This web site was copied prior to January 20, 2005. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links, forms, and search boxes may not function within this collection. Learn more.   [hide]

Executive Summary

Final Minutes from Meeting

Methods and Data Comparability Board

October 25th and 26th, Reston, Virginia

A total of 29 participants attended the meeting either by phone or in person. Federal agencies represented included EPA, USGS, ACOE, DOE, and CDC. States represented included Virginia, Delaware River Basin Commission (New Jersey), Wisconsin, and New York. Other monitoring interests represented were ASTM, Standard Methods, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Eastman Chemical, Montgomery Watson, Tetra Tech, Waste Policy Institute, SMi, and Kent State University.

Agenda

The Board will not schedule concurrent workgroup meetings in the future

Biology Workgroup Meeting

Workgroup goals are to provide data fields and data elements for NEMI database and to develop a framework for characterizing and comparing methods for PBMS. There are four sub-workgroups -Field Methods, Toxicology, Immunoasssay, and Microbiology. As the methods database is developed it will need a broad review by outside experts.

Nutrient Workgroup Meeting

Workgroup defined nutrients as a compound necessary for metabolism, however, forms of nitrogen and phosphorous are the elements that will be concentrated on. The mission was defined as to provide information to help users determine comparability of different nutrient methods, including field collection, sample handling and laboratory analyses. The primary Workgroup objective will be to provide input for NEMI and PBMS.

STORETX

Lee Manning presented information about the new STORET system. The system is now available and includes better biology data coverage, is more readily available to all clients, includes better data quality documentation, and is linked to GIS applications.

NCOD

Chuck Job presented information about the National Contaminant Occurrence Database. The database has a drinking water focus and includes data from about 70,000 drinking water systems across the country. The NCOD includes 84 regulated and 48 non regulated contaminants. The database includes 11 metadata elements and proposes 9 more. Chuck would like the Board to help better define the necessary data elements for the database.

PBMS Workgroup Meeting

The Workgroup commented on and revised version 4.0 of the PBMS position paper. The new version will be sent to the Board and the Council for review during November then a final draft will be prepared for approval by the Council at the January meeting. A powerpoint presentation of the position paper was revised for presentation to the Council during their October meeting. A Workgroup conference call is planned for December 8th.

NEMI Workgroup Meeting

The Workgroup reviewed and revised the powerpoint presentation of the National Environmental Methods Index database for the Council meeting in October. The Workgroup discussed possible approaches to NEMI creation: create a new database form scratch; use an existing database (EMMI by EPA or the WPI database); or create a full methods database. The issues of how and where the NEMI would be maintained and what software would be used were also discussed. The issue of a user-friendly front to the NEMI was also discussed. A position paper that addresses many of these issues will be prepared for review at the January meeting. A prioritized list of methods should be prepared so that if funding is obtained there is a plan for which methods should be included first.

Workgroup Reports

Accreditation Workgroup reported that an initial conference call had been held and a workplan had begun to be developed. The three objectives of the Accrediation Workgroup are: coordination of Board with NELAC; USG/NWQL accreditation; and a position paper on the NELAC approach. The Board will present an update to the NELAC Board on November 19th.

Public Outreach Workgroup reviewed the powerpoint presentation on the outreach workplan for presentation to the Council during their October meeting. A draft slide show of the Boards activities was also presented for Board review. The Board Fact Sheet will be mailed out in December. A workplan will be prepared for review at the January meeting.

Board Activities

The Board needs to review their charter and mission and be sure that the Workgroups are tackling the highest priority activities and develop a strategic plan for future Workgroups. There is concern that the Board is working at capacity and any other Workgroups would need to be filled with individuals from outside the current Board membership. A de facto Steering Committee that includes the Board Co-chairs, the Executive Secretary, and Jerry has been in operation. The Board approved continuing the operation of the Steering Committee with the current membership. The Board minutes will continue to be prepared as they have been and will be posted on the website for 30 days of review prior to making them final. An Action Items list will be maintained and updated. Actions achieved will be moved to a completed action list and maintained. The next Board meeting will be in Phoenix, Arizona at the San Carlos Hotel on January 25th and 26th, 1999.

