Summary of Requirements to Use Accredited Laboratories

General Environmental Laboratory Assessments

Government agencies other than Ecology and any other lab client are likely to require use of an accredited lab. See the details of your individual grant or contract.

Ecology Requirements

Ecology managers responsible for ordering lab services through regulations, permits, or contractual agreements must support Executive Policy 22-02, ensuring that accredited laboratories perform the analyses. Applicable environmental data include, but are not limited to, results from analysis of water, sediment, sludge, air, soil, plant and animal tissue, and hazardous waste.  Applicable analyses include chemical, physical, biological, microbiological, radiological, or other scientific determinations which provide recorded qualitative and/or quantitative results.

Ecology programs may require use of accredited labs, even though the accreditation may be for methods somewhat different than those used by that program.  For example, a program for which soil analyses are required for a given analyte may require use of a laboratory accredited to analyze for that analyte in a water matrix. 

Wastewater Discharge Permit Programs: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program [Chapter 173-220 Washington Administrative Code (WAC)] requires use of accredited labs for all major NPDES permittees.  Chapter 173-216 WAC , State Waste Discharge Permit Program, and Chapter 173-226 WAC, Waste Discharge General Permit Program, require all other permitted dischargers to use accredited labs by July 1, 1994.  Refer to WACs 173-220-210, 173-216-215, and 173-226-090 for the specific language in each rule. Wastewater Discharge Permits in Washington State is a fact sheet with more information on these permits. All monitoring data submitted to Ecology must come from accredited labs, with specific exceptions: all tests which are done for process control only; flow, temperature, and settleable solids; and conductivity and pH, if the lab operated by a discharger is not required to be accredited for any other test.

The Model Toxics Cleanup Program  requires that all hazardous substance analyses shall be conducted by a laboratory accredited under chapter 173-50 WAC, unless otherwise approved by the department.  Refer to Analytical Procedures in WAC 173-340-830(2)(a).

Stormwater Permits: All monitoring data Ecology approves must come from an accredited lab, except for flow, temperature, pH, total residual chlorine, and other small exceptions.

The Puget Sound Estuary Program and other marine-sediment monitoring programs require the use of an accredited lab for the specific parameters using Appendix D of PSEP Protocols (referred to as PSEP App D), or SW-846 methods indicated.