Policy for the Evaluation and Approval of Production Analytical Laboratories 



In Reply Refer To: 
Mail Stop 412                                           April 16, 1998

OFFICE OF WATER QUALITY TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM 98.03 (REVISED)

Subject:  Policy for the Evaluation and Approval of Production Analytical 
          Laboratories

It is Water Resources Division (WRD) policy that production analytical 
laboratories which provide chemical, radiochemical, and biological 
analyses to the Division shall be regularly reviewed, evaluated, and 
approved. The review process is a necessary prerequisite for: (1) storing 
the data in a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data base that is open to the 
public; and/or (2) publishing the data in a USGS District annual or other 
data report.

The attachment to this memorandum updates the process--the requirements, 
specifications, and procedures--that will be used to implement the 
policy, beginning March 10, 1998. 

During the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 1998, reviews of production 
laboratories will be conducted at the request of a District, a national 
program, or the Office of Water Quality (OWQ). The requesting office will 
fund the cost of each laboratory review. In FYs 1999 and 2000, one half 
of the remaining production laboratories will be reviewed each year. 
Costs for these reviews will be paid by the office that uses or manages 
the laboratory. The Branch of Quality Systems (BQS) will soon develop a 
laboratory review schedule for FYs 1999 and 2000 so affected Districts 
can modify Cooperative Agreements to cover the costs of specific reviews.

Beginning in FY 2001, all production laboratories will be reviewed on a 
3-year cycle. The District or organizational unit responsible for use or 
management of the laboratory will pay the cost. The scope, complexity, 
and number of analyses performed for WRD by each laboratory will largely 
determine whether the review: (1) can be successfully accomplished, 
remotely, by examination of documents and telephone interviews, or (2) 
must be conducted onsite by Division personnel. Remote reviews will be 
used, wherever practical, to minimize costs.

The BQS will organize and conduct the laboratory review process. Under 
the direction of OWQ, the BQS will develop and prioritize the list of 
laboratories that need review, establish the schedule, arrange the 
staffing of reviews, write the review reports, recommend approval or 
disapproval, develop necessary remedial actions, and--for each 
disapproved laboratory, work with the requesting WRD office to help 
achieve approval. BQS will discuss recommendations for approval, 
disapproval, and remedial actions with the OWQ. The OWQ will then send 
the results of the review to the organizational unit responsible for use 
or management of the laboratory. 

Please join me in ensuring the successful implementation of this policy. 
We must protect the quality and integrity of our data.


                                Janice R. Ward /s/
                                Acting Chief, Office of Water Quality

Attachments

Distribution:   A, B, FO, PO
                District Water-Quality Specialists
                OWQ Staff
                Regional Water-Quality Specialists

This memorandum supersedes WRD Memorandum No. 92.35.
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       Process for Evaluating and Approving Production Laboratories
    Which Provide Chemical, Radiochemical, and Biological Data to the WRD

Introduction

The purpose of this document is to establish the process for evaluating 
and approving production laboratories which provide chemical, 
radiochemical, and biological analyses to the Water Resources Division 
(WRD). This process is needed to ensure that analytical production data 
are of known and acceptable quality. The quality of all laboratory 
production data must be fully documented, defensible, and suitable to 
meet the needs of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) programs and projects, 
the public, and other users. 

This process supports the intent of the "Strategic Plan for the U.S. 
Geological Survey, 1996 to 2005." As described in this Plan (U.S. 
Geological Survey, 1996, p. xii):

        Together, the USGS and its partners will . . . collect and 
        distribute data of the highest possible quality [and] populate 
        USGS national data bases with increasingly large quantities of 
        reliable and timely data . . . . 

Each production laboratory should be reviewed and approved before WRD 
submits environmental samples to the laboratory. This will assure that 
the laboratory is capable of producing data of known and acceptable 
quality. Then, periodic checks and reviews are required to ensure that 
data quality is appropriately maintained.

