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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Data Validation & Laboratory Quality Assurance

In all hazardous site investigations, it is essential to know the quality of the data used for decision-making purposes. The process of generating data of known quality begins in the planning stages when data quality objectives (DQOs) are established; continues during sample collection activities and laboratory analysis; is re-evaluated when validating the analytical data; and is finalized as part of the data quality assessment process.

Validation of data requires that appropriate quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) procedures be followed, and that adequate documentation be included for all data generated both in the laboratory and in the field. Professionals trained in data validation procedures review this information, "flag" data with qualifiers when QA/QC criteria are not met, and prepare the data validation report. The documents presented are used to evaluate the quality of laboratory-generated analytical data.

Evaluation of Laboratory Data Quality

Data Quality Screening of Environmental Monitoring Results Using Trend Charts (PDF) (20pp, 1.9M) (Last updated Dec. 2011)
Frequently the quality of results from data collection activities are difficult to assess due to the number of individual laboratory QA/QC reports one needs to review and digest to reach a conclusion. Trend charting provides a quick, innovative, transparent, quantitative and graphical method to rapidly communicate laboratory quality control results.

Superfund CLP, National Functional Guidelines for Data Review
These documents are designed to offer guidance on low concentration organic and inorganic analytical data evaluation and review. Although intended for review of analytical data generated through the CLP, this guidance may be applicable to data generated through other laboratory programs as well.

Draft Region 9 Superfund Data Evaluation/Validation Guidance (PDF) (13 pp, 69K)
QC review criteria for laboratory analytical data.

Laboratory Documentation Required for Data Validation (PDF) (26 pp, 73K)
An updated draft which outlines the laboratory data requirements necessary for Data Validation of non-Contract Laboratory Deliverable products.

Best Practices for the Detection and Deterrence of Laboratory Fraud (PDF) (48 pp, 187K)
This document was produced by the California Military Environmental Coordination Committee in association with Chemical Data Quality/Cost Reduction Process Action Team to detect fraudulent laboratory practices.

Laboratory Quality Assurance

National Laboratory Accreditation Program  Exiting EPA (disclaimer)
A voluntary association of State and Federal agencies to establish and promote mutually acceptable performance standards for the operation of environmental laboratories.

Drinking Water Laboratory Certification Program
EPA’s Office of Water implements the Drinking Water Laboratory Certification Program in partnership with EPA Regions and States. Laboratories must be certified by EPA or the State to analyze drinking water samples for compliance monitoring.

State Laboratory Certification Programs

All links in this section exit EPA. Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

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