ASTM WK40773

    New Practice for Creating a List of Invasive Plants that are Environmentally Harmful in a Defined Region

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    Developed by Subcommittee: E60.01 | Committee E60 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice establishes minimum procedures for creating a list of plants that are invasive to a defined geographical region. 1.2 The procedures in this practice are based on the assessment of the current environmental harm and risk of future environmental harm posed by plants. The consideration of economic harm or harm to human health is outside the scope of this practice. 1.3 Lists of invasive plants generated through use of the procedures in this practice are intended to provide government agencies and others with a credible basis for decisions regarding the use of plant species. This practice is not intended to replace the procedures or lists created through legislation or regulations, both of which often consider factors other than environmental harm. 1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    Model building codes and rating systems that aim to improve the environmental performance of buildings and their sites increasingly incorporate clauses to address the ecological damage related to invasive plants in landscaping. For example, the International green Construction Code (IgCC), ASHRAE 189.1 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings (ASHRAE 189.1), Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems, and the Sustainable Sites Initiative rating system all contain requirements or credits to reduce the use and presence of invasive plants on a building site. The implementation of these requirements, however, is dependent on the existence of a valid list of invasive plants for the region in which the building is located. For example, the definition of invasive plant species in IgCC is as follows: INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES. Species that are not native to the ecosystem under consideration and that cause, or are likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human, animal or plant health, defined by using the best scientific knowledge of that region. Consideration for inclusion as an invasive species shall include, but shall not be limited to, those species identified on: 1. Approved city, county or regional lists. 2. State noxious weeds laws, 3. Federal noxious weeds laws. Existing State and Federal noxious weed lists are generally insufficient: most have not kept pace with the latest science in the field, and many focus predominantly on agricultural, rather than ecological, impacts. Furthermore, few local governments have yet to develop their own lists. With definitions (such as that in IgCC) dependent on the existence of local, State, and Federal lists, the invasive plant requirements in green building codes will have little effect. A standard is needed to provide government agencies as well as environmental, academic, and horticultural organizations a common approach to determining what plants are invasive to a specified area.


    plant species; invasive alien plants; landscaping; sustainable sites; exotic pest plants

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Susan Gitlin


    E60 (15-05)

    Negative Votes Need Resolution