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APHL Issues Policy Statement on Principal State Lab

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) has recently issued a policy statement supporting the designation of a state laboratory as the “Principal State Laboratory” needed to meet SDWA primacy requirements.  With the tight budget situation in most states over the last few years, the expenses of maintaining a state laboratory have come under scrutiny.  States have looked at the option of utilizing non-state labs to support their drinking water implementation efforts.  This is allowed under EPA’s interpretation of the SDWA but APHL believes that having strong state laboratory capability is important and should not be sacrificed so quickly in tough financial times.  APHL cites a number of factors in support of their position.  They believe that a state lab’s focus is on public service, not commercial gain, and they serve as a government based reference and resource for commercial labs.  Also, trust in the quality of the work performed by public laboratories is high.  In addition, funding provided to state labs can be match for federal grant dollars.  Finally, the state laboratories play a key role in national emergency preparedness.

The Association of Public Health Laboratories is a nonprofit organization representing state, territorial, and local public health and environmental laboratories.   The complete APHL policy statement on Principal State Laboratories is attached for your information.