With the ending of the only national testing program for stormwater products — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Technology Verification program — the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is looking for ways to fill this need in the sector. WEF recently launched the Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices (STEPP) work group to examine the feasibility and nature of a national program. A steering committee of this work group is drafting a white paper with recommendations and next steps. The paper will be released this fall.
This effort will focus on investigating the nature and scale of challenges facing stormwater product manufacturers. Further, the white paper resulting from this investigation will outline the benefits of a national program and provide recommendations for future actions that address sector challenges. For instance, a national product and practice evaluation program could provide independent third-party testing of performance, helping to ensure that stormwater controls function as stated or are able to meet water quality goals. The program also seeks to remove barriers that prevent innovative products from reaching the market, such as high costs and long timeframes that are sometimes associated with state and regional programs.