Responsibility for the Review Process

The Branch of Quality Systems (BQS) will organize and conduct the 
production laboratory review process. Under the direction of Office of 
Water Quality (OWQ), the BQS will:
        o  Develop and prioritize the list of laboratories to be 
             reviewed.
        o  Establish the review schedule.
        o  Arrange and participate in the staffing of reviews.
        o  Write the review reports.
        o  Recommend approval or disapproval.
        o  Develop necessary remedial actions.
        o  For each disapproved laboratory work, with the requesting WRD 
             office to help achieve approval.

BQS will discuss recommendations for approval, disapproval, and remedial 
actions with the OWQ. The OWQ will then send the review results to the 
office requesting use of or responsible for managing the laboratory. If 
the office is a District, the Regional Hydrologist will be copied.

Scope

Laboratories affected by this review process include those providing 
chemical, radiochemical, and biological analyses for production purposes 
that will be: (1) stored in an USGS data base that is open to the public, 
and/or (2) published in an USGS district annual or other data report. 

The laboratory review process covers: 
        o  The National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL).
        o  The Quality of Water Service Unit (QWSU).
        o  Production laboratories under contract to the NWQL.
        o  Production laboratories under contract or Cooperative 
             Agreements with Districts.
        o  Production (non-research) parts of District laboratories.
        o  Production parts of National Research Program (NRP) 
             laboratories.

Not covered by this process are laboratories whose sole purpose is to: 
        o  Develop analytical techniques.
        o  Provide data for research purposes.
        o  Conduct screening analyses. 

However, if a NRP or District research laboratory also provides routine 
production data, that part of its effort is covered by the policy. 

In 1996, the list of production laboratories used by the Division 
included:
        o  The NWQL.
        o  The QWSU.
        o  20 District and NRP laboratories.
        o  55 Cooperator and contract laboratories. 

If you are uncertain whether the policy requires your laboratory to be 
reviewed, please contact the BQS, Laboratory Evaluation Project, at 
303/236-1870 x303 or x313.

Schedule and Responsibility for Review Costs

1.      Fiscal Years (FY) 1998-2000

For the remainder of FY 1998, reviews of production laboratories will be 
conducted at the request of a District, a national program, or the OWQ. 
The requesting office will fund the cost of each review. In FYs 1999 and 
2000, one half of the remaining production laboratories will be reviewed 
each year. Costs for these reviews will be paid by the office that uses 
or manages the laboratory. The BQS will quickly develop a laboratory 
review schedule for FYs 1999 and 2000 so affected Districts will have 
time to modify Cooperative Agreements to pay the costs of specific 
reviews.

2.      Beginning FY 2001

Beginning in FY 2001, the complete list of production laboratories will 
be reviewed on a 3-year cycle. The office that uses or manages the 
laboratory will pay the cost for each review. The scope, complexity, and 
number of WRD analyses performed for WRD by each laboratory will largely 
determine whether a review: (1) can be successfully accomplished, 
remotely, by examination of documents and telephone interviews, or (2) 
must be conducted onsite by Division personnel. Remote reviews will be 
used, wherever practical, to minimize costs. 



Laboratory Review Criteria

The BQS will use the following criteria to evaluate each production 
analytical laboratory:

1.      Appropriate, Approved, and Published Methods

All production laboratories must use appropriate analytical methods 
approved and published by one of the following sources: USGS, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), American Public Health 
Association, American Water Works Association, Water Environment 
Federation (Standard Methods), or ASTM (formerly American Society for 
Testing and Materials). The published documentation of an analytical 
method must include the analytical techniques, chemical processes, and 
expected data quality. 

The analytical methods from the sources listed above include a wide range 
of options. There typically are multiple analytical methods available for 
any given analyte, each with its own precision, bias, matrix recovery, 
and interferences. The method should be selected based on the specific 
objectives and needs of the project. The requesting WRD office is 
responsible to ensure that the method used is appropriate for the 
specific environmental matrix and will meet the data-quality needs of the 
project (see Attachment 1). If a WRD office or the production laboratory 
requests a method that is not included in the listed sources, that office 
is responsible for ensuring that the method is approved (based on 
requirements specified in WRD Memorandum No. 82.28) before the produced 
analytical data are stored in publicly-accessible data bases or published 
in USGS district annual or other data reports. Similarly if a laboratory 
has changed an approved and published method, the new method must be 
approved according to the specifications in WRD Memorandum No. 82.28 and 
then published. A method change is defined as any modification that the 
laboratory expects will change the quality of produced data.

