To determine whether Wadsworth Center is adequately certifying, monitoring, and enforcing selected regulations over environmental laboratories.
About the Program
The Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) of the Wadsworth Center (Wadsworth) was established in 1984 and is responsible for the certification of laboratories performing environmental analyses on samples originating from New York State (NYS), thus ensuring the accuracy and reliability of these analyses. Accurate laboratory test results are essential to health assessment and disease or environmental exposure prevention. ELAP is an approved accrediting authority under the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference Institute (NELAC/TNI), an independent non-profit organization, and its National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP). ELAP standards conform to standards NELAC adopted for implementation in July 2003.
ELAP issues certificates of approval/accreditations based on a combination of category-analyte-method/technology: category refers to the type of sample being tested (e.g., potable water), analyte refers to what is being measured (e.g., lead), and method/technology refers to the kind of assessment used to test for an analyte. Currently, ELAP grants certification to commercial, self-monitoring, and government-operated environmental laboratories in fields including: Drinking (Potable) Water; Non-Potable Water; Solid and Chemical Materials (Solid and Hazardous Waste); Air and Emissions; and Medical Marijuana.
As of July 2019, ELAP had 468 approved laboratories (287 located in NYS, 168 in other states, and 13 outside of the United States). These laboratories were approved in the following fields: 176 for the analysis of air and emissions, 249 for the analysis of non-potable water, 247 for the analysis of potable water, 156 for the analysis of solid and hazardous waste, and 4 for the analysis of medical marijuana (labs can be approved for more than one category).
We identified opportunities to improve documentation of on-site assessments, for which Wadsworth has taken corrective action. However, we did not find a significant amount of other non-compliance with ELAP procedures and protocols in the areas reviewed that would cause us to question the sufficiency of Wadsworth’s processes for certifying, monitoring, and enforcing regulations over environmental laboratories.