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ANSI Seeks Comments on New ISO Field of Activity on Karst

Submit Comments by April 13


As the U.S. member body to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages its members and relevant stakeholders to comment on an ISO new work item proposal focused on standardization in the field of karst—a distinctive topography that indicates dissolution of underlying carbonate and other soluble rocks, including limestone and dolomite, by surface water or groundwater.

Submitted by the Standardization Administration of China (SAC), the proposal explains that the "karst area" is estimated to reach 22 million square miles on a global scale. Karst is now suffering from severe environmental degradation. Therefore, the establishment of standards on terms, investigation, and assessment, sustainable development of karst resources, as well as environmental protection and management of karst environment will facilitate sustainable development and international academic exchange in the field of karst.

The proposal also explains that China has a tremendous amount of carbonate rocks—over 3 million square kilometers—and diverse karst (including bare, covered, and buried karst) is developing extensively, which can provide good examples for global scientists to carry out karst comparative studies.

Standardization work would be composed in three parts:

  • The first part would focus on the terminology of karst, including the features, structure, formation, and functions of karst systems;

  • The second part would focus on sustainable development of karst resources (e.g., water, minerals, biological resources, tourism), environmental protection (e.g., karst desertification, surface collapse and depression, leakage, water pollution, seawater intrusion) and management of karst environment (e.g., prevention and mitigation);

  • The third part would focus on investigation and assessment (including modeling methods and mapping of karst systems).

All interested U.S. parties are invited to review the proposal, which includes an initial proposed work plan as well as information on how it may relate to existing international standardization work and relevant stakeholders and organizations.

Please submit comments to Steve Cornish, ANSI senior director of international policy (, by close of business on April 13, 2018. Based on the input received from U.S. stakeholders, a recommended ANSI position and any comments will be developed and presented to the ANSI ISO Committee (AIC) for approval before the ISO voting deadline of May 23, 2018.

ANSI has published an explanatory information document outlining the process used to develop U.S. positions on issues and activities under consideration by ISO and IEC.


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