Miscellaneous Information

  • Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program​ 

 

The California Environmental Laboratory Improvement Act (Assembly Bill 3739, Chapter 894, Statutes of 1988) took effect on January 1, 1989. It established a consolidated fee-supported accreditation program for environmental health laboratories, and a special fund, the Environmental Laboratory Improvement Fund, to support the program. Under the Act, accreditation is required of an environmental laboratory for producing analytical data for California regulatory agencies. The data is used to demonstrate compliance with requirements of drinking water, wastewater, food for pesticide residues, shellfish testing, and hazardous waste sections of the California Health and Safety and Water Codes. The Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) is responsible for implementing the Act.

 

ELAP conducted an on-site investigation of the Tahoe Truckee Sanitation Agency Laboratory (TTSA) on September 30, 2020 and determined there were violations present:

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Violation Summary:

  1. Failure to include the conditions for notification to ELAP of Laboratory Director changes into the laboratory’s quality assurance manual.

  2. Failure to document a training program into the laboratory’s quality assurance program.

  3. Failure to maintain Demonstration of Capability records of implementation into the laboratory’s quality assurance program.

  4. Failure to review standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Standard Method 9221 and US EPA Method 300.0 into the laboratory’s quality assurance program since 2017.

Method Deviation Violation Summary:

  1. Failure to implement the quality control criteria in the US EPA Method 300.0.

  2. Failure to implement the quality assurance criteria in Standard Method 9221.

 

TTSA discussed the violations with ELAP representatives and were informed the provision to create “A policy to ensure that laboratory management and all personnel who work in the laboratory are free from any undue internal and external commercial, financial and other pressures and influences that may adversely affect the quality of their work. This policy must be included in the laboratory’s QAM.” is not a violation, but is a requirement for all QAMs in accordance with the 2016 TNI regulations.

TTSA provided the following corrective action to the ELAP Notice of Violation and Order to Correct:

 

 

After review of the submitted corrective action, ELAP provided the following response:

“ELAP has reviewed the materials provided in response to the Notice of Violation and Order to Correct. No further action is required from your laboratory to comply with the Order.

 

​As we discussed during and after the inspection, ELAP was willing to provide your laboratory with additional assistance toward compliance with the new regulatory requirements that became effective on January 1, 2021, some of which are requirements in 2024. As general guidance to point your laboratory toward compliance with these requirements, ELAP is providing you with the attached Compliance Assistance document. This document also references the inspection report, which documents the inspectors observations while onsite. Any suggestions made in this letter are only guidance, do not represent the only path to compliance, and do not constitute an Order to Correct.”

 

The references in the response are as follows:

  • Laboratory Analyst Weekend Testing 

The Agency is in the process of training wastewater treatment plant operators to perform laboratory testing on weekends.  Prior to doing so, the operators are required to demonstrate capability of performing the appropriate laboratory test by successfully completing a Proficiency Test (PT).   This is the standard from the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP).  ELAP is the governing body that reviews and permits the Agency as an accredited laboratory. ​

 

The proposed tests to be performed by the operators are as follows.  Links to the training videos as prepared by the Laboratory Director are also available for viewing.

  • Public Employee Relations Board

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