ACIL Signs Agreement with USEPA
WASHINGTON, DC, FEBRUARY 18, 2004-Following in the footsteps of its successful partnerships and alliances with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL) yesterday signed an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will recognize areas of mutual interest, with specific goals towards tangible improvements in the following areas:
Improve communications between EPA and the environmental laboratory community on changes in business, policy, and technical standards at all levels of operation in a manner that fosters trust and understanding.
Foster the adoption of a recognized national environmental laboratory accreditation program characterized by nationally accepted standards for environmental laboratory accreditation, uniform standards for laboratory accreditation, and reciprocity across the states.
Promote the performance-based measurement system approach to environmental monitoring.
Eliminate barriers that stand in the way of increasing confidence in the quality of our nation's environmental testing laboratories and the credibility of the data emanating from these laboratories.
Improve the professionalism of the monitoring community by jointly developing and presenting training necessary to increase the expertise of both government and private sector scientists, engineers and technicians.
The agreement between USEPA and ACIL was signed by ACIL Chair Jerry R. Weathers and Dr. Paul Gilman, Science Advisor to the Administrator and Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, during the ACIL Mid-Winter Meeting in Arlington, VA.
Specifically, the agreement calls for USEPA and ACIL to:
Establish a series of periodic meetings between the organizations to discuss technical issues and business practices and options to address any issues that emerge; these meetings would be held in conjunction with the ACIL Annual and Mid-Winter Meetings, at a minimum.
Cooperate in education and training efforts in order to increase organizational effectiveness, efficiency and overall quality of the nation?fs environmental testing.
Establish links between the EPA and ACIL Web sites to make it easier for our two communities to keep abreast of new information and developments affecting the monitoring community.
The goal of this agreement is to provide increased opportunity for EPA and ACIL to work together in order to promote a national dialogue on environmental monitoring issues. A team made up of representatives of both organizations will meet to develop a plan to implement this agreement. The plan will include the roles and responsibilities of each party, meeting arrangements, specific issues to be addressed, and any other specific steps necessary to accomplish the goals and objectives of this endeavor. The initial term of the agreement is two years. ACIL is enthusiastic in its support of this agreement and looks forward to working cooperatively with the Agency to promote a national dialogue on environmental monitoring issues.
Founded in 1937, ACIL is the trade association representing independent, commercial scientific and engineering firms. Its members are professional services firms engaged in testing, product certification, consulting, and research and development. Affiliated membership is available to manufacturers, laboratories, consultants, and suppliers to the industry and related trade associations.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Click to view agreement.]