As a result of recent highly publicized incidents, energy producers have recognized the need to place an emphasis on the preparation and planning for the services required to successfully guide the critical chemical and scientific data collection activities that are needed in response to an oil spill incident. In preparing for an emergency response, the need to develop guidance that specifies the types of samples and proper methods of collection, analyses, and documentation required when responding to an oil spill should be in place. This information can be used by responders to assess potential impact to human and ecological health; to determine fate and effect; to identify source, age, and degree of weathering; and to maximize defensibility of data. The guidance needs to span the early stages of a spill response through the subsequent stages of preservation and retention of samples.

This poster will report on lessons learned on recent emergency response incidents, as they relate to collaborating efforts to help ensure that the proper processes are being followed and data quality is being maintained from sample collection through data reporting. This collaboration needs to include efforts on preparing project control documents (e.g., standard operating procedures, sampling plans, and health and safety plans) and conducting oversights of field activities for compliance with these documents; developing a laboratory program that includes laboratory auditing, data verification and validation, and proper quality control requirements; and implementing a program-wide, enterprise-level data management system. Each of these processes will help ensure that the data generated are of known and acceptable quality; the data can be used for the intended purpose; and that the data are readily available to project personnel and federal, state, and local environmental officials.

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