Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN)
Participation in the Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN) is based on a laboratory's ability to meet the ERLN's core requirements. Each laboratory must establish, maintain, and demonstrate:
- A quality system consistent with ISO 17025 (65 pp, 292K, about PDF), the NELAC Institute , or Drinking Water Certification (as applicable);
- Documented policies and procedures;
- Sample management systems;
- Facilities for sample handling and secure storage;
- Data management and exchange procedures; and
- Analytical capabilities and capacities for chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants.
If a lab doesn't have any accreditation or certification and submits a quality management checklist to document a quality system, EPA may audit the laboratory to verify the information the laboratory has submitted. This verification is intended to confirm the laboratory's quality system(s) and will not have any other consequences.
Member labs will:
- Supply analytical services for biological, chemical, and/or radiological contaminants in samples collected in support of environmental responses;
- Adhere to the methods and technical requirements specified in the incident-specific task order when testing ERLN samples and reporting results;
- Report positive or suspect test results, to authorized ERLN personnel only, within the timeframe specified for the project;
- Have all necessary measurement and testing equipment required to perform the applicable test as specified in the methods referenced in the project-specific task order, prior to receipt of samples; and
- Meet requirements outlined in an incident-specific task order.
Interagency Agreements transfer funds between Federal agencies for agreed upon work. A Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) (PDF) (24 pp, 944K, about PDF) will be the primary mechanism for funding private and public laboratories.
A BOA is a written instrument of understanding between EPA and a laboratory that contains terms and clauses applying to all future orders, a description of services to be provided, and methods for pricing, issuing, and delivering future orders. The BOA can only be used for compensating laboratories for laboratory analytical services.
If a public laboratory is not capable of entering into a BOA with EPA, or if a laboratory provides other services to support a response or is asked to build on specific ERLN capabilities, other appropriate reimbursement mechanisms will be evaluated, as needed.