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Data discrepancies in tribal monitoring of Klamath algae
COUNTY OF SISKIYOU
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
David J. Herfindahl, M.D. 806 South Main Street Mt. Shasta Office
Public Health Director Yreka, CA 96097-3321 101 Siskiyou Ave.
E-mail: Drherf@co.siskiyou.ca.us TELEPHONE (530) 841-4040 Mt. Shasta, CA 96067-2500
www.co.siskiyou.ca.us Fax (530) 841-4076 Telephone (530) 926-4588
March 9, 2007
To: Charlene Walden
From: Terry Barber (Terry Barber is head of the joint Planning and Environmental Health Dept. of Siskiyou County. She is specialist in environmental health.)
During our conversation of March 9, 2006, you indicated that a Mid-Klamath grass roots organization is aware of data discrepancies that were discovered with Copco Lake Irongate Reservoir sampling efforts that have occurred over the past three years. You requested information and clarification on the problem and any process that are in place to remedy the discrepancy.
Siskiyou County Public Health Department has consistently expressed its concerns about algae sampling due to the lack of approved and standardized laboratory methods.
In November 2006, the County Health Department was informed that split samples analyzed by Wright State University and UC Davis were significantly different. While the Wright State University Lab is no longer in operation, extensive efforts to explain the discrepancy have been taken by State and Federal agencies. The investigation revealed that the discrepancies are caused by the lack of standardized lab methodologies and availability of ‘lab standards’ or known concentrations of microcystin. Lab standards are needed to ensure the data quality and accuracy.
It is my understanding that the identified discrepancies associated with the existing data will not be described on the data website or published reports.
It should be noted that, local, state and federal agencies have acknowledged that any future data produced is subject to similar discrepancies.
If there are any further questions or concerns about the data, you may contact Trina Mackie at 510-643-5141 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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