OQA Bulletin Board
New Methods Approved for use in Public Recreational Bathing Testing (N.J.A.C. 8:26, Subchapter 7)
N.J.A.C. 8:26 requires the use of a N.J.A.C. 7:18 certified laboratory for the analysis of samples such as swimming pools, wading pools, hot tubs and spas for total coliform and pseudomonas aeruginosa testing. N.J.A.C. 8:26 regulations have traditionally detailed the microbiological methods approved for required testing. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) was petitioned by IDEXX Labs Inc. for the approval to use Colilert/Coliert-18® for total coliform testing and Pseudalert® for Pseudomonas aeruginosa testing. On May 15, 2012, the NJDOH approved the use of Pseudalert® and this testing was added to the NJDEP-OQA’s scope of available laboratory certification at that time. The approval for the use of Colilert/Colilert-18® was made effective by the NJDOH on April 9, 2013. Laboratories must apply for and receive certification prior to the use of the methods and media. The parameter codes to use when requesting the certification are: Pseudalert (WPP01.11010) and Colilert/Colilert-18 (WPP01.04010). Total coliform and Pseudomonas aeruginosa results are to be reported as presence-absence in accordance with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 8:26-7.5(b) and 7.11(b) respectively. A link to the waiver approval for Pseudalert from the IDEXX website can be found at: http://www.idexx.com/resource-library/water/water-reg-article5CZ.pdf. The waiver approval document for the use of Colilert/Coliert-18 will be available on the IDEXX website soon. Contact Debra Waller at the NJDEP-OQA (firstname.lastname@example.org) should you require any additional laboratory certification information about the approvals for the use of the methods.
Hurricane Sandy Laboratory Status Survey Results as of 11-16-12
Based upon the numerous issues that have occurred due to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protections (NJDEP) Office of Quality Assurance (OQA) performed a short survey of the current condition of certified/accredited laboratories that may have been affected by the storm. Access to the results can be found at: Hurricane Sandy Laboratory Status Survey Results as of 11-16-12 or by contacting the OQA at 609-292-3950. The results posted are current as of the date noted in the spreadsheet title and includes only those laboratories that have responded as of that date. Out of State laboratories not included on this list were not surveyed because it was believed those laboratories were not affected by the storm and are presumed fully operational. If a laboratory is not included on this list it does not mean that laboratory cannot be used for testing. If you wish to use a laboratory not on the list it is suggested you first contact that laboratory directly to obtain its status. A complete listing of all certified/accredited laboratories and contact information can be found by accessing the OQAs certified laboratory list at: dataminer website.
Notice Regarding Proficiency Test Samples Affected by Hurricane Sandy
Any laboratories that failed to submit water pollution results for WP-212 by November 1, 2012 due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy may purchase a quick response sample for the affected parameters. Quick Response samples can be ordered from any A2LA or ACLASS approved PT provider. These Quick Response results must be submitted to the OQA no later than Friday, November 23, 2012. Any results not received by this date will result in a second failed study and a suspension of the affected parameters.
Regarding the October solid/hazardous waste studies; results for WP-213 are due November 29, 2012 and results for Soil-80 are due December 6, 2012. Any laboratory that cannot submit solid/hazardous waste results for either WP-213 by November 29, 2012 or Soil-80 by December 6, 2012 due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy may purchase a Quick Response sample for the affected parameters. Quick Response samples can be ordered from any A2LA or ACLASS approved PT provider. These Quick Response results must be submitted to the OQA no later than Friday, December 21, 2012. Any results not received by this date will result in a first failed study and the laboratory will need to participate in the April make-up study.
NOTE: ERA will replace any PT samples for WP-213 or Soil-80 destroyed by the storm at no cost to the laboratory. Laboratories should contact ERA directly for replacement samples.
Hurricane Sandy Sample Analysis and Reporting Guidance for Laboratories
The NJDEP recognizes that laboratory facilities may have experienced loss of power or flooding conditions that may have affected the preservation, holding time and/or method testing requirements (i.e. incubation temperatures, oven temperatures, etc.) for samples at the laboratory at the time of the storm. Sample collection activities may have also been disrupted or cancelled by the storm conditions. Laboratories are encouraged to provide the details of the circumstances that the laboratory encountered during the affected time period in the form of a cover letter to its clients for their use. If preservation, holding times or method testing requirements were affected due to the storm conditions the following procedures have been provided by the programs that use the data:
Site Remediation Program (SRP) Projects: Conduct the analysis and appropriately qualify all results:
- The laboratory should contact their client (person responsible for conducting the remediation and/or the licensed site remediation professional (LSRP) overseeing the remediation) and inform them of the situation. The LSRP, using their professional judgment based on their knowledge of the remedial activities being conducted and site conditions, should make the determination whether or not to proceed with the analysis of the impacted samples. From the SRP perspective, exceedance of storage temperature is not an automatic rejection of sample results.
