Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Vermont Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Suspended By DEP

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it is suspending the accreditation of Analytical Services, Inc., an environmental laboratory located in Williston, Vermont, effective immediately.
DEP accredited the laboratory in March 2015 to provide analysis of drinking water supplies for cryptosporidium, giardia, and E. coli.
Over the past year, 15 Pennsylvania public water systems in Pennsylvania used Analytical Services to conduct raw source water sampling as part of a routine assessment for only those contaminants.
As a result of the suspension, Analytical Services will no longer be allowed to conduct tests to demonstrate compliance with water quality regulations for public drinking water suppliers in Pennsylvania.
The suspension is the result of an investigation by DEP.
“We do not tolerate any violations, especially when it comes to safeguarding public health,” said DEP Secretary John Quigley. “Our staff investigation revealed major violations of the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Act, and therefore, Analytical Services may not continue to perform testing or analysis on environmental samples for Pennsylvania facilities.”
In addition to the suspension of accreditation, DEP issued a Notice of Violation to Analytical Services for violating multiple requirements of the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Act.
During the data audit and evaluation, DEP found that:
-- Analytical Services’ laboratory supervisor and laboratory management failed to ensure the accuracy of the analytical data generated and reported; and
-- Analytical Services’ laboratory analysts failed to meet the test method requirements for the testing and analysis of microbiology drinking water samples.
Pennsylvania regulations require that the lab provide written notification of its suspension to its Pennsylvania clients within the next three days. The suspension notice also requires the lab to supply a list of its Pennsylvania clients to DEP within the next five days. DEP is already taking the extra step of notifying those clients that it is aware of.
All of these systems are currently in compliance with existing treatment technique requirements for filtration and disinfection. The raw source water cryptosporidium monitoring data that is being collected will be used to make future decisions about the need for additional levels of treatment.
Six other accredited commercial laboratories, all out of state, provide testing for cryptosporidium.
DEP’s Laboratory Accreditation Program evaluates and accredits environmental laboratories in accordance with state and federal regulations to protect the environment and ensure public health, safety and welfare.
Labs performing testing on environmental samples for compliance with a statute administered by DEP must be registered with or accredited by DEP.

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