Laboratory standards and quality assurance

Last updated on July 8, 2024

The Directory of Qualified Laboratories was last updated April 8, 2022 and is currently undergoing a significant upgrade. The ministry is still monitoring the qualifications of laboratories for the province.

Until the updated directory is published, contact LabStandards@gov.bc.ca for a list of qualified laboratories.

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Introduction

Environmental data provides critical information regarding the health of our natural resources.

The Laboratory Standards and Quality Assurance Unit is responsible for ensuring that environmental data produced by, for or on behalf of the Province of British Columbia is fit for its intended purpose.

This includes:

  • Data generated by industry as required by permit
  • Long-term trend data used to report on the health of our rivers and streams, and
  • Data regarding health and safety

Environmental data is used to inform important decisions. It's imperative to ensure it meets stringent quality objectives.

To achieve these objectives, our unit provides:

  • Auditing programs
  • Laboratory services
  • Data surveillance
  • Sampling and analytical methods and guidance

Our services cover every aspect of environmental data generation, from sampling to analysis.

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Environmental Data Quality Assurance Regulation

The Environmental Data Quality Assurance Regulation (EDQAR) outlines requirements on sampling, analysis, quality control and reporting.

The EDQAR was last revised in March 2023. Revisions were based on:

The EDQAR will be repealed and replaced on August 1, 2024.

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British Columbia Field Sampling Manual

The information contained within the British Columbia Field Sampling Manual (BCFSM) includes:

  • All aspects of QA/QC
  • Sampling methods and techniques, and
  • Templates and considerations crucial in the formulation of sampling plans

Sampling methods published in the BCFSM must be followed by authorization holders required to:

  • Collect samples
  • Submit environmental monitoring data to the province

As an openly published document, the manual provides guidance for environmental professionals to facilitate consistency in sampling and ultimately the data produced by that sampling.

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British Columbia Environmental Laboratory Manual

The British Columbia Environmental Laboratory Manual (BCELM) provides analytical methods approved by the province for the analytical testing of environmental media.

The BCELM is a living document that's frequently updated to address emerging contaminants and technological changes.

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Directory of Qualified Laboratories

Under the EDQAR, authorization holders must:

  • Collect samples and submit environmental monitoring data to the province
  • Have the samples they collect analyzed by a qualified laboratory

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Split Sample Audit Program

Industries that operate within B.C. are required to monitor and test the quality of the effluents they are permitted to discharge.

Analytical data provided to the ministry by permit holders is used to monitor and ensure compliance with the permits that authorize their discharge and account for the environmental protection they are designed to accomplish.

The Split Sampling Audit Program is designed to ensure that the environmental data produced by industry meets an acceptably high level of quality.

To learn more about the program, consult the Split Sample Audit Program Guidance Document for Permit Holders (PDF, 327KB).

For more information, contact SplitSampleAudits@gov.bc.ca.

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B.C. Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee

The B.C. Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee (BCELTAC) is a partnership of government and the private sector.

BCELTAC is a technical advisory group that provides guidance to the ministry on the development and maintenance of field sampling and laboratory methods.

For more information, consult the BCELTAC Terms of Reference (PDF, 171KB)

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BCELTAC members

  • Mark Hugdahl (Chair) – ALS Environmental
  • Kristopher Beaudet (Vice-Chair) – Bureau Veritas
  • Blair Irwin (Secretary) – Laboratory Standards and Quality Assurance Unit, ENV
  • Lauretta Liem – Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • Oxana Blajkevitch – Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • Dr. Dayue Shang – Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • Craig Buday – Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • Jada Benjamin – AGAT Laboratories
  • Bryan Shaw – CARO Analytical Services
  • Dr. Barry Loescher – Bureau Veritas  
  • Simone Mol – Contaminated Sites Approved Professionals (CSAP)
  • Max Hewitt – Element Materials Technology
  • Reena Badwel – Element Materials Technology
  • Rachel Eden – Element Materials Technology
  • Ken Murray – Laboratory Standards and Quality Assurance Unit, ENV
  • Colleen Delaney – Land Remediation, Regional Operations Branch, ENV
  • David Hope – Pacific Rim Labs
  • Jeff Lang – Powertech Labs
  • Stephen Varisco – Powertech Labs

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Contact information

Courier:

Analysis, Reporting, and Knowledge Services
Attn: Senior Quality Management Analyst
2nd Floor, 1520 Blanshard St.
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 3K1


Mailing:

PO Box 9347, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 9M1