National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP)
NELAP has granted recognition of Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) on July 1, 1999 to be the NELAP Accrediting Authority for California with the following scope.
- Drinking water testing: Chemistry, Microbiology and Radiochemistry
- Wastewater testing: Chemistry, Microbiology, Whole Effluent Toxicity Testing and Radiochemistry
- Hazardous waste testing: Extraction Tests, Physical Properties, Chemistry, Toxicity and Radiochemistry
State legislation (SB1304) formally authorizing our participation in NELAP became effective January 1, 2000. NELAP accreditation is voluntary. If a laboratory wish to retain certification under California’s existing certification program, the law still permits this with respect to the laboratory's operations in California.
NELAP Accreditation Process
The process of accreditation requires the laboratories to submit a completed NELAP application and the fees. It also requires the successful completion of the application process, proficiency testing (PT) and the on-site assessment. For more information visit the NELAC Institute web site. The fees for NELAP accreditation are higher than current ELAP fees due to the additional workload required for NELAP accreditation. The fee schedule (Excel)has been established in the regulation.
Fields of Accreditation
Safe Drinking Water Act:
N101. Microbiology of Drinking Water
N102. Inorganic Chemistry of Drinking Water
N103. Toxic Chemical Elements of Drinking Water
N104. Volatile Organic Chemistry of Drinking Water
N105. Semi-volatile Organic Chemistry of Drinking Water
N106. Radiochemistry of Drinking Water
Clean Water Act:
N107. Microbiology of Wastewater
N108. Inorganic Chemistry of Wastewater
N109. Toxic Chemical Elements of Wastewater
N110. Volatile Organic Chemistry of Wastewater
N111. Semi-volatile Organic Chemistry of Wastewater
N112. Radiochemistry of Wastewater
N113. Whole Effluent Toxicity of Wastewater
N114. Inorganic Chemistry of Hazardous Waste
N115. Extraction Tests of Hazardous Waste
N116. Volatile Organic Chemistry of Hazardous Waste
N117. Semi-volatile Organic Chemistry of Hazardous Waste
N118. Radiochemistry of Hazardous Waste
N119. Toxicity Bioassay of Hazardous Waste
N120. Physical Properties of Hazardous Waste
N121. Bulk Asbestos Analysis of Hazardous Waste
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If we get NELAP accreditation, do we still need California ELAP accreditation for the California regulatory agencies?
A: No, you can have either ELAP or NELAP accreditation for the state regulatory purposes. You do not need both. But NELAP accreditation does not offer all the Fields of Testing/methods currently available with ELAP certification. You may need to continue ELAP certification for some Fields of Testing in order to meet your testing requirements.
Q: Is ELAP going to merge CA accreditation into NELAP accreditation?
A: No, ELAP will maintain the CA accreditation separately from NELAP accreditation at this time.
Q: Do any state regulatory agencies require NELAP accreditation?
A: No, NELAP accreditation is voluntary at this time.
Q: Our state is a NELAP recognized Accrediting Authority, but it does not cover some of the areas we want to get accredited. Do we need to go through auditing from two different states?
A: Yes. Reciprocity is based on the fields of testing, methods and analytes. For the fields of testing your state is not granting accreditation, you have to go to other states.
Q: We are NELAP accredited from another state AA. How do we apply for secondary NELAP accreditation?
A: Send in the completed application with the application fees.