2.      Documented Standard Operating Procedures

All analytical methods used by a production laboratory must have 
documented standard operating procedures (SOPs) approved in accordance 
with the procedures contained in the laboratory quality-assurance (QA) 
plan. SOPs must contain detailed information not only on how to perform a 
specific method, but also information related to the preparation of 
reagents, standards, and reference materials. 


Changes to SOPs must be fully documented. An SOP change is defined as any 
modification to the analytical process that is not expected to change the 
data quality. The implementation of changes to SOPs must follow the 
process defined in the laboratory QA plan.

3.      Approved QA Plan

All laboratories must have an approved QA plan that is supplied to WRD 
customers upon request. The laboratory QA plan must provide internal 
guidance and documentation that will ensure the laboratory is operating 
under a standardized, rigorous QA program and is producing analytical 
results of a known and acceptable quality. The laboratory QA plan must 
describe QA activities, quality-control (QC) procedures and requirements, 
QC performance acceptance criteria, and the required corrective actions 
to be taken if the criteria are not met. Erdmann (1991a) and Taylor 
(1987) describe the requirements, procedures, and technical information 
that each production laboratory QA plan should contain.

4.      Types and Amount of QC Data and Historical Performance

All production laboratories must document their QC procedures and provide 
data to the WRD offices that allows for continuous tracking of the bias, 
variability, and recovery over the expected range of environmental data. 
QC information, such as QC charts, analysis of laboratory QC samples, 
calibration records, and analyst bench logs should be maintained for at 
least 5, and preferably 10 years and be available for review by WRD 
customers. Laboratory QC data are to be fully documented, readily 
available, and technically defensible.

All laboratories must maintain a file of initial performance data for 
each method and any changes to the method. The file will contain any SOP 
changes and all accompanying data that define data quality across such 
changes. On a yearly basis, this file will be copied and sent to the 
Chief, BQS. This file and all accompanying information will be reviewed 
as part of each laboratory review.

During each review, the BQS will examine the types, amount, and quality 
of the QC data over at least a three-year period to evaluate the quality 
and consistency of operations.

5.      Participation in the Standard Reference Sample Project

The Standard Reference Sample (SRS) Project of WRD conducts a semi-annual 
round-robin intercomparison study to evaluate and document the analytical 
performance of laboratories used by the Division and other outside 
participating laboratories. Each production laboratory used by the 
Division must analyze, at a minimum, the appropriate SRSs to cover the 
constituents requested by the Division office.

Although the SRS Project presently covers only dissolved inorganic and 
nutrient analytes, it is developing additional types of SRSs to cover 
additional analytes and ranges of analytes. Examples of new samples may 
include various organic SRSs and, also, inorganic SRSs that test a 
laboratory's capability to measure presence/absence rather than 
quantifiable results. As new SRSs become available, the SRS project will 
notify each production laboratory and provide ordering instructions.

Acceptance criteria of SRS results are documented in Erdmann (1991b, p. 
4) and Farrar (1997, p. 10). If the SRS result for one or more 
constituents is considered unacceptable (poor rating), the BQS will 
notify the appropriate WRD office. That office is then responsible to 
obtain a written explanation of the potential problem and any necessary 
corrective actions from the laboratory. This documentation will be 
forwarded to BQS. If two successive unacceptable results are obtained for 
any constituent (samples are at six-month intervals), the BQS will
notify the responsible office, the appropriate Regional Hydrologist, and 
the OWQ that the laboratory has sustained unacceptable data for those 
constituents. Until successful corrective action is achieved, data from 
the laboratory cannot be stored in publicly-accessible USGS data bases 
nor published in USGS district annual or other data reports.

