Trials and Tribulations of Being a Mobile Laboratory – Methodologies and Accreditations

Oral Presentation

Prepared by K. Watson, M. Rossi
Stone Environmental, Inc., 535 Stone Cutters Way, Montpelier, VT, 05602, United States

Contact Information:; 802-229-2196


The need for accurate, fast and economical onsite analytical programs that can support high resolution site characterizations has increased significantly over the past decade. The proof of concept for successfully deploying highly accurate and economical laboratory programs to the field is well established however, in many cases the burden placed on the mobile laboratory to comply with the various State’s laboratory programs, as administered through the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP), can make it difficult for the mobile laboratory to be a cost effective option for these types of site investigations.

For the mobile laboratory, the burden is higher than that of fixed laboratories due to the fact that in many cases in order to bring a mobile laboratory into a given state the laboratory must seek primary accreditation as require by most NELAP State regulations. And for non-NELAP States the laboratory must seek and gain accreditations before being accepted to do the work.

One of the primary goals for creating the (NELAP) was to standardize the quality of laboratory data across many states and to minimize the differences in quality regulations and standards needed for laboratories to do work in multiple states outside of their primary accreditating state. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss some of the difficulties associated with trying to run a cost effective multi-state mobile laboratory program within the said regulatory environments. Also discussed are the extra levels of burden placed on laboratories that are using innovative techniques that perform at levels equal to or greater than more conventional techniques that are not yet listed in SW846. In this paper, we will discuss the use of innovative technologies used in a mobile laboratory environment (solid phase micro extractions and analysis) and the difficulties in seeking NELAP secondary accreditation and mobile laboratory accreditations across America.