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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 1. Administration
Agency 30. Department of General Services
Chapter 45. Certification for Noncommercial Environmental Laboratories
12/10/2019

1VAC30-45-40. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Acceptance criteria" means specified limits placed on characteristics of an item, process, or service defined in requirement documents.

"Accuracy" means the degree of agreement between an observed value and an accepted reference value. Accuracy includes a combination of random error (precision) and systematic error (bias) components that are due to sampling and analytical operations. Accuracy is an indicator of data quality.

"Algae" means simple single-celled, colonial, or multicelled, mostly aquatic plants, containing chlorophyll and lacking roots, stems and leaves that are either suspended in water (phytoplankton) or attached to rocks and other substrates (periphyton).

"Aliquot" means a portion of a sample taken for analysis.

"Analyte" means the substance or physical property to be determined in samples examined.

"Analytical method" means a technical procedure for providing analysis of a sample, defined by a body such as the Environmental Protection Agency or the American Society for Testing and Materials, that may not include the sample preparation method.

"Assessment" means the evaluation process used to measure or establish the performance, effectiveness, and conformance of an organization and its systems or both to defined criteria.

"Assessor" means the person assigned by DCLS to perform, alone or as part of an assessment team, an assessment of an environmental laboratory.

"Audit" means a systematic evaluation to determine the conformance to quantitative and qualitative specifications of some operational function or activity.

"Authority" means, in the context of a governmental body or local government, an authority created under the provisions of the Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act, Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) of Title 15.2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Batch" means environmental samples that are prepared together or analyzed together or both with the same process and personnel, using the same lot or lots of reagents. "Analytical batch" means a batch composed of prepared environmental samples (extracts, digestates or concentrates) that are analyzed together as a group. An analytical batch can include prepared samples originating from various environmental matrices and can exceed 20 samples. "Preparation batch" means a batch composed of one to 20 environmental samples of the same matrix that meets the criteria in this definition for "batch" and with a maximum time between the start of processing of the first and last sample in the batch to be 24 hours.

"Benthic macroinvertebrates" means bottom dwelling animals without backbones that live at least part of their life cycles within or upon available substrates within a body of water.

"Blank" means a sample that has not been exposed to the analyzed sample stream in order to monitor contamination during sampling, transport, storage or analysis. The blank is subjected to the usual analytical and measurement process to establish a zero baseline or background value and is sometimes used to adjust or correct routine analytical results. Blanks include the following types:

1. Field blank. A blank prepared in the field by filling a clean container with pure deionized water and appropriate preservative, if any, for the specific sampling activity being undertaken.

2. Method blank. A sample of a matrix similar to the batch of associated samples (when available) that is free from the analytes of interest and is processed simultaneously with and under the same conditions as samples through all steps of the analytical procedures, and in which no target analytes or interferences are present at concentrations that impact the analytical results for sample analyses.

"Calibration" means to determine, by measurement or comparison with a standard, the correct value of each scale reading on a meter, instrument or other device. The levels of the applied calibration standard should bracket the range of planned or expected sample measurements.

"Calibration curve" means the graphical relationship between the known values, such as concentrations, of a series of calibration standards and their instrument response.

"Calibration standard" means a substance or reference material used to calibrate an instrument.

"Certified reference material" means a reference material one or more of whose property values are certified by a technically valid procedure, accompanied by or traceable to a certificate or other documentation that is issued by a certifying body.

"Client" or "customer" means the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) when used in the context of quality assurance and specific quality control provisions.

"Commercial environmental laboratory" means an environmental laboratory where environmental analysis is performed for another person.

"Corrective action" means the action taken to eliminate the causes of an existing nonconformity, defect or other undesirable situation in order to prevent recurrence.

"DCLS" means the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services of the Department of General Services.

"Demonstration of capability" means the procedure to establish the ability of the analyst to generate data of acceptable accuracy and precision.

"Detection limit" means the lowest concentration or amount of the target analyte that can be determined to be different from zero by a single measurement at a stated degree of confidence.

