The Regional Drinking Water Laboratory Response Preparedness Project develops region-specific plans for response to potential contamination of the drinking water supply. Launched by the Water Security Division of the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2006, the project connects EPA regional laboratories, state public health and environmental laboratories, and major drinking water utility laboratories to improve laboratory response at the local and national level.
Four Phases of Laboratory Preparedness
The Regional Laboratory Response Preparedness Project consists of four phases:
- Development of a response plan template
- Customized plans for each region
- Regional simulation of a hypothetical emergency scenario
- Functional exercises in each region
During functional exercises, participants test the strengths and weaknesses of their regional plan by responding to a fictional emergency. They transport samples to regional laboratories, test samples, analyze results and collect and send data.
APHL is working with EPA to offer a series of online web casts, audio conferences and training opportunities for environmental laboratories. These activities provide up-to-date information about the project and prepare environmental laboratories to respond to drinking water emergencies.
The Water Laboratory Alliance and the Environmental Laboratory Response Network help connect state and local laboratories with new exercises, trainings and information dissemination.
APHL is also working to bring together federal agencies and state environmental laboratories to develop response plans, which help laboratories determine how samples will be transported, the type of analyses to be performed and how data will be collected and shipped.
For more information, contact Sarah Wright, MS, senior specialist, Environmental Health, at 240.485.2730 or firstname.lastname@example.org.