Division of Environmental Quality

Operations Manual

Chapter 4 - Environmental Sampling (Revised 09/11)

4.1 Overview | 4.1.1 Water Protection Program | 4.1.2 Air Pollution Control Program |
4.1.3 Public Drinking Water Program
| 4.1.4 Solid Waste Program |
4.1.5 Hazardous Waste Program
| 4.2 Required Equipment Inventory and Supplies |
4.3 Care, Maintenance and Calibration of Equipment
| 4.4 Quality Assurance and Control

4.1 Overview

The majority of environmental sampling performed by the department’s regional office staff is associated with drinking water and water pollution complaint investigations and facility inspections. Investigations and inspections associated with air pollution and solid waste regulations may also necessitate the collection of environmental samples. The sampling of hazardous waste sites is generally conducted by the Environmental Services Program, not the regional office. See the information about sampling considerations for a quick review.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources Environmental Services Program, has established several standard operating procedures related to the collection of environmental samples. The standard operating procedures are intended as guidance for departmental personnel to ensure analytical data is of sufficient quality to be scientifically valid and legally defensible. See the Environmental Services Program Standard Operating Procedures Home Page. Personnel shall be required to regularly check the web page to ensure adherence to the most up-to-date guidance.

All department staff who may collect environmental samples for analysis must meet, at a minimum, the following requirements:

When conducting investigations or inspections, personnel shall carry with them the equipment, supplies, and documents necessary to properly conduct a sampling event.

Regional offices shall be required to establish written quality assurance/quality control programs, and acquire and maintain specific supplies and equipment to conduct valid and defensible environmental sampling. Organized and documented training will be conducted at least quarterly.

In addition to these general requirements, brief descriptions of program-specific needs are set forth below.

4.1.1 Water Protection Program

Regional office personnel routinely conduct site inspections in accordance with work plans or Quality Assurance Project Plans provided by the Water Protection Program. In addition, field personnel are responsible for responding to citizen complaints regarding pollution of waters of the state, which may call for on-site investigations. When conducting an inspection or investigation, field personnel determine if there is a necessity for a sampling event.

In addition to common field instruments, regional office personnel may also employ field colorimetric test kits (ammonia for example) as part of their duties. In addition to the annual “Basic Sampling” course requirement, personnel shall be responsible for becoming trained and maintaining proficiency in the use of any proprietary colorimetric test kits or field screening systems purchased and maintained in their respective region.

4.1.2 Air Pollution Control Program

Regional office personnel intermittently collect environmental samples for asbestos-containing materials or fugitive dust. Inspectors receive training to become certified asbestos inspectors through an accredited private entity and are required to attend annual refreshers to maintain that certification. In addition to the annual “Basic Sampling” course requirement, inspectors shall be responsible for maintaining their inspector certification in order to conduct work related to asbestos. Regional office personnel also need to be familiar with the sample handling procedures dictated by the private laboratory to which these types of samples are sent.

4.1.3 Public Drinking Water Program

Regional office drinking water facility inspectors intermittently perform environmental sampling at public drinking water treatment plants and distribution systems to ensure the public’s safety and regulatory compliance.

In addition to common field instruments, drinking water inspectors may also employ field colorimetric tests (chlorine for example). In addition to the annual “Basic Sampling” course requirement, personnel shall be responsible for becoming trained and maintaining proficiency in the use of any proprietary colorimetric test systems purchased and maintained in their respective region.

Drinking water inspectors also intermittently conduct bacteriological sampling at drinking water facilities. Bacteriological samples are currently shipped to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, or DHSS, for analysis or, by special arrangement, to a local or regional contract lab. Drinking water inspectors must be aware of and follow DHSS sample handling procedures for bacteriological samples.

4.1.4 Solid Waste Program

Regional office personnel may perform monitoring for methane gas at landfills using field-portable instruments (i.e., flame ionization detectors). Personnel shall be responsible for becoming trained and maintaining proficiency in the use of any field-portable instruments purchased and maintained in their respective region.

4.1.5 Hazardous Waste Program

Regional office personnel routinely conduct complaint investigations or inspections at permitted hazardous waste facilities where environmental sampling may be required to determine whether a material can be defined as hazardous or to ensure regulatory compliance. Personnel charged with these duties should, at a minimum, be required to attend a 40-hour hazardous materials operations course in order to carry out duties where they may become exposed to hazardous materials. Due to the inherent health and safety issues and the wide scope of potential scenarios related to hazardous materials sampling, regional office staff shall request assistance from the department’s Environmental Services Program when such sampling is needed. The Environmental Services Program maintains the equipment and trained staff necessary to carry out sampling events in these environments.

4.2  Required Equipment Inventory and Supplies

The Division of Environmental Quality will work with the regional offices to specify the types of equipment that will be purchased and maintained in inventory.

Each regional office shall, at a minimum, maintain the following equipment and supplies to accommodate the proper collection of environmental samples:

Each region should consider having duplicate equipment in case of primary equipment malfunction or when the same equipment is needed at multiple locations simultaneously.

4.3 Care, Maintenance and Calibration of Equipment

To ensure good quality, defensible data are obtained, it is critical that field instruments and equipment are properly stored and maintained in good working order, that field personnel are familiar with instrument calibration and the manufacturers’ operational procedures, and that instruments are calibrated regularly and that records of the sampling event are clear and accurate.

4.4 Quality Assurance and Control

It shall be required that each regional and satellite office implements a field instrument quality control program. All personnel using field instrumentation shall participate at least quarterly in an organized, QA/AC exercise. The purpose of a quality control program is to routinely check and document the accuracy of the instruments. Implementing a quality control program will help ensure that field equipment is properly maintained and kept in good working condition. Refer to MDNR-ESP-213 Quality Control Procedures for Checking Water Quality Field Instruments for additional information and examples for establishing a field instrument quality control program.

In addition to establishing and maintaining a quality control program for field instruments, regional personnel must be familiar with and follow ESP standard operating procedures regarding quality control for samples collected and submitted to ESP for analysis. MDNR-ESP-210 contains the basic information of the ESP quality control/quality assurance program. Regional office personnel should collect quality control samples at approximately ten percent of their total number of samples.