"Environmental analysis" or "environmental analyses" means any test, analysis, measurement, or monitoring used for the purposes of the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law, the Virginia Waste Management Act or the State Water Control Law (§ 10.1-1300 et seq., § 10.1-1400 et seq., and § 62.1-44.2 et seq., respectively, of the Code of Virginia). For the purposes of these regulations, any test, analysis, measurement, or monitoring required pursuant to the regulations promulgated under these three laws, or by any permit or order issued under the authority of any of these laws or regulations is "used for the purposes" of these laws. The term shall not include the following:

1. Sampling of water, solid and chemical materials, biological tissue, or air and emissions.

2. Field testing and measurement of water, solid and chemical materials, biological tissue, or air and emissions, except when performed in an environmental laboratory rather than at the site where the sample was taken.

3. Taxonomic identification of samples for which there is no national accreditation standard such as algae, benthic macroinvertebrates, macrophytes, vertebrates and zooplankton.

4. Protocols used pursuant to § 10.1-104.2 of the Code of Virginia to determine soil fertility, animal manure nutrient content, or plant tissue nutrient uptake for the purposes of nutrient management.

5. Geochemical and permeability testing for solid waste compliance.

6. Materials specification for air quality compliance when product certifications specify the data required by an air permit such as fuel type, Btu content, sulfur content, or VOC content.

"Environmental laboratory" or "laboratory" means a facility or a defined area within a facility where environmental analysis is performed. A structure built solely to shelter field personnel and equipment from inclement weather shall not be considered an environmental laboratory.

"Establishment date" means the date set for the accreditation program under 1VAC30-46 and the certification program to be established under this chapter.

"Establishment of certification program" or "established program" means that DCLS has completed the initial accreditation of environmental laboratories covered by 1VAC30-46 and the initial certification of environmental laboratories covered by 1VAC30-45.

"Facility" means something that is built or installed to serve a particular function.

"Field of certification" or "FoC" means those matrix, technology/method, and analyte combinations for which DCLS offers certification.

"Field of proficiency testing" or "FoPT" means analytes for which a laboratory is required to successfully analyze a PT sample in order to obtain or maintain certification, collectively defined as matrix, technology/method, and analyte.

"Field testing and measurement" means any of the following:

1. Any test for parameters under 40 CFR Part 136 for which the holding time indicated for the sample requires immediate analysis; or

2. Any test defined as a field test in federal regulation.

The following is a limited list of currently recognized field tests or measures that is not intended to be inclusive: continuous emissions monitoring; online monitoring; flow monitoring; tests for pH, residual chlorine, temperature and dissolved oxygen; and field analysis for soil gas.

"Finding" means an assessment conclusion referenced to a laboratory certification standard and supported by objective evidence that identifies a deviation from a laboratory certification standard requirement.

"Governmental body" means any department, agency, bureau, authority, or district of the United States government, of the government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, or of any local government within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Holding time" means the maximum time that can elapse between two specified activities.

"International System of Units (SI)" means the coherent system of units adopted and recommended by the General Conference on Weights and Measures.

"Laboratory control sample" or "LCS" means a sample matrix, free from the analytes of interest, spiked with verified known amounts of analytes or a material containing known and verified amounts of analytes. It is generally used to establish intra-laboratory or analyst specific precision and bias or to assess the performance of all or a portion of the measurement system. "Laboratory control sample" or "LCS" may also be named laboratory fortified blank, spiked blank, or QC check sample.

"Laboratory manager" means the person who has overall responsibility for the technical operation of the environmental laboratory and who exercises actual day-to-day supervision of laboratory operation for the appropriate fields of testing and reporting of results. The title of this person may include but is not limited to laboratory director, technical director, laboratory supervisor or laboratory manager.

"Legal entity" means an entity, other than a natural person, who has sufficient existence in legal contemplation that it can function legally, be sued or sue, and make decisions through agents as in the case of corporations.

"Limit of detection" or "LOD" means an estimate of the minimum amount of a substance that an analytical process can reliably detect. An LOD is analyte and matrix specific and may be laboratory dependent.

"Limit of quantitation" or "LOQ" means the minimum levels, concentrations, or quantities of a target variable (e.g., target analyte) that can be reported with a specified degree of confidence.

"Local government" means a municipality (city or town), county, sanitation district, or authority.

"Macrophytes" means any aquatic or terrestrial plant species that can be identified and observed with the eye, unaided by magnification.

"Matrix" means the component or substrate that may contain the analyte of interest. A matrix can be a field of certification matrix or a quality system matrix.