- If it is determined to proceed with sample analysis, the laboratory needs to note the situation in the laboratory non-conformance summary section of the data deliverable package.
- The LSRP, when submitting the remedial phase report associated with the impacted data, needs to note the situation with an explanation of data usability.
New Jersey National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NJ-NPDES) or for meeting permit requirement for Sludge Quality Assurance (SQAR): Do not conduct the analysis. Permitted facilities will move forward to collect and meet all requirements for the month of November 2012:
- The Monitoring Report Form (MRF) Manual was prepared to give direction for Reporting Invalid Test Results. Although not every example of ‘invalid’ sample issues was mentioned in the manual, NJDEP has expanded on this topic in training sessions and phone inquiries over the years.
- If a permittee calls the NJDEP and knows prior to having the laboratory conduct the analysis that the samples are invalid, they should be instructed to not waste resources for analyzing these samples. Also, if sample analysis was underway prior to the storm (i.e. BOD samples set up on Day 1 with a loss of power on Days 2), results may be reported by the testing laboratory but must be appropriately qualified. Results reported with appropriate data qualifiers cannot be used to demonstrate compliance with any NJPDES or SQAR regulatory requirements.
- The permittees should report CODE=E if all of the samples for that parameter for the month/monitoring period were in this situation as directed in the MRF Manual.
- If only some of the samples for the month/monitoring period were in this situation, the permittee should only report on the MRF valid data for the month/monitoring period. The number of samples actually tested is to be noted on the MRF (i.e. 3/month instead of the required 4/month).
- The permittee must explain the situation on the MRF submittal form (or cover letter if necessary). This explanation must include information regarding proof of power outage – such as HOTLINE notification, etc. The MRF Manual can be found at the following link: http://www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/pdf/MRF_Manual.pdf
Drinking Water Testing: This information (in part) and guidance for non-community water systems for restoring wells that were flooded and/or damaged by Hurricane Sandy are available on the NJDEP’s Water Supply website at www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply:
- For samples that were prepared and were under analysis at the time of the storm, if the analysis was disrupted by the effects of the storm, then this data must be qualified as appropriate and cannot be used for demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements.
- The Bureau of Safe Drinking Water will not issue TCR monitoring and reporting (M&R) violations for October 2012 if you were unable to collect all routine TCR samples required by the end of October. However, you are expected to complete the collection of all November routine TCR samples by the end of November.
- For those water systems that were unable to collect repeat TCR samples and, if applicable, Groundwater Rule samples within the required timeframes due to Hurricane Sandy, you must collect these repeat samples and well (raw) samples as soon as possible during November 2012, as a sampling event separate from the scheduled routine November TCR sampling.
- Water systems on a quarterly TCR monitoring schedule, having had at least one total coliform-positive sample in September 2012, must collect their five routine TCR samples as soon as possible in November 2012 if Hurricane Sandy prevented their collection in October.
- TCR and Groundwater Rule sample results must be submitted to the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water through E2. If your internet access (and your ability to report through E2) has been affected due to the hurricane, please notify the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water at 609-292-5550 to inform us of those water systems for which TCR/GWR result submission may be late. (Please note that laboratories are still required to notify the bureau of E. coli-positive and fecal coliform-positive results within 24 hours or call the NJDEP Hotline at 877- 927-6337 after business hours.)
March 2012 - USEPA Grants New Jersey Exemption From DMR-QA Submittal
On November 30, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the Departments request to withdraw from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Discharge Monitoring Report Quality Assurance (DMR-QA) Program. EPA granted approval of the withdrawal because the Departments state-wide laboratory certification program is an adequate surrogate for the DMR-QA Program. The withdrawal is effective beginning in 2012 and pertains to an exemption for DMR-QA Study 32. The OQA sent a letter to all laboratories on March 12, 2012 as notification of this change. Please refer to the March 12, 2012 letter for additional information.
