California Environmental Program
California’s State Water Resources Control Board recently announced the adoption of Title 22, Division 4, Chapter 19 of the California Code of Regulations, designed to modernize the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP). These new regulations will require accredited laboratories to implement the NELAC Institute (TNI) 2016 Standard and that a laboratory requesting an assessment to Field(s) of Accreditation that utilize sophisticated technology to use a third-party Assessment Agency. A third-party Assessment Agency is one of the following: a National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) recognized accreditation body; a TNI recognized non-governmental accreditation body; or, an accreditation body that is recognized by the Department of Defense or the Department of Energy. A2LA is approved in the latter 2 of these categories.
A2LA has over 40 years of experience assessing laboratories for accreditation in the environmental field of testing. A2LA received its first recognition by a TNI NELAP state accreditation body in 2015. As of January 2017, A2LA was approved as a TNI Non-Governmental Accreditation Body, leading to several recognitions and allowing A2LA to provide a wider range of services to environmental testing laboratories throughout the United States.
This specialty program is covered under A2LA’s environmental field of testing.
Laboratories applying for an assessment during the 3 year transition period beginning on October 1, 2020 will have the following options for their assessment (determined by their current expiration date with CA ELAP):
- An assessment to the current CA ELAP requirements – California Code Regulations Title 22, Division 4, Chapter 19
- An assessment to the 2016 TNI standard with the modifications adopted under the new regulation. These include changes to the proficiency testing and technical manager requirements.
- A full A2LA accreditation which would include an assessment to all requirements of the 2016 TNI standard and ISO/IEC 17025:2017. This option is likely only to be pursued by commercial laboratories that perform work in multiple states or countries needing reciprocity.
Please refer to the CA ELAP program page to view the revised regulations and a list of frequently asked questions on the new process.