ELAP Laws and Regulations

On Friday, August 20, 2021, Judge Arguelles of the Sacramento County Superior Court upheld the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) regulations that the State Water Board adopted on May 5, 2020. Following the hearing, the court affirmed its comprehensive, 33-page tentative decision rejecting all challenges. To view the Case, visit the Civil Tentative Ruling Directory and search for Department 17; August 20, 2021. The Coalition of Accredited Laboratories (CAL) had challenged the regulations, both during the rulemaking proceeding and subsequently in court. In response to the issues raised by the court, the State Water Board will maintain availability of a read-only copy of the 2016 TNI standard on the TNI website (https://nelac-institute.org/amember/signup/CALAB). To access the documents, enter the password: T6E79WS.

Some laboratories may have been waiting until the lawsuit was decided before moving forward with beginning compliance with the new regulations. If your laboratory needs assistance with how to comply with the new regulations, California ELAP has a number of resources to help. Our compliance assistance initiative, Roadmap to ELAP Accreditation, includes one-on-on Transition Appointments with individual laboratories to answer questions and help them create a plan for compliance. Laboratories may request an appointment by emailing ELAP’s general email inbox.

In addition, the TNI Quality System Documentation Workshops are still open for registration through the end of 2021. View the 2021 ELAP Events Calendar to sign up. The virtual workshop is broken into four parts over the course of two days with a maximum of 30 attendees per class. The workshop includes an introductory course about the TNI Standard and its requirements. The workshop materials provide fillable templates, requirements & explanations, examples of Policies & Procedures, Job Aid to identify where the TNI Standard requires specific policies, procedures, and records. The meetings are being recorded and edited for posting on ELAP’s website.

ELAP is committed to assisting the environmental laboratory community with coming into compliance with the new regulations. Please reach out to us!

Health and Safety Code
Health and Safety Code, Environmental Laboratories in Section 100825-100920

California Code of Regulations*
Title 22, Division 4, Chapter 19, Certification of Environmental Laboratories

*The 2016 TNI Standard - Revision 2.1, Volume 1 is incorporated by reference into the California Code of Regulations. A read-only, unlicensed version of the 2016 TNI Standard is available for the public to view on the TNI website. To access the documents, enter the password: T6E79WS. The TNI Standard has been available to review free of charge throughout the ELAP rulemaking process by using this password, published on page 13 of the August 2019 Initial Statement of Reason (ISOR).

At its May 5, 2020, public meeting, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted regulations amending the requirements and standards for accreditation of environmental testing laboratories in California. Consistent with California Health and Safety Code, sections 100829 and 100830, the regulations bolster the effectiveness of the State Water Board’s Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) through modification of existing program operations, elimination of outdated requirements and replacement of state-created accreditation standards with the national consensus-based 2016 TNI Standard, Volume 1: Management and Technical Requirements for Laboratories Performing Environmental Analysis (2016 TNI Standard), with two California-specific exceptions.

On November 19, 2020, the Office of Administrative Law filed the ELAP Regulations with the California Secretary of State for an effective date of January 1, 2021. This completes the final step in the rulemaking process.

Rulemaking Information: SBDDW-19-ELAP Accreditation of Environmental Laboratories

View the Complete Rulemaking Documentation files

Sections Affected

California Code of Regulations: Title 22 Sections: 64802, 64802.05, 64802.10, 64802.15, 64802.20, 64802.25, 64803, 64805, 64806, 64807, 64808, 64808.05, 64808.10, 64808.15, 64809, 64810, 64810.05, 64810.10, 64811, 64812, 64812.05, 64813, 64814, 64814.05, 64814.10, 64815, 64816, 64816.05, 64816.10, 64817, 64819, 64821, 64823, 64825, 64827, 64860.

Rulemaking Proceedings

  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Published: 10/11/2019
  • Close of the 45-Day Public Comment Period: 12/20/2019
  • Date of Scheduled Public Hearings: 12/18/2019
  • Start of the 15-Day Public Comment Period: 02/13/2020
  • Close of the 15-Day Public Comment Period: 02/28/2020
  • State Water Board Meeting to Consider Adoption: 03/17/2020 - CANCELED
  • State Water Board Meeting to Consider Adoption: 05/05/2020
  • Date filed with Office of Administrative Law: 09/25/2020
  • Date Approved by Office of Administrative Law: 11/19/2020
  • Filed with the Secretary of State: 11/19/2020
  • Effective Date: 01/01/2021

Status of Proposal

This Rulemaking is Completed.