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OQA Bulletin Board
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Information Required to be Supplied When Requesting Initial Certification: In order for the Office of Quality Assurance to streamline the certification process for granting initial certification, effective October 1, 2017, any laboratories requesting a modification for addition of analytes to their current scope must submit a complete application for initial certification in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:18-2.5. This process will apply to all initial certification requests, including requests made with the annual renewal application. The application must include at a minimum the following documentation in order to be considered complete:
  • 1.) Application: A completed Part I and Part III of the application package. Only the applicable pages of the Part III shall be submitted. A Part II must be submitted if any new categories are being added to the laboratory’s Annual Certified Parameter List (ACPL). *
  • 2.) All associated fees, including the $400 modification fee and any associated category fees for new categories not currently listed on the laboratory’s ACPL.** The modification fee is waived if the request is submitted as part of the renewal application.
  • 3.) A draft SOP for the new parameter(s)/method(s).
  • 4.) MDL(s) (if applicable).
  • 5.) Precision and Accuracy (P/A) study or Demonstration of Capability (DOC) and the associated raw data.
  • 6.) Proficiency Test (PT) provider name and study number(s) used.
  • 7.) PT raw data package.

  • *If a Part II is being submitted all required educational, employment and training information; and documentary evidence in support of education, training and experience (transcripts, training course certificates, resumes, etc.) must be included.

  • **If a laboratory is applying for a user defined method a review fee of $600 may be required before the OQA can review the data package.
If any of the above documentation is not submitted the application will be considered incomplete and the laboratory will be notified of any discrepancies. The package will be placed on hold or returned to the laboratory until all the required documentation is received. Once all the required information is received the laboratory will be placed in Applied status and an auditor will be assigned. The items noted above are the minimum items that are required to be submitted in order to start the initial application process. Additional documentation and/or an on-site audit may be necessary to obtain certification. The laboratory will be notified by the auditor if any additional information or an on-site audit is required. All complete applications are processed in the order in which they are received. The submittal of an incomplete package will delay the processing of your application and the request will not be placed in the que for review until a complete application is received.

The documentation noted above will not routinely be required for laboratory’s that hold NJ-NELAP secondary accreditation. However, if a modified method is being requested for secondary accreditation, or if a modified method is listed on your primary Accreditation Body’s scope, the above documentation shall be submitted in order to verify the modifications made are acceptable for the analysis of New Jersey samples.

The OQA may request additional information in support of certification at any time.

FY2018 Renewal: Changes to Part III: In response to new technologies, newly regulated parameters and to provide pathways for laboratory certification that meet the needs of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Office of Quality Assurance (OQA) has updated the laboratory certification methods/parameters/techniques it offers for certification. View the http://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/oqa/docs/partIIIchangesforbb.pdf link to see all of the changes to the OQAs Part III from September 30, 2016 to date.

September 29, 2016: Changes to Part III
In response to new technologies, newly regulated parameters and to provide pathways for laboratory certification that meet the needs of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Office of Quality Assurance (OQA) has updated the laboratory certification methods/parameters/techniques it offers for certification. View the list of updates to the Part III link to see all of the changes to the OQAs Part III from February 26, 2016 to date.

Revisions to New Jersey 48 Hour Rapid Gross Alpha Testing
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has made revisions to the New Jersey 48 Hour Rapid Gross Alpha method, ECLS-R-GA, Rev. 8.  All drinking water laboratories were notified by a letter dated September 26, 2014.  Revised MEMO of September 26, 2014View a copy of the method, ECLS-R-GA, Rev. 8.   

Laboratories are required to implement the changes as soon as possible and no later than January 1, 2015.  Laboratories shall forward to the OQA a revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and data generated using the revised criteria as outlined in the letter.  Upon receipt of acceptable documentation, the OQA will issue an updated Annual Certified Parameter List (ACPL) for the laboratory that includes the method and revision number.  After January 1, 2015, the Department will not accept data from laboratories that did not implement the revisions and did not obtain an updated ACPL form the Department.

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: www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/pdf/MRF_Manual.pdf

Guidance Documents
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

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).

 
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Last Updated: September 28, 2017