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Environmental Data Quality Management
The TSSWCB, along with its cooperating entities and laboratories, is committed to the application of sound science, appropriate quality assurance standards, and practicality in supporting agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source abatement and prevention activities. Quality assurance activities are conducted by the TSSWCB and its cooperating entities to ensure that all environmental data generated and processed are scientifically valid; of known precision and accuracy and acceptable completeness, representativeness and comparability; and legally defensible regarding methodology. This is achieved by ensuring that adequate quality assurance tools are used throughout the entire data collection and assessment process (from initial planning through data usage). Cooperating entities, as they are identified, will be required to carry out contracted work under this agency’s Environmental Data Quality Management Plan (QMP) and specific Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs).
The QMP provides the basis for writing QAPPs on the part of this agency and cooperating entities. These quality assurance policies are designed to facilitate the mechanism of data collection, evaluation, and management. The most recent revision of the Environmental Data Quality Management Plan for the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (PDF; 439 kB) was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 19, 2013.
The purpose of the QMP is to establish a basis for consistency both within the TSSWCB and with cooperators for the application of individual quality assurance practices. Further, it ensures that all monitoring, measurement and modeling activities funded by EPA will be conducted in accordance with EPA Requirements for Quality Management Plans (QA/R-2) (PDF, 86 kB).
The QMP objectives are to clearly delineate the TSSWCB quality assurance policy and management structure which will be used to implement the quality assurance strategy and the quality assurance monitoring requirements necessary to document the reliability and validity of all collected environmental data.
Each project funded by this agency, that is involved in monitoring and/or modeling, either directly with state funds or as an agent for federal monies which collects environmental data, will have an approved QAPP. A QAPP describes detailed quality assurance and quality control measures that ensure a level of data quality commensurate with the project data objectives. A QAPP also specifies mechanisms by which timely corrective action can be taken in the event that data quality objectives are not met. QAPPs will be completed and in place prior to any environmental data collection. This standing policy is in place to assure that all data, collected by the TSSWCB and other entities within Texas, have compatible and quality assured data collection criteria. QAPPs will be forwarded to the TSSWCB Quality Assurance Officer (QAO) for review and concurrence prior to submittal to EPA for final approval. TSSWCB-funded projects with QAPPs can be found here.
General QAPP Guidance
EPA Requirements for Quality Assurance Project Plans (QA/R-5 (PDF, 120 kB). Defines specifications for Quality Assurance Project Plans prepared for activities conducted by or funded by EPA.
EPA Guidance for Quality Assurance Project Plans (QA/G-5) (PDF, 401 kB). Guidance on developing Quality Assurance Project Plans that meet EPA specifications.
EPA Guidance on Systematic Planning using the Data Quality Objectives Process (QA/G-4) (PDF, 1.7 MB). Contains guidance on how to perform the Data Quality Objectives Process.
EPA Guidance on Environmental Data Verification and Validation (QA/G-8) (PDF, 387 kB). Guidance to help organizations conduct data verification and data validation activities including information on Data Integrity.
EPA Guidance on Technical Audits and Related Assessments for Environmental Data Operations (QA/G-7) (PDF, 254 kB). Guidance to assist organizations in selecting, planning, and implementing technical audits in support of an environmental programs.
EPA Data Quality Assessment: A Reviewer’s Guide (QA/G-9R) (PDF, 225 kB). Provides general guidance to organizations on assessing data quality criteria and performance specifications for decision making and shows a reviewer what constitutes an appropriate Data Quality Assessment (DQA), and how to recognize situations or reports where a DQA has been conducted.
Guidance for Water Quality Monitoring QAPPs
EPA Guidance on Choosing a Sampling Design for Environmental Data Collection (QA/G-5S) (PDF, 1.0 MB). Guidance on applying standard statistical sampling designs (such as simple random sampling) and more advanced sampling designs (such as ranked set sampling, adaptive cluster sampling) to environmental applications.
TCEQ SWQM Procedures, Volume 1: Physical and Chemical Monitoring Methods for Water, Sediment, and Tissue (publication no. RG-415) (August 2012).
TCEQ SWQM Procedures, Volume2: Methods for Collecting and Analyzing Biological Assemblage and Habitat Data (publication no. RG-416) (June 2007).
Guidance for Modeling QAPPs
EPA Guidance for Quality Assurance Project Plans for Modeling (QA/G-5M) (PDF, 616 kB). Guidance on developing Quality Assurance Project Plans for modeling projects.
Guidance for Secondary Research Data (§B9) QAPPs
EPA Guidance on Quality Assurance Project Plans for Secondary Research Data (PDF, 7 kB). Example Quality Assurance Project Plan specifications for secondary research data.
Guidance for Bacterial Source Tracking QAPPs
Acceptable QA/QC activities for Bacterial Source Tracking projects should utilize recommendations from the final report and methodologies from the QAPP for the TSSWCB CWA §319(h) NPS Grant Project Assessment of Bacterial Sources Impacting Lake Waco and Belton Lake.
Guidance for Geospatial QAPPs
EPA Guidance for Geospatial Data Quality Assurance Project Plans (QA/G-5G) (PDF, 1.5 MB). Guidance on developing Quality Assurance Project Plans for geospatial data projects.
Guidance for Technology QAPPs
EPA Guidance on Quality Assurance for Environmental Technology Design, Construction, and Operation (QA/G-11) (PDF, 401 kB). Guidance provides users with an understanding of the basic quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) procedures that may be used in planning, implementing, and assessing the design, construction, and operation of environmental technology by providing basic guidance on applicable QA and QC practices; outlining engineering planning, construction, and operation processes that may require QA and QC elements; and identifying resources and references that may be utilized in the application of engineering-based technologies to environmental problems.
For additional information or questions, contact Pamela Casebolt at 254-773-2250, ext. 247, or by e-mail at pcasebolt [at] tsswcb [dot] texas [dot] gov.
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