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A Case Study Using a Comparative Tiered Validation Scheme
Eric Strout, Senior Project Chemist
EcoChem, Inc., 801 Second Avenue, Suite 1401, Seattle, Washington 98104

Paper published in the Proceedings of WTQA '97 (13th Annual Waste Testing & Quality Assurance Symposium), pp. 207-213.

While data validation is an important step in ensuring data quality and usability, many project managers are reluctant to include validation due to the perceived cost and time requirements. When validation is not performed, the issue is sometimes forced by the regulatory oversight agencies, or by potential litigation. The ‘after-the-fact’ validation effort is often more expensive and time consuming, as the laboratory has moved on to other samples, and the validator must gather and understand all project requirements prior to validating the data. This can have a significant impact on project budgets and deadlines, especially for large projects. This paper describes such a situation, and details the tiered validation scheme used to quickly review all of the data, while the most intense efforts were focused on data with potential quality or usability issues. The tiered approach was a combination of limited and full review, using both electronic and manual validation. The tiered validation satisfied the regulatory requirements, while providing the client with a rapid turnaround at reduced cost. An additional benefit Ws that the electronic validation process created a database of validated data that was used for trend analysis, risk assessment calculations, and to identify data gaps for the Phase II investigation.

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