The Environmental Quality Protection Board received re-certification on March 4th for having qualified staffs and equipment for analyzing drinking water and marine water in accordance with US Freely Associated States Laboratory Certification Program.

The Palau EQPB Board and Office have continued to support water quality as among the highest priorities in Palau.

Edna Buchan who serves as the Certification Program Manager and the auditor said that “EQPB CEO Roxanne SiualBlesam and her staff are very deserving of this re-certification. I am extremely pleased to find that Palau EQPB has continued to uphold the highest level of laboratory practice standards since our last audit in 2018. The EQPB laboratory is the premier lab of Micronesia. The lab and staff are models we expect other labs in the region to follow.”

Moreover, Water Quality and Division Manager Metiek Kimie Ngirchechol along with analysts Jesse Sengebau and Anthony Adelbai have been certified for being level III analysts which makes them more than qualified to perform laboratory supervisor duties. This also makes Palau the only nation in the FAS with more than one level III analyst.

Ms. Ngirchechol and her laboratory staff have become major partners in the FAS Laboratory Certification Program. They have provided training and certification for analysts from other FAS Islands. Ngirchechol also conducts certification audits of other FAS laboratories.

Ms. Buchan explained that becoming a level III analyst is no easy feat and requires the individual to take written exams with a passing score of 90% as well as showing proficiency with increasing difficulty.

The audit was made possible through funding provided by the US Department of Interior. This certification is a necessary exercise to ensure that the EQPB lab produces scientifically valid and defensible data. This also makes sure that the lab staff are qualified to analyze water samples for bacterial contamination.