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This paper discusses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification procedures for certifying local laboratories analyzing drinking water for compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. A local laboratory is defined as a nonprincipal state laboratory and may include state, county, municipal, federal, or commercial laboratories. The EPA certification program has recently been updated and clarified in the 1983 edition of the EPA certification manual. Critical elements for certification in chemistry, microbiology, and radiochemistry have been revised and include the preparation of a quality assurance (QA) plan. Requirements to maintain certification as well as criteria and procedures for downgrading a laboratory's certification status are described in the manual. Technical services to be provided by EPA have been expanded. The paper briefly describes the certification program, changes that are incorporated in the new manual that will affect the certification of local laboratories, and potential future changes.
certification, drinking water, local laboratories, nonprimacy, chemistry, microbiology, radiochemistry, quality assurance, warning system, Safe Drinking Water Act
Quality Assurance Officer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VIII, Denver, CO