October 2, 2006

NS environmental laboratory policy fosters more reliable, consistent test results

A new policy governing environmental laboratories, put into effect by the Nova Scotia government, will guarantee better consistency and reliability of test results. The policy, which came into effect on August 1, is intended to ensure that all analytical data generated or received by Nova Scotia Environment and Labour (NSEL) are both reliable and legally and technically defensible.

"The new policy will ensure data is consistent with national and international standards," said Environment and Labour Minister Mark Parent. "In addition, all procedures are documented so that any deficiencies or sources of error can be identified and addressed as quickly as possible."

The policy applies both to the 15 accredited laboratories in the province providing environmental testing services to NSEL and to consultants, their subcontractors and responsible persons submitting analytical data in support of approvals, registrations, orders, contaminated site reports, or regulations or legislation administered by NSEL.

Specific policy directives require environmental laboratories to be accredited to applicable ISO standards, with accreditation granted by a certification body also meeting ISO standards or equivalent. Test results submitted to NSEL will be deemed acceptable only if the tests are conducted by an ISO-compliant laboratory or equivalent. The department may accept data from a non-certified lab if the facility establishes a quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program acceptable to NSEL.

More information about the environmental laboratory policy is available on the Environment and Labour Web site, http://xdev.gov.ns.ca/enla/water/publicwater.asp.

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