1. Field of certification matrix. These matrix definitions shall be used when certifying a laboratory.

a. Nonpotable water. Any aqueous sample that has not been designated a potable or potential potable water source. Includes surface water, groundwater, effluents, water treatment chemicals, and TCLP or other extracts.

b. Solid and chemical materials. Includes soils, sediments, sludges, products and byproducts of an industrial process that results in a matrix not previously defined.

c. Biological tissue. Any sample of a biological origin such as fish tissue, shellfish, or plant material. Such samples shall be grouped according to origin.

d. Air and emissions. Whole gas or vapor samples including those contained in flexible or rigid wall containers and the extracted concentrated analytes of interest from a gas or vapor that are collected with a sorbent tube, impinger solution, filter or other device.

2. Quality system matrix. For purposes of batch and quality control requirement determinations, the following matrix types shall be used:

a. Drinking water. Any aqueous sample that has been designated a potable or potential potable water source.

b. Aqueous. Any aqueous sample excluded from the definition of drinking water matrix or saline/estuarine source. Includes surface water, groundwater, effluents, and TCLP or other extracts.

c. Saline/estuarine. Any aqueous sample from an ocean or estuary, or other salt water source.

d. Nonaqueous liquid. Any organic liquid with less than 15% settleable solids.

e. Biological tissue. Any sample of a biological origin such as fish tissue, shellfish, or plant material. Such samples shall be grouped according to origin.

f. Solids. Includes soils, sediments, sludges and other matrices with more than 15% settleable solids.

g. Chemical waste. A product or byproduct of an industrial process that results in a matrix not previously defined.

h. Air and emissions. Whole gas or vapor samples including those contained in flexible or rigid wall containers and the extracted concentrated analytes of interest from a gas or vapor that are collected with a sorbent tube, impinger solution, filter or other device.

"Matrix spike (spiked sample or fortified sample)" means a sample prepared by adding a known mass of target analyte to a specified amount of matrix sample for which an independent estimate of target analyte concentration is available. Matrix spikes are used, for example, to determine the effect of the matrix on a method's recovery efficiency.

"Matrix spike duplicate (spiked sample or fortified sample duplicate)" means a second replicate matrix spike prepared in the laboratory and analyzed to obtain a measure of the precision of the recovery for each analyte.

"National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC)" means a voluntary organization of state and federal environmental officials and interest groups with the primary purpose to establish mutually acceptable standards for accrediting environmental laboratories.

"National Institute of Standards and Technology" or "NIST" means an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration that is working with EPA, states, NELAC, and other public and commercial entities to establish a system under which private sector companies and interested states can be certified by NIST to provide NIST-traceable proficiency testing (PT) samples.

"Negative control" means measures taken to ensure that a test, its components, or the environment do not cause undesired effects, or produce incorrect test results.

"Noncommercial environmental laboratory" means either of the following:

1. An environmental laboratory where environmental analysis is performed solely for the owner of the laboratory.

2. An environmental laboratory where the only performance of environmental analysis for another person is one of the following:

a. Environmental analysis performed by an environmental laboratory owned by a local government for an owner of a small wastewater treatment system treating domestic sewage at a flow rate of less than or equal to 1,000 gallons per day.

b. Environmental analysis performed by an environmental laboratory operated by a corporation as part of a general contract issued by a local government to operate and maintain a wastewater treatment system or a waterworks.

c. Environmental analysis performed by an environmental laboratory owned by a corporation as part of the prequalification process or to confirm the identity or characteristics of material supplied by a potential or existing customer or generator as required by a hazardous waste management permit under 9VAC20-60.

d. Environmental analysis performed by an environmental laboratory owned by a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) for an industrial source of wastewater under a permit issued by the POTW to the industrial source as part of the requirements of a pretreatment program under Part VII (9VAC25-31-730 et seq.) of 9VAC25-31.

e. Environmental analysis performed by an environmental laboratory owned by a county authority for any municipality within the county's geographic jurisdiction when the environmental analysis pertains solely to the purpose for which the authority was created.

f. Environmental analysis performed by an environmental laboratory owned by an authority or a sanitation district for any participating local government of the authority or sanitation district when the environmental analysis pertains solely to the purpose for which the authority or sanitation district was created.

"Owner" means any person who owns, operates, leases or controls an environmental laboratory.

"Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, company, business, trust, joint venture or other legal entity.

"Physical," for the purposes of fee test categories, means the tests to determine the physical properties of a sample. Tests for solids, turbidity and color are examples of physical tests.

