National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation
Monitoring for environmental contaminants is an essential element of virtually every US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program. Key policy decisions and public confidence are predicated on ensuring that contaminants can be measured accurately at concentrations of concern in a variety of environmental media, including air, land, water, and tissue. The science of monitoring is continually evolving as new contaminants of concern are identified and technologies for measuring contaminants at lower concentrations are developed.
The NELAC Institute (TNI) is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose primary mission is to foster the generation of environmental data of known and documented quality through an open, inclusive, and transparent process that is responsive to the needs of the community. To accomplish this mission, TNI:
- develops and adopts for use into its programs consensus standards for accreditation of environmental testing laboratories and other organizations directly involved in the environmental measurement process;
- implements a national program for the accreditation of environmental laboratories;
- develops and maintains a national proficiency test program;
- develops and maintains a national database of accredited laboratories; and
- provides training and technical support to facilitate the implementation of a national accreditation program by accreditors (e.g., state agencies) and those entities pursuing accreditation (e.g., environmental laboratories).
TNI's vision for the future is a true national accreditation program, whereby all entities involved in the generation of environmental measurement data within the United States are accredited to one uniform, rigorous, and robust program that has been implemented consistently nationwide and focuses on the technical competence of the entity pursuing accreditation. TNI believes such a program will improve the quality and reliability of environmental data used by federal and state agencies.