Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN)
Basic Information About the ERLN
ERLN Fact Sheets
What is the ERLN?
The Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN) is EPA's national network of laboratories that can be accessed as needed to support large scale environmental responses. With the threat of a chemical, biological, and radiological attack to the United States becoming more complex, the need for accurate, timely environmental testing capabilities becomes even more crucial to manage a response effectively.
The Need for an Environmental Laboratory Network
Other laboratory networks, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Animal Health Network (NAHLN) and the Food and Drug Administration's/USDA's Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) have some environmental testing abilities however because the environment is not their mission, their capacity to test environmental samples can become overtaxed in a large scale response. EPA's ERLN is solely dedicated to the testing of environmental samples.
Participation in the ERLN is based on a laboratory's ability to meet the ERLN's core quality requirements. These requirements streamline the network and allow for consistent analytical capabilities, capacities, and quality data that are managed in a systemic, coordinated manner. The integration of public sector labs with accredited private sector labs leads to networking possibilities for ERLN members, but more importantly, the ERLN is able to serve the nation by making it better prepared for a nationally significant event.
- Provide Federal, State, and local decision-makers with reliable, high quality analyses of chemical, biological, and radiological samples taken in support of response and cleanup activities.
- Provide environmental laboratory testing capability and capacity to meet EPA's responsibilities for surveillance, response, decontamination and recovery from incidents involving release of chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants.
- Facilitate coordination of laboratories capable of responding efficiently and effectively to incidents.
- Maintain and establish relationships with other federal laboratory networks through the Integrated Consortium of Laboratory Networks (ICLN) in preparation for a major environmental event. Read more about the ICLN in the ERLN Partners Web page.