January 20, 2011
Erinna Kinney, MPH, Specialist, Environmental Laboratories, APHL
APHL! In a world where Academy Awards would recognize excellence in the public health in lieu of film, the award for Best Supporting Role in Coordination of a National Environmental Laboratory Network would undoubtedly honor APHL’s work in fostering the growth and development of the public environmental laboratory sector. APHL is once more deserving of a consecutive and celebrated accolade.
As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) commitment to assisting the water sector in enhancing the capability and capacity of the nation’s environmental laboratories, APHL was awarded $2.4 million EPA Cooperative Agreement over the next six years in partnership with EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water. In 2005, APHL was awarded the first EPA Cooperative Agreement to establish a “Home Base for Environmental Laboratories” and to serve as a point of contact between the EPA and environmental health laboratories. As a second-time award recipient, APHL’s Environmental Health Program will now experience a two-fold increase in funding and further programmatic expansion in the continued support of public environmental laboratories responding to water contamination events in the United States. The new EPA Cooperative Agreement will address the following key elements:
- Coordination and advancement of environmental laboratory sector interests among the sector and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Identification, establishment, and maintenance of working collaborations with environmental laboratory sector and federal partners on preparedness activities with regard to water security events
- Establishment and maintenance of programmatic activities to address gaps in laboratory testing of chemical, biological, radiological, and select agents in environmental laboratories with response to water security threats
- Convene a national environmental laboratory conference, taskforces, and workgroups
- Administration of three environmental laboratory trainings
- Launch of EPA Environmental Laboratory Fellowship Program
- Establishment of National Environmental Laboratory Professional Week
APHL represents the principal association for the advancement of public environmental health laboratories and excitedly looks ahead to the fertile opportunities for active engagement, innovative programming, and partnership building under the awarded EPA Cooperative Agreement.