3 Characteristics of a Strong CQA Plan

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? The Importance of CQA Plans.


In any type of commercial construction, what could possibly go wrong? In a word, plenty.

Specifically related to landfill cell construction, expansion or closure, the stakes are especially high. Consider incorrect historic documentation. Incomplete record drawings? Unanticipated conditions and construction modifications?

A strong CQA Plan is critical to addressing potential project pitfalls and subsequent regulatory consequences. Consider these 3 questions a CQA Plan should address.


1. Is It Up to Date?

Many landfills are following a CQA Plan originally drafted in the 1990s, when the current regulations were established. As the facilities develop, the CQA Plan should be routinely updated to reflect current construction methods, industry standards, testing techniques, etc. The CQA Plan should be reviewed prior to construction activity.


2. Does it Provide Realistic Requirements for Effective Construction?

The backbone of the CQA program is a CQA Plan that details the methods that will be used to certify that the construction materials and methods meet the design requirements. The CQA Plan specifies the laboratory and field testing methods, frequency, and minimum requirements for all materials to be used during construction. Additionally, the CQA Plan should specify materials which meet the design parameters, and are also readily available.


3. Does it Define an Effective Chain of Communication?

When multiple parties are involved, there is always a risk of miscommunication. The CQA Plan should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder group, as well as the expected chain of command when unforeseen circumstances or other surprises occur. 


Gosling Czubak has worked with the solid waste industry across Michigan to manage construction activities, environmental regulations, and cell closure at numerous landfills. Gosling Czubak's professionals are trained to perform onsite documentation and record keeping, laboratory and field testing, surveying and other landfill engineering services, including CQA Plan development.

For more information on CQA plans, contact Senior Environmental Engineer Adam Segerlind, P.E.