The BQS will evaluate the results of other available performance 
evaluation analyses (from other external certification processes) along 
with the SRS results in reaching decisions for corrective action.

To enhance the data-review process, each future District review by OWQ 
will evaluate SRS results from each production laboratory used by the 
District.

6.      Scientific Capability of Personnel

The BQS will evaluate the academic education, on-the-job training, 
knowledge, capabilities, and competence of the production laboratory 
personnel -- including the laboratory managers, supervisors, and those 
preparing and analyzing the samples.

7.      Laboratory Equipment

The BQS will evaluate whether the laboratory has the required preparatory 
and analytical equipment to appropriately run each method that produces 
USGS data.

Laboratory Evaluation Process

The laboratory evaluation process consists of two major activities: 

1.      Notification of Laboratory Use

Near the beginning of each fiscal year, each District or office will be 
notified to provide BQS, by memorandum through the Regional Hydrologist, 
the estimated use of individual production analytical laboratories for 
the following fiscal year. This information will be due to the BQS within 
the second month of each fiscal year. The BQS will compile the responses, 
and by mid year, discuss and firm up the estimates with each office. The 
BQS will use the refined information to prioritize laboratories for 
review and to select those laboratories to be evaluated during the 
following fiscal year. The BQS will notify the affected Districts and 
offices about five months before the beginning of the fiscal year. Then, 
BQS will work with the Districts/offices to schedule the actual dates for 
each review.

The NWQL and the QWSU will be evaluated annually so notification about 
their use is not required.

Attachment 2 contains the information that BQS will request concerning 
use of production laboratories. 

2.      Reviews of Production Laboratories

The BQS will conduct the laboratory reviews using the protocols, 
procedures, and guidelines presented in Erdmann (1991b).

Each review will include evaluation of the written documentation (see 
Attachment 2 and below) and a conference call including BQS, the 
requesting WRD office, and the production laboratory. The BQS will 
determine the need for an on-site review based on:

        o  The scope, complexity, and number of analyses performed by the 
             laboratory for WRD.
        o  The completeness and clarity of the written documentation.
        o  Evaluation of the written documentation against the 
             laboratory-review criteria (see Laboratory Review Criteria).

Based on preliminary information or concerns, the District/office, the 
Regional Hydrologist, or OWQ may request an on-site review of a specific 
production laboratory before or during the initial BQS evaluation.

The laboratory review process consists of three steps: 

Step 1. Review of Written Documentation.

The BQS will review and evaluate the following:

        o  Laboratory QA plan.
        o  List of constituents and estimated number of samples requested 
             by the WRD office.
        o  Length of time the laboratory has analyzed for the requested 
             constituents.
        o  List of analytical methods that will be used for the requested 
             constituents, the references for these methods, the 
             principles and analytical range of the methods, and 
             documentation of any modifications or changes to published 
             methods.
        o  Brief resumes of key laboratory managers and supervisors.
        o  Summary of education level, training, and capabilities of 
             personnel conducting the analyses.
        o  Description of relevant major instrumentation used in 
             providing the requested analytical services.
        o  Historical performance evaluation ratings for the SRS 
             intercomparison studies (if available).
        o  Analytical results from recent performance-evaluation sample 
             analyses from other external certification, evaluation, or 
             round-robin studies.
        o  Example copy of the laboratory analytical-results data and 
             laboratory QC data that are available and/or provided to the 
             WRD office.

If both the documentation and the performance evaluation results are in 
order and acceptable, BQS will proceed to step 2. If important 
documentation is missing or unacceptable, BQS will report this finding to 
the requesting office and then work with that office and the laboratory 
to rectify the situation.



If performance-evaluation data are unavailable, incomplete, or 
unsatisfactory, BQS will send appropriate SRSs or arrange for other 
performance evaluation samples to be sent to the laboratory. These SRSs 
or other samples must be analyzed by the laboratory and the results 
provided to and evaluated by the BQS, before step 1 can be completed. 

