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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Review of the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program Administered by the Department of Environmental Protection , Report No. 94-45, April 1995

  • Since the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program's (SWAMP's) creation in 1991, DEP has established programmatic goals for the Program and increased the amount of available surface water data through its surface water data base. DEP has also established controls to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data collected. In addition, the Program is providing valuable information on surface water quality and the information is used by officials and consultants at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • While DEP has made progress since 1991 in implementing the Program, we identified the following Program limitations. First, a system design plan is needed to ensure that monitoring efforts meet their purpose and provide needed information. Second, although the Department has developed goals and objectives for SWAMP, it has not identified the specific steps that need to be taken to meet these goals and objectives. Third, DEP has not documented its methodology for the expansion of monitoring sites. By not documenting the methodology or rationale for site selections, DEP has not provided the needed connections between the choices made in expanding the network and how those choices relate to what the Program is to accomplish.
  • The Department has not developed a formal process to inform responsible officials of potential or existing surface water quality problems. Although field monitoring staff indicated they use SWAMP data to identify potential problems and notify officials, having a set of procedures would increase assurance that those responsible for taking action are consistently informed about water quality problems.

    Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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