Revised Guidance for Sample Sorting and Subsampling Protocols for EEM Benthic Invertebrate Community Surveys

December 2002

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The guidance documents prepared for both the pulp and paper and metal mining Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) programs provided guidance for laboratory sample processing, subsampling protocols and quality assurance. However, detailed protocols and acceptability criteria for subsampling were lacking. To identify if potential processing or subsampling issues exist within the EEM program, Cycle 2 EEM Pulp and Paper interpretive reports were reviewed in detail. The information extracted from these reports included: the number of studies where laboratory subsampling was performed, the type of subsampling, if detailed protocols were provided, if density correction factors were reported and calculated appropriately, if subsampling error (precision and/or accuracy) was reported and calculated appropriately and finally if QA/QC criteria for sorting and subsampling were established and adhered to in these studies.

The revised guidance provided in this document is a result of the inconsistency in the reporting of sorting and subsampling QA/QC information in these reports (see Cycle 2 review document for details). The intent of this revised guidance is not to re-invent established protocols, but to provide an additional level of detail to the current guidance documents, specifically pertaining to Sections 6.2.2 in the Pulp Paper Technical Guidance Document and 5.22 in the Metal Mining Guidance Document.

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