On Feb 6, 2014, the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices (STEPP) Task Force released a white paper recommending a national testing and evaluation program for stormwater products and practices. The goal of a national program would be to meet the growing need for affordable and effective stormwater management infrastructure and to overcome sector hurdles that restrain innovation in stormwater product and practice technology development.
The Environmental Testing and Verification program, established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 18 years ago, was the only national program but is now defunct, leaving a leadership void in this area. Thirteen U.S. states have either developed, are engaged in, are currently developing, or recognize other state- or regional-level testing and evaluation programs for stormwater products. Considering the approximate 7,500 MS4s across the country, the effort to sell products at a national level is significantly hampered by this piecemeal approach to approval at the local level. The end result is a barrier to the growth of innovative and high-performing technology in the stormwater sector.
The paper, “Investigation into the Feasibility of a National Testing and Evaluation Program for Stormwater Products and Practices,” discusses challenges and possible solutions. Challenges mentioned include consistency in protocols, programmatic variability, lab versus field testing, sustainable funding, product and practice categorization, and the need for leadership. The white paper reflects concerns of manufacturers, municipalities, consulting engineers, government, non-governmental organizations, and WEF. Read more in the most recent issue of World Water: Stormwater Management.
Additionally, WEF will host a no-charge webcast featuring many speakers who authored the white paper. The webcast will be held March 5 from 1 to 3 PM Eastern. This event will provide background on the formation of the STEPP workgroup and steering committee and an overview of the document as well as conclusions and next steps. State and Federal regulators and those involved with state testing and evaluation programs will provide their perspectives. Speakers will include:
- Chris Kloss, EPA (invited)
- Ryan Janoch, Terraphase
- Gary Belan, American Rivers
- Doug Howie, Washington State Department of Ecology, Technology Assessment Protocol – Ecology (TAPE) program
- Seth Brown, WEF