Minutes from Methods Board Meeting

October 25-26, 1998

USGS Center, Reston, VA

Participants

Katherine Alben - NY Dept. Health/SUNY

Harold Ardourel – USGS, WRD (by phone)

Richard Ayers - VADEQ

Bob Berger - EBMUD/AMSA

Herb Brass - EPA

Bob Carlson - Kent State

Gary Cottrell – USGS, WRD

Jerry Diamond - Tetra Tech

Andy Eaton – Mont. Watson/Std. Methods

Michalann Harthill – USGS, BRD

Alden Henderson - CDC

Chris Ingersoll - USGS

Chuck Job - EPA

Larry Keith - WPI

John Klein – USGS, WRD

Lee Manning - EPA

Dennis McChesney - EPA Region 1

Tom McAninch – Eastman Chemical

Mike Miller - WDNR

Stan Morton - DOE

Charles Patton – USGS, WRD

Ken Pearson - ASTM

Charlie Peters – USGS, WRD

Jack Rowe - SMi

Ed Santoro - DBRC

Merle Shockey – USGS, WRD

Chuck Spooner - EPA

Ann Strong - ACOE

Francesca Wilde – USGS, WRD

Agenda

Provided as Attachment 1

Discussed difficulty of concurrent sessions due to board members interest in multiple Workgroups. The two concurrent groups will meet together after the concurrent sessions are completed. Will not attempt concurrent sessions in future meetings.

Biology Workgroup Meeting- Participants: Dennis McChesney, Herb Brass, Gary Cottrell, Katherine Alben (co-chair), Chris Ingersoll (co-chair), Mike Miller (co-chair), Francesca Wilde, Chuck Spooner, Jerry Diamond

The Biological Methods Workgroup has specified two goals so far: the database, which is connected to the overall Compendium being handled by the Compendium Workgroup; the second goal, developing a framework for characterizing and comparing performance of biological methods, is related to the PBMS Workgroup.

All agreed that Microbiological methods need to be incorporated into the Biological Methods Workgroup activities. Herb mentioned that there is a need for comparison and compilation of microbiological method across agencies. All concurred that there needs to be more microbiological expertise in the Workgroup. Herb suggested Gene Rice (EPA) and Francesca suggested Donna Francy (USGS) as a possibility. Bob Carlson suggested Laura Leff (Kent State University). Alden Henderson also expressed some interest in the Workgroup.

For microbiological methods the Workgroup should evaluate EPA’s Contaminants Candidate List (CCL). The EPA’s strategy for the CCL which may be useful to the Workgroup is provided as an EPA related link.on the website In addition, both sampling and analytical microbiological methods should be considered and included. Another application of microbiological methods is in toxicity identification work in which probes are used to identify or quantitate pathogens.

Biological Methods Database

Before going too far forward in developing a database for biological methods, the Board needs to discuss and determine who will house the Compendium and how it will be maintained. Also, there needs to be some framework in place to ensure that information in the Compendium is accurate and current. It is not clear yet how this will be accomplished. This is particularly critical for biological methods because they change so frequently.

A useful application of the biological methods database would be to identify needs for microbiological (and other types of) methods development.

Under the field and biological assessment methods subgroup, we need to add habitat assessments and other field methods that are relevant to aquatic resources. It was noted that we need to coordinate our efforts concerning field collection methods with activities of the nutrient Workgroup.

Katherine noted that for immunoassays, RCRA already has some standardized methods that may serve as reference methods. In terms of identifying or classifying performance characteristics of biological methods, we need to link our efforts with the PBMS Workgroup.

There was a general discussion as to what methods should or should not be included in the biological methods database. It was agreed that for now, we should not be too exclusive, however, the database should reflect the completeness of performance characterization for each method or types of methods. To help a user identify completeness of method characterization, it was suggested that there should be a ranking system that indicates the degree to which method characterization has been documented. This rank would then be included with the user’s search for methods.

Stan noted that DOE has a compendium of chemical methods and that the organization of the database is goal specific; i.e., DQOs are specified by the user and methods are provided that meet those DQOs. This might be worth considering for Biological Methods. The question will be how DQOs can be defined for biological methods and how one documents that a given biological method meets certain DQOs. This is the basis of the Workgroup’s second goal.

Priorities of the Biological Methods Workgroup for FY _99

The Compendium should be started for the following types of methods, all of which have relatively extensive information available:

Because the state-of-the-art for these methods is changing rapidly and performance characteristics are often poorly documented, we must be sure to convey to the user that the Biological Methods database reflects the current state-of-the-art and is not an endorsement of these methods.