Step 2. Conference Call.

Once the written documentation and the performance-evaluation results are 
reviewed and accepted, BQS will arrange a conference call with 
appropriate personnel in the requesting office and the production 
laboratory. The purpose is to ensure that adequate technical and QA 
practices are in place to define and document the quality of the 
requested analyses. The discussion will include:

        o  Procedures used to handle documentation of laboratory records.
        o  Sample management.
        o  Sample analyses.
        o  The laboratory QA program.
        o  QC activities and information.
        o  Data management.

Examples of materials for review may be requested from the laboratory 
during this call. 

Following the conference call, if no serious problems or deficiencies are 
found, the BQS will approve the laboratory as accepted by the WRD for the 
specified analyses and methods. 

In this case, results from this step will be documented and forwarded by 
BQS to the OWQ. OWQ will forward the information to the requesting
office and Regional Hydrologist within two weeks following the review. In 
cases where the laboratory is being requested to perform complex and/or a
large number of analyses for WRD, the BQS may request further remote 
review or even an onsite review to protect the integrity of Division 
data. 

If the review discovers serious problems or deficiencies, the BQS will:

        o  Provide the District/office (copy to the Regional Hydrologist) 
           with specific suggestions on how to work with the laboratory 
           to correct the deficiencies. At this point, if the analyses 
           represent new work, the deficiencies must be corrected before 
           the office submits environmental samples to the laboratory. If 
           the laboratory is already analyzing Division environmental 
           samples, no additional results can be stored in publicly 
           accessible data bases or published in USGS district annual or 
           other data reports.

        o  Schedule an on-site laboratory review (see step 3).



Once BQS notes serious problems or deficiencies and recommends corrective 
actions, the requesting WRD office is responsible for working with the 
production laboratory to achieve resolution. BQS is available to assist 
the WRD office and the laboratory. However, the requesting WRD office has 
the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that corrective actions are 
achievable and implemented by the laboratory.

Step 3. On-Site Technical Review.

BQS will determine the need for an onsite laboratory review based on 
evaluation the written documentation, the described laboratory-review 
criteria, and the performance-evaluation results. The primary 
determinants are: (1) the scope, complexity, and number of analyses to be 
performed for WRD, and (2) whether steps 1 and 2 identify serious 
problems or deficiencies in the production laboratory and its performance 
capabilities.

The objectives of an onsite review are: (1) to ensure that adequate 
analytical and QC practices are in place and to determine--first 
hand--how these are used to define and document the quality of the 
environmental analyses; and (2) ensure that any documented problems and 
deficiencies have been corrected and are likely to stay under control 
over the duration of analysis for the WRD.

Each on-site review will include:

        o  Inspecting the laboratory facility and instrumentation.
        o  Meeting with selected laboratory personnel.
        o  Examining laboratory processes.
        o  Reviewing various laboratory records and documentation 
             associated with sample management, sample analysis, the QA 
             program, QC activities and information, and data management. 

At a minimum, a technical expert representing BQS, assisted by a 
technical representative from the WRD office, will conduct the on-site 
review. 

If no serious problems or deficiencies are noted, the BQS will approve 
the laboratory as accepted by the WRD for the specific analyses and 
methods. 

If serious problems or deficiencies are found, BQS will provide the WRD 
office with:
        o  Specific suggestions on what needs to be changed to remedy 
           identified problems and deficiencies.

        o  Suggestions on how to work with the laboratory to correct 
           deficiencies before submitting environmental samples for 
           analysis or entering additional analytical results into a 
           publicly-accessible data base or publishing the data in an 
           USGS district annual or other data report.

Results from this step (acceptance or non-acceptance) will be documented 
with explanations by BQS and sent to the OWQ. The OWQ will forward the 
information to the requesting WRD office and the Regional Hydrologist 
within four weeks after the completion of the onsite review.

