We Could be Heros...the Environmental Response Laboratory Network

Labconscious salutes all the labs that serve our country by helping to ensure a safe environment for its people. In particular we salute the labs that both the EPA, and the Department of Homeland Security, depend on for technical expertise in the detection of environmental emergencies.

The Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN) was created by, and is administered by the EPA. The ERLN is ready to support a coordinated response to chemical, biological or radiological accidents or attacks. Member labs of the ERLN are solely dedicated to the testing of environmental samples. Some labs in the ERLN network routinely check for environmental contamination. Any samples with possible contaminants are passed on to the confirmatory lab members. Finally, reference lab members perform the highest level of analysis, as needed. All member labs are listed in the Laboratory Compendium national database, that is accessible to emergency responders. Through the network, ERLN member labs have access to training sessions and exercises, method development studies and a communication platform. The department of homeland security has provided support grants to ERLN labs. The EPA provides reimbursement for laboratory analyses. The Environmental Response Laboratory Network is a critical organization made up of both private and public civilian labs.

The EPA states that member labs will:

*Supply analytical services for biological, chemical, and/or radiological contaminants in samples collected in support of environmental responses;

*Adhere to the methods and technical requirements specified in the incident-specific task order when testing ERLN samples and reporting results;

*Report positive or suspect test results, to authorized ERLN personnel only, within the time frame specified for the project;

*Have all necessary measurement and testing equipment required to perform the applicable test as specified in the methods referenced in the project-specific task order, prior to receipt of samples; and

*Meet requirements outlined in an incident-specific task order.


To find out more, please visit this EPA web page. or the web page for the ERLN.


Chemists exploring barrel after spill at school Image Copyright :  Rainer Klotz

Chemists exploring barrel after spill at school Image Copyright : Rainer Klotz