What should be the review process for deciding what methods are initially in the database and that the information presented for methods is accurate? All agreed that there needs to be broad review by experts outside the Board. Herb noted that the review process should be part of public outreach to get experts involved with Methods Board activities.

Because method performance characteristics are likely to be sparsely documented, the Workgroup agreed it will be necessary to include a narrative or discussion of general performance by method type that includes where (i.e., under what conditions or for what questions) certain methods can and should be used and where they should not be used. These narratives would not be method-specific, but rather summaries for the particular database subsection as a whole (e.g., field methods, microbiological methods, toxicity methods). In the general summaries, we can address the pros and cons of various endpoints or types of methods.

Nutrient Workgroup Meeting– Participants – Charlie Patton, Jack Rowe, Merle Shockey, Ann Strong, Ed Santoro, Michalann Harthill, Tom McAninch, Richard Ayers, Alden Henderson, Charlie Peters, Bob Carlson (chair)

Bob Carlson will establish a nutrients email group consisting of the participants of this meeting.

The Workgroup will use the Boards website "Nutrients" page to communicate information.

The Workgroup used EPA’s definition of a nutrient: A compound that is necessary for metabolism. Forms of nitrogen and phosphorus are the main elements the Workgroup will deal with initially. Silica and Carbon may also be included for later work.

The Workgroup’s mission was defined as: Providing information to help users determine comparability of different nutrient methods. This mission includes comparing field and lab methods, including preservation and analysis of different nutrients in a variety of aquatic matrices for the purposes of data evaluation.

Primary objectives of the Nutrient Workgroup are to provide information to the NEMI and PBMS Workgroup efforts this will include:

  1. Identifying methods in use and gaps in methodologies across agencies

  1. Review literature
  2. Evaluate data fields necessary for the NEMI with regards to nutrient methods

4) Recommend methods that should be included in the NEMI for various DQOs

5) Coordinate the Board’s efforts with EPA’s nutrient strategy

  1. Consider the possibility of using CRADA’s to pilot comparability studies or obtain better method performance information.

Other objectives discussed include:

Presentation of EPA’s new version of STORET (STORETX) - Lee Manning (EPA)

Lee summarized the reasons for modernizing STORET:

Lee noted that Version 1.0 has been available as of August 98, and it is free. Metadata are associated with all data: e.g., where, what, why, how, and when sampled. Clients can either set-up STORETX if it has its own server and ORACLE capabilities; access STORETX on the internet; EPA can supply the user with a personal copy; or use EPA’s mainframe in RTP. Over 300 copies (masters) are out now among different organizations. Lee said that a new update is due out in December, 1998.

In STORETX, Lee noted that EPA makes the "rules" for the database: i.e., nomenclature, units of measure; etc. In return for EPA funding, users voluntarily input data to STORETX according to EPA’s nomenclature and metadata "rules". This ensures database consistency and better quality information. Only those who "own" the data can make changes to the data. Lee remarked that it is possible, for example, to expand the types of metadata handled or required by STORETX pending recommendations by the Board. USGS is working closely with EPA to get USGS data into STORETX and to develop the webpages.

Public has read only access to STORETX via the web. STORETX will be able to generate canned reports and download data into spreadsheets, and will have documented data quality, graphical user interface, and data standards for sharing. Locally owned and operated and EPA maintained. The old version of STORET is due to close in 1999. Data will migrate from old STORET to the "Legacy" data center (non-mainframe) and the plan is to combine the data stream from Legacy and STORETX for those users needing long-term trend information. Both the Legacy and STORETX data will be maintained and available via the web. Legacy data can be upgraded to the new system if data quality requirements of the new system can be completed. Lee noted that with this process, if one puts the investment in, such that data quality characteristics are known, the data can be upgraded and included in STORETX. Otherwise, the data stays in the Legacy system.

Lee indicated that QC sample information is included in STORETX at different levels but that such metadata are not necessarily required. Data will be able to be pulled by associated QAQC data if desired.

STORETX has an extensive user guide and comprehensive help screens that explain defaults, data fields and why they are there, and what’s needed from the organization supplying data to STORETX. Three separate activities will be included in the metadata of the database – sample method, preservation and handling, analytical method and QA.

