Our Experience

CFA’s Expertise in Analyzing and Reporting for the DRBC

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) oversees the PCB Total Maximum Daily Limit (TMDL) study on the Delaware River and its tributaries.  CFA receives samples from dischargers of all types that are required to collect and submit samples for PCB analysis by Method 1668A.

The Client

Municipalities and Commercial Industries

The Challenge

The DRBC protocols require a number of method modifications to Method 1668A, whch are necessary to achieve the PPQ Detection Limits (DL). The modifications to the method involve each step of the analytical process including sample extraction, reporting DLs, method blank monitoring, and custom reporting formats.

CFA Services Provided

CFA quickly changed our laboratory method and processes to meet the unique challenges in support of the protocols for the DRBC .

The Result

CFA’s innovative technical capabilities and our comprehensive LIMS provided the foundation for the changes needed to meet the specific analytical requirements of the DRBC.

Sample extraction volumes by Method 1668A are typically one liter.  However, in this case a two liter sample collection and extraction is needed to achieve the required DLs.  In order to streamline the preparation process, CFA developed the ability to extract the full two liter sample in one extraction unit using custom designed glassware.

Standard DLs by Method 1668A use the lowest calibration point as the lower bound DL.  The DRBC reporting requires establishing a DL based on individual sample baseline noise. Special data processing procedures and project specific programming of CFA’s LIMS was performed to incorporate this modification.

The DRBC protocols have stringent PCB background contamination controls for rinse blanks and laboratory method blanks. Efforts to control lab background contamination involve a number of techniques. CFA tests laboratory supplies and reagents for possible PCB contamination, uses specific glassware cleaning procedures and segregates glassware for DRBC samples. In addition, CFA maintains a database of blanks to monitor average blank contamination both as a total number and on an individual congener basis.

The DRBC has specific reporting formats and EDD requirements. To meet all the requirements, the laboratory must add certain information from the discharger and sample collectors to the reports and EDDs and ensure that all data is correctly formatted before final submission. CFA maintains custom reporting and EDD requirements for each DRBC discharger using LIMS programming.