Standards development: It's a thankless job, but somebody's got to do it. You travel out of town several times a year to spend countless hours away from home in a meeting room full of headstrong peers arguing over technical issues and semantics. After enduring days of verbal battles and hotel food, you return home to spend your nights and weekends drafting stale paragraphs and lengthy chapters, which you pray don't get thrown out in the next review session. When you think you have a complete document, you seek consensus from the masses. Once approved, you wonder if anyone even cares enough to read what you've worked so hard on.

This, of course, is the life of a standards volunteer. I know because I've been one for years. You don't get paid a cent for your efforts, but take it from me, this work is fulfilling and necessary. There's a need for quality standards in the electrical industry. Customers are looking for assurance their products and systems have been produced and installed in a reliable and industry accepted way. So next time you pick up a standard, think about the hard work that went into its development. Or better yet, get involved and join a standards group yourself.

Here are a few new standards that directly affect our industry.

- TCB 2-2000, NEMA Guidelines for the Selection of Underground Nonmetallic Duct;

- TC 13-2000, Electrical Nonmetallic Tubing (ENT);

- ANSI C82.12-1999, American National Standard for Lamp Ballasts - Fluorescent Adapters;

- ANSI C37.16-2000, Low-Voltage Power Circuit Breakers and AC Power Circuit Protectors: Preferred Ratings, Related Requirements, and Application Recommendations;

- NECA 402-2000, Recommended Practice for Installing Motor Control Centers (MCCs); and

- NECA/EGSA 404-2000, Recommended Practice for Installing Generator Sets (ANSI).

Another industry standard that has received attention lately is the Division 17 initiative. For a closer look at whether CSI should add a new division to its MasterFormat[TM], see the article, "Has Technology Made Division 17 Inevitable," starting on page 24 of this issue.