Presentation on theme: "The Future of ORELAP OELA Annual Workshop Michael Skeels, PhD, MPH."— Presentation transcript:
1 The Future of ORELAPOELA Annual WorkshopMichael Skeels, PhD, MPH
2 ORELAP Statutes (excerpts): “Accrediting authority” means the official accrediting authority for the Oregon environmental laboratory accreditation program comprised of the Director of Human Services or designee, the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality or designee and the Director of Agriculture or designee.
3 438. 610 Standards for accreditation; rules Standards for accreditation; rules. (1) The Department of Human Services, in concurrence with the accrediting authority, may adopt by rule standards for any laboratory seeking accreditation and performing environmental testing for a fee or for determining compliance with environmental statutes, rules or regulations.(2) In developing standards under subsection (1) of this section, the department shall cooperate with and may seek advice from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and any other state or federal agency that may have adopted rules or regulations for environmental monitoring.
4 (3) The standards adopted under this section may address testing and sampling procedures or methods, record keeping, disposal or retention of testing materials or samples, or any other practice related to work performed by an environmental laboratory. [1999 c.1063 §2]Environmental laboratory accreditation program; rules. The Department of Human Services, in concurrence with the accrediting authority, shall establish by rule and implement an environmental laboratory accreditation program. The standards for accreditation may be equivalent to, but may not exceed, standards adopted by national accreditation programs. [1999 c.1063 §3]
5 ORELAP Work Group 2009 Purpose of ORELAP Characteristics of a Successful ORELAPCurrent Problems with ORELAPSolutionsNext StepsBeth MeyersBert SeierstadBill MichalekJohn NeilsonKeith ChapmanDave LelandDan HickmanIrene RonningRita YouellGreg PettitMike Skeels
6 Purpose of ORELAPImprove quality of laboratory testingImprove the quality of information for policy & decision makingGive consumer & the public protection, & confidence in test results so regulatory actions are appropriate & the public is protected.
7 Characteristics of a Successful ORELAP Private laboratories can be competitive for out-of-state businessEncourage development of statewide lab capacityCreate a level playing field for statewide lab qualitySupport EPA drinking water certification with primacy & future program mandatesBeneficial to OregoniansOregon labs can use or refer to out-of-state labs recognized by ORELAP to offer all services for testing
8 Efficient, timely, responsive, simple & effective Characteristics of a Successful ORELAPEfficient, timely, responsive, simple & effectiveComprehensive but flexibleMandatory compliance monitoring for permitting programs & official reporting programsViewed as value added for the participating laboratoriesA functional & effective appeals processConsistent with national standardsMoney is well spent and program is cost effective for accrediting body, labs & consumersOffer training to labs
9 Current Problems with ORELAP Turn around Time (TAT) & responsivenessORELAP does not follow its own timelines for audit response or corrective action responseDuring the exit interview not all deficiencies are explained to the lab manager & staff so that they can start working on correctionsAuditing consistency between survey years, laboratories & surveyorsFiscal sustainabilityOverly prescriptive standards and/or interpretation
10 E-mails and phone calls are not always answered or returned Current Problems with ORELAPThe first answer is usually “no” when alternate options are asked to be considereds and phone calls are not always answered or returnedAn effective appeals process is needed; an interactive, mutually respectful interchange with no fear of retaliation.OTAC has a process for participating laboratories to bring technical & other issues for review but it is not very effective. Wrong mix of representation on OTAC.
11 Program is very complex for the small lab Current Problems with ORELAPProcess for applications, adding methods & generating fees is inefficient & cumbersomeUnkept promises related to efficiencies & electronic application. Program has lost credibility with the participating labsPoor communicationProgram is very complex for the small labORELAP is not always consistent with EPA requirements
12 Solutions Look for system solutions Better communication between ORELAP & labsTAT from ORELAP; approval is automatic if state does not meet their deadlinesConsequences for the state if they fail to meet deadlinesThe lab should not be penalized if state fails to meet deadlinesGrant interim accreditation based on completed application & acceptable proficiency testing performance
13 Improve role for OTAC with better representation from accredited labs SolutionsImprove role for OTAC with better representation from accredited labsReduce cost of program by fewer individuals on survey & less time spent writing up findingsConsider tiered accreditationDifferences between EPA, ORELAP & NELAP need to be identified & sharedImprove access to ORELAP staffImprove program management & oversight
14 Automate & streamline on-line application & other program functions SolutionsAutomate & streamline on-line application & other program functionsUse alerts, out-reach & education to inform of changes in standardsIndependent appeals processRegular evaluation of the ORELAP QM process by participants
15 Financial Issues ORELAP Financial Update April 2009 July 1, 2007 – February 28, 2009 (20 months)ExpendituresIn-state labs $ 401,682Out-of-state labs ,495TOTAL $ 563,177RevenueORELAP in-state fees $ 108,756ORELAP out-of-state fees ,933Federal Drinking Water funds ,054TOTAL $ 532,743Difference ($ 30,434)
16 Next Steps Create a balanced & sustainable budget Decrease expenses for on-site assessmentsContinue drinking water federal fundingIncrease fees for out-of-state labsReduce personnel expenses through administrative efficienciesEliminate DEQ subsidy of DW primacy
17 Create dynamic website linked to database Next StepsCreate dynamic website linked to databaseImproved service to labsSignificant administrative streamliningImprove communications with labsRevamp and revitalize OTACBetter responsiveness and TATMore proactive communication with labsImprove management oversight & QA