December 2011 - Certification of Low Flow Parameters Guidance Document
View letter and guidance document
May 2011- Important Notice Regarding Application Process Policy
View more information
October 2010 - HazSite Electronic Data Deliverable File Format Support Changes
Site Remediation Program (SRP) is discontinuing the support of WK1 (Lotus 1-2-3) and DBF (dBase/FoxPro) file extensions for the HazSite database electronic data deliverable (EDD) submissions effective 1/1/2011. Please refer to SRP web site for more information.
August 2010 - Analysis of Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbon Compounds (EPH) in Aqueous and Soil/Sediment/Sludge Matrices (NJDEP EPH Method 10/08, August 2010 Rev. 3)
The NJDEP has updated its Environmental Laboratory Certification Programs to add NJDEP EPH Method 10/08, Rev. 3. It is included as a DSAM on the OQA’s Part 3 as SHW06.04540 for GC/FID and as SHW07.04600 for GC/MS. All labs formerly applied or certified for NJDEP EPH Method 10/08 Rev. 2 (under SHW06.04530) have been upgraded to SHW06.04540 for GC/FID. An update letter giving revised application information, including the procedure to follow if the GC/MS option is of interest, has been forwarded to all laboratories performing NJ EPH, DRO/GRO SW846 Method 8015 and/or Method NJ-OQA-QAM-025. The method will be used by the NJDEP’s Site Remediation Program (SRP) and more information can be found on their website as follows:
Additional information can also be obtained by contacting Peter Boughton at 609-292-3950."
January 2010 - Clean Air Program Proficiency Tetsing Samples
The State of New Jersey is requiring laboratories certified in the Clean Air certification program to begin analyzing PT Samples in January 2010. All certified laboratories will be invoiced for the Air PTs in late October for the initial study in January. All laboratories must report results for any parameters in which they hold certification. Since this is the initial study the department will not impose suspensions on the laboratories that do not acceptably analyze the initial rounds.
In the future if a laboratory does not pass the required PTs the will not be able to report regulatory data to the State. Any ELCP laboratories that do not pass one sample a year will be suspended for that analysis. Any NELAP laboratories that do not pass one sample a year will not be eligible to report data to the State of New Jersey until they are back in compliance with the PT requirements.
January 2010 – Changes to Water Pollution PT schedule
Recently, the USEPA changed the timeframe for conducting annual DMR-QA studies. Effective with EPA DMR-QA 30, studies will occur in March. In the past the NJDEP planned the timing of its PT Sample program to give laboratories the option of using the same samples for both DMR-QA studies and N.J.A.C. 7:18 requirements. Given the USEPA’s change, the NJDEP has changed the timeframe of its annual water pollution study from June to March. With the NJDEP’s change laboratories should be able to continue to have the option of using the PT Sample results from the NJDEP studies to meet DMR-QA requirements. Additionally, for those laboratories not having acceptable results in the March studies, the timeframe for second round PT sample studies is changed from December to September.
May 2009 – Revised NJDEP-SRP Low Level USEPA Method TO-15 Air Analysis Method
NJDEP’s Site Remediation Program (SRP) has recently revised Method NJDEP LL TO-15 (and the associated deliverables requirements, NJDEP LL TO 15 Appendix 1). The revised method - dated March, 2009 - should promote additional opportunities for laboratories previously unable to meet all the method requirements. Laboratories wishing to pursue certification are to follow the requirements of the revised method and its associated Appendix 1. As laboratories are certified and sufficient analysis capacity exists, the SRP will ultimately require all Method TO-15 analyses to be conducted using the NJDEP low level air analytical method. Additional information can be found at SRP’s Vapor Intrusion Program website.
Specific questions relating to certification can be directed to Mr. Michael DiBalsi or Dr. Z. Bernie Wilk at (609) 292-3950.
EPA Method 537 for Perfluorinated Hydrocarbons (PFC’s) Finalized and Available for Certification
In recent years, the Department has conducted both statewide and site specific monitoring of PFC’s such as PFOA and PFOS. On September, 2008, the EPA had finalized its first reference method (EPA Method 537) for the analysis of several PFC’s including PFOA and PFOS. Given the introduction of the reference method by the EPA and continued interest in New Jersey for the analysis of these compounds, the new method is being offered for certification beginning on July 1, 2010.
Questions regarding this method and certification should be directed to Dr. Z. Bernie Wilk at (609) 292-3950.