NCOD Presentation - Chuck Job (EPA)

The National Contaminant Occurrence database has a drinking water focus and includes data from 65,000 systems that serve less than 10,000 people and 2,800 that serve more than 10,000 people. Data includes 84 regulated and 48 non regulated contaminants monitored quarterly. Lots of data. One of the purposes of the NCOD is to determine which contaminants that are currently regulated are regulated sufficiently and which contaminants that are presently unregulated should be regulated in the future. Chuck noted that the NCOD must be implemented by August 99’. The EPA has a proposed list of unregulated contaminants, some of which need refinements of methods or new methods. This will be somewhat dependent on other aspects such as methods for sample preservation.

The NCOD has a list of 11 metadata requirements and 9 more proposed. EPA currently recognizes 11 data elements or attribute types they would like to see in the NCOD. STORETX will pull a screened version of the ambient data from the NCOD.

Chuck noted that EPA needs the Board to help them define what data attributes are needed to define "data of known and documented quality" for version 2 of the NCOD (after year 2000). The NCOD needs a "screen" (criteria) to decide what data can be put into the NCOD and what shouldn’t. By 2001, all proposed data elements will be required. By early 2000, the EPA needs to have queries and new data elements in place. A handout indicated the data elements recommended by a number of other groups.

A fundamental question which the Board could address is: What needs to be documented about a method and then which of these characteristics or documentation needs to be repeated in the database for users. Perhaps a Workgroup should be formed to help with this issue.

PBMS Workgroup Meeting - Andy Eaton (Chair)

Goals for this meeting – adopt rev 4.0 of the position paper or revise as needed, prepare a presentation for the Council, begin to develop pilot studies to test the concept presented in the position paper..

A conference call between EPA and Arizona regulatory agency representatives was held October 15 concerning liability issues and PBMS. A draft summary of that call was prepared by Charlie and is on the Board website.

Ken (ASTM) remarked that we need to look beyond regulatory arena: What will a PBMS look like? How will it be implemented? Prescribed methods may not be so bad. Perhaps there are other solutions besides PBMS; for example, a more streamlined bureaucratic/administrative process for approving methods. We may not want to present a prescribed methods system as "bad" and a PBMS as "good".

Herb distributed a powerpoint summary of EPA’s PBMS Implementation Plan. The Board needs to review EPA’s implementation plan and determine if there are steps the Board could take to simplify or otherwise improve the implementation of a PBMS. Pages 3 – 6 of the EPA plan outline this strategy and is a good fit with the Boards position.

For the next meeting, Board participants thought it would be good to have a discussion of EPA’s PBMS training strategy. Andy will contact Jan Jablonski (EPA) to see what could be organized for the next meeting.

In some cases, states may have to change legislation to adopt a PBMS. There may need to be a "carrot" for states to move towards a PBMS. If states can use existing methods and data in a PBMS framework then that would be an incentive to use a PBMS.

Larry questioned whether connecting PBMS to a reference method could lead to a "loophole"? A poor reference method might be okay under this system yet data quality criteria for the analyte of interest may suffer. In this same vein Charlie Patton asked what if the reference method for a particular parameter is questionable (e.g, TKN)? Will high data quality still be ensured in these cases?

Everyone agreed that a system is needed to ensure that data quality is as good as it can be. Ken remarked that without some form of laboratory accreditation and auditing, PBMS will be difficult if not impossible to implement. Merle observed that a PBMS’ function may not be so much to stimulate method innovations but rather to ensure better data quality.

Andy concurred indicating that PBMS will help level the "playing field" among laboratories and require similar effort on the part of labs in performing and documenting the quality of the data they produce. Most labs may stay with the prescriptive methods but will document their use for the specific matrix.

The question was raised: What about ambient monitoring and PBMS? It is unclear whether the discussion presently in the issue paper is sufficient or comprehensive enough. Ed noted that biological methods section of the issue paper may also need more clarification and discussion. In particular, how will a PBMS be accomplished for biological and perhaps other method-dependent parameters? Ed also noted that field collection methods need to be emphasized for this section. Jerry noted that both an ITFM technical appendix and a peer-reviewed paper have been published that detail a PBMS approach for biological collection methods. Perhaps some of this discussion needs to be added to the issue paper. Both ambient and compliance monitoring will be described in the position paper.

Regarding reference materials (top of p. 5 version 4.0), is there any more advice or recommendations we can give? We say achieving a PBMS depends on availability of matrix-specific performance-evaluation materials. Does that mean that if we don’t have them a PBMS is not possible for that parameter? The paper needs a caveat because reference materials are often not adequate or available.