"Positive control" means measures taken to ensure that a test or its components are working properly and producing correct or expected results from positive test subjects.

"Precision" means the degree to which a set of observations or measurements of the same property, obtained under similar conditions, conform to themselves. Precision is an indicator of data quality. Precision is expressed usually as standard deviation, variance or range, in either absolute or relative terms.

"Primary accreditation body" means the accreditation body responsible for assessing a laboratory's total quality system, on-site assessment, and PT performance tracking for fields of accreditation.

"Proficiency test or testing (PT)" means evaluating a laboratory's performance under controlled conditions relative to a given set of criteria through analysis of unknown samples provided by an external source.

"Proficiency test (PT) sample" means a sample, the composition of which is unknown to the laboratory and is provided to test whether the laboratory can produce analytical results within specified acceptance criteria.

"Proficiency testing (PT) program" means the aggregate of providing rigorously controlled and standardized environmental samples to a laboratory for analysis, reporting of results, statistical evaluation of the results and the collective demographics and results summary of all participating laboratories.

"Program," in the context of a regulatory program, means the relevant U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program such as the water program under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the air program under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the waste program under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) or the waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

"Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW)" means a treatment works as defined by § 212 of the CWA, which is owned by a state or municipality (as defined by § 502(4) of the CWA). This definition includes any devices and systems used in the storage, treatment, recycling, and reclamation of municipal sewage or industrial wastes of a liquid nature. It also includes sewers, pipes, and other conveyances only if they convey wastewater to a POTW treatment plant. The term also means the municipality as defined in § 502(4) of the CWA, which has jurisdiction over the indirect discharges to and the discharges from such a treatment works.

"Quality assurance" or "QA" means an integrated system of management activities involving planning, implementation, assessment, reporting and quality improvement to ensure that a process, item, or service is of the type and quality needed and expected by the client.

"Quality assurance officer" means the person who has responsibility for the quality system and its implementation. Where staffing is limited, the quality assurance officer may also be the laboratory manager.

"Quality control" or "QC" means the overall system of technical activities that measures the attributes and performance of a process, item, or service against defined standards to verify that they meet the stated requirements established by the customer; operational techniques and activities that are used to fulfill requirements for quality; and also the system of activities and checks used to ensure that measurement systems are maintained within prescribed limits, providing protection against "out of control" conditions and ensuring that the results are of acceptable quality.

"Quality manual" means a document stating the management policies, objectives, principles, organizational structure and authority, responsibilities, accountability, and implementation of an agency, organization, or laboratory, to ensure the quality of its product and the utility of its product to its users.

"Quality system" means a structured and documented management system describing the policies, objectives, principles, organizational authority, responsibilities, accountability, and implementation plan of an organization for ensuring quality in its work processes, products (items), and services. The quality system provides the framework for planning, implementing, and assessing work performed by the organization and for carrying out required quality assurance and quality control activities.

"Range" means the difference between the minimum and maximum of a set of values.

"Reference material" means a material or substance one or more properties of which are sufficiently well established to be used for the calibration of an apparatus, the assessment of a measurement test method, or for assigning values to materials.

"Reference standard" means a standard, generally of the highest metrological quality available at a given location, from which measurements made at that location are derived.

"Responsible official" means one of the following, as appropriate:

1. If the laboratory is owned or operated by a private corporation, "responsible official" means (i) a president, secretary, treasurer, or a vice-president of the corporation in charge of a principal business function, or any other person who performs similar policy-making or decision-making functions for the corporation or (ii) the manager of one or more manufacturing, production, or operating facilities employing more than 250 persons or having gross annual sales or expenditures exceeding $25 million (in second-quarter 1980 dollars), if authority to sign documents has been assigned or delegated in accordance with corporate procedures.

2. If the laboratory is owned or operated by a partnership, association, or a sole proprietor, "responsible official" means a general partner, officer of the association, or the proprietor, respectively.

3. If the laboratory is owned or operated by a governmental body, "responsible official" means a director or highest official appointed or designated to oversee the operation and performance of the activities of the environmental laboratory.

4. Any person designated as the responsible official by an individual described in subdivision 1, 2 or 3 of this definition, provided the designation is in writing, the designation specifies an individual or position with responsibility for the overall operation of the environmental laboratory, and the designation is submitted to DCLS.

"Sampling" means the act of collection for the purpose of analysis.

