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Spring 2018 News

The new safety measure for lead in drinking water in Minnesota schools

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) developed a model plan for how schools should accurately and efficiently test for lead. The new state law requires school districts and charter schools, by July 1, 2018, to adopt the model plan or create a plan of their own that follows state and federal guidelines. The state’s model testing plan is also a manual to guide schools on actions they can take to prevent and reduce lead in school drinking water. The Reducing Lead in Drinking Water (PDF) manual contains health information, regulations, testing plans and hazard reduction options.

Asbestos Assessor Technical Training Opportunity

The NELAC Institute is offering a technical assessor training for the assessment process for asbestos testing laboratory technologies.  Asbestos is on the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation Contaminant List (PDF) and MNELAP offers accreditation for this field of testing. For those interested, please register directly with The NELAC Institute.

Please update your ELDO bookmarks and favorites

The Environmental Laboratory Data Online (ELDO) system moved to a new location. The Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program - Search for Accredited Laboratories has also moved to a new location.

MDH Well Management: Handling of Water-Supply Water Samples

The MDH Well Management Section issued a memo (PDF), dated March 30, 2018, regarding the preservation and handling of water samples collected from new private potable water‐supply wells.  MNELAP laboratories will be assessed in accordance to the sample thermal and chemical preservation(s) in the 40 CFR Part 141, Subpart C, or the method if more stringent, and the sample acceptance policy and handling requirements per the 2009 TNI Standard and the US EPA’s 5th Edition of the Drinking Water Manual.

Winter 2018 News

The 2017 MUR Implementation and the Availability of FOTs

If your laboratory currently maintains or wishes to seek secondary accreditation with New York or New Jersey, please take note that these accreditation bodies plan to implement the 2017 Clean Water Act MUR on April 1 and July 1, 2018.  The early implementation of the 2017 MUR methods may affect your laboratory, because the Minnesota Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (MNELAP) may not currently offer accreditation for an updated method required by the secondary Accreditation Body (AB).    

Minnesota labs, interested in secondary accreditation with New York and New Jersey, need to provide MNELAP with a list of fields of testing to evaluation for addition to the MNELAP available list prior to other states’ implementation timelines.  Please supply MNELAP with a list of the needed method reference, TNI LAMS method code, analyte name, TNI LAMs analyte code, program and matrix by March 1, 2018 to be considered for additions to our current list of fields of testing available for accreditation.  

Fall 2017 News

New Fields of Testing Added

The ELDO application has been updated with over 200 fields-of-testing (FOT). The new FOTs include updated method codes to comply with TNI LAMs database, missed FOTs from past years, and updated method versions.

New Field of Testing Request Form

If your laboratory needs accreditation for a field-of-testing that does not appear on the current FOT list, please use the FOT Request Form to send your request directly to MNELAP for review and processing.

Approved Method Version

Please ensure you are using the approved version of the method that is required for your permit, program or rule. For example, laboratories that do compliance work for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency under the Resource and Conservation Act are required to use the SW-846 Update V versions. Please check the method you are seeking accreditation is the method listed in the Update V, as not all Update V methods are sequential (e.g. EPA 8260 C is not allowed, while EPA 8260 B is allowed). If in doubt, contact the client.
To apply for a newer method version laboratories must ensure the following:

  • The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is compliant with the method version requested;,
  • The actual laboratory practice must follow the requirements associated with the method version listed on the renewal application or current scope;
  • Proficiency Tests (PTs) from older method version are acceptable in 2017, but all future PTs must match the method on the laboratory’s scope;
  • For secondary laboratories, an older version of a method listed are accepted on the primary scope as long as the laboratory is in the process of updating to the newest version with their primary accreditation body.
  • Determine if you need to maintain the older version of the method. If not, please remove the older method version from your application prior to submittal.

New Method Detection Limit Procedure Timeline

The 2017 Method Update Rule (MUR) became effective September 27, 2017.  The MNELAP laboratories are required to begin following the new Method Detection Limit (MDL) Procedure in 2018 and have all MDLs completed by the updated procedure by 2019. An on demand training The New MDL Procedure is available for a fee. The webcast reviews the new procedure and provides examples of how to implement the procedure using real data.

Forum on Environmental Accreditation is now available for Registration

The 2018 Forum on Environmental Accreditation will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, NM, January 22-25, 2018. Some of the highlights for the week include:

  • Meetings of TNI Committees to further TNI efforts on environmental laboratory accreditation, proficiency testing, and accreditation of field sampling and measurement organizations;
  • An exhibit program showcasing the latest innovations in environmental monitoring;
  • Discussion of the new consensus standards in development for detection and quantitation, instrument calibration, proficiency testing and field activities;
  • An Assessment Forum;
  • A general session with updates about TNI programs;
  • An open meeting of US Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Laboratory Advisory Board; and
  • A training course on assessing radiochemistry laboratories.

MNELAP Laboratory Survey-Look for it soon!

MNELAP will be sending out a survey to all MNELAP accredited labs. The survey will ask questions on your laboratory’s history and work type performed, reasons for your accreditation, complexity of the accreditation process, and your experience with the assessment process.  Please take a few minutes to fill out the short survey. Your feedback helps MNELAP better serve your laboratory’s needs.  

