When an environmental incident strikes, the immediate reaction is to engage many “players” – remediation firms, environmental consulting firms, and environmental laboratories – to initiate remediation and begin to assess the damage to natural resources. New procedures and new contracts that are atypical of non-emergency environmental operations are often required due to the urgency of the response. The volume of environmental samples and data gathered is overwhelming and challenges the quality systems already in place.
By engaging Environmental Standards for emergency response preparedness, our clients can be assured that data quality is maintained from the very beginning and that defensible data, from which emergency response decisions are made, are readily available for and shared with stakeholders during the cleanup.
From the first sample collected, our clients have the peace of mind knowing that they are working under a US EPA-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan and managing data in a manner compatible with US EPA’s Scribe environmental data management system
Environmental Standards’ comprehensive Emergency Response QA Oversight Program includes:
- Establishing Repository for All Analytical Data
- Establishing Sampling Procedures for All Samplers (All Matrices)
- Separating Ourselves From Those Performing Sampling Work – We Are Independent
- Identifying and Contracting Analytical Laboratories
- Auditing Performance of Laboratories
- Creating Web-Based Data Sharing With Stakeholders
- Independently Validating Data
- Supporting Command Center Operations
- Training for Samplers
- Overseeing Sampling/Field Operations
- Preparing the Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP)
- Automating Chain-of-Custody (COC)
- Supporting Public Meetings/Community Relations
- Meeting With Regulatory Agencies and Project Stakeholders
At the onset of an environmental emergency, Environmental Standardsâ€™ QA chemists quickly develop a laboratory program for the potential analytes of concern. This laboratory program often includes negotiating and specifying laboratory costs, turn-around-times, deliverables, and electronic data deliverables. Our QA Chemists work closely with our expert geoscience and in-formation technologies professionals to ensure that data quality is maintained from the very beginning of a response effort. Together, chemists and geoscientists establish and review sample collec-tion procedures, develop sample nomenclature, and standardize chain-of-custody forms and processes. To ensure that costly remediation decisions are based on ac-curate data, our chemistry QA professionals review and validate analytical results for accuracy, compliance with project analytical protocol, and usability of the data for its intended purpose.
At the onset of an environmental emergency, Environmental Standards’ geoscientists prepare or independently review project control documents (e.g., standard operating procedures, sampling plans, and health and safety plans) for technical accuracy. Our geoscientists understand the importance of assigned logbooks and photography records and following sampling procedures – as such, they provide training to sampling personnel and provide third-party field sampling QA oversight throughout all phases of an incident response.
The Environmental Standards IT professionals provide program-wide, enterprise-level data management throughout the various phases of the emergency response and cleanup process to en-sure that the data generated are of known and acceptable quality and are readily available to project personnel and federal, state, and local environmental officials. Our IT staff understands that project stakeholders want immedi-ate access to data. Our specialists work with decision-makers in the critical days and weeks following the onset of an emergency to quickly develop and implement a central data process and data management system. Our IT professionals coordinate vast amounts of field data, posi-tional data (GIS), and analytical data generated from a project. Project data are summarized and provided to our clients and selected stakeholders including environmental professionals and managers, community members, and regulators through a secure website.