Board and Council participants need to send any comments on the PBMS issue paper version 4.1 (on the Board web page) to Andy within 2 weeks (by November 13). Andy will revise with Jerry and provide final for Board review by Christmas. Board should provide final comments by January 5th. A final version will be sent to the Council by mid January for approval at the January meeting.

It was determined that a peer reviewed journal may be a good outlet for the position paper, tentatively titled " Toward a Definition for PBMS".

A PBMS Workgroup conference call is scheduled for December 8 at 3 p.m. EST. Charlie will get out call-in information to the Workgroup.

NEMI Workgroup Meeting - Larry Keith (Chair)

This discussion included a review and revision of Larry’s presentation to the Council. Nutrients and Biology Workgroups will need to provide data elements and methods for the compendium and determine how the current 26 field meet their needs. . Other Workgroups may need to be formed in the future for other methods (trace elements, PAH, etc.). Participants suggested that the term "method quality" be used instead of "data quality" in the overall purpose of the Workgroup. Katherine suggested a new name: National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI) to acknowledge eventual relationships with the National Environmental Data Index (NEDI), an interagency effort currently on the web. All concurred. NEMI does not provide an indication of how methods used meet DQOs. Perhaps NEDI and NEMI should be linked in the future to help provide this information. Need more information in the paper regarding searching mechanism.

Larry acknowledged that the Workgroup would need the Board’s input regarding the assignment of relative cost of methods. It is not clear yet how this will be done: lab surveys?; based on cost per analyte? Larry suggested that there might be 4 categories of cost such as: <50, 50-100, 100-500, >$500 per analysis.

Relative cost and text and table formats were the 2 desirable fields for the database. Currently, there are 24 critical fields. Ruggedness still needs to be defined. Charlie suggested that method robustness may be a better term.

It was agreed that consensus organization methods (e.g., ASTM, Standard Methods, AOAC) be added to the list of organizations with "full methods available".

Bob Carlson noted that the Board needs to determine what the Nutrient Workgroup should provide in relation to the NEMI. The NEMI Workgroup would be in charge of abstracting lab methods. The Nutrient group would identify gaps and inconsistencies in methods and perhaps develop an issue paper on preferred methods. Nutrient Workgroup could develop a test to determine the usefullness of NEMI for meeting specific DQOs.

The Workgroup would like to have the first functional test of the database by July 1999. It was noted that a period of time for review/comment at that point needs to be added to the schedule.

Given the current discussions, the NEMI will address questions regarding choosing an appropriate method to collect new data; those wanting to know comparability or quality of methods/data already in databases will need to be addressed in further stages of the NEMI. For now, the NEMI will provide methods/parameters that go into the database covering the most common methods used.

Participants observed that the NEMI must be user friendly. Project managers who are not chemists will need to use the database as well. All they may have are DQO’s, analytes, and the matrix. The NEMI needs to guide the user to the appropriate methods.

Chuck noted that EPA has a Workgroup related to STORET concerning chemical nomenclature that may go beyond CAS numbers. Larry agreed that the activities of this EPA Workgroup need to be considered by the NEMI Workgroup. Chuck Spooner will report back on the use of CAS numbers.

Larry observed that there are three possible scenarios for NEMI development:

  1. Create a new database from scratch
  2. Use an existing database and modify

There are two possibilities for this option:

  1. Create a full methods database

How the NEMI is maintained rather than how it is developed, may be the larger question. Chuck Spooner commented that the Council needs to be sold on why the long-term need for the database. Why should the Council spend the money?

Katherine noted that the National Library of Medicine is an example of an on-line database that is functional, complex, and requires long-term maintenance. Perhaps this is a useful model.

Board participants agreed that the Board needs to make the pitch to the Council to get approval to move ahead on pilot NEMI development. The long-range questions need to be addressed eventually but we shouldn’t stop the momentum already started. Need to address the Access versus Oracle and the residence for NEMI question.

Would the cross-sectional, integrated approaches/needs of the Board/Council NEMI be met by the EMMI framework? We need to reconcile the Board’s needs with those of EMMI instead of trying to compare EMMI and WPI in terms of a model upon which to develop a NEMI. We need to list our functional requirements and develop a checklist against which to judge the suitability of either the EMMI or WPI’s databases.

For the pilot database of NEMI the Board recommended using WPI as the model.

