Scio Residents for Safe Water SRSW

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Two Sets of "Books" to Monitor the Contamination -or- Cover Up of Faulty Database Conversion?

Pall/Gelman's bizarre response to the DEQ's inquiry concerning the various data anomalies in Pall/Gelman's new monitoring database (available here) suggests that something is amiss with their data procedures.

The 11/11/2011 response, which the DEQ belatedly handed out in hard copy form at the 02/07/2012 CARD meeting, states that the DEQ (and hence the public) will no longer have access to Pall's online sampling database hosted at Wayne State University (WSU) *.  Instead of explaining why this database had so many differences with its prior database, the company's lawyer instructed Pall's Corporate VP, Sustainability, Safety & Environmental Engineering, Farsad Fotouhi, to ignore the questions about the data problems.

One possible explanation for the odd response is that Pall/Gelman is keeping two sets of 1,4-dioxane contamination monitoring "books" ... one for internal use and one to release to the public.

Another possible explanation is that Pall/Gelman wants to cover up its database conversion problems.

Pall claims that its monthly submittals accurately provide all valid sampling data, yet a comparison of the monthly reports versus the database from January to April 2011 reveal differences.  Pall claims that it "provides the State with all of the data it gathers from the site in fully QA/QC'd reports and data summaries", yet an examination of available data proves otherwise.

As long as Pall is allowed to restrict DEQ access to the official data repository, the Pall database at WSU, the issue will remain unresolved... and any analyses by any party will be suspect.

The controversy reflects badly on Wayne State University's Department of Computer Science and College of Engineering, headed by Farsad's brother, Farshad Fotouhi.*

It took the DEQ about five months to reveal to the public that Pall/Gelman was transferring its database to WSU, another five months for the DEQ to pass on to Pall concerns about the data transfer, and almost three months to reveal to the public Pall's response to those concerns.  While the staff cuts at the DEQ might account for some of these delays, it leaves one wondering how much longer it will take to restore a timely and accurate data stream.

* Update:  contrary to initial statements from a DEQ source, Pall later asserted that the new database is not hosted at WSU but has not revealed where the database is hosted or on what platform it is based.

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Tags: DEQ, Gelman, Michigan, Pall, contamination, data, database, dioxane, groundwater, pollution

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