Once an appropriate QA program is developed, CES professionals can perform routine quality control (QC) inspection of the individual elements to ensure compliance with the QA plan, or recommend modifications, as necessary. In addition, CES professionals can provide project-specific client training on timely, effective evaluation of key QC parameters.
The lack of quality assurance (QA) in environmental testing can be very costly. What is the cost of a false positive analysis indicating the exceedance of a permit limitation or site cleanup level? What is the cost of a false negative indicating the acceptability of a drinking water supply? What is the cost of installation of new treatment equipment to increase the degree of treatment, when the real issue is interference in the analytical methodology resulting in inaccurate analyses? No wastewater treatment technology, no matter how expensive or sophisticated can assure compliance with effluent permit limitations when the difficulty is in the analytical testing of the effluent.
New analytical instrumentation (e.g., LC/MSMS, HRICP/MS, GC/FTIR), along with environmental regulations necessitating measurements of much lower concentrations of constituents, require that a well planned QA program is in place to support sound, cost-effective decision making.
CES professionals can design a QA program that provides confidence that analytical measurements are being performed in a manner resulting in determination of true levels of precision and accuracy at appropriate levels for a specific sample matrix. This includes preparation of an individual or a program-wide quality assurance project plan (QAPP).