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Systematic Planning for Environmental Decision-Making DOE EM-3 Day 2 DQO Training Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment EPA Conference Center Rocky Mountain Room 999 18th Street Denver, CO 80202 Wednesday, October 30, 2002. Day 2 DQO Training Course Module 0.

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Systematic Planning for Environmental Decision-MakingDOE EM-3 Day 2 DQO TrainingColorado Department of PublicHealth & EnvironmentEPA Conference CenterRocky Mountain Room999 18th Street Denver, CO 80202Wednesday, October 30, 2002


EM-3 DQO Mission:

  • Make defensible decisions by managing uncertainty via systematic planning
  • Institutionalize the standardized Data Quality Objectives (DQO) Process (systematic planning) throughout the Department of Energy (DOE) complex
day 2 course objectives
Day 2 Course Objectives
  • Learn
    • “How to” for each activity in each of the 7 steps of the DQO Process
  • Basic statistical concepts using hands-on examples and computer simulations
  • How to manage uncertainty in the sampling and analysis design process
  • New Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “TRIAD” approach for implementation of sampling

Systematic Planning

Dynamic Work Plans

Real-Time Measurement Technologies

The TRIAD Approach

important how to concepts
Important “How To” Concepts
  • Scoping is the most important activity
  • Poor scoping promotes distrust between regulators and facility managers
  • Using an independent facilitator who has technical knowledge promotes agreement between different opinions
  • Interviews with decision makers promote consensus and resolution of global issues
important how to concepts cont
Important “How To” Concepts (cont.)
  • Global issues are those that do not require data to resolve but are crucial for success
  • Global issues are those that include interpretation of regulations
  • Resolution of global issues ensures technical staff resolve disagreements between decision makers prior to developing sampling designs
  • Good decisions require defensible sampling and analysis designs
statistical concepts
Statistical Concepts
  • Generate frequency distributions
  • Transform data from numerical to graphical
  • Generate histograms
  • Generate Probability Density Functions
  • Evaluate error consequences versus target error rates
  • Evaluate error rates & number of samples versus cost of analysis
how many samples do i need
How Many Samples do I Need?




  • Population is the TOTAL universe of objects within the decision unit
  • The only way to make decisions without errors is to take a CENSUS
  • Can’t sample or “measure” the ENTIRE site
  • Population must therefore be sampled representatively


uncertainty is additive analytical sub sampling natural heterogeneity of the site total uncertainty
Uncertainty is additive!Analytical + Sub-sampling +Natural heterogeneity of the site=Total Uncertainty

Are unavoidable!

to control sampling error
To Control Sampling Error
  • Control sub-sampling methods and sample mixing methods
  • Take larger sample volumes
  • Reduce particle size
  • Specify methods that fit the sample size and particle size
  • Increase sample density by performing more on-site, rapid analyses



can be



Day 2 DQO Training CourseModule 1

The EPA 7-Step DQO Process

Step 1 - State the Problem


Sebastian Tindall

(60 minutes)

(15 minute Morning Break)


Day 2 DQO Training CourseModule 2

The EPA 7-Step DQO Process

Step 2 - Identify the Decisions

Presenter: Sebastian Tindall

(15 minutes)


Day 2 DQO Training CourseModule 3

The EPA 7-Step DQO Process

Step 3 - Identify Inputs


Sebastian Tindall

(45 minutes)


Day 2 DQO Training CourseModule 4

The EPA 7-Step DQO Process

Step 4 - Specify Boundaries


Sebastian Tindall

(30 minutes)


Day 2 DQO Training CourseModule 5

The EPA 7-Step DQO Process

Step 5 - Define Decision Rules

Presenter: Sebastian Tindall

(15 minutes)


Day 2 DQO Training CourseModule 6

The EPA 7-Step DQO Process

Step 6 - Specify Error Tolerances

Presenter: Sebastian Tindall

(40 minutes)


Day 2 DQO Training CourseModule 7

The EPA 7-Step DQO Process

Step 7 - Optimize Sample Design


Sebastian Tindall

(70 minutes)

closing remarks

Day 2 DQO Training CourseModule 8

Closing Remarks

Presenter: Sebastian Tindall

(10 minutes)


Day 2 DQO Training CourseExercises

The EPA 7-Step DQO Process

Statistical Concepts and Demonstrations

Presenter: Chuck Ramsey

Appendix A:
    • Thomas Grumbly DOE DQO directive, September 1994
  • Appendix B:
    • Timothy Fields EPA OSWER directive, June 1999
  • Appendix C:
    • Expedited Site Characterization Field Quality Assurance Meeting minutes, January 1994

Note: Appendices have been removed from the binders but can be found on our web site:

Appendix D: Effective Data
    • Deana Crumbling, U.S. EPA-HQ
      • ES&T: Managing Uncertainty…
      • White Paper: Triad Approach…
      • White Paper: Applying Effective Data...
      • White Paper: Relationship: SW-846, PBMS...
      • White Paper: Clarifying DQO Terminology…
    • Dr. Bart Simmons, CAL/EPA DTSC
      • Using Field Methods: Court decisions
    • Dr. Al Robbat, Tufts University
      • Dynamic Work Plans & Field Analytics
    • Sebastian Tindall, BHI
      • ESC M-Cubed Approach
      • Culture Change Flow Chart
Appendix E:
    • List of Acronyms and Symbols used in course materials
  • Appendix F:
    • U.S. EPA ORDER 5360.1 A2 CHG 2 May 5, 2000


we want to help you

Do it!

(Get the job done - right)

Prove it!

(Document what/why/how)


We want to help you:
final exam preview
Final Exam Preview
  • Old answer - A painful elaboration of the obvious
  • Hint: Answer has 3 items

What is the DQO Process in a Nutshell?