The Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) transitioned from the California Department of Public Health to the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water (DDW) in July 2014. Since then, the SWRCB has selected an Expert Review Panel (ERP) and charged them with seven questions to review the existing ELAP program and recommend changes. If the ERP recommendations is implemented, it will have major impact on the medium and small laboratories. The Lab Committee would like to reach out to the CWEA laboratory community to have them submit their comments. In order to make it convenient and get as many as possible laboratories to respond, this template has been created for the laboratories/agencies to use at their discretion.
The ELAP ERP is meeting on October 14 and the comment letters should be submitted today.
CWEA was given the opportunity to comment in response to the Draft Report of the Expert Review Panel (ERP) on Findings and Recommendations of the State of California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (CA-ELAP). See the entire letter here.
Program management needs improvement for CA-ELAP to be effective. This is the most pressing issue. Most ERP identified problems, such as inconsistency in the performance of audits, would be resolved under an improved internal management system. A “comprehensive overhaul” of CA-ELAP is not necessary if CA-ELAP is managed effectively. Further, a program overhaul requires statutes and/or regulations to be updated, which would delay many of the “quick fix” recommendations offered by the ERP. Therefore, CWEA recommends that the SWRCB support a significant update of CA-ELAP’s internal management systems, incorporating elements of ISO 17011 to fit program needs.