(Koror, 13 July 2022) – 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 2024. Acting Water Quality & Laboratory Division Manager Jesse Sengebau and analyst Anthony Adelbai were certified as Level III analysts. Palau is the only nation in the region with more than one Level III analyst.
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 be held on file to demonstrate that equipment is working properly. Lab personnel must 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 Ms Edna L. Buchan (of Nimbus Environmental Services), who serves as the Certification Program Manager for the FAS Lab Certification Program. Ms. Buchan is a US EPA Laboratory Certification Officer, under contract with US EPA with funding provided by the US Department of the Interior. CDR Elena Vaouli USPHS 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 13 July 2022.
Ms. Buchan recognized the accomplishments of the EQPB lab in being re- certified for both drinking water and marine water. “EQPB EO Vera Dilsils Kanai 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 2020. The EQPB laboratory is the premier lab of Micronesia. The lab and staff are models we expect other labs in the region to follow.
Ms. Buchan noted the importance of water quality as a fundamental requirement for socio-economic well-being. The Palau EQPB Board and Office continues to support water quality as among the highest priorities in Palau.

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