Methods Available for Certification
March 2008: Issue of Revision 7, Method OQA-QAM-025
Revision 7 of Method
OQA-QAM-025, "Quantitation of Semi-Volatile Petroleum
Products in Water, Soil, Sediment and Sludge" has been
issued by the Office of Quality Assurance (OQA).
Questions regarding Method OQA-QAM-025 Revision 7 should
be directed to Peter Boughton at (690) 292-3950.
March 2008 - New Revision to Method OQA-QAM-025
The latest revision of Method OQA-QAM-025 is revision 7. The major change is the sample holding time for aqueous and solid samples from seven days to extraction to 14 days to extraction. Some editorial changes were made to the method. Laboratories do not have to send OQA any data. The SOP revisions will be inspected during the next on- site assessment. Revision 7 will directly replace revision 6 on March 3, 2008.
Major Changes as Follows:
9.1.3 (Aqueous holding time):
Samples must be extracted within 14 days from the time of collection or 12 days from verified sample time of receipt (VSTR). Extracts must be analyzed within 40 days of extraction.
9.2.3 (Solids holding time):
Samples must be extracted within 14 days from the time of collection or 12 days from VSTR. Extracts must be analyzed within 40 days of extraction.
#24. Miller, M. W., Appleby, C. Wright, D., Skelton, P., "A Gas Chromatography Method to Replace Method 418.1 for the Determination of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons", Presented at National Conference on Contaminated Soils, Amherst, MA, October 1997. Available on OQA web site.
July 2007 - United States Environmental Protection Agency
(USEPA) Methods Update Rule (MUR)
On March 12, 2007 the USEPA issued a final MUR that revises the list of approved
analyses and sampling procedures in wastewater, drinking water and biosolids
regulations. To provide guidance to businesses certified using the NJ – Environmental
Laboratory Certification Program or accredited using the NJ – National
Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, the OQA has issued the following
letter and accompanying attachments:
OQA letter of July
13, 2007 (PDF) t hat provides
general details of the MUR's implementation and an overview
of the information contained in the included attachments
Attachment 1 (PDF) – Table 1 - List of Chemical
and Biological Test Procedures Removed and Alternate Approved
Replacement Methods and Table 2 - Replacement Options for
Attachment 2 (PDF) – NJDEP
Schedule for Responding to Methods Update Rule (MUR)
Attachment 3 (PDF) – Submittal
Requirements for Requesting Changes to Certification and
2007 - New Low Level Air Analysis Method Required by the
Site Remediation and Waste Management Program
New Air Analysis Method Certification Available,
The NJDEP Site Remediation Waste Management (SRWM) Program
has developed criteria for a Low Level Volatile Organics Method
for air sampling and analysis that will be used in place of
USEPA Method TO-15. The new method is designated as NJDEP-SRWM
Low Level USEPA Method TO-15, March 2007 (NJDEP-LLTO-15-3/2007).
The specific details of the new analysis method requirements
are given in the following three documents:
- NJDEP Modified Low Level TO-15 Method (NJDEP-LLTO-15-3/2007) [pdf 406 Kb]
- NJDEP Ambient Air Regulatory Data Report Format (Appendix
1) [pdf 530 Kb]
- Method NJDEP-LLTO-15-3/2007 Data
Reporting Spreadsheet [pdf 24
Directions for applying for certification can be found in
the letter from the OQA to laboratories dated April 2, 2007
announcing the new air analysis
General information related to the Departments Vapor Intrusion
Program can be found at the NJDEP Site Remediation Waste Management
(SRWM) Program at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/srp/guidance/vaporintrusion/
Specific questions relating to certification can be directed
to Mr. Michael DiBalsi or Dr. Z. Bernie Wilk at (609) 292-3950.
- Dioxin/Furan and PCB Congener Laboratories:
Updates Required to World Health Organization (WHO)
Toxic Equivalent Factors (TEFs).
In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) had
reevaluated its Human and Mammalian Toxic Equivalent Factors
(TEFs) for Dioxins/Furans and PCB Congeners from those initially
issued in 1998. Changes to several TEFs have been made
as a result of the 2005 reevaluation.
Because of these changes, the New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection (Department) requests that all
laboratories update their reporting of Dioxin/Furan and PCB
Congener data to incorporate the new 2005 WHO TEFs.
The methods affected include EPA Methods 8290, 1613 and 1668A.
Going forward, Dioxin/Furan and PCB Congener data being reported
to the Department using these methods shall make use of the
updated 2005 TEFs when calculating Toxic Equivalents (TEQs).