The WRD office requesting or using the laboratory must work with the 
laboratory to ensure appropriate corrective actions are implemented. Then 
the office must document to BQS what actions have been taken. BQS will 
then re-evaluate the laboratory. If everything is acceptable, BQS will 
approvethe laboratory as accepted by the WRD for the specific analyses 
and methods. If the response is inadequate or unclear, BQS will conduct 
additional review through further evaluation of data and documents, 
conference calls, or another on-site review. The WRD office using the 
laboratory has the responsibility to ensure that the corrective actions 
are implemented by the laboratory.

If The Production Laboratory Refuses to Cooperate

If a laboratory requested by a WRD office declines to be reviewed, to 
analyze submitted SRSs or other performance-evaluation samples, or to 
make needed changes relative to identified problems or deficiencies, the 
WRD office cannot use the laboratory.

Temporary Exemption from the Laboratory Evaluation Process

If a WRD office must begin sampling and using the analytical results from 
a new laboratory before a technical review can be completed by BQS 
(because of funding-agreement, data-collection, and other needs) the 
Regional Hydrologist (or designee not from the requesting office) may 
grant temporary approval based on available knowledge or information 
about the laboratory. In this situation, the analytical results from the 
production laboratory are considered provisional until BQS evaluates and 
approves the laboratory to conduct specific analyses for WRD. To protect 
the Division's scientific integrity and data quality, this practice 
should seldomly be used.

The WRD office requesting this exception must provide the Regional 
Hydrologist with as much of the information listed in Attachment 2 as 
possible, so the competency of the laboratory can be briefly evaluated in 
advance. The WRD office must also inform BQS that it has requested an 
exception, along with a scheduled date for participating in the normal 
approval process. BQS will attempt to honor schedules for reviewing 
excepted laboratories. Temporary approvals granted by a Regional 
Hydrologist may not exceed 9 months, and can be granted only once per 
laboratory.

Because this approach is outside the normal technical-review process, a 
statement of temporary approval by the Regional Hydrologist (or designee) 
must be included in all USGS-sponsored data reports containing resultant 
analytical data until final approval is granted. In addition, the 
resultant data cannot be entered into a publicly-accessible USGS data 
base.

Costs

Costs for each review will be funded on a fee-for-service basis. Charges 
will include salary, travel, and other costs directly associated with 
performing the reviews.

Reviews of the NWQL, the QWSU, and production parts of NRP and District 
research laboratories will be funded by those laboratories and the costs 
recovered through analytical charges to customers. Costs associated with 
technical review of contractor and cooperator laboratories will be funded 
by the WRD offices requesting use of the laboratories. Costs of reviewing 
District production laboratories will be paid by the Districts.
Technical Support services provided by BQS will include staff support for:
        o  Managing the laboratory review process.
        o  Providing technical assistance to offices participating in the 
             process.
        o  Reporting and documenting the overall usage and performance of 
             production laboratories to the Division. 

References Cited

Erdmann, D.E., 1991a, Quality assurance requirements for water-quality 
  laboratories providing analytical services for the Water Resources 
  Division of the U.S.  Geological Survey: U.S. Geological Survey 
  Open-File Report 91-222, 8 p.

Erdmann, D.E., 1991b, Technical review of water-quality laboratories 
  providing analytical services for the Water Resources Division of the 
  U.S. Geological Survey: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report
  91-223, 19 p.

Farrar, J.W., 1997, Results of the U.S. Geological Survey's analytical 
  evaluation program for standard reference samples: T-147 (trace 
  constituents), T-149 (trace constituents), M-142 (major constituents), 
  N-53 (nutrient constituents), N-54 (nutrient constituents), P-28 (low 
  ionic strength constituents), GW-1 (ground-water constituents), and 
  Hg-24 (mercury) distributed in April 1997: U.S. Geological Survey 
  Open-File Report 97-553, 184 p.

Keith, L.N., 1991, Environmental Sampling and Analysis--A Practical 
  Guide: Chelsea, Michigan, Lewis Publishers, Inc.

Shampine, W.J., Pope, L.M., and Coterie, M.T., 1992, Integrating quality 
  assurance in project work plans of the U.S. Geological Survey: U.S. 
  Geological Survey Open-File Report 92-162, 12 p. 

