The Future-Relevant Environmental Laboratory

Changing the Paradigm for Water Pollution Monitoring
Oral Presentation

Prepared by

Contact Information:; 510-287-1435


The environmental laboratory of today is mostly an offshoot of the regulations implemented in the 1970s and the 1980s, with some updates that tweaked, but did not significantly change the industry. However, technology innovations in pollutant tracking are continually improving; the average citizen is better informed than when Clean Water Act was passed; and forward thinking researchers and academics are collaborating with regulatory institutions to address environmental concerns. Where does the environmental laboratory fit in the future that is being shaped by these developments? Would meticulous analyses of priority pollutants be sufficient? How can environmental laboratories continue to be relevant to the protection of our environment and public health?
This presentation will explore the thoughts and concerns of environmental activists, the needs of regulators who see beyond the discrete pollutant monitoring, and technologies that are changing the model for analysis. This presentation will also make a case for today’s environmental laboratories to become the center around which regulations and monitoring of the future ought to be designed. Case studies from the San Francisco Bay Area will be presented to illustrate the vision and to stimulate conversation.