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Environmental Quality Assurance Program

Stone provides environmental quality services, including environmental data interpretation and evaluation, litigation support, data validation, and quality assurance/quality control, for a wide-range of clientele. Our personnel have experience managing sample collection in the field, analyzing samples in the laboratory, and performing field and laboratory quality assurance functions.

Project Specific Quality Assurance Project Plans and Quality Control

Stone has developed sampling analysis plans and site specific work plans in accordance with the Uniform Federal Policy for Quality Assurance Project Plans (UFP QAPP) to ensure that all parties involved with a sampling and analysis effort know what, why, and how each task is to be performed and to ensure that the end result is acceptable and used for its intended purpose. These plans specify the appropriate type and frequency of quality control samples, analytical methodologies, analysis costs, and scheduling. If required for the needs of a particular project, these plans also specify the development of method detection limits and reporting limits. All relevant parties (client, sampling contractors, laboratories, data validators, data users) must have input regarding sampling, analysis, data evaluation, and data use for a successful QAPP to be developed and implemented.

Data usability and data validation are critical steps in the process of assuring that data you use to make decisions is of known quality, reproducible and compliant with regulatory standards. Stone has the expertise to perform validation of laboratory analytical data packages for water, soil, air, solids, and biota matrices for parameters including:

  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Semivolatile organic compounds
  • Pesticides
  • PCBs and their congeners
  • Metals / cyanide
  • Dioxins / furans
  • Classical wet chemistry analytes
  • Isotopic and selective ion monitoring
  • Performance-based methods

We conduct the validation pursuant to current US EPA National Functional Guidelines. Other authorities we use include EPA regional guidance documents, laboratory standard operating procedures, and analytical methodologies such as Contract Laboratory Program Statements of Work and SW-846.

Third-Party Reviews

For clients, Stone has provided independent, third-party reviews of numerous documents to ensure that the work adequately addresses all aspects of the project.

Stone regularly reviews:

  • Proposals of work
  • Fieldwork plans
  • Quality Assurance Project Plans
  • Sampling and analysis plans
  • Reports of findings

The reports we prepare for this review comment on the appropriateness and accuracy of the work performed and the usefulness of the data collected.

Laboratory Audits are often requested to assess a laboratory's qualifications and capabilities to provide acceptable analytical data for a given sampling and analytical program. Stone has performed onsite audits of numerous laboratories for industrial clients, attorneys, engineering firms, and potentially responsible party (PRP) groups. Other clients provide a list of laboratories to be evaluated with regard to their abilities to provide analyses on a continuing basis for varied projects.

Single- or Double-Blind Performance Evaluation (PE) Samples

PE programs are an excellent way to monitor a laboratory’s ability to produce high-quality results. We have managed PE programs to assess ongoing laboratory capabilities, using both single-blind and double-blind evaluation samples.

Data Usability Summary Reports

Stone has experience writing NYS Data Usability Summary Reports (DUSR). A DUSR is a document that provides a thorough evaluation of the analytical data to determine whether or not the data, as presented, meets the site/project specific criteria for data quality and use (DER-10).

Data Interpretation

Our QAU interprets analytical data and conducts technical reviews of sample chromatograms. We identify chemical and biological degradation products, and provide mass spectral interpretation of tentatively identified compounds.

Litigation Support Services

Stone litigation services include expert consulting; preparation of expert reports, cross-examination questions, affidavits, and graphics for trial use; deposition testimony; expert testimony at trial; and support of other experts.