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How will the task group meetings be conducted and where are they going to be held?

The meetings will be set up as online teleconference meetings.  This will allow all volunteers to participate in the meetings, but not have to travel and be away from work.  Online meeting software allows users to see changes in progress in real time.  While this enhances the experience, all which is necessary to participate in discussion is a telephone.  Meeting times are based on participant availability.

How long will the standards development process take?

Standards development is based on consensus and due process.  All objections and views must be considered, leading to a stronger document.  This process takes considerable time to complete, however each task group ballot, public comment, and response period has a limited time frame in which the issues must be resolved.  The process ensures that the work of the whole is not held up by the voices of few, while providing a mechanism for everyone to be heard.

How much time will participating as a task group member take out of my schedule?

Your time is important to NGWA.  We strive to organize meetings so that volunteers can prepare ahead of time and discuss items effectively during conference calls.

Being an active participant encourages meetings to go quickly and smoothly.  After conference calls, if an item needs balloted or reviewed, volunteers are given time frames in which to have their suggestions or comments included for consideration.  

How will the finished product be recognized as an industry standard?

In order to get a standard accredited as a national standard, NGWA will follow guidelines set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  After all the task groups have worked with NGWA to follow these guidelines in producing their section of the standard, NGWA will submit the finished product for accreditation by ANSI.  To make sure that the process is fair, ANSI's essential requirements in developing a standard are openness, balance, transparency, consensus, and due process.

Once a standard has been recognized and accredited by ANSI, will it become a mandatory regulation?

By nature, standards are developed and implemented on a voluntary basis.  Local, state, and federal government agencies may adopt or refer to a standard as part of its regulations, but that is up to them.  NGWA does not intend to directly advocate that each relevant government agency actively adopt its standards.  NGWA's intent is to have these standards become a significant and substantial reference to these agencies and those interacting with the groundwater resource.