Round Table Discussion of NEMI

Accreditation Workgroup Report - Harold Ardourel (Chair)

Harold summarized results of an initial Workgroup conference call and the beginnings of a Workplan which was distributed to all at the meeting. Three elements are: coordination of Workgroups with NELAC, USGS, NWQL accreditation, position paper regarding NELAC approach. Current members are: Harrold Ardourel (chair), Barbara Erickson, Bart Simmons, Tom Maloney, Tom McAninch, Merle Shockey, Charlie Peters.

Herb relayed that Ken Jackson (chair of NELAC) suggested having a Board presentation to the NELAC board November 19, if the Board is ready. We need to decide soon if that date is okay or if later is better.

Public Outreach Workgroup Report- Jerry Diamond, Bob Berger, Charlie Peters (Co-chairs)

A slide presentation to the Council was presented and discussed. Ed commented that states need to be identified in slides as a major audience. A draft slide show of Board activities prepared by Tetra Tech was also distributed by Jerry at the meeting. Board Fact Sheet should be mailed out by Christmas. A poster used at the ASTM meeting is available. Charlie Peters is on both the Board and Council Outreach Workgroups to provide continuity. A new updated fact sheet should be prepared. Information on the Boards activities (fact sheet excerpt?) should be sent to newsletters (email and hardcopy), a summary of important upcoming conferences to attend and spread Board message should be discussed at each meeting. How should the Board repond to public comments? Each Workgroup? A draft public page will be prepared for presentation at the next meeting. Workgroup will prepare a workplan.

Send any comments back to Jerry in 2 weeks (November 13) on slide show and outreach activities. Slide show will be sent to the Council for approval prior to the January meeting.

Nutrients Workgroup Report – Bob Carlson (Chair)

Bob Carlson commented that it is not clear that nutrient compendium efforts planned are okay if funding is a question. Maybe instead of, or in addition to those activities mentioned already by the Workgroup, perhaps the Nutrients Workgroup should review key papers (Charlie Patton’s, Wisconsin pilot, others) and make recommendations in an issue paper.

Herb noted that the Board needs to summarize funding and priority requests to the Council by the next meeting (January 1999).

Nutrient and Biological method compendium funding requests should be added into the NEMI compendium Workgroup budget.

Board Priorities, Current Workgroups, and Charter

Jerry questioned whether the Board has adequately prioritized its activities in light of its charter mission and objectives. The current assignments of Workgroups may indeed reflect those methods that have highest priority, but there has been no coherent, organized discussion prior to organizing these Workgroups. This could affect integration of Board activities and proper prioritization with respect to its mission.

Many felt that the Board may be at carrying capacity in terms of Workgroups and activities. There is only a finite amount of resources available. Therefore, we need to prioritize activities.

It was suggested that the Board allot some time at the next meeting to review priorities and develop a strategy for dealing with Workgroups and Board objectives.

Board Steering Committee

Currently, there is a de facto Steering Committee consisting of Merle, Herb, Charlie and Jerry. Herb questioned whether this was okay with the Board and if so, whether formal approval by the Board is necessary.

It was suggested that there is no need to formally approve the Steering Committee as this adds more beauocracy which the Board doesn’t need. However, it is incumbent on Merle and Herb to check with Workgroup chairs prior to calls. Merle and Herb will take the lead for managing the various Workgroups and have divided up the Workgroups (Merle – nutrients, compendium, accreditation; Herb – PBMS, Biology, Outreach). Jerry and Charlie have divided up the operational aspects for the Workgroups (Jerry – PBMS, Biology, Outreach; Charlie – Compendium, Nutrients, and Accreditation).

Bob Berger noted that the current Steering Committee appears to be working fine for now so no need to change anything. However, if an integration issue or some other larger issue may come up, then the whole board should be apprised of the call so they can participate.

Charlie questioned whether results of Steering Committee calls need to be reported back to the Board? Participants recognized that some decisions are necessarily autocratic and don’t need communication and approval by the Board.

Approval of Minutes from August Meeting in Denver

The question was raised whether minutes need to be formally approved by Board. There should be a review and comment period after which the minutes are corrected as needed. The Board does need to keep an accurate record of where we are and where we’re going through the minutes because, among other things, FACA requires yearly reporting to the Council. There needs to be an Executive Summary and major action items list prepared. The minutes can be more abbreviated as long as they provide an accurate record of what transpired at the meeting. Minutes will be provided on the website for review for 4 weeks and then finalized. An updated and maintained action items list (Attachment 2) will be put on the website. A list of completed actions will be started and maintained on the website as well.

