AQA Services

Data Validation

AQA specializes in third party data validation. Our experience includes all common environmental analytical chemistry methods in the organic, inorganic, and radiochemical areas, as well as the less common techniques such as LC/MS/MS and HRGC/MS. Our staff is predominantly composed of analytical chemists who have both extensive analytical laboratory bench experience and years of data validation work to their credit.

AQA has performed data validation services for a wide variety of government agencies, including the DOE, DOD, Navy, USACE, and AFCEE, and continues to provide ongoing analytical chemistry technical support to major customers such as AFCEE, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, DOE, and BWXT Pantex Plant environmental systems.

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Data Management

AQA employs scientists who are experienced in Access, SQL, and other common database languages and have manipulated data (creating tables, queries, and reports), downloaded data from a variety of formats, and produced reports using numerous custom programs. Our data management personnel are experienced in Visual Basic as well as several other programming languages and will be able to support program requirements for potential software modifications. In addition to working with existing environmental database programs, our firm has the ability to create custom programs, libraries, spreadsheets, and reports.

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Laboratory Audits and Oversight

AQA maintains a staff of Department of Energy Consolidated Audit Program (DOECAP) certified auditors, including a certified lead auditor. Our audit personnel also include a certified NELAC Lead Assessor and a Department of Defense Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (DoD ELAP) Lead Auditor. AQA's chemists are experienced in all aspects of laboratory operations and are well qualified to conduct many types of audits and assessments. We help design laboratory audit protocols that cost-effectively maximize the value returned by our clients' laboratory oversight programs. In addition to lab audits, we also perform data package assessments and desk audits.

AQA can develop or evaluate the internal processes necessary to support environmental work, including the sample management practices and various procedures and guidance documents needed to accomplish client objectives. Our staff has extensive experience in sampling guidance, laboratory-services procurement, data quality objectives support, laboratory oversight, records management, and all of the quality assurance practices associated with acquiring and maintaining environmental data. AQA's staff members are also actively involved with, and routinely contribute to, The NELAC Institute (TNI) and other nationally recognized quality assurance programs. Our participation in relevant national programs keeps us abreast of the latest standards and guidelines used in the industry.

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Technical and Quality Document Preparation

AQA understands the environmental community's need to achieve technical correctness, adequate quality and defensibility, and cost effectiveness in planning and executing projects. Accordingly, AQA employs professionals who have the experience necessary to provide efficient, high-quality services in many common support areas. These areas include:

  • Environmental sample management procedures
  • Sampling and analysis plans
  • Data quality objectives documents
  • Quality assurance plans
  • Analytical chemistry statements of work
  • Data quality assessment protocols (including validation, defensibility, and usability)
  • Standard operating procedures (for field work, sample management, and data validation)
  • Third-party prime contractor and regulator support
  • Planning documents (associated with environmental projects)

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Regulatory Support and Interface

AQA maintains a staff of qualified analytical chemists with experience in all areas of analytical chemistry and the regulatory analytical methods that are required to support compliance work. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the technical support needed to ensure the acquisition of technically adequate and defensible environmental analytical chemistry data. Our technical support services include:

  • Assisting with unusual or demanding analytical needs
  • Evaluating reports to regulators
  • Evaluating analytical methods
  • Evaluating data sets as they apply to program data quality objectives
  • Evaluating client or regulatory guidance documents and procedures
  • Preparing status reports regarding external organizations (laboratories)
  • Providing specific technical information that could affect data collection
  • Participating in special studies requested by the client
  • Conducting seminars on defensibility and various sample management-related topics

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Site Characterization Document and Data Review

Having a well planned site characterization or assessment is an essential step in environmental cleanup. And, having an outside review by highly experienced quality assurance and analytical chemistry professionals can provide an important perspective for how sampling and analysis will proceed. Our decades of environmental chemistry expertise also allows us to identify and plan for complex challenges that could occur later in the project. AQA can also provide data management and data review services once the site characterization plan has been implemented.

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Professional Training

The guidance documents written by AQA chemists are designed to enhance both the technical validity and the legal defensibility of chemical analysis data. In addition to providing guidance for analytical laboratories, we conduct seminars and other on-site training for client organizations that are responsible for environmental monitoring, restoration, and waste management. Seminar topics include inorganic, organic, and radionuclide analytical chemistry; data defensibility; sampling; SMO management; data management; and auditing.

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Expert Witness and Litigation Support

AQA's experience with legal defensibility issues is not limited to classroom instruction; we have three employees who have supported law firms in criminal and civil litigation. We also prepare targeted defensibility assessments for client organizations and can perform electronic audits of GC and GC/MS data.

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