Stormwater Association Creates Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee

Nov. 1, 2010
When members of the Stormwater Equipment Manufacturers Association (SWEMA) began plotting a course for the organization, there was agreement that interacting with ...

When members of the Stormwater Equipment Manufacturers Association (SWEMA) began plotting a course for the organization, there was agreement that interacting with government and regulatory agencies on stormwater issues would be a key function for the group. Since nearly all of SWEMA's membership was actively engaged with the stormwater regulatory community, it was clearly recognized that "going it alone" often presented many challenges.

Considering the limited resources available to devote to regulatory matters, and the fact that stormwater programs are managed at the local level in many states, there are simply too many jurisdictions for a single manufacturer to regularly engage them all. Conversely, many regulatory agencies are administered with limited staff and resources; hence, their ability to accommodate individual companies proves equally challenging. Through the creation of the Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee (GARC), SWEMA will better serve its members and the regulatory community alike.

A primary function of GARC is to serve as a clearinghouse for regulatory information and current events on behalf of SWEMA's members. By staying up to date with emerging regulatory issues, GARC is able to quickly identify those issues most critical to its members and become actively involved in the regulatory process. It is not the intention of GARC to serve as the sole voice for the SWEMA membership on all regulatory matters. Rather, the committee actively functions as a credible resource for the regulatory community.

GARC strives to find common ground among SWEMA's members on important stormwater issues. By drawing on the collective knowledge and experience of committee members, GARC is able to generate the most robust guidance available relative to manufactured technologies. GARC provides guidance to the regulatory community following a thorough SWEMA vetting process. As a result, stakeholders save considerable time, effort and costs, allowing everyone to get back to the business of cleaning water. As an added benefit, SWEMA's members have come to recognize a number of opportunities to advance the science behind their technologies.

GARC is comprised of SWEMA members representing a wide variety of technologies, thus ensuring that the committee's recommendations effectively represent the membership's diversity. In addition to its Manufacturer Members, GARC also encourages participation from SWEMA's Professional and Corporate Associate Members who are also able to bring unique and valuable perspectives to the table.

GARC has been called upon by several regulatory agencies to provide written comments on proposed regulations, deliver presentations on manufactured technologies, and serve on various stakeholder committees. GARC also works closely with SWEMA's newly formed Technical Committee to produce guidance relative to BMP testing, sizing and any other technical matters that may arise.

Moving forward, GARC intends to build upon its past efforts and become an increasingly valuable resource for the stormwater community. Anyone who wants to learn more about GARC's work is encouraged to get in touch, or better yet, get involved.

About the Organization:

The Stormwater Equipment Manufacturers Association (SWEMA) supports the regulatory and engineering communities, as well as the individual cities and states, in implementing the Clean Water Act. Association members recognize that as cities, counties and states around the country must develop stormwater initiatives, they have few resources to turn to for guidance and help. This, coupled with tight budgets, limited research staff (to find the best solutions for controlling stormwater) and unique regional challenges, creates a monumental task. With the advent of the Stormwater Equipment Manufacturers Association they now have a single source to turn to for direction in the development of their standards and regulations.

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