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OQA Bulletin Board Archives

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February 23, 2016: : Additional category codes added 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 additional category codes/parameters/methods added to the OQAs Part III from September 1, 2015 to February 22, 2016.
Delayed Mailing of the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY2016) Renewal Applications
The mailing of the FY2016 renewal applications will be delayed this year due to the anticipated April 20, 2015 adoption of the amendments to the Regulations Governing the Certification of Laboratories and Environmental Measurements N.J.A.C. 7:18 et. seq. Letter sent to all laboratories informing them of this delay.
May 2013: 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: 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 ( should you require any additional laboratory certification information about the approvals for the use of the methods.
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    

  • 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.
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 11-9-12 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.

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.

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.

March 2008: New Analytical Methods Available for Certification - 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.

13.0 References:
#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 listed below.

Attachment 1 (PDF) –  Table 1 - List of Chemical and Biological Test Procedures Removed and Alternate Approved Replacement Methods and Table 2 - Replacement Options for Petroleum Hydrocarbons

Attachment 2 (PDF) –  NJDEP Schedule for Responding to Methods Update Rule (MUR)

Attachment 3  (PDF) –  Submittal Requirements for Requesting Changes to Certification and Accreditation Status

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.

Enterococci 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 to 0.1mm.

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 Waller.

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) .


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