[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 247 (Wednesday, December 26, 2012)]
[Pages 76035-76036]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-31096]



[EPA-HQ-OEI-2012-0774; FRL-9764-3]

Office of Environmental Information; Announcement of Availability 
and Comment Period for the Draft Quality Standard for Environmental 
Data Collection, Production, and Use by Non-EPA (External) 
Organizations and two associated QA Handbooks

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability & request for comment.


SUMMARY: Notice of availability for a 30 day review and comment period 
is hereby given for the draft Quality Standard for Environmental Data 
Collection, Production, and Use by Non-EPA (External) Organizations and 
two associated draft QA Handbooks; 1) draft Handbook for Preparing 
Quality Management Plans (QMPs) and 2) draft Handbook for Preparing 
Quality Assurance (QA) Project Plans (QAPPs).
    The draft Quality Standard for Environmental Data Collection, 
Production, and Use by Non-EPA (External) Organizations contains no new 

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before January 25, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OEI-2012-0774 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: oei.docket@epa.gov
     Fax: 202-566-9744
     Mail: Announcement of Availability and Comment Period for 
Draft Quality Standard For Environmental Data Collection, Production, 
and Use By Non-EPA (External) Organizations Environmental Protection 
Agency, Mail code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.,Washington, DC 
     Hand Delivery: 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., EPA West 
Building, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20460.
    Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours 
of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of 
boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OEI-
2012-0774. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov. The 
www.regulations.gov website is an ``anonymous access'' system, which 
means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you 
provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment 
directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email 
address will be automatically captured and included as part of the 
comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the 
Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you 
include your name and other contact information in the body of your 
comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your 
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic 
files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of 
encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Warren; Environmental Protection 
Agency; 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, MC 2811R; Washington, DC 20460; 
Phone: 202 564-6876; Fax: 202 565 2441; Email: quality@epa.gov

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The draft Standard provides greater clarity 
about QA requirements for environmental data projects; addresses 
modeling activities, which were not specifically addressed in the 
previous EPA Order (CIO

[[Page 76036]]

2105.0) \1\ and provides greater alignment with the EPA Quality Policy 
(CIO 2106.0)\2\. The draft Quality Standard defines how EPA quality 
requirements shall be applied to non-EPA organizations under authorized 
agreements governed by Federal regulations; and defines the general 
requirements an organization shall use to establish and maintain an 
effective quality management system for environmental programs. Non-EPA 
organizations will still be required to develop and submit a Quality 
Management Plan to EPA for approval for environmental data operations 
conducted on behalf of EPA and to use QAPPs or equivalent documents to 
establish quality specifications in individual project activities that 
collect, produce, and use environmental data.

    \1\ http://intranet.epa.gov/quality/documents/21050.pdf
    \2\ http://intranet.epa.gov/quality/documents/21060.pdf

    The draft Quality Standard contains appendices which provide the 
requirements for QMPs and the requirements for QA Project Plans. When 
the standards are issued, EPA QA/R-2, EPA Requirements for Quality 
Management Plans, March 2001 (Reissued May 2006) \3\ and EPA QA/R-5, 
EPA Requirements for Quality Assurance Project Plans, March 2001 
(Reissued May 2006) \4\ will be rescinded. Section 2.3.1 of the draft 
Quality Standard describes how this will impact non-EPA organizations 
with existing external agreements. Design of the draft Handbooks 
provides assistance to users creating QMPs and QAPPs that address the 
specifications listed in the draft Quality Standard.

    \3\ http://www.epa.gov/quality/qs-docs/r2-final.pdf
    \4\ http://www.epa.gov/quality/qs-docs/r5-final.pdf

    EPA also plans to issue a Quality Standard for Environmental 
Collection, Production and Use by EPA organizations. The content of 
this standard is similar to the draft Quality Standard for External 
Organizations. This draft Quality Standard is currently being reviewed 
by EPA organizations. It is anticipated that both Quality Standards 
will be issued simultaneously.

    Dated: December 18, 2012.
Monica D. Jones,
Director, Quality Staff.
[FR Doc. 2012-31096 Filed 12-21-12; 4:15 pm]