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Environmental Laboratory Certification Program for Chemistry Parameters

General Information

Laboratories that analyze water samples from North Dakota public water systems to determine compliance with requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act must be certified by the North Dakota Department of Health. Laboratories that provide certain other environmental data for use by the Department must have valid certification. Please contact the department’s water quality and waste management divisions to determine if certification is required.

Procedure for Obtaining Certification

In-State Laboratories

The first step in the certification process is making a formal, written request for certification. A formal request is required for 

  1. first time certification
  2. certification for additional or newly regulated contaminants
  3. reapplication after corrections of deficiencies which resulted in revocation. 

The request should be made by the owner of the laboratory or by a responsible executive officer of at least the level of laboratory director. A laboratory in a branch office or a substation of the company must apply for its own certification which shall be independent of that of the parent company. The formal written request must be sent to:

Laboratory Certification Officer
ND Department of Health
Chemistry Division
P.O. Box 937
Bismarck, ND 58502-0937

The request should include the following information:

  1. Name and mailing address of the laboratory.

  2. Physical location of the laboratory if different from the mailing address.

  3. Contact person at the laboratory who is responsible for managing certification issues and this individual’s telephone number.

  4. A list of the program(s) (i.e., drinking water, wastewater, solid and hazardous waste), parameters, and associated EPA approved methods for which certification is being sought.

  5. A list of laboratory instrumentation, including manufacturer and model numbers.

  6. A copy of the laboratory’s quality assurance plan.

  7. Copies of the laboratory’s written methods for the analysis of the parameters for which it is seeking certification if these are not included in the quality assurance plan.

  8. A list of personnel including qualifications and experience.

  9. A general description of the facility.

Laboratories seeking certification will also need to report acceptable results for each certified parameter on appropriate proficiency test studies from a TNI accredited provider (http://www.nelac-institute.org/ptproviders.php) and will need to pass an onsite evaluation before any certification can be granted. Fees are assessed for the onsite evaluations.

Laboratories having questions or needing additional information about the certification program can call the laboratory certification officer at 701-328-6172.

Out-of-State Laboratories

The North Dakota Department of Health does not directly certify out-of-state laboratories. The Department will consider recognition of out-of-state laboratories certifications or accreditations by EPA regional offices or other state certification programs on a case-by-case basis.  Out of state laboratories desiring recognition of their certifications or accreditations from other programs need to contact the certification officer (see below) to request an application form, a contract for payment of the fee and the fee schedule.  In addition to submitting a completed application, contract and the fee, made payable to the North Dakota Department of Health, out-of-state laboratories must submit, at a minimum, the following information:

1. A copy of the report(s) of the most-recent audit of the laboratory by the certification program(s) whose certification(s) the laboratory wishes recognized by the North Dakota Environmental Laboratory Certification Program. The laboratory must have an onsite audit by the certification program(s) at least once every three years.

2. A copy of the laboratorys response(s) to the audit report(s).

3. A copy of the certification(s) issued by the certification program(s) whose certification(s) the laboratory wishes recognized by the North Dakota Environmental Laboratory Certification Program. This (these) certification(s) must include dates of issue and expiration and a list of the parameters and methods for which the laboratory is certified in each program area.

4. A copy of the reports of the laboratorys participation in the two most-recent proficiency test studies for each program for which recognition of certification is desired, unless these have been sent previously.

5. A list, prepared by the laboratory, including the parameters, method(s) and the method source for each program for which recognition of certification is desired. The laboratory must have certification for these parameters and methods from the appropriate certification authority or authorities as listed on the application. For the SDWA program, certification will be recognized for only those parameters requiring certification by the USEPA and certified by the current EPA approved methods and any additional parameters for which the North Dakota Safe Drinking Water Program requires certification, which must also be certified by the current EPA approved methods. For the CWA program, certification will be recognized for only those parameters listed in the method tables in 40 CFR Part 136 that are certified by the current EPA approved methods listed in the tables or that are certified by methods for which EPA Region 8 has issued Alternate Test Procedure Approval. For the RCRA program, certification will be recognized for only those parameters listed in and certified by the current promulgated SW846 methods.

If the parent certifying authoritys certification program has not been reviewed by the North Dakota laboratory certification officer, the laboratory will be requested to send a copy of the parent certifying authoritys rules and regulations. If the parent certifying authoritys certification program has been deemed to be substantially equivalent to the North Dakota certification program, and if the laboratory submits the required information and fee payment, the laboratorys certification may be recognized by the North Dakota Environmental Laboratory Certification Program.

To initiate the certification process and obtain an application and a contract for payment of the fee, please contact the laboratory certification officer at 701-328-6172 or at the following address:

Laboratory Certification Officer
ND Department of Health
Chemistry Division
P.O. Box 937
Bismarck, ND 58502-0937