STEPP Project Gets Underway
A new project led by WEF is underway this month to develop a framework for the formation of a national testing and evaluation program in the stormwater sector. The project is funded through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Infrastructure Grant administered by WERF, and is based upon WEF’s National Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices (STEPP) initiative. The project builds on the insights and recommendations from an investigatory white paper on the feasibility of a national testing program released in February 2014.
The STEPP project will include information gathering through surveys, interviews, and online searches related to the potential users of a national testing and verification program for stormwater products and practices. Participants consist of stormwater program managers for regulated entities and municipalities (MS4s), as well as regulatory and administrators of testing and verification programs at the state-level. These entities expend significant resources to administer product approval programs. A national program could reduce the burden on state and local governments and open markets up to stormwater product manufacturers leading to greater competition, an increase in innovation in the sector, and more cost-effective solutions for stormwater management. The project recommendations will focus on the architecture, protocol development, a sustainable business framework, and leadership organization(s) of a national program.