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EPA Records Schedule 503

Status: (to be superseded) Final, 12/31/2009

Title: Scientific Research Project Files Related to Basic, Exploratory Research

Program: Research and Development Laboratories

Applicability: Agency-wide

Function: 316-258 - Applied Science

NARA Disposal Authority:

This schedule authorizes the disposition of the record copy in any media (media neutral), excluding any records already in electronic form. Records designated for permanent retention must be transferred to the National Archives in accordance with NARA standards at the time of transfer.


Includes scientific research project files for projects conducted by Agency personnel in the Office of Research and Development laboratories that provide demonstration or proof of concept projects such as method validation studies, and basic, exploratory, conceptual research to study basic phenomena or issues. Includes characterization of health or ecological mechanisms and/or endpoints in order to improve the understanding of the interaction of environmental compounds, conditions, or processes with human and other life forms; and also includes the development of assays or methods for detecting or estimating the influence of a particular environmental agent on a specific health or ecological endpoint.

Disposition Instructions:

Item a: Project files

Includes documentation related to the formulation and approval of the research plan, the selection of the research methodology, questionnaires, quality assurance project plans, raw data, laboratory notebooks, any project- or study-related correspondence, or other data collection media, copies of interim reports showing data tabulation results and interpretations, copies of the final reports, peer reviews, and quality assurance assessments.

Item b: Maintenance and calibration and inspection of equipment


Scientific research project files related to rulemaking for Office of Research and Development laboratories are covered in EPA 501.

Tissue samples and specimens, including wet specimens, samples of test, control, or reference substances, and specially prepared material that are relatively fragile and differ markedly in stability and quality during storage, are to be retained only as long as the quality of the preparation affords evaluation. Specimens obtained from mutagenicity tests, specimens of soil, water, and plants, and wet specimens of blood, urine, feces, biological fluids, do not need to be retained after quality assurance verification. In some research studies involving humans, the agreement with the human subjects requires samples to be destroyed immediately after the analysis and quality assurance verification is complete. In that case, the sample is retained as specified in the agreement.

Other tissue samples and specimens not listed above are to be retained 5 years, then destroyed.

Reasons for Disposition:

The disposition instructions have been rewritten as media neutral to allow for maintaining the record copy in EPA's electronic recordkeeping system. The retention has not changed.

Item c for electronic copies created with word processing and electronic mail applications deleted 08/22/2006 pursuant to NARA Bulletin 2006-04.


Office of Research and Development

Related Schedules:

EPA 501

Previous NARA Disposal Authority:

NC1-412-78-3/7, NC1-412-85-23/7, N1-412-04-7

Entry: 06/14/1993

EPA Approval: 08/27/2007

NARA Approval: 06/22/2008

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