USEPA's Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN)

Collaborative Efforts to Improve Environmental Monitoring
Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Langlois-Miller
USEPA Office of Emergency Management, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20460, United States


Contact Information: langlois-miller.christina@epa.gov; 202-564-0062


ABSTRACT

The Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN) is EPA's national network of public and private laboratories that can be accessed as needed to support large scale environmental responses. With the threat of a chemical, biological, and radiological attack to the United States becoming more complex, the need for accurate, timely environmental testing capabilities becomes even more crucial.

Other laboratory networks, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Animal Health Network and the Food and Drug Administration's/USDA's Food Emergency Response Network have some environmental testing abilities. However, because the environment is not their mission, their capacity to test environmental samples can become overtaxed in a large-scale response. EPA's ERLN is solely dedicated to the testing of environmental samples.

Participation in the ERLN is based on a laboratory's ability to meet the ERLN's core quality requirements. These requirements streamline the network and allow for consistent analytical capabilities, capacities, and quality data that are managed in a systematic, coordinated manner. The integration of public sector laboratories with accredited private sector laboratories leads to networking possibilities for ERLN members. More importantly, the ERLN is able to serve the nation by making it better prepared for a nationally significant event.