The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has a Quality Assurance (QA) Directive (DEP 972) that distributes QA responsibilities throughout the agency. All programs within the agency must comply with DEP’s QA Rule (62-160, F.A.C.) and associated standard operating procedures (SOPs).
EPA has identified the four main QA Project Plan (QAPP) element groups designated in EPA QA/R-5, March 2001 as essential components of the quality system supporting activities identified in the relevant DEP section 106 work plans. These elements are addressed in the above DEP documents and in individual program unit quality plans, QA manuals, or design documents. The QAPP element groups are: Project Management; Data Generation and Acquisition; Assessment and Oversight; and Data Validation and Usability.
The DEP QA Rule and Incorporated Documents apply to all 106-funded programs, and address many of the QAPP elements. Part II of the QA Rule lists approved field procedures and required field documentation, and incorporates SOPs for field sampling. Part III contains lab QA requirements, and part IV includes requirements for sample treatment, audit procedures, the process for checking data, and data qualifier codes. Documents that are incorporated into the QA Rule and have the full weight of the rule include the Data Usability Document and DEP SOPs governing water, sediment, soil, and biological sample collection and treatment.
Each 106-funded program has its own quality plan that describes the QA responsibilities of individuals within that program, led by program QA Officer. The organization and interaction of these programs/sections is described below (also see Organizational Chart), and the program/section links address the topics discussed in QA/R-5 for that program/section and provide an overview of the process by which the quality system for surface water and groundwater monitoring is implemented.
Under Florida’s statutes and rules, DEP meets federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements through the comprehensive implementation of DEP’s Integrated Water Resources Monitoring (IWRM) Program. The IWRM strategy has three tiers, ranging from the general to the specific, and programs within DEP that carry out the associated monitoring, as follows:
Tier I - Addresses statewide and regional (within Florida) questions.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.