DRI utilizes Quality Assurance (QA) techniques throughout the organization. DRI employs a full-time PhD Quality Assurance Officer who drafts, reviews and maintains the QA documentation for many of DRI's programs, including NESEP subcontract support. The DOE Program complies with the DOE Quality Assurance requirements, which is the responsibility of each project team lead. Quality Assurance best practices and techniques is a mainstay of DRI's operation.
Specific Program examples of Quality Assurance Support:
National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) for the state of Texas.
DRI participated in Quality Assurance accreditation and certification programs for the Texas Commission on environmental Quality (TCEQ) under the NELAP Program to quality DRI's Environmental Analysis Facility (EAF). As a result the DRI EAF is accredited for the following functions:
- Air & Emissions Matrix
- Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) by 40 CFR Part 50 Appendix B
- Particulates <10 μm (PM10) by 40 CFR Part 50 Appendix J
- Fine particulates <2.5 μm (PM2.5) by 40 CFR Part 50 Appendix L
DRI has been accredited for the above each year since 2007. The current accreditation certificate, #T104704271-14-5, was issued by the TCEQ on 7/1/14 and gores through 6/30/15.
Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) program for the EPA
In addition, as one of the laboratories that performs analyses for EPA’s Chemical Special Network and the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) program, the EAF has participated in annual performance evaluation (PE) and inter-comparisons conducted by EPA’s National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory (NAREL) since 2005. The EAF also has technical systems audits (TSAs) conducted by a NAREL audit team approximately every three years. The PEs, inter-comparisons, and TSAs cover mass by gravimetry, elements by energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF), anions and cations by Ion chromatography (IC) and carbon analysis by the IMPROVE_A thermo-optical reflectance/ thermo optical transmittance (TOR/TOT) protocol.
Evidence of DRI expertise in performance of this Functional Area include:
- Development of Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for an Open-Burn, Open-Detonation R&D project for the NAWCWD Weapons and Energetics Department.
- NESEP volunteered to take this task on, and the first draft of the QAPP was accepted with minor revision, which reportedly saved the project significant time and money
- Successful Foundation of the Real Time Monitoring and Alert System (REMAS) on QA principles due to criticality and security needed for the data, analysis and decision making that REMAS is designed to provide to the NAWCWD Trident Program Office and the LTC.