2019 Employee of the 3rd Quarter—Daniel Salas

Daniel Salas, LIMS & QA/QC administrator, is the 2019 Employee of the 3rd Quarter! 

Daniel quickly understood the Philip L. Anthony Water Quality Laboratory’s (Lab) 15 year-old Aspen LIMS software and helped create new data import interfaces with the Information Systems team for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Methods 524.2-R (VOC analysis), 537 (PFAS) and several UCMR 4 (Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule) methods: 525.3, 530, 541, 552.3 and 200.8. He also managed the effort to create a tool to transfer UCMR data electronically to the EPA.

In addition, Daniel oversaw the creation of the new Method Detection Limit (MDL) calculation tool and created reports to ensure QC goals are met and samples are completed on time. He successfully prepared a new project delivery and phased implementation schedule for a new Matrix LIMS and restarted the implementation program that hadn’t progressed for almost nine months. He created a detailed checklist and configured each testing method in Phase 1A of Matrix LIMS implementation and has organized a group of Lab staff for User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and parallel testing with ASPEN—from logging in samples to final reports.

As a LIMS and QA/QC administrator, he aided in the creation of the QA/QC chemist position and, with this person’s help, actively led successful internal audits and revised the Quality Assurance Manual (QAM) of the inorganic and organic sections of the Lab. Through his excellent planning and organization for the 5-day state ELAP/NV5 audit and onsite inspection of EPA 537 Rev. 1.1 (with 14 PFAS compounds), the Lab had no findings for 537 Rev. 1.1 and only minor findings for the rest of the audit. The Laboratory was able to respond to those findings in a timely manner and to the state’s satisfaction so that in February 2019 it was the first public agency lab in California to have state accreditation for PFAS analysis.

In June of 2019, the state Fields of Testing list was overhauled and included the new EPA 537.1 method (with 18 PFAS compounds). Daniel quickly submitted an amendment application and the required QC packages to the State ELAP for the accreditation of EPA 537.1. He and the QA/QC chemist continue to work to ensure that the Lab’s state certification remains current for all tests as the state revises its Fields of Testing.

Daniel interacts with the internal and external contacts with effective professional communications, both verbally and in writing. He has a positive “can-do” attitude, excellent work ethic, professionalism, and a sense of humor.

Congratulations Daniel!