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Framework for a National Testing and Evaluation Program Based Upon the National Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices (STEPP) Initiative (WERF Report INFR2R14)
Arvin-Colon, R., C. French, S. Brown, AND R. Greenwood. Framework for a National Testing and Evaluation Program Based Upon the National Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices (STEPP) Initiative (WERF Report INFR2R14). Water Environment Research Foundation, Alexandria, VA, 2016.
Benefits: • Eliminating the current status of numerous and variable Stormwater control measures (SCM) performance evaluation programs at state and local levels, which inadvertently limits the capability of resource managers to use a variety of BMPs to meet water quality objectives and restoration goals - even at locations with similar climatic and physiographic characteristics (rainfall patterns, soils, ecoregions, etc.) • Reducing financial and administrative burden on manufacturers and researchers by decreasing the cost of testing (including time and money required to obtain approval and/or acceptance of products and practices) while maintaining scientific rigor and confidence • Increasing confidence with SCM end users – such as land developers and stormwater program managers – by providing information generated from a standardized SCM testing and evaluation program • Enabling stormwater and natural resource professionals to make informed selections regarding the SCMs they choose to integrate into their projects and programs, including performance efficacy, thereby driving marketplace competition to create and establish SCMs with ever greater applicability and higher rates of efficacy.
Abstract:The National STEPP Program seeks to improve water quality by accelerating the effective implementation and adoption of innovative stormwater management technologies. Itwill attempt to accomplish this by establishing practices through highly reliable, and cost-effective Stormwater control measures (SCM) testing, evaluation, and verification services. The program will aim to remove barriers to innovation, minimize duplicative performance evaluation needs, increase confidence that regulatory requirements are met by creating consistency among testing and evaluation protocols, and establishing equity between public domain and proprietary SCM evaluation approaches.The Environmental Technology Verification Program, established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 18 years ago, was the only national program of its kindin the stormwater sector, but is now defunct, leaving a national leadership void. The STEPP initiative was triggered in part by regulatory demands in the government and private sectors to fill this vacuum. A concerted focus and study of this matter led to the release of a Water Environment Federation (WEF) white paper entitled “Investigation into the Feasibility of a National Testing and Evaluation Program for Stormwater Products and Practices” in February 2014. During this second phase of the STEPP initiative, and with EPA support, five analogous technology evaluation programs related to both stormwater and non-stormwater were analyzed to provide recommendations on potential design components to be considered for the national program. A program framework document was developed that addressed both the general programmatic and individual program aspect findings and rationales.The principal findings in the general programmatic area are primarily focused on:• Recruitment strategies (solicit support from various entities ranging from states, municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permittees, and EPA to the industrial and development community),• Developing a comparable and equitable SCM testing program between public domain practices and proprietary products, and• Promoting the adoption of a flexible Cafeteria Plan Approach for a national program that is envisioned to continually evolve over time.The individual program aspects included the mission and objectives, program services, organizational relationships, operational structure, governance, funding, stakeholder engagement and transparency, testing purpose and scope, testing setting, and reciprocity. [NOTE: For link (url) below – click on “sign in”; sign in or create new account; return to home page; enter project number in “search” box; and click on report title.]