THE US Freely Associated States Laboratory Certification Program, has re-certified the Palau Environmental Quality Protection Board Laboratory for analysis of drinking water using the Colilert method, and marine and other surface water samples using the Enterolert™ method.

The certification is effective until 2020.  Laboratory Supervisor Metiek Kimie Ngirchechol, and analyst Jesse Sengebau were certified as Level III analysts. Anthony Adelbai was certified as a Level II analysts.

The certification is necessary to assure that the EQPB lab produces scientifically valid and legally defensible data, and that the lab staff are qualified to analyze water samples for bacterial contamination.

Environmental labs receive certification when specific criteria are met. The lab must pass an on-site evaluation every two years, and must have a certified analyst on staff.  Lab equipment must meet technical criteria for analytical detection capabilities. Calibration and other Quality Control records must also be held on file to demonstrate that equipment is working properly. Lab personnel must also meet technical performance criteria.

Analyst certification levels (I, II or III) are based on ability to pass written exams, individual demonstrations of proficiency of increasing difficulty, and years of experience. Level III analysts have also demonstrated the capacity to perform laboratory supervisor duties.

The Palau EQPB laboratory audit and certifications were provided by Edna L. Buchan (of Nimbus Environmental Services), who serves as the Certification Program Manager for the FAS Lab Certification Program.

Buchan is also US EPA Laboratory Certification Officer, under contract with US EPA with funding provided by the US Department of the Interior.  Mr. John McCarroll and Mr. Carl Goldstein of the US EPA Pacific Islands Office (Region 9, San Francisco) have been strong proponents of the FAS Lab Certification Program since the program launched in 2007.

Certificates were presented to the Palau EQPB Laboratory, and to individual analysts, at an awards ceremony held at the Palau EQPB office on Wednesday 07 March 2018. (PR)