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Notice of Data Quality Issue for the Inorganic Section of the Energy Geochemistry Laboratory, and Closure of the Inorganic Section (Program Update, September 30, 2016)

Since the last update was posted to the Energy Resources Program (ERP) website, we continue to follow-up on this incident and have taken (or are taking) the following actions:

ERP continues to evaluate the impact of this incident. As a result of previous announcements we’ve made about the data manipulation incident in the Inorganic Section of our Energy Geochemistry Laboratory, ERP has received several inquiries into which data (and possible journal articles/publications) may have been impacted. To date, we have reviewed several project areas for potentially affected publications, and a status update on this review can be found HERE:

As an example of these requests, ERP was contacted regarding a series of uranium studies performed in the Grand Canyon area and whether any samples used in these studies were analyzed in the Inorganic Section of the Energy Geochemistry Laboratory (EGL). Interest in this issue was in response to whether any policy decisions may have been affected by the EGL data quality incident. We have provided chain-of-custody documentation and other relevant data in response to these inquiries, and additionally we plan to make these data available to the public on our website in the coming weeks. From this review and supporting information, it is evident that no samples analyzed by EGL were used in Secretary Salazar’s recent policy decision to withdraw lands from uranium mining and that the samples in question were analyzed by other laboratories.

We continue to make progress on implementing a revised, externally vetted Quality Management System within ERP and for our Energy Geochemistry Laboratories. We are hiring a Quality Management System (QMS) Manager who will report directly to the ERP Program Coordinator. In addition, ERP has made a decision to fund and staff a dedicated Quality Assurance Specialist in each of its Eastern and Central Energy Resources Science Centers. The job announcements for these positions are under review and will be made available shortly. In the meantime, ERP has appointed two specialists, one in each Science Center, to fill the Quality Assurance Specialist roles on an interim basis until permanent hires can be interviewed and selected.

For more information:

For any questions regarding this data quality issue, including potentially affected analyses and science publications and information products, please contact the USGS Energy Resources Program at:


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