"Sanitation district" means a sanitation district created under the provisions of Chapters 3 (§ 21-141 et seq.) through 5 (§ 21-291 et seq.) of Title 21 of the Code of Virginia.

"Sewage" means the water-carried human wastes from residences, buildings, industrial establishments or other places together with such industrial wastes and underground, surface, storm, or other water as may be present.

"Simple test procedures" or "STP" means any of the following:

1. Field testing and measurement performed in an environmental laboratory.

2. The test procedures to determine:

a. Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) or carbonaceous BOD (CBOD);

b. Fecal coliform;

c. Total coliform;

d. Fecal streptococci;

e. E. coli;

f. Enterococci;

g. Settleable solids (SS);

h. Total dissolved solids (TDS);

i. Total solids (TS);

j. Total suspended solids (TSS);

k. Total volatile solids (TVS); and

l. Total volatile suspended solids (TVSS).

"Standard operating procedure" or "SOP" means a written document that details the method for an operation, analysis, or action with thoroughly prescribed techniques and steps. An SOP is officially approved as the method for performing certain routine or repetitive tasks.

"Standardized reference material" or "SRM" means a certified reference material produced by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology or other equivalent organization and characterized for absolute content, independent of analytical method.

"System laboratory" means a noncommercial laboratory that analyzes samples from multiple facilities having the same owner.

"Test" means a technical operation that consists of the determination of one or more characteristics or performance of a given product, material, equipment, organism, physical phenomenon, process or service according to a specified procedure.

"Test, analysis, measurement or monitoring required pursuant to the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law" means any method of analysis required by the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law (§ 10.1-1300 et seq.); by the regulations promulgated under this law (9VAC5) including any method of analysis listed either in the definition of "reference method" in 9VAC5-10-20, or listed or adopted by reference in 9VAC5; or by any permit or order issued under and in accordance with this law and these regulations.

"Test, analysis, measurement or monitoring required pursuant to the Virginia Waste Management Act" means any method of analysis required by the Virginia Waste Management Act (§ 10.1-1400 et seq.); by the regulations promulgated under this law (9VAC20), including any method of analysis listed or adopted by reference in 9VAC20; or by any permit or order issued under and in accordance with this law and these regulations.

"Test, analysis, measurement or monitoring required pursuant to the Virginia Water Control Law" means any method of analysis required by the Virginia Water Control Law (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.); by the regulations promulgated under this law (9VAC25), including any method of analysis listed or adopted by reference in 9VAC25; or by any permit or order issued under and in accordance with this law and these regulations.

"Test method" means an adoption of a scientific technique for performing a specific measurement as documented in a laboratory standard operating procedure or as published by a recognized authority.

"The NELAC Institute" or "TNI" means the organization whose standards environmental laboratories must meet to become accredited under 1VAC30-46, the regulation governing commercial environmental laboratories in Virginia.

"Toxicity characteristic leachate procedure" or "TCLP" means Test Method 1311 in "Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods," EPA Publication SW-846, as incorporated by reference in 40 CFR 260.11. This method is used to determine whether a solid waste exhibits the characteristic of toxicity (see 40 CFR 261.24).

"Traceability" means the property of a result of a measurement whereby it can be related to appropriate standards, generally international or national standards, through an unbroken chain of comparisons.

"U.S. Environmental Protection Agency" or "EPA" means the federal government agency with responsibility for protecting, safeguarding and improving the natural environment (i.e., air, water and land) upon which human life depends.

"Virginia Air Pollution Control Law" means Chapter 13 (§ 10.1-1300 et seq.) of Title 10.1 of the Code of Virginia, which is titled "Air Pollution Control Board."

"Virginia Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program" or "VELAP" means the program DCLS operates to certify environmental laboratories under this chapter.

"Wastewater" means liquid and water-carried industrial wastes and domestic sewage from residential dwellings, commercial buildings, industrial and manufacturing facilities and institutions.

"Waterworks" means each system of structures and appliances used in connection with the collection, storage, purification, and treatment of water for drinking or domestic use and the distribution thereof to the public, except distribution piping.

"Zooplankton" means microscopic animals that float freely with voluntary movement in a body of water.

Statutory Authority

§ 2.2-1105 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 25, Issue 07, eff. January 1, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 04, eff. November 21, 2012; Volume 32, Issue 22, eff. September 1, 2016.

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