New! General QAPPs now available!
A Quality Assurance Project Plan is a document that outlines the components of your monitoring program, including what steps you will take to insure the quality of the data you will generate. While writing a QAPP can be an involved endeavor, it is an excellent exercise which will help you develop a credible program and may point to weaknesses or oversights you hadn't thought of before. Further, it is now required to have a QAPP to obtain monitoring grants from the State of Massachusetts or from EPA.
On this page you will find resources to help write your own QAPP.
The Massachusetts Water Watch Partnership has written two General Quality Assurance Project Plans, for coastal and inland volunteer monitoring respectively. The general QAPPs contain baseline requirements to be met for various levels of data collection projects, as well as common objectives, parameters, methods and approaches for river, lake, coastal and wetland chemical and biological monitoring. A General QAPP can be adopted as the project QAPP by any group performing these types of monitoring activities
The General QAPP for "inland" volunteer monitoring is now posted on the MassDEP web site. For more information, contact Jay Baker, CZM 617-626-1204.
The inland general QAPP is under final review by the Department of Environmental Protection and will be posted on the DEP web site when review is completed. For more information, contact Richard Chase, MassDEP (508) 767-2859; email@example.com.
How to use the Massachusetts Volunteer Coastal and Inland Monitoring General Quality Assurance Project Plans – Workshop handouts
The two documents linked here in MS-Word format include handouts used in the coastal and inland General Quality Assurance Project Plan workshops conducted in the spring of 2007.These workshops were conducted by the Massachusetts Water Watch Partnership with funding provided by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
The workshops were intended to provide guidance on how to use Adoption Forms (Appendix 1 of the General QAPPs) to translate the coastal or inland QAPPs respectively into program-specific QAPPs that are then submitted to DEP and/or CZM for review.
The documents include excerpts from the General QAPPs and Adoption Forms along with some examples of how various sections of the QAPPs have been filled out by organizations who have written approved QAPPs.
The order in which QAPP sections are presented in these documents departs from the 1 – 24 order found in the QAPP and Adoption Form themselves. MassWWP staff has found this alternate sequence to be a practical way to complete a QAPP, as it generally starts with the larger conceptual issues of program planning and development to more detailed issues that follow logically from earlier decisions. Of course, different individuals may prefer to develop a QAPP according to a different order.
You may also contact MassWWP for additional information: firstname.lastname@example.org or Jerry Schoen, 413-545-5532.
Guide to QAPPs
The definitive guide to writing QAPPs, with format required by EPA and MA DEP.
This document takes you through the steps of the EPA's Guide to QAPPs, giving helpful examples at every step.
The guidebook is also available in hard copy from:
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Watershed Management
627 Main Street, 2nd floor
Worcester, Ma 01608.
This is the VEMN document, a comprehensive guide to writing a study design.
Manual for Monitoring Parameters and Methods
VEMN's manual including sampling methods.
Our manual on how to conduct watershed land surveys.
Our guide to making sense of your results
Data Presentation Manual
Our guide to presentation strategies and techniques
QAPP Forms (Word Document)
Chrisope Technologies, A Division of Remel
Ryan Street Lake Charles, LA 70605
Contact: Ms. Jody D. Moss
Phone: 318-479-1000 x236 Fax: 318-479-1006
Federal projects: Projects that receive federal funds for monitoring should submit a QAPP to EPA for review (but see the exception below). Send them to Ms. Nancy Barmakian, who is the Manager of the EPA New England Quality Assurance Unit. She will distribute them, usually to Steve DiMattei or Arthur Clark, for review and approval.
Mass. DEP projects which use EPA grant money. Arthur Screpetis of DEP should continue to be the first recipient of all QAPPs for volunteer monitoring funded by EPA grant money used by the Mass. DEP to support volunteer monitoring in Massachusetts. Mr. Screpetis reviews these QAPPs and comments on them. Revised versions of the QAPPs should then be sent to the EPA New England QA Unit for its review.
EOEA's state-funded volunteer monitoring efforts: Unless otherwise directed, draft QAPPs for state-funded projects should be sent to Arthur Screpetis of the Department of Environmental Protection for review. Mr. Screpetis coordinates the QAPP reviews with Arthur Johnson and Rick McVoy, Division of Watershed Management, and occasionally with Arthur Clark, EPA (if EPA is providing field assistance, laboratory services, or any funding related to the monitoring effort).
If it's a QAPP for coastal monitoring, DEP may ask Christian Krahforst of Coastal Zone Management for assistance in the review. The draft QAPP should be transmitted to Arthur Screpetis with a cover letter that describes the purpose of the project or proposed monitoring activity, identifies the funding source(s) and agency contact, and identifies when sampling is anticipated to begin.
The QAPP should follow the structure outlined in EPA's "Volunteer Monitor's Guide to Quality Assurance Plans". (Note: copies of this can be found on the EPA's web site). The draft QAPP should be provided to DEP well in advance (at least six weeks) of any proposed sampling. DEP makes every effort to review all draft QAPPs in a timely manner. Comments are provided to the preparer and others for their consideration.
Questions? If volunteer monitors have questions regarding QAPP preparation, they should contact Art Screpetis at DEP, Steve DiMattei or Arthur Clark at the EPA QA Unit. Mr. DiMattei is EPA QA Unit's lead contact for volunteer monitoring issues related to QAPP preparation. He and Mr. Clark are both happy to answer any questions relating to QAPP preparation.
Ms. Nancy Barmakian
US EPA EPA New England Quality Assurance Unit
60 Westview St. Lexington, MA 02421
627 Main St., 2nd Floor
Worcester MA 01608
Barbour, M.T., J. Gerritsen, B.D. Snyder, and J.B. Stribling. 1999. Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in Streams and Wadeable Rivers: Periphyton, Benthic Macroinvertebrates and Fish
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) New England Region. 1999 EPA-New England Compendium of Quality Assurance Project Plan Guidance
Yoder, Chris O., 1997 Important Concepts and Elements of an Adequate State Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Program. 38pp.
This unofficial library lists links to Word documents. We only list DEP-approved QAPPs , but we have not been given the OK from DEP to list them, so use at your own discretion.
updated 5/5/09 by MF Walk - MWWP Home - Contact MassWWP