News

Apr. 22, 2019 Citizen Science

New EPA QA Guidance Documents Available

If you are new to volunteer water monitoring, quality assurance planning, or both, you might be interested in a new Quality Assurance (QA) Guidance Document that EPA just released.

https://www.epa.gov/citizen-science/quality-assurance-handbook-and-guidance-documents-citizen-science-projects

The 'document' actually consists of three files - QA templates, a handbook explaining each in more detail, and a set of examples. You can download the template file as an editable word document (see the bottom of the EPA webpage) so you can easily customize your own QA plan for a project.

Why write a QA plan? The value in creating a QA plan is the process of thinking through your project before you actually monitor. This insures you will collect the right type of data, in the right way, for the question you want to answer. It is important to note that projects receiving federal funding will still need to develop a full Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) and obtain EPA QAPP approval prior to monitoring - though using all of the templates provided will likely get you very close to a full QAPP. If you plan to submit your data to DEEP for consideration, you are also strongly encouraged to touch base with our staff before you begin monitoring as well.