2015 Forum on Environmental Accreditation
February 2-5, 2015
Crystal City, Virginia
This summary is based on notes taken at the closing session of the TNI meeting on February 5, 2015. An appendix provides a list of presentations that are posted on the website.
ELAB Report – Lara Phelps
We had some great questions in our sessions. We are in the process of making a list of methods that could possibly be harmonized better. Several groups are looking at the inter-agency policy on data quality task force and starting other conversations specific to the Drinking Water program and timely with the MUR. It was to be signed yesterday, but has not happened yet.
CSDEC – Bob Wyeth
Meetings this week have been very successful. Many parts of the standard are moving through drafts and we are working very hard to finish everything that can be done effectively for the 2015 Standard. We have a new version of SOP 2-100 and are working with the Board-recommended task group to make sure the changes are going to improve the process. Credit to Ken for lots of good work. We did a final vote today and it passed. Then it will be moving on to policy for their review and hopefully approval. One more exciting item – we are sending to the Board the Toxicity Committee charter for review and approval for a new expert committee. All charters for the ECs were passed today except for LAB. There are openings on virtually all ECs.
Laboratory Accreditation Body – Carl Kircher
This committee has a new chair. There was no session at this conference but there will be one in Chicago. There is discussion of merging Volume 2, Module 1 and Module 3.
Quality Systems – Ilona Taunton
This was a working meeting, discussing and deciding the direction and format on the handbook.
Chemistry Expert Committee – Richard Burrows
We had a full day meeting on Tuesday. We focused on detection and quantitation standard language. We had lots of comments and great discussion. Next step is to adopt the guidance on that standard. The Calibration Standard was passed before Christmas. There are a few comments to address and a little bit to fix there. Methods Update Rule is to be published in the federal registry soon. Revised MDL language will be part of that rule.
PTP EC – Maria Friedman
Discussed mainly SIRs. Needed to talk with the AC – lots of discussions and resolutions to present to the committee. POTP table concerns should be resolved soon. We have a number member – Dixie Marlen and volunteer for the Micro subcommittee. We need a chair for the SOP subcommittee.
PTP and PTPA held meetings in January regarding the gathering of data – to have enough or sufficient data concentration ranges and acceptance data and to address concerns and complaints that we receive regularly.
PTEC – Shawn Kassner
We had a great meeting. We received lots of comments for moving Volumes 3 and 4 to WDS and more toward VDS. Comments for Volumes 1 and 2 were dealt with – those will be voted on soon and moved to MWDS or to VDS.
Microbiology Committee – Robin Cook
Ours was a working meeting. We accepted comments on the WDS – we had 30 comments and got through all of them. We made some changes to the standard based on the comments however, they didn’t change the intent what the committee was trying to say. Approximately 2 weeks to VDS.
Radiochemistry Committee – Ilona Taunton
This was a working meeting. We made it through all the comments. The VDS will be done in the next 3 weeks.
FAC – Ilona Taunton
This was a working meeting. We finished 3 FSMO tools which will be on the website soon. We completed most of the application for ANSI. Field Activities will be doing the same thing. A scope document is being developed to help ABs and FSMOs – will send through Policy for approval.
SSAS – Carl Kircher
Our meeting was spent working on the sulfurite acid miss audit sample – uncharacteristic high failure rate. We are going to do some investigations as to why. New chair of the SSAS – Tom Widera.
Volumes 1 and 3 have been through of the VDS without any comments so we can go to final standard now.
NELAP – Aaren Alger
EPA Office of Water – discussion of expectations of EPA DW program on states. Would like to do something like this once a year in the winter. Any primacy state will be invited. Talked about a way to make the course more accessible to all assessors and will continue to work on this.
Afternoon meeting: The AC believes there are a lot of operating policies (20) that may need work and prioritized the top 5 that LAS can work on for us.
There will be minutes for the session with the EPA but not sure if they will be public. They are not secret, but are also not a TNI-thing.
LAS EC – Judy Morgan
This was a working meeting. We discussed 2 things – assessment forum and mentor session. The Assessment Forum was very successful. No feedback yet on the Mentor Session. It was not well attended, but seemed to be effective for those that were there.
We did some housekeeping on SOPs – it was helpful to learn about the process and make changes. Discussed what “suitability” actually means and came up with bullet points that will help the review process. Good learning process. And we have a potential schedule of standards coming up for review.
NEFAP EC – Kim Watson
Working meeting. Received recommendation letter for a fully-recognized AB. The big topic was efficacy, how to let people know the NEFAP Standard is out there and can be used to demonstrate competency, and how to get the users back to these meetings. Great suggestions from FSMOs, including changes to the website. We had a discussion on the mobile lab and there is a survey that needs to go out on that. We are losing 4 members.
Policy Committee – Alfredo Sotomayor
NGAB work group and TNRC joint session gave a progress report of what has been done and timelines for what’s coming up.
Advocacy Committee – Steve Arms
Working session. Recapped what had been heard through the week and tasks that the Advocacy Committee should be involved with. An AB that we hope can apply soon, CA is actively working to revamp their accreditation system; TNI will have a part in that as well. Trade associations (ACIL) would like to be more involved in a symbiotic relationship with TNI and those organizations. Next newsletter is coming out in late March/early April. Articles and authors have been identified. Most of the time was spent working on the tasks we have been assigned as a result of the October 2014 Strategic Planning Meeting – 14 different objectives, primarily under outreach goals. We have made significant inroads into this.
The Strategic Plan is still in draft – as soon as it is approved by Board it will be available to everyone.
IT Committee – Jerry Parr
This was the best meeting we ever had. Thank you to everyone that came and gave feedback. We are very close to launching a different look to the website that everyone will like a lot. The main change is in the navigation - you can get to what you want a whole lot quicker. Thanks to William for a tremendous job there. We have a little more clean up to do, and in a week or two will go live. Please provide comments. We also discussed LAMS, the General Application, methods, and analyte codes. There has been great progress on the methods compendium. Labs and lab assessors should be able to link to any method in our database. Progress on the General Application is slow and we should have more to report in Chicago.