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Invasive Species Standards Proposed by ASTM International Committee on Biological Effects and Environmental Fate

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The signing of Executive Order 13112 created the National Invasive Species Council in 1999. With this order, the U.S. federal government acknowledged the adverse effect that invasive species can have to the long term sustainability of species, communities and ecosystems, while identifying needs that reflect, in part, the role that the development and implementation of standards brings to assessment and monitoring activities that are part of the developing process of invasive species management and control.

ASTM International Committee E47 on Biological Effects and Environmental Fate is contributing to the efforts to better manage invasive species with the development of three proposed standards, all of which are under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E47.04 on Environmental Fate of Chemical Substances. The proposed standards have grown out of a recent symposium sponsored by Committee E47 that focused on invasive species and ASTM’s role in supporting standardization in this area. The subcommittee is actively seeking the participation of all parties in the further development of these proposed standards.

"Each of these proposed standards will specifically respond to feedback received from participants at the recent symposium and will address how ASTM International can proactively serve the natural resource management community with respect to invasive species issues," says Greg Linder, biologist/applied ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Columbia Environmental Research Laboratory.

WK7842, Guide for Early Detection and Rapid Response System for Invasive Plants

The purpose of WK7842 is to provide a coordinated framework of public and private partners to more effectively address new invasive plants. This will be accomplished through the following steps: 1) early detection and reporting of suspected new plants to appropriate officials; 2) identification and vouchering of submitted specimens by designated botanists; 3) verification of suspected new state, regional, and national plant records; 4) archiving of new records in designated regional and plant databases; 5) rapid assessment of confirmed new records; and 6) rapid response to new species that are determined to be invasive.

WK7843, Guide for Alphanumeric Classification of Invasive Species

WK7843 will present an alphanumeric approach for classifying invasive plant species in which the alpha designation indicates the magnitude of invasiveness or undesirability of a species and the numeric designation characterizes appropriate levels of action in response to the species’ incursion. The alphanumeric categorization process clusters elements of commonality across a range of species, and will help identify invasive plant species with priority.When developed and implemented, such a system will provide a standard for plant regulatory officials, land managers, importers and exporters, and the public about any species that has been assessed and classified.

WK7844, Guide for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Protocol for Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species

WK7844 mirrors the scope of the other two proposed standards, but this work item is particularly focused on invasive aquatic species. The HACCP process has been in practice in various industrial areas, such as the food service industry, and has recently been adapted for use in aquatic nuisance species management. The proposed guide for HACCP planning will detail the process for minimizing risks of invasive species contamination through a series of protocols devised for use in the field. An example of the type of issue HACCP will deal with is the potential spread of the New Zealand mudsnail (P. antipodarum) and other aquatic nuisance species, especially as control measures to reduce likelihood of human-aided dispersal.

For further technical information, contact Greg Linder, biologist/applied ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Columbia Environmental Research Laboratory, HeronWorks Field Office, Brooks, Ore. (phone: 503/390-3916; Committee E47 meets April 23-27, 2006, in Toronto, Canada. For membership or meeting details, contact Scott Orthey, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9730;


Release #7175