California Dreaming: Laboratory Expectations for Meaningful State ELAP Reform

Oral Presentation

Prepared by A. Mackenzie
Babcock Laboratories, Inc., 6100 Quail Valley Ct., Riverside, CA, 92508, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 951-653-3351


The stated purpose of the California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (CA ELAP) is to “ensure the quality of analytical data used for regulatory purposes…”1 Realization of this goal has proven elusive and remains in question for many of the regulatory programs administered by the various CA state agencies. The Program’s loss of NELAP Accrediting Body status at the beginning of 2014 provides confirmation of many of the unresolved challenges facing the CA ELAP. Additionally, as a result of the July 2014 reorganization of the California Drinking Water Program, the CA ELAP moved from the Department of Health Services (DHS) to the new Division of Drinking Water under the State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB). The reorganization affords the new management at the SWRCB with the unusual yet timely opportunity to reform the Program. However, there are a number of serious obstacles to overcome and time is of the essence.

With some of the country’s highest lab accreditation program costs and slowest staff response times, there has long been a need on the part of CA ELAP for improved management, increased transparency, and demonstrated cost effectiveness. This presentation provides a brief overview of the Program problems, the accreditation expectations of the lab community, and recommendations for Program improvement.

1. Retrieved January 26, 2015