Alleged Failure to Properly Analyze Drinking Water Samples/Report Results: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Decertifies Leominster Laboratory

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MDEP”) issued a November 29th news release stating that it had revoked the license of Environmental Testing and Research Laboratories, Inc. (“ETR”) of Leominster, Massachusetts.

The news release describes ETR as a water-testing laboratory.

MDEP states that ETR:

. . . repeatedly failed to properly analyze private drinking water samples and report the test results in accordance with its certification and state regulations.

The state agency is stated to have made this determination pursuant to what is described as a comprehensive undercover investigation conducted by the agency’s Environmental Strike Force (“ESF”) and Laboratory Certification Program – Division of Environmental Laboratory Sciences.

ETR’s testing and reporting services are stated to have been primarily performed for owners of private water supplies.

Interviews are stated to have been conducted with affected homeowners and Board of Health officials following their complaints. The Laboratory Certification Program and ESF are also stated to have inspected the company’s laboratory facilities and partnered with a certified third-party to arrange for a series of professionally prepared “double-blind” water samples.

MDEP alleges that the undercover investigation and a ruling in a final appeals decision by the MDEP Commissioner showed that ERT violated the Laboratory Certification regulations by:

  • Performing careless and inaccurate reporting of analytical measurements;
  • Engaging in unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices;
  • Performing, reporting, or failing to report drinking water analyses in a manner that threatened public health; and
  • Making false, inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading statements in laboratory reports.

The MDEP Commissioner is stated to have also determined that ETR could not have produced valid data because its results were allegedly neither technically sound nor legally defensible.

The news release , which contains links to the referenced Administrative Appeal decision, can be found here.

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Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.
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