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Although considerable attention is given to the concept of quality assurance during the sample collection, laboratory analysis, and data confirmation stages associated with the production of environmental data, few quality assurance concepts have been incorporated into the use of such data in decision-making. This paper presents information feedback from individuals involved in using environmental data for the purpose of evaluating uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. The paper discusses the principles of quality assurance when using data for pre-remedial site screening purposes. The few data left for decision-making after data winnowing, possible use of qualified data, the need for awareness of background variability, and the dependence on thorough documentation are discussed. A case example is provided.
qualified data, documentation, background variability, data reduction, reference standards
Lead Scientist, The MITRE Corporation, McLean, Virginia
Member of the Technical Staff, The MITRE Corporation, McLean, Virginia
Hydrogeologist, APEX Environmental Inc., Rockville, Maryland