Exploring the Need for a National Stormwater BMP Testing and Verification Stormwater Program
A new effort has begun to investigate the feasibility of developing a national stormwater best management practice (BMP) testing protocol and evaluation program. Stormwater BMP pollution removal efficiency studies have increased in both frequency and complexity over the past 12 years. However, the stormwater monitoring field is still relatively young and the approach to categorize, review, certify, evaluate, verify and/or approve stormwater runoff controls is less mature than that of other water monitoring sectors.
Some states and localities have independently developed BMP evaluation protocols and evaluation programs over the past 12 years. This has created both programmatic and administrative inconsistencies throughout the country as well as created a landscape of water quality studies that utilize different monitoring techniques. This not only negatively impacts the ability of resource managers to properly address local and regional water pollution and restoration efforts, but creates financial disincentives and burdens to private businesses that produce innovative proprietary stormwater practices.
In 2013, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) assembled the National Stormwater Testing and Evaluation of Products and Practices (STEPP) Workgroup. A steering committee was assembled to explore the feasibility of developing a national stormwater testing protocol, verification, and certification program. Members of the committee include federal and local regulators, environmental scientists, stormwater BMP manufacturers, and a non-profit organization; many who have background and experiences in stormwater BMP water quality monitoring. This effort was designed to investigate the merits of developing a testing and evaluation program national in scale to meet the needs in the stormwater sector. A white paper addressing the issue was published in February 2014.
This presentation will provide an overview of the white paper. Topics will include state/regional testing and verification programs throughout the United States, impediments to the introduction of new stormwater technologies to the marketplace, and outline some potential solutions to address these issues. Subsequent efforts following the white paper publication will be reviewed in addition to discussing how this national effort is relevant to meeting California’s stormwater management and TMDL program requirements.