Taylor, J.K., 1987, Quality Assurance of Chemical Measurements: Chelsea, 
  Michigan, Lewis Publishing, Inc.

U.S. Geological Survey, 1996, Strategic plan for the U.S. Geological 
  Survey, 1996 to 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Office of the Director. 

Attachments

Attachment 1:  Project Specific Analytical Data Needs
Attachment 2:  Production Laboratory-Use Information
- ---------------------







           ATTACHMENT 1 -- Project Specific Analytical Data Needs


Division offices are responsible to secure appropriate analytical 
services and to ensure that production laboratories implement appropriate 
QA procedures that meet the objectives of each project. Laboratory QA 
procedures and QC data related to the project should be referenced or 
included in the project work plan or the QA project plan developed at the 
outset of each project. The project chief and technical specialists then 
evaluate the QC information generated under the plans to ensure the 
ongoing suitability and quality of all data--including laboratory 
analyses--to meet the stated data-quality objectives. Information about 
integrating QA/QC in project work plans and QA plans for projects is 
provided in Shampine and others, 1992, Keith (1991), and WRD Memorandum 
No. 94.17. Each project should also consider using various types of 
field-based QC samples (blanks, spikes, reference and replicate samples) 
to help assess the performance of the analytical laboratories.

The BQS will assist District, Regional, and other WRD offices in 
selection of analytical services and development of QA/QC plans. BQS will 
either provide or arrange for assistance based on discussions with the 
requestor. If requested, BQS will also review laboratory QC data for 
specific projects.

- ---------------------------

           ATTACHMENT 2 -- Production Laboratory-Use Information

WRD offices will be responsible for annually notifying the BQS about the 
use of analytical production laboratories for obtaining chemical, 
radiochemical and biological data that will be placed in 
publicly-accessible data bases or published in data reports. Two types of 
information are required: (1) general laboratory use; and (2) constituent 
specific laboratory use. BQS will use both types to inventory production 
laboratory use in the WRD, help prioritize and schedule the laboratory 
reviews, and conduct preliminary screening of the laboratories. The BQS, 
OWQ, and Regional Water-Quality Specialists will develop and implement a 
ranking priority system based on the different types and categories of 
laboratory-use information. 

To assist the WRD offices in compiling the needed information, BQS will 
develop a standardized information request that covers the following 
items:

General Laboratory-Use Information: 

1.   Name and address of laboratory.
2.   Type of samples that will be analyzed by the laboratory.
3.   Estimated number of samples that will be analyzed in the fiscal 
        year.
4.   Estimated cost of laboratory analytical work for the fiscal year.
5.   List month/year and brief summary of findings of previous technical 
        reviews of laboratory by WRD.
6.   List month/year and historical laboratory performance ratings for 
        SRS intercomparison studies.
7.   List type, month/year, and results of any other 
        performance-evaluation studies.
8.   Does the laboratory have a documented and complete QA plan and 
        standard operating procedures?
9.   Does the WRD project using the laboratory include appropriate 
        laboratory QA and QC information in the project work plan or 
        project QA plan (see Attachment 1)?
10.  The type and collection frequency of any field-based QC samples 
        being collected by the WRD project using the laboratory.
11.  Brief resumes of key laboratory managers and supervisors.

Constituent-Specific Laboratory-Use Information 

This information will need to be completed for each constituent or group 
of constituents to be analyzed by the laboratory.

1.   Constituent(s) to be analyzed.
2.   Length of time (years) the laboratory has analyzed the 
        constituent(s).
3.   Planned length of time (years) that the laboratory will be requested 
        to analyze constituent(s) for the WRD office.
4.   List source or reference and the name for each analytical method to 
        be used for WRD work.
5.   Type, model, and age of instruments used for each analysis.
6.   Education level, training, and capabilities of personnel running 
        each method.
7.   List month/year and summary of results for the latest SRS study for 
        the constituent(s).


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