The Overhaul of California ELAP: The Laboratory Perspective

Harnessing the Challenges in Reinventing California's Laboratory Accreditation Program
Oral Presentation

Prepared by

Contact Information:; 626 386 1125


During the first decade of the twenty first century, the California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program had become dysfunctional due to an absence of management and an inability to complete its fundamental mission of laboratory accreditation, potentially jeopardizing drinking water safety in the State of California. As a result of this dysfunction, California ELAP’s program was asked to withdraw from NELAP. Upon recognition of these fundamental difficulties, several initial positive steps were taken to resurrect the program following its transfer from the Department of Health to the State Water Resources Control Board. Among these were the creation of an Expert Review Panel who as part of their recommendations, suggested that California ELAP recruit an Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee (ELTAC) to provide a sounding Board for ELAP. ELTAC currently consists of 15 members representing most segments of the lab industry and has met nearly a dozen times in its short 18 month history and tackled a wide variety of issues ranging from the certification structure to “the Standard” and fees. ELTAC has noted many improvements in ELAP that are having a positive effect on the laboratory community. This presentation will set the stage by providing examples of issues impacting ELAP (both historical and present) and indicate how they are being resolved from a commercial laboratory and ELTAC perspective. A perspective on what remains to be addressed will also be provided