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Data Standards

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The following data standards have been adopted by EPA for use by Agency programs.

Standard Name Version No. Date of Version Required Implementation Date Summary Comments on Version
Attached Binary Object 1.0 2006-01-06 2008-05-27 This standard provides and describes data groupings that are used to exchange documents, images, photos, GIS data layers, laboratory materials and other electronic objects attached within the data exchange, as well as information used to describe those objects. This standard relies on other standards to make it complete and provide necessary support. As such, users should consider the references to other data standards noted below as integral to the Attached Binary Object [EX000006.1] Data Standard, including the Bibliographic Reference [EX000007.1] Data Standard.  
Bibliographic Reference 1.0 2006-01-06 2008-05-06 This standard specifies data groupings that may be used to identify the characteristics and/or catalog a referenced digital data item/object.  
Biological Taxonomy 2.0 2006-01-06 2008-05-19 This standard provides data groupings that are used to describe, identify, name, and classify biological taxonomic information for biota, groups, and viruses. The standard specifies the key data elements necessary to constitute consistent and unambiguous identification of biological organisms of interest to environmental concerns.  
Chemical Identification 2.0 2006-01-06 2008-05-15 This standard defines the required information for identification of chemical substances. It provides five mandatory and fifteen optional data elements for chemical substance identification. The mandatory data group includes EPA Chemical Tracking Number, Chemical Abstracts Registry Number, Chemical Substance Systematic Name, EPA Chemical Registry Name and EPA Chemical Identifier. The optional data elements provide additional identification information about a chemical substance or chemical grouping.  
Compositing Activity 1.0 2006-01-06   This standard describes data elements and data groupings that are used to exchange Compositing Activity data and information. This standard is only used in conjunction with Environmental Sampling, Analysis and Results (ESAR): Field Activity [EX000004.1] Data Standard and/or ESAR Analysis and Results [EX000005.1] Data Standard components.  
Contact Information 2.0 2006-01-06   This standard provides information regarding the source of contact. It offers data groupings that are used to describe a point of contact, address, and communication information. For example, the data grouping “Point of Contact” subdivides to lower levels such as Individual, Affiliation, and Organization. These intermediate data groupings are further defined at the elemental levels with Name, Title, Code and Prefix.  
Enforcement and Compliance 2.0 2008-07-30 2011-07-29 This standard contains the enforcement/compliance data element matrix and commonly used enforcement and compliance terminology. The data elements are grouped by defined subject areas. Each data element is represented by a name, definition, format (maximum length and data type), and where applicable, permitted values. The Notes column is used to record explanatory text relating to the definition and use of the data element.  
Equipment 1.0 2006-01-06   This standard identifies and describes an apparatus or instrument used for sample collection, processing, analysis, etc. associated with environmental monitoring and laboratory analysis. It includes associated calibration information.  
ESAR: Analysis and Results 2.0 2010-02-04 2013-02-04 This standard includes the data groupings and elements required for describing analysis and results information for samples. It provides information about the laboratory, laboratory batch receipt, laboratory sample receipt, the sample preparation, the laboratory analysis, and the quality control data. Incorporates additional water quality and biological data elements
ESAR: Field Activity 2.0 2010-02-04 2013-02-04 This standard provides a group of data elements that are used to exchange information about field activities. It provides information about the contacts, collection method, sample identification, collection date/time, depth/altitude, observation notes, sample characteristics, batch and shipping activities. Whenever a reference is made to "Field Activity", the "Monitoring Location" and if applicable "Project" identification must be specified to distinguish the project and monitoring location that apply to the field activity. Incorporates additional water quality and biological data elements
ESAR: Monitoring Location 2.0 2010-02-04 2013-02-04 This standard identifies and describes the elements required for describing Monitoring Location information. It provides information about the identification, contacts, location, and attachments of monitoring location data. Incorporates additional water quality and biological data elements
ESAR: Overview 1.0 2006-01-06   This standards provides context and an overview for the suite of ESAR data standards.  
