Invasive species are non-native plant, animal, or microbial species that cause, or are likely to cause, economic or ecological harm or harm to human health. Invasive species have been introduced by human action into a region outside their natural geographic range. Introductions occur along a variety of pathways or vectors, either intentionally such as intentional transport of a species for trade, or by accidental means, as in the case of stowaway species found in the ballast-water of ocean-going vessels.
Most scientists regard invasive species as second only to habitat loss as a threat to biodiversity. The presence of invasive species in a given region is one of the leading causes of endangerment to species native to that region. On a nationwide basis, about half of plant and animal species listed as federally Endangered or Threatened are at risk because of invasive species.
In an effort to combat the spread of invasive terrestrial plant species, Con Edison has worked collaboratively over the past year with other New York State utility companies, the Public Service Commission, and the NYSDEC to develop a state-wide, industry-based Best Management Practice (BMP) for Preventing the Spread of Invasive Terrestrial Plant Species. This BMP received NYSDEC approval and is currently being implemented.