The updated WHO 2005 TEF values can be accessed directly through
WHO’s web site at http://www.who.int/ipcs/assessment/tef_update/en/index.html.
Additionally, the laboratories shall document the updated
TEFs used in their laboratory reports.
If this office can be of any further assistance, please call Dr. Z. Bernie Wilk of the Office of Quality
Assurance at (609) 292-3950.
September 2004 -
Air Analysis Certification Update
On October 20, 2003, regulations were published
that required regulatory air analyses performed for the State
of New Jersey to be conducted by certified laboratories. On
that date, the Office of Quality Assurance (OQA) initiated
the process of certification of air analysis laboratories.
During the initial application period, which ended April 17,
2004, a total of 35 laboratories applied for and received
temporary certification. Beginning in July 2004, OQA has initiated
and is currently conducting on-site assessments of these 35
laboratories. Laboratories that have applied under this program
should expect to hear from the OQA in the near future regarding
the scheduling of an on-site assessment. After on-site assessments,
qualified laboratories will have their temporary certification
status changed to certified status.
During the application process, laboratories were given the
option of applying for certification under either the New
Jersey Environmental Laboratory Certification Program (NJ-ELCP)
or the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program
(NJ-NELAP). This was done in anticipation of receiving NELAP
approval to incorporate all air analysis methods in the NJ-NELAP.
Currently, New Jersey has NELAP approval to certify laboratories
for EPA methods TO-15 and TO-17. Pending NELAP approval, all
other air analysis methods (as outlined in Part
III) are currently only available for NJ-ELAC program
certification. New Jersey anticipates NELAP approval for all
air parameters in the near future. Additionally, New Jersey
will use the NELAC Standard for assessing laboratory capability
to grant both NJ-NELAC and NJ-NELAP certification.
Update for the BEACH program
July 9, 2004 Method Clarification
The US EPA has clarified the counting requirements
in Method 1600 used in the determination of enterococci testing
in the BEACH program. The clarification is as follows:
All blue halo colonies must now be measured. Any blue halo
colony that is less than 0.5mm in diameter is not to be
included in the final count. Only blue halo colonies which
measure equal to or greater than 0.5mm in diameter, are
to be counted as target organisms (enterococci). Colonies
are to be counted using a measuring magnifier that is accurate
Laboratories, certified for Method 1600, were notified by
the Office of Quality Assurance regarding the changes. All
of the laboratories responsible for the testing of the public
bathing beaches have submitted documentation verifying that
they have complied with the updated method requirements for
the determination of enterococci.
For additional information please contact Debra
April 27, 2004: For all labs conducting
bacterialogical testing of ocean and bay beaches, the monitoring
parameter has changed from fecal coliform to enterococci.
This applies to private and public, ocean and bay beaches.
For your convenience, details of the change as well as contact
information can be found in an April 27, 2004 notice(PDF) .
November 2003 - Air Program Implementation - On October 20, 2003, amendments to N.J.A.C. 7:18, “Regulations
Governing the Certification of Laboratories and Environmental
Measurements” were adopted in the New Jersey Register
(35 NJR 4878). The amendments (PDF) expanded N.J.A.C. 7:18 to
provide for the certification of laboratories analyzing both
ambient and stack air samples in response to the Clean Air
Program (CAP). The amendments also expanded the list of air
analytical methods available for certification.
On November 26, 2003, the OQA issued a letter
to laboratories containing directions on how to apply for
certification (PDF)in air analytical
methods. Those directions required laboratories to complete Parts I (PDF), II (PDF) and III (PDF) of the application package,
and submit with it a Standard Operating Procedure for each
method in which certification is sought along with the applicable
fee (PDF). All laboratories
conducting analyses in response to a New Jersey CAP must submit
a completed application by April 17, 2004.
Specific questions regarding obtaining certification in the
Clean Air Program should be directed to Dr. Z. Bernie Wilk
at (609) 292-3950.
02/26/2007 - pH Monitoring - A generic Standard
Operating Procedure (SOP) for pH
Monitoring(PDF) has been developed
by the OQA. The document provides an outline for businesses
to follow when preparing an SOP to become certified.
08/28/2003 - Continuous pH Monitoring –
A generic Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
for Continuous pH Monitoring(PDF) has been developed by the OQA. Please see this link for direct and indirect calibration procedures(PDF).