By Erinna Kinney, Specialist, Environmental Laboratory
On March 9, 2011, APHL and the Environmental Council of States (ECOS) held a seminal meeting to strengthen their strategic partnership. ECOS, the “national non-profit, non-partisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders,” works to improve the capability of state environmental agencies in protecting the environment and human health in the United States.
Dr. Megan Latshaw, APHL’s environmental health director, Peter Kyriacopoulos, the association’s senior director for policy, and I spoke with ECOS Executive Director Steve Brown on issues common to state environmental agencies and state environmental laboratories. We discussed the importance of cultivating a solid relationship between a state environmental agency and its state environmental laboratory (SEL), assurance of quality data through quality lab practices and the need for a standardized format for electronic data exchange between the States and EPA. Other topics included the structure and value of state environmental laboratories, current economic considerations for state environmental agencies and laboratories, and the ability of SELs to meet the analytical needs of state environmental agencies across a myriad of testing services.
To foster this collaborative partnership, APHL and ECOS have agreed to bolster educational and awareness opportunities within their respective memberships. Examples include:
- APHL offered to host ECOS staff and/or members at a state environmental laboratory
- ECOS invited APHL to author an issue of Green Report, an ECOS monthly topic-specific publication
- APHL and ECOS agreed to maintain regular contact to enhance exchange of information and assistance.
As the “homebase” for environmental laboratories, APHL will continue to forge partnerships that will bring tangible benefits to public environmental laboratories.
Every brick laid is a solid relationship in the making. For APHL, it’s all in a day’s work!