Charlie announced that the web address for the Board has been streamlined to: wi.water.usgs.gov/methodsboard. The old web address should still work as well.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held January 25-26, 1999 in Phoenix, Arizona. Charlie will be getting out meeting information to the Board. The next Board conference call meeting is scheduled for November 24 at 3 p.m. EST. Charlie will distribute call-in information.

Meeting after Phoenix will not be held in connection with the Councils meeting. End of April or early May – Cincinnati or Madison?

General Round Table Discussion

Attachment 1.

Interagency Methods and Data Comparability Board

October 26th and 27h Meeting Agenda

USGS National Center

12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA

Meeting Goals:

  • Discuss PBMS Position Implementation
  • Prioritize Database/Compendium Methods
  • Form Steering Committee
  • Approve August Minutes and Update Action Items list
  • Develop future meeting approach
  • October 26th , Monday

    0830-0900 Introductions and review agenda, Auditorium

    0900-1130 Concurrent sessions to develop workgroup mission, objectives, workplan and makeup.

    1130-1230 Lunch (Cafeteria in Building)

    1230-1430 STORET/NCOD presentations, Auditorium

    1430-1445 Break

    1445-1730 PBMS workgroup, Auditorium

    October 27th, Tuesday

    0830-1100 Compendium workgroup, Auditorium

    1100-1230 Workgroup reports, Auditorium

    1230-1330 Lunch (Cafeteria in Building)

    1330-1500 Board priorities in Context of workgroups, Auditorium

    1500-1530 Break

    1530-1600 Steering Committee, Auditorium

    1600-1630 Review/Approve August minutes/action items, Auditorium

    1630-1700 Rountable discussion, Auditorium

    1700-1730 Wrapup/Future Meetings, Auditorium

    Conference line phone numbers and access codes for those lines are:

    Attachment 2.

    Methods Board and Workgroup Action Items 1/6/99

    Board Activities

    High priority

    A draft integrated workplan is on the website for review

    Final August minutes are on the website. A draft of October executive summary, meeting minutes, and action list are also on the website for review.

    Stan Morton (DOE) and Robin Nissan (US Navy) have joined the Board.

    Medium priority

    Probably will be presented at April Board Meeting. Mike Miller will present a part of this.

    Done, Linda Green and Bob Carlson will make a presentation on January 26th.

    Done. Will continue to update website.

    Low priority

    Oneida and Menominee Nations contacted, still need to contact Great Lakes Tribal Council, Red Lake Tribe, Indiana Health Service (Ellen Meyer), etc. Delegate Profiles will be sent and a delegate selected.

    PBMS Workgroup

    High priority

    Done. The papers are on the website.

    ELAB document is on the website. Jerry has compared and contrasted the documents, his memo is on the website.

    Done. Draft is on the website.

    Andy and Lew will contact Jan Jablonski (EPA) to get a training presentation at January meeting

    Medium priority

    Low priority

    Loftgren Bill doesn’t tell us much- Bart

    NEMI Workgroup

    High priority

    Done.

    Draft is on website.

    Medium priority

    Larry is preparing a plan for John to review.

    Low priority

    Outreach Workgroup

    High priority

    Fact Sheet has been distributed. Distribution access database created and available on website, need additional distribution input for future product distributions.

    Done. Draft is on the website.

    Draft reviewed by steering committee and is available through a link from the website.

    Jerry has received comments from several Board and Council members and has revised the powerpoint slide show. Charlie needs to get a copy on the website.

    Medium priority

    Low Priority

    Laboratory and Field Accreditation Workgroup

    High priority

    Draft is on the website.

    Liaison has been established with a presentation to the Board on November 19th. Will attend NELAC meeting in January to further establish.

    Medium priority

    Low priority

    Provided in ACS newsletter. Charlie will put on website.

    Nutrient Workgroup

    High priority

    Done

    Done

    Low priority

    Biological Methods Workgroup

    High Priority

    Gene Rice (EPA), Chris Yoder (OHEPA) and Donna Francy (USGS) have agreed. Bob Carlson will check with Laura Leff (KSU), Jerry Diamond will talk to Chris Faulkner, Chris Ingersoll will contact ASTM, and Charlie Peters will talk to NAWQA.

    Done. Website from the EPA related links.

    Done. Draft workplan is on website Biology page.



    HomeReturn to the Minutes Page