A. The Division shall by regulation establish a program for the certification of laboratories conducting any tests, analyses, measurements, or monitoring required pursuant to Chapter 13 (§ 10.1-1300 et seq.) of Title 10.1, the Virginia Waste Management Act (§ 10.1-1400 et seq.), or the State Water Control Law (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.). The program shall include, but need not be limited to, minimum criteria for (i) laboratory procedures, (ii) performance evaluations, (iii) supervisory and personnel requirements, (iv) facilities and equipment, (v) analytical quality control and quality assurance, (vi) certificate issuance and maintenance, (vii) recertification and decertification, and (viii) granting partial and full exemptions from the program based on compliance and performance. The regulations shall be promulgated only after adoption of national accreditation standards by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The purpose of the program shall be to ensure that laboratories provide accurate and consistent tests, analyses, measurements and monitoring so that the goals and requirements of Chapter 13 of Title 10.1, the Virginia Waste Management Act, and the State Water Control Law may be met.
B. Once the certification program has been established, laboratory certification shall be required before any tests, analyses, measurements or monitoring performed by a laboratory after the effective date of such program may be used for the purposes of Chapter 13 (§ 10.1-1300 et seq.) of Title 10.1, the Virginia Waste Management Act, and the State Water Control Law.
C. The Division shall by regulation establish a fee system to offset the costs of the certification program. The regulations shall establish fee categories based upon the types of substances for which tests, analyses, measurements or monitoring are performed. The fees shall be used solely for offsetting the costs of the laboratory certification program.
D. The Division shall develop procedures for determining the qualifications of laboratories located in jurisdictions outside of Virginia to conduct tests, analyses, measurements or monitoring for use in Virginia. Laboratories located outside of Virginia that are certified or accredited under a program determined by the Division to be equivalent to the program established under this section shall be deemed to meet the certification requirements.
F. Any laboratory subject to this section may petition the Director of the Division for a reasonable variance from the requirements of the regulations promulgated under this section. The Division may grant a reasonable variance if the petitioner demonstrates to the Director’s satisfaction that (i) the proposed variance will meet the goals and purposes of the provisions of this section or regulation promulgated under this section, and (ii) the variance does not conflict with federal or state law or regulations. Any petition submitted to the Director is subject to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).
G. The provisions of this section shall not apply to laboratories when performing tests, analyses, measurements, or monitoring, using protocols pursuant to § 10.1-104.2 to determine soil fertility, animal manure nutrient content, or plant tissue nutrient uptake for the purposes of nutrient management.
1997, c. 652, § 2.1-429.01; 2001, c. 844; 2003, c. 580; 2012, cc. 99, 753.