WG 100: Mission accomplished

Kelly Sewell

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL — The first nail has been hammered into the coffin of Fed-Std 209E. At presstime, CleanRooms learned that the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technologies (IEST) Working Group CC100 sent a letter to the US General Services Administration (GSA) in mid-May recommending that the U.S. government adopt ISO 14644-1 and -2 in place of Fed-Std 209E.

“It appears that we have completed our mission as a working group with respect to formal action related to Federal Standard 209,” says David C. Swinehart, chairman of WG 100.

Specifically, the letter states, “The [IEST] recommends that US Government agencies adopt ISO 14644-1, Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments — Part 1: Classification of air cleanliness, and ISO 14644-2, Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments — Part 2: Specifications for testing and monitoring to prove continued compliance with ISO 14644-1, and that they discontinue the use and maintenance of Federal Standard 209.”

The move came after a meeting of the working group, headed by Swinehart, in Providence, RI, at the end of April. At that time, six members of the working group voted unanimously to make the formal request of the GSA to discontinue use of the Federal Standard in favor of the new ISO standards.

“By adopting these standards, the Federal Government will promote global commerce and harmonization of standards. All of the mandatory principles embodied in Federal Standard 209E have been addressed in these ISO standards,” the letter states.

Now, it's up to the GSA as well as other governmental agencies that use the Federal Standard. “Once the GSA sends out the notice to using agencies (e.g., DOE, DOD, NASA, FDA, and USAF) asking for a response to the proposal to discontinue Fed-Std-209, the agencies will have 60 days to answer the GSA,” Swinehart explains. “What happens next is unknown at this point, and I'll be watching carefully as the situation develops.”

The letter to the GSA follows a November 1999 request to the IEST by the US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO/TC 209 to initiate replacement of the Federal Standard with the ISO Standard [see “ISO committee turns up the heat,” CleanRooms, Dec. 1999, p.1].

But, the IEST only has the power to make recommendations to the GSA; it doesn't have influence over the timing of when action can be taken on those recommendations.

The TAG also requested in November that the IEST Executive Board immediately submit ISO 14644-1 to ANSI as an American National Standard.

But while the IEST has applied for ANSI accreditation to become an ANSI standards-writing body, the organization has not yet been accredited.

“We're well along the way in the process, and things are progressing nicely,” claims Robert Mielke, IEST's vice president of contamination control. He said in May at a panel discussion at ESTECH 2000 in Providence, RI, that the IEST executive board voted that 14644-1 would be the first item that IEST puts forth as an American National Standard, once it obtains the accreditation to do so.


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