Quality Assurance Project Plan Development Tool
This tool contains information designed to assist in developing a Quality Assurance (QA) Project Plan that meets EPA requirements for projects that involve surface or groundwater monitoring and/or the collection and analysis of water samples. The structure of the tool is intended to step one through the thought process of planning a project, as well as to provide a framework for documenting the plan. The tool is divided into modules as follows:
Module 1. Guidance on Preparing a QA Project Plan: This guidance provides a streamlined version of EPA's national QA documents (EPA Requirements for Quality Assurance Project Plans, EPA QA/R-5 and companion guidance EPA Guidance for the Preparation of Quality Assurance Project Plans, EPA QA/G-5) and represents a graded approach to QA Project Plan for water quality monitoring projects. The guidance follows the same basic organization structure as the Template and Model QA Project Plan described, respectively, in Modules 2 and 3 below.
Module 2. QA Project Plan Template:This template provides a formatted outline to serve as a basis for documenting your QA Project Plan. Each section of the template includes a brief description of the information to include (which supplements the more detailed information provided in Module 1). The template also includes example tables, figures and/or appendices providing optional ways to present project information. The template is provided as a guide and is not a requirement to follow exactly. (Note: You may copy and save the template to your computer.)
Module 3. Model QA Project Plan:The model is provided as an example of what a completed QA Project Plan might look like. It follows the same basic structure as the guidance and template included in Modules 1 and 2, while demonstrating flexibility in applying the structure to an example project.
Module 4. References and Links: This module provides a great deal of both technical and QA information that may assist with designing and planning a project.
- EPA QA/R-2, EPA Requirements for Quality Management Plans
- EPA QA/R-5, EPA Requirements for Quality Assurance Project Plans, EPA
- EPA QA/G-5, Guidance for Quality Assurance Project Plans
- The Volunteer Monitor's Guide to Quality Assurance Project Plans
- Generic Quality Assurance Project Plan Guidance for Programs Using Community Level Biological Assessment in Wadable Streams and Rivers
- EPA QA/G-4, Guidance for the Data Quality Objectives Process
- EPA QA/G-4HW, Data Quality Objectives Process for Hazardous Waste Site Investigations
- EPA QA/G-6, Guidance for Preparing Standard Operating Procedures
- EPA QA/G-7, Guidance on Technical Audits and Related Assessments
- EPA QA/G-8, Guidance on Environmental Data Verification and Data Validation
- EPA QA/G-9, Guidance for Data Quality Assessment: Practical Methods for Data Analysis
- Quality Assurance Guidance for Conducting Brownfields Assessments, EPA
- Guidance for QA Project Plan Development for EPA-Funded Cooperative Agreements with State & Tribal Agencies for the Conduct of FIFRA Pesticide Programs, EPA
Supplemental Technical Information
- California Stream Bioassessment Procedure, California Department of Fish & Game
- Statistical Methods in Water Resources (Download or purchase a copy of the document from the U.S. Geological Survey website)
- National Recommended Water Quality Criteria: 2004, EPA
- USGS/Water Resources-Office of Water Quality, National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data, Book 9, Handbook for Water-Resources Investigations
- USGS/Water Supply Paper 2175. Measurement and Computation of Stream Flow
- Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in Streams and Wadeable Rivers: Periphyton, Benthic Invertebrates and Fish, EPA
- Water on the Web Exit
- Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Geomorphic Assessment Exit
- Watershed Analysis and Management (WAM) Guide for Tribes, EPA
- Handbook for Analytical Quality Control In Water and Wastewater Laboratories
- 40 CFR Chapter 1, (1 July 2003); Subchapter D - Water Programs:
- Other Analytical Information Available on the Internet
- US EPA-New England: Beginner's Guide to Preparing Quality Assurance Project Plans for Environmental Projects
- Data Evaluation/Documentation Form (DOC)(4 pp, 42 K)
- Converting Units Tool (EXE)(1 pg, 464 K)
- Introduction to Excel Spreadsheets
Organizational Website Links
- EPA New England/Region 1 Quality Assurance
- EPA Region 3 - Environmental Science Center, Quality Assurance Team
- EPA Region 7 Quality Assurance
- EPA Region 9 Quality Assurance
- EPA Region 10 Quality Assurance
- EPA Tribal Air Monitoring Support Center, Northern Arizona University Exit
- 29 Palms of Mission Indians Exit
Module 5. Standard Operating Procedures: The module contains a compilation of information from various Regions and Tribes represented on the workgroup who initially developed this tool. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are provided as a basis for developing ones own SOPs to fit the way ones own organization implements its environmental sampling and analysis program. To request SOPs noted in this Module, contact Pat Svetaka (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 617-918-8396.
Module 6. Selecting an Environmental Laboratory: The module describes a number of factors to be considered to assist in choosing a laboratory to meet specific project needs. How you choose to weigh the different factors presented will be dependent on your individual circumstances.
Note: This QA Project Plan development tool was initially developed as a CD-ROM for Tribal organizations that may not have internet access. The CD-ROM was made possible through the efforts of various EPA and Tribal organizations. For a CD-ROM version of the information above, please contact Pat Svetaka (email@example.com) or 617-918-8396 of the EPA QA Unit.