Cleaning up California: A Case Study about Dry Labbing

Identifying and Combatting Inappropriate Laboratory Practices
Oral Presentation

Prepared by A. Turner1, N. Knight2, N. Ahmad1
1 - California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, State Water Resources Control Board, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California, 95814, United States
2 - Office of Enforcement, State Water Resources Control Board, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California, 95814, United States


Contact Information: Alexandria.Turner@waterboards.ca.gov; (916) 323-3433


ABSTRACT

The California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) was created to protect public health and the environment by ensuring laboratory compliance with regulatory and statutory requirements. In 2015, California ELAP stood up an Enforcement Unit after decades of little to no enforcement of the state's environmental testing laboratories. The Enforcement Unit's mission is to investigate complaints from concerned agencies and members of the public and conduct surveillance inspections to determine if any egregious violations against the state's Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Act and applicable regulations have occurred. In 2018, The Enforcement Unit received a referral from a state regulatory agency partner about a laboratory running analysis without accreditation and there began an investigation that revealed a variety of inappropriate laboratory practices. This presentation is a case study on strategic investigation using an enforcement toolbox that includes collaborative partnerships, fines and orders and a judicial hearing by the California State Water Resources Control Board.