Spring 2017 News

The Minnesota Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program Receives Renewed Recognition as a National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program Accreditation Body

The Minnesota Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (MNELAP) is an Accreditation Body (AB) established in 1989 to accredit environmental laboratories. MNELAP has been a National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) Accreditation Body (AB) through the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Council (NELAC) since 2010. In early 2016, MNELAP participated in the triennial evaluation process and NELAC awarded MNELAP renewal recognition as a NELAP AB on April 5, 2017. The evaluation process consists of a thorough record and document review, onsite evaluation of MNELAP, and an observation of a MNELAP assessor performing a laboratory assessment. The NELAP evaluation team assessed the MNELAP’s compliance to the 2009 TNI Standard Volume 2 General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Environmental Laboratories.

The purpose of laboratory accreditation is to instill public and regulatory confidence in the laboratory data produced and reported to various state and federal environmental programs; and to assist in ensuring laboratories generate quality, legally defensible data, consistent with other accredited environmental laboratories throughout the country and the world. Laboratory accreditation requires that laboratories’ quality systems, staff, facilities, equipment, test methods, records and reports meet objective and measurable criteria adopted by the NELAP of The NELAC Institute (TNI).

New Analytes Available

In order to meet the needs of laboratories and data users, MNELAP added several new analytes to the list of available analytes for accreditation.  The department reviewed the list of  requested analytes and added Anthanthrene (CAS # 191-26-4), Available Cyanide, Benzo[c]fluorine (CAS# 205-12-9), Cyclopenta[c,d]pyrene (CAS# 27208-37-3), Dibenzo[a,l] pyrene (CAS# 191-30-0), 5-Methylchrysene (3697-24-3), 6-Nitrochrysene (CAS# 7496-02-8) and Residual Range Organics to the list previously published.

Requests to add fields of testing for new analytes in response to this notice of availability, do not require payment if the laboratory holds valid accreditation for the changed test category and applies for additional analytes within the same test category, and the lab applies no later than 180 days after the notice of availability is posted. Please see the official notice in the Minnesota State Register for additional information and details.

USBank Electronic Payment System and your Checking Account

The Environmental Laboratory Data Online (ELDO) system now accepts online electronic payments for laboratory accreditation fees. Electronic checks and savings account payment transfers do not incur a transaction fee.  Paying by electronic transfer is easy and convenient.  Please see the example below:

Example check with numbers needed for electronic payment. User enters the Bank Routing Number and Bank Account Number, then re-enter the Bank Account Number and the Bank Account type of checking or savings.

USBank does not charge convenience fees for checking or savings account transfers using this method of payment, but a convenience fee will be charged for debit/credit card payments. Convenience fees, if applicable to your payment type, will be clearly displayed on the screen for review and confirmation prior to submission of payment.

Calculator for Relative Standard Error Available from TNI

TNI has posted two documents to help labs calculate Relative Standard Error as required by the Chemical Testing Standard of the 2009 TNI Laboratory Accreditation Standard (V1M4, Section  A document outlines the procedure and links to a companion Excel spreadsheet to simplify the calculation process.  TNI made this tool available to assist laboratories with meeting the requirements in this area of the TNI standard, use of this tool is not a TNI Standard requirement.

Winter 2017 News

Method Update Rule (MUR) 2016-Federal Activities

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing changes through the Method Update Rule (MUR). The 2016 MUR includes updates to methods approved for testing under the Clean Water Act (i.e. NPDES permits) and to the procedure for determining the Method Detection Limit (MDL).  The EPA is in the final stages of preparing and promulgating these changes to the regulations; however, the federal regulatory freeze has put the MUR on hold for now.

The MUR and all methods within are not effective until published in the Federal Register. The final rule becomes effective 30 days after publication.  After the MUR becomes effective, MNELAP will work with our state program partners to determine implementation dates for laboratories to gain accreditation for the newer versions of the methods, and to implement the revised MDL procedures.   In the meantime, please continue to follow the current promulgated Clean Water Program (40 CFR Part 136) Laws and Rules and seek out any needed information or training opportunities your laboratory may be interesting in obtaining about the MUR and its implementation in your laboratory.  The EPA maintains a webpage dedicated to the Method Update Rule-2017 and The NELAC Institute (TNI)  offers training materials on the proposed rule changes, approved methods and updated versions of methodology.

2016 TNI Standard Clarification- State Activities
Currently, the 2016 TNI Standard is available for sale on The NELAC Institute (TNI) website. The 2016 Standard is approved as an ANSI standard; however, the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) States has NOT approved the 2016 TNI Standard for use. The 2016 TNI Standard, specifically the Chemistry Testing module (Volume 1 Module 4), is undergoing revision in order to meet the requirements of the NELAP States.  Once the NELAP States approve the revisions, the NELAP States will adopt 2017 TNI Standard.  Your laboratory can start preparing for any required changes found throughout the other module revisions, but MNELAP requires your laboratory to continue to follow the 2009 TNI Standards until officially announcing the 2017 TNI implementation dates and timelines.

Updated Tuesday, 01-May-2018 10:58:40 CDT