FAQ's

TAPE and Emerging Stormwater Technologies Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have a question about our Program? Check the frequently asked questions below. If you don't see the answer you need, please contact us.

  1. Has the Washington Stormwater Center taken over the implementation of the TAPE program from Ecology?
  2. What happened to the TRC that was part of the TAPE program in the past? And what is the BER and the SAG?
  3. Why is there now a fee to apply to TAPE, and what do the fees cover?
  4. Are state and local agencies required to pay the fee for TAPE certification?
  5. Are all stormwater treatment or pollution prevention devices required to go through the TAPE process?
  6. Does anyone outside of Washington State accept TAPE certifications?
  7. Must a technology obtain a PULD, then obtain a CULD, before being granted a GULD?
  8. Are there separate TAPE certifications for eastern and western WA?
  9. If Ecology cannot review the document within 3 months does the proponent get extra time added to the 30-month time limit automatically?
  10. In the TAPE Manual, what does “pooling data” from more than one site mean?
  11. In the 2011 revision of the TAPE Manual, why is there no longer a maximum of 35 samples for the TAPE program?

Note: The information in this FAQ pertaining to specifics about the Technology Assessment Protocol – Ecology (TAPE) program should be verified directly with the Department of Ecology. Although the Washington Stormwater Center works closely with Ecology, the information below is based on our own professional judgment and experience. All information, recommendations, and referrals are provided in good faith as a service of this non-profit.

Question 1 - Has the Washington Stormwater Center taken over the implementation of the TAPE program from Ecology?

Answer - No, the Washington State Department of Ecology makes all final decisions regarding TAPE certifications. The Washington Stormwater Center helps Ecology implement the program by:
  • Reviewing applications, sampling plans, and evaluation reports
  • Coordinating reviews by the Board of External Reviewers (BER)
  • Advancing development of the TAPE program by providing expertise and research, as well as coordinating with the Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG)
  • Providing recommendations to Ecology regarding technical matters and certification.
All official communication, applications, submittals, and/or fees should be sent directly to Ecology. However, the Washington Stormwater Center would be happy to discuss the overall TAPE process with you. return to top

Question 2 - What happened to the TRC that was part of the TAPE program in the past? And what is the BER and the SAG?

Answer - The Technical Review Committee (TRC) consisted of volunteers that were stormwater experts from state agencies, cities, counties, vendors, and consultants. The TRC helped to develop the 2008 TAPE protocols and to conduct QAPP and TER reviews.

During the re-opening of the TAPE program in 2010 and 2011, the functions of the TRC were taken on by two new entities - the Stakeholders Advisory Group (SAG) and the Board of External Reviewers (BER). Some of the members of the TRC are currently members of the SAG or the BER. return to top

Question 3 - Why is there now a fee to apply to TAPE, and what do the fees cover?

Answer - Previously, applying to the TAPE program was free. However, with current budget and staffing challenges, Ecology and the Washington Stormwater Center decided to implement a fee for each of the three steps in the TAPE process - Application, QAPP review, and TER review.


The fees cover payment to the BER members for conducting their reviews, the portion of time spent by Washington Stormwater Center staff to coordinate and conduct reviews, and nominal printing and technology costs. See the Process Overview document for more information on the fees. return to top

Question 4 - Are state and local agencies required to pay the fee for TAPE certification?

Answer - No, government agencies are not required to pay the fee. As long as the BMP being developed is ‘not for profit’ and its design is free for public use, the fee does not apply. return to top

Question 5 - Are all stormwater treatment or pollution prevention devices required to go through the TAPE process?

Answer - No, the TAPE program does not apply to all stormwater devices seeking approval for use. The TAPE program applies to stormwater treatment BMPs that wish to be included as an approved device in the Stormwater Management Manuals for new and redevelopment projects. Treatment devices that are installed as a retrofit are not required to go through the TAPE process. See this link for more information. return to top

Question 6 - Does anyone outside of Washington State accept TAPE certifications?

Answer - Some cities, counties, states, and agencies outside Washington accept TAPE certification for the selection of stormwater treatment devices within their jurisdiction. This link lists some of the entities outside of Washington that may accept TAPE-certified devices. return to top

Question 7 - Must a technology obtain a PULD, then obtain a CULD, before being granted a GULD?

Answer - No. In most cases, a PULD or a CULD would need to be obtained before a GULD is granted after field sampling and an approved TER. In other words, a device that has a PULD can go on to directly obtain a GULD (assuming there is field sampling and an approved TER report, based on an approved QAPP). return to top

Question 8 - Are there separate TAPE certifications for eastern and western WA?

Answer - No, there are not two separate TAPE requirements for Eastern and Western WA. If a device is approved as GULD, it can be used on either side of the state, however, design must follow any pertinent requirements in the appropriate Stormwater Manual (Eastern or Western WA), and per local jurisdiction approval. TAPE requires the field testing to be reflective of conditions in Western WA, and the device being tested must follow the hydraulic sizing approach for Western WA. In the final TER, TAPE requests that methods for the hydraulic sizing of the device be presented for both Western and Eastern WA approaches.

Ideally, there would be unique testing and approval for each western and eastern, since the environments are very different. However, due to resources, funding, etc, there is not. Plus, there would be more effort for vendors to get approved twice in WA state. When testing data are available from other parts of the country, Ecology would certainly be interested in looking at these data to help confirm that the device will work in eastern Washington, since the eastern Washington storms, weather, etc. may be more similar to other parts of the country. return to top

Question 9 - If Ecology cannot review the document within 3 months does the proponent get extra time added to the 30-month time limit automatically?

Answer - The proponent must still contact Ecology for an extension and state that an extension is being requested due to a delay of Ecology review. The time limits are in place to make sure proponents stay engaged in the TAPE process and that all information on Ecology’s website is up to date. return to top

Question 10 - In the TAPE Manual, what does “pooling data” from more than one site mean?

Answer coming soon... return to top

Question 11 - In the 2011 revision of the TAPE Manual, why is there no longer a maximum of 35 samples for the TAPE program?

Answer coming soon... return to top