The panelists addressed how the industry can challenge its members and raise the bar before regulations are written.
One panelist noted that the industry needs to communicate so that practices that will help the industry improve the process are identified. The practices are not regulatory in nature but rather industry solutions that help raise the bar. They cannot be overly detailed, but need to reach a happy medium so that stakeholders understand them and implement them. These industry solutions must recognize that different stakeholders have different interests.
Some recommended practices do result in regulations, but these are hopefully already being adopted and implemented by the industry. Centers of excellence are a compliment to making sure that the industry is properly regulated. Traditionally, the states have had a large role in regulation and this makes sense because of the differences between regions. However, there is a role for the federal government and municipalities. The public and third- party engineers also need to be a part of the process.
With respect to best practices, it cannot be set it and forget it.