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Standard Practice for Generation of Environmental Data Related to Waste Management Activities: Development of Data Quality Objectives

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Standard Practice for Generation of Environmental Data Related to Waste Management Activities: Development of Data Quality Objectives


1.1 This practice covers the process of development of data quality objectives (DQOs) for the acquisition of environmental data. Optimization of sampling and analysis design is a part of the DQO process. This practice describes the DQO process in detail. The various strategies for design optimization are too numerous to include in this practice. Many other documents outline alternatives for optimizing sampling and analysis design. Therefore, only an overview of design optimization is included. Some design aspects are included in the practice's examples for illustration purposes.

1.2 DQO development is the first of three parts of data generation activities. The other two aspects are ( 1) implementation of the sampling and analysis strategies, see Guide D 6311 and (2) data quality assessment, see Guide D 6233.

1.3 This guide should be used in concert with Practices D 5283, D 6250, and Guide D 6044. Practice D 5283 outlines the quality assurance (QA) processes specified during planning and used during implementation. Guide D 6044 outlines a process by which a representative sample may be obtained from a population, identifies sources that can affect representativeness and describes the attributes of a representative sample. Practice D 6250 describes how a decision point can be calculated.

1.4 Environmental data related to waste management activities include, but are not limited to, the results from the sampling and analyses of air, soil, water, biota, process or general waste samples, or any combinations thereof.

1.5 The DQO process is a planning process and should be completed prior to sampling and analysis activities.

1.6 This practice presents extensive requirements of management, designed to ensure high-quality environmental data. The words "must" and "shall" (requirements), "should" (recommendation), and "may" (optional), have been selected carefully to reflect the importance placed on many of the statements in this practice. The extent to which all requirements will be met remains a matter of technical judgment.

1.7 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Significance and Use

Environmental data are often required for making regulatory and programmatic decisions. Decision makers must determine whether the levels of assurance associated with the data are sufficient in quality for their intended use.

Data generation efforts involve three parts: development of DQOs and subsequent project plan(s) to meet the DQOs, implementation and oversight of the project plan(s), and assessment of the data quality to determine whether the DQOs were met.

To determine the level of assurance necessary to support the decision, an iterative process must be used by decision makers, data collectors, and users. This practice emphasizes the iterative nature of the process of DQO development. Objectives may need to be reevaluated and modified as information related to the level of data quality is gained. This means that DQOs are the product of the DQO process and are subject to change as data are gathered and assessed.

This practice defines the process of developing DQOs. Each step of the planning process is described.

This practice emphasizes the importance of communication among those involved in developing DQOs, those planning and implementing the sampling and analysis aspects of environmental data generation activities, and those assessing data quality.

The impacts of a successful DQO process on the project are as follows: (1) a consensus on the nature of the problem and the desired decision shared by all the decision makers, (2) data quality consistent with its intended use, (3) a more resource-efficient sampling and analysis design, (4) a planned approach to data collection and evaluation, (5) quantitative criteria for knowing when to stop sampling, and (6) known measure of risk for making an incorrect decision.


data quality objectives; DQOs; project planning; waste analysis; waste testing; ICS Number Code 13.030.99 (Other standards related to wastes)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

11.04 (Waste Management)

To find similar documents by classification:

13.030.99 (Other standards related to wastes Including waste prevention)

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Document Number


Revision Level

2002 R06 EDITION



Modification Type


Publication Date

May 1, 2006

Document Type


Page Count

17 pages

Committee Number