Notice of proposed rule-making from the State Water Board, Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program office…
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) proposes to amend, adopt, or repeal the Environmental Laboratory
Accreditation Program (ELAP) regulations described below after considering all comments, objections, and recommendations regarding the proposed action.
The State Water Board proposes to amend California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 2, Chapter 19, to update requirements and standards for accreditation of
environmental testing laboratories. These proposed amendments are administrative and technical in nature and make the necessary improvements needed to operate a
fully functional and effective Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program.
- Initial Statement of Reasons (pdf)
- Text of originally proposed regulations (pdf)
- View the ELAP Regulations summary webpage
- View all State Water Board documents related to the proposed ELAP regulations
Public Hearing and Board Vote
The State Water Board will hold an Administrative Procedure Act (APA) public hearing during a Board workshop to receive written and oral comments regarding the proposed regulations. The hearing will include a presentation by State Water Board staff on the proposed regulations. During the comment period, the public will be allowed three minutes to provide oral comments, unless additional time is approved.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 – 9:30 a.m.
The State Water Board will consider adoption of the proposed ELAP regulations at the Board’s March 17, 2020 State Water Board meeting.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.
Background from the ELAP Program Office
On October 11, 2019, the State Water Board officially entered the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking process. This date also initiated the start of the public comment period, which will conclude on December 20, 2019. A public hearing to receive written and oral comments will be held on December 18, 2019 and the State Water Board will consider adoption of the proposed ELAP regulations at the Board’s March 17, 2020 State Water Board meeting. See Rulemaking Information below for full details on scheduling and location information.
As stated in Health and Safety Code section 100825, the California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) is responsible for accrediting environmental testing laboratories that produce analytical data for California regulatory agencies that protect public health. The Act allows ELAP to adopt regulations pertaining to Laboratory Personnel, Quality Assurance Procedures, Laboratory Equipment, Facilities, Standard Operating Procedures, Proficiency Testing, Onsite Assessments, Recordkeeping, Fields of Accreditation, etc. in order to ensure that laboratories are capable of producing analytical data of known and documented quality.
ELAP’s current regulations have not been updated since 1994; they are vague and outdated. Most importantly, ELAP’s current regulations do not include quality systems, a program for continuous improvement that provides feedback to identify problems and correct them systematically, so that they don’t occur again, which is a critical component in ensuring laboratories produce defensible data of known and documented quality.
The proposed ELAP regulations facilitate implementation of a sustainable accreditation program, ensuring that laboratories are capable of generating environmental and public health data of known, consistent, and documented quality to meet stakeholder needs. Most importantly, they foster the environmental laboratory community to obtain a quality management system and produce reliable quality data, which is essential for protecting public and environmental health.