcoming Events:

Water Resilient Cities Conference: A two-day conference for city planners and managers, water resource professionals, water-oriented business and industry leaders, and university researchers will focus on how cities are changing in key sectors of water: water infrastructure systems, water as the basis of economic prosperity (manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, and energy), and changing governance and decision making processes. The conference will be held on April 21-22, 2016 at Levin College. Learn more about this event. »

Recent Events:

The Great Lakes EFC hosted the Second Community Summit on Green Infrastructure which took place in October 2014 to bring together communities to advance green infrastructure programs and engage in dialogue surrounding implementation approaches, opportunities, and obstacles. Click here the read the final report. Learn more about this event. »


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    Mailing Address
    Cleveland State University
    2121 Euclid Avenue, UR 312
    Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
    Campus Location
    Urban Building, Room 312
    1717 Euclid Avenue
    Phone: 216.264.0025

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