Maintaining Control at a Rapid Response Field Analytical Support Project -
A Case Study of Performance-Based Measurement Systems
Edwin Neal Amick, Senior Scientist
Lockheed Martin Services Group, 7411 Beach Drive East, Port Orchard, WA
Paper published in the Proceedings of WTQA '99
(15th Annual Waste Testing & Quality Assurance Symposium), pp. 8-11.
The Lockheed Martin Field Analytical Support Project (FASP) Team routinely uses performance-based analytical methods to provide rapid results at environmental field sites using mobile laboratories. This work is performed under the Environmental Services Assistance Team (ESAT) contract to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10. This paper describes a case study for the development, validation, and application of a performance-based analytical field method. An EPA Region 10 removal action project required quick turnaround data to determine the extent of contamination and confirm removal action. Drinking-water wells in an agricultural area were contaminated with high concentrations of the herbicide dinoseb. The source of the dinoseb was adjacent to an agricultural irrigation canal, prompting quick action to avoid additional groundwater contamination. A performance based analytical procedure for the herbicide dinoseb in soil was developed using gas chromatography with electron capture detection. Available EPA methods for dinoseb did not meet the data quality objectives for the project, or were not practical for use in a mobile laboratory. The primary objective was to provide reliable analytical data for two action levels of dinoseb in soil (1.6 µg/Kg and 80 µg/Kg). The FASP team developed a procedure two weeks prior to field deployment. The method used a small quantity of extraction solvent with direct injection of the extract into a gas chromatograph with an electron capture detector. The method was validated prior to field deployment, and quality assurance protocols were developed to assure project data quality objectives were met. Field chemists analyzed a total of 820 soil samples at the field site. Quality control included analyzing extraction blanks, extraction spikes, and matrix spikes. In addition, investigators shipped 10% of the samples to a fixed laboratory for comparison analysis. The results of the quality control show the field method produced reliable data. Overall, performance-based analytical methods for field screening allow for quicker, more cost effective site investigations and remedial actions. This paper provides guidelines for establishing quality control procedures to assure generation of data within project data quality objectives.
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