IEEE Standards Board Approves Project to Develop Copycat Standard?

IEEE Standards Board Approves Project to Develop Copycat Standard?

From the "What could they have been thinking?" desk.


On December 7, 2005, the IEEE Standards Board approved a Project Approval Request (PAR) for a new project to develop a standard for "Ground Rod Electrode, Clamp & Coupling Specification" ( The project was intended to revitalize a standard, C135.30-1988, which was originally developed by ANSI and allowed to expire back in 1993.  The scope of the project states, "This standard provides requirements for materials, test, performance, and manufacture of ground rod electrodes and threaded and threadless ground rod couplings.  Specifically included are ground rod electrodes of copper-coated steel, hot-dip galvanized steel, and stainless steel for grounding application."


Hello!  Has anyone heard of ANSI/NEMA GR 1-2007, Ground Rod Electrodes and Grounding Rod Electrode Couplings" (  GR 1 has a very similar scope and has been around for several years, making the C135.30 redundant.  And ANSI GR 1-2001 is even identified in PAR, which states "this new standard [C135.30-200x] incorporates requirements from ANSI Approved/NEMA Standard GR-1-2001."   


What could the IEEE Standards Board have been thinking when they approved a project to develop a standard that is redundant to one that already exists? 


Even more surprising, at least a couple of the members of the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee, GR, which approved ANSI/GR 1-2007, are also members of the IEEE Working Group that revitalized C135.30. 


What could they have been thinking?  Why would you work to develop a standard for a set of products under one standards developer and then go to another standards developer to work on a redundant standard?


Finally, rumor has it that more than a little of the content of ANSI/NEMA GR 1 has been "borrowed" for the C135.30 standard.  The PAR clearly states that "IEEE will need permission from NEMA to incorporate the GR 1 specification into the C135.30 document."  While IEEE has either approved or is about to approve C135.50 as an IEEE standard, NEMA permission to use its intellectual property has not been sought by IEEE and has not been given by NEMA. 


What could IEEE have been thinking to approve a standard that "borrows" intellectual property from another standard developer without that developers consent?  Hello, has anyone heard of copyright violation?


Folks, don't we all have enough work on our plates without developing redundant, duplicate standards through different standards developers and different working groups?  Anyone who participated in the revitalization of C135.30 has an open invitation to join the ASC GR and participate in the next revision of ANSI/NEMA GR 1.


One parting question.  I wonder what the ANSI Board of Standards Review will do when IEEE seeks ANSI approval for C135.30?  What will the BSR be thinking?


Vince Baclawski

Senior Technical Director

Codes and Standards



Secretary, ASC GR

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.