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ANSI-HSSP Workshop to Explore “Private Sector Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity”

In support of its mission to help coordinate the homeland security-related work of the standards and conformity assessment communities, the Homeland Security Standards Panel of the American National Standards Institute is convening a series of workshops as part of its exploratory activities. The latest in the series, held Jan. 28, addressed the topic of “Private Sector Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity.” The intent of the workshop was to identify existing standards and standards under development in these areas and to make recommendations with respect to a high-level national standard for private sector emergency preparedness and business continuity. The results of the workshop will give ANSI insight in crafting recommendations for the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission) with respect to high-level national standards in this area. ANSI also plans to coordinate its activities with the Working Group on Private Sector Preparedness, a group that has been charged to develop recommendations for the 9-11 Commission on incentives and an education strategy to promote private sector preparedness. A target date of April 5 has been set to deliver recommendations from ANSI and the PSP-WG to the 9-11 Commission to allow enough time for adequate review and consideration for incorporation into their final report.

National Engineers Week

National Engineers Week is Feb. 22-28. This year’s theme is “Engineers: Turning Ideas into Reality.” Events that week include: The naming of 12 outstanding young engineers in USA Today’s “New Faces of Engineering” feature; the launch of “Connecting the World to Engineering” Internet forums, which aim to connect engineering undergraduates, young engineering professionals, and business leaders in the engineering profession on a global basis; the “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” on Feb. 26; presentation of the annual Charles Stark Draper Prize, the profession’s highest honor for engineering achievement and innovation; and more.

Concrete News

The American Concrete Institute is celebrating its 100th anniversary throughout 2004 with a series of special activities. These centennial activities include celebrating and commemorating accomplishments through special events and books, as well as congratulating those who have helped make this century of concrete innovation possible. Founded in 1904, the organization — then called the National Association of Cement Users — provided a forum to discuss better concrete for more durable, maintenance-free structures. The name was shortly changed to the American Concrete Institute to be more indicative of its work, but the mission — to develop, share and disseminate the knowledge and information needed to utilize concrete to its fullest potential — has remained the same for the entire century. The American Concrete Institute has 17,000 members and 97 chapters worldwide and produces technical documents, code requirements, specifications and guides for the best uses of concrete. For more information on celebrations, contact the American Concrete Institute (phone: 248/848-3800).

Entries for the 2004 Concrete Bridge Awards, sponsored by the Portland Cement Association, are due by March 31. Eligible structures for the 2004 awards must have been completed between November 2002 and May 2004, and must be located within the United States or Canada. All types of bridges — highway, railway, pedestrian — in which the basic structural system is concrete are eligible. Entries are encouraged for cast-in-place or precast concrete bridges with short, medium, or long spans. Newly constructed, reconstructed, or widened structures qualify for the competition. Public and private organizations may submit as many entries as desired. Entry forms are available for download at www.cement.org/bridges. For more information, contact Shri Bhide, PCA (phone: 847/972-9100).

U.S. – China Standards Workshop Planned for May 2004

On Jan. 15, the U.S. Department of Commerce hosted a planning session in Washington, D.C., for a U.S.-China Standards and Testing Workshop tentatively scheduled for May 2004 in Beijing. The workshop will be modeled on previous bilateral U.S.-China workshops, held in 1998 and 1999. As technology industries continue to expand in China, trade tensions between the Chinese and foreign industry are mounting over disparate approaches to standardization and intellectual property concerns. According to the Commerce Department, the workshop will be an opportunity for broad discussions on U.S.-China standards cooperation, and will also provide numerous venues for sector-specific standards and testing breakout sessions and other meeting opportunities with the Chinese counterparts of U.S. organizations. The DOC is accepting proposals from industry and organizations for suggested topics and speakers for the breakout sessions or general session discussions. After receiving input, the DOC will develop a proposed agenda to share with the Chinese, with the goal of achieving an agreement on the agenda by March 19. Written contributions and presentations are due by April 10. For more information on the workshop, contact David Karmol (phone: 202/331-3610) or Steven Bipes (phone: 202/331-3607).

Environmental Preferable Purchasing

The American National Standards Institute, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has developed a presentation to introduce all ANSI-accredited standards developers to the topic of Environmental Preferable Purchasing. EPP is a federal government-wide program that encourages and assists executive agencies in the purchasing of environmentally preferable products and services. These are “products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.” The 38-slide presentation provides information on how voluntary consensus standards can incorporate EPP provisions to protect the environment and reflect life-cycle concerns. The EPA wants more standards to incorporate environmental and life-cycle elements that can be referenced and/or recommended as the basis for both public- and private-sector purchasing decisions. Click here to download the presentation from ANSI Online. //

Copyright 2004, ASTM International