ESAR: Project 2.0 2010-02-04 2013-02-04 This standard provides and describes data groupings that are used to exchange data related to environmental data projects. These include information about the identification, contacts, dates, study areas, reasons, and quality constraints of project data. The parties that are collecting and managing the data determine the level of description needed to specify a project. Incorporates additional water quality and biological data elements
Facility Site Identification 2.0 2006-01-06 2008-05-22 The purpose of this standard is to identify a facility of environmental interest. Adoption of the standard will help US EPA, Tribes, and States integrate and share facility information across multiple information systems, programs, and governments.  
Institutional Control 1.0 2006-01-06 2008-05-07 EPA defines institutional controls (ICs) as non-engineering measures, such as administrative and/or legal controls, that help to minimize the potential for human exposure to contamination and/or to protect the integrity of a remedy by limiting land or resource use. ICs are used when contamination is first discovered, when remedies are ongoing, and when residual contamination remains onsite at a level that does not allow for unrestricted use and unlimited exposure after cleanup. Please note that while ICs will be defined in administrative or legal terms that must generally be filed, they should be expected to change if warranted by changes in the levels of residual contamination to decrease or increase the area with ICs.  
Latitude/Longitude 2.0 2006-01-06 2008-05-27 This standard is a set of data elements that can be used for recording horizontal and vertical coordinates and associated metadata that define a point on the earth. It establishes the requirements for documenting latitude and longitude coordinates and related method, accuracy, and description data for all places used in data exchange transaction. Places include facilities, sites, monitoring stations, observation points, and other regulated or tracked features.  
Measure 1.0 2006-01-06   This standard focuses on data elements used to identify and describe recorded measurements or analytical results that are being exchanged between data trading partners. There are many categories or types of measurement where the units in each type are mutually comparable. For example, lengths, diameters, distances, heights, wavelengths constitute such a category. Mutually comparable quantities are called “quantities of the same kind”. Each category of measurement has an allowed set of units of measure. Two or more physical quantities cannot be compared unless they belong to the same category of measurements. Some example categories of measurements include: length, mass, time, temperature, amount of substance, velocity, force, relative density, illuminance, and entropy.  
Method 1.0 2006-01-06   This standard identifies and references the methods, procedures, and techniques for performing an activity (e.g., sampling, chemical analysis, and quantification).  
Permitting Information 2.0 2006-01-06   The standard provides information regarding the permit or permitting process. It specifies the key data groupings necessary for the consistent identification of information pertaining to permits of interest to environmental information exchange partners. This data standard provides a minimum set of data which needs to be reported for permitting information such as permit name, number, type, organization/facility name and affiliation type.  
Quality Assurance and Quality Control 2.0 2010-02-04 2013-02-04 This standard identifies quantitative statistics and qualitative descriptors that are used to interpret the degree of acceptability or utility of data to the user. It provides a common set of data components and data elements to specify Quality Control elements that may be acquired during field or laboratory analysis. These data components and data elements provide a reusable template for Quality Control information. This standard does not establish a new reporting requirement for the regulated community or new data collection requirements for EPA programs. It does however require that information exchanges of quality control information conform to the standard once EPA and its partners adopt and implement the standard. Incorporates additional water quality and biological related data elements
Representation of Date and Time 1.0 2006-01-06   This is a format standard which indicates how one displays a particular day within a Gregorian calendar month and specifies an instance of time in the day. Time is expressed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). UTC is the official time scale, maintained by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM), and the International Earth Rotation Service (IERS).  
Sample Handling 1.0 2006-01-06   This standard identifies descriptors for handling, treatment, and preservation of a sample in the laboratory and/or field activities.  
SIC/NAICS 2.0 2006-01-06   This data standard provides information on business activity according to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). The SIC classification system defines economic activity into ten divisions. Divisions are further broken down into numeric codes that define major industrial groups and industries. Descriptive text is also available to define industrial subdivisions.  
Tribal Identifier 2.3 2014-12-17 2011-05-28 This standard specifies the set of tribal names and codes necessary to constitute consistent and unambiguous identification of federally-recognized American Indian and Alaska Native entities. It adopted the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) criteria of tribal entity identification (federally recognized tribes) and is not intended for the identification of geographic, demographic or economic tribal areas. BIA is responsible for maintaining the official list of tribal names and codes according to their established criteria. Available code set
Well Information 2.0 2010-02-04 2013-02-04 This standard describes data elements and data groupings that are used to exchange information about wells. It includes information about well ownership, location, use, and construction. Incorporates additional water quality and biological related data elements