Title: Chemical-monitoring on-site exercises to harmonize analytical methods for priority substances in the European Union
Citation: TRAC-TRENDS IN ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY vol. 36 no. June 2012 p. 25-35
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC69350
ISSN: 0165-9936
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165993612001239
DOI: 10.1016/j.trac.2012.04.002
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/60/EC) sets up environmental objectives to achieve “good chemical and ecological water status” for all European waters by 2015, and establishes a clear framework to enable these objectives to be attained, in particular through characterization of European river basins, development of river-basin-management plans, analysis and mitigation of the main pressures and impacts, and the establishment of monitoring programs for priority pollutants. The comparability of monitoring data is of major importance for the implementation of the monitoring requirements under WFD. EU Member States need to ensure that all monitoring results meet the required data quality levels. Specific targets for the analytical data quality have been identified by the Commission Directive 2009/90/EC laying down technical specifications for chemical analysis and monitoring of water status. In support to the implementation of the WFD, the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) of the EC Joint Research Centre (Ispra, Italy), in cooperation with the Italian Water Research Institute (IRSA-CNR), organized three collaborative intercomparison exercises, carried out on European rivers (Po, Danube and Meuse). In order to assess the current state of monitoring methodologies, in these exercises laboratories from EU Member States, national reference laboratories or laboratories chosen among those in charge of WFD monitoring, have been invited to meet at a selected EU river and analyse independently the river water. Participants sampled simultaneously river water and analysed according to their protocols for a selection of challenging parameters included in the EQS directive 2008/105/EC. The exercises were planned as collaborative field trials with a scientific perspective, thus not related to proficiency tests and their requirements. Participants had to report data as planned in the WFD reporting procedure. Due to the nature of the trials and the number of reported data a statistical evaluation according to the international guidelines and standards had not been aimed at. The scope of the exercises was to obtain a realistic picture of the analytical method performance for the WFD monitoring of a selected set of compounds and to stimulate the harmonization among the Member States. The workshop character of the meeting and the on-site discussion about sampling and analysis of priority substances have been therefore an integral and important aspect of the exercises. The present paper aims to present the main results obtained in the three campaigns and to highlight gaps of the methods employed for WFD monitoring.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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