The wide-angle PE method is applied to the prediction of sound propagation in a range-dependent environment. The finite-difference model treats the sloping ground by a staircase approximation. The method allows impedance and slope angle variations to be taken into account. The implementation of sloping interfaces in one-way PE models introduces a fundamental problem of energy conservation. This is generated at the lower boundary condition. The ground is assumed to be a locally reacting surface where the ground impedance is defined as the ratio of pressure to the normal component of particle velocity at the surface. The staircase PE method approximates the normal at the slope surface with the vertical component at the stair-step surface. A numerical correction can be included. Using a scale model facility [K. B. Rasmussen, 3617–3620 (1994)], a series of measurements is carried out. The results are compared with the PE calculations. The magnitude of the error due to the interface condition is evaluated.