EPA817-F-07-010
     
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i r^-71                      Water Laboratory Alliance
                 Background
                 Homeland  Security  Presidential Directive  9  (HSPD  9)  directed EPA  to develop  robust,
                 comprehensive, and fully coordinated surveillance and monitoring systems... for water quality
                 that provides early detection and awareness of disease, pest, or poisonous agents, and to develop
                 nationwide laboratory networks  for...water quality  that integrate existing Federal and State
                 laboratory  resources,  are inter-connected, and  utilize standardized diagnostic protocols and
                 procedures.  In response to HSPD  9, EPA's Water Security Division  (WSD) in the Office  of
                 Water proposed and  initiated development of a Contaminant Warning System, i.e., the Water
                 Security Initiative,  and the Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA).   The purpose of this Quick
                 Reference Guide is to describe development of the WLA.


                 Purpose
                 The purpose of the WLA is to provide the drinking water sector with  an integrated nationwide
                 network of laboratories with the  analytical capabilities and capacity to support monitoring and
                 surveillance, response, and remediation to intentional and unintentional drinking water supply
                 contamination events involving chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants.


                 Approach for Development
                 The WLA is being developed based on existing networks such as the Centers for Disease Control
                 and Prevention (CDC) Laboratory  Response Network (LRN). It  leverages existing laboratory
                 network capability, capacity, and infrastructure to fill gaps in national laboratory preparedness for
                 drinking water analyses. Laboratory infrastructure that is being leveraged from other networks
                 includes analytical methods,  membership criteria,  and critical materials, such  as laboratory
                 reagents.

                 The WLA integrates drinking water, wastewater, public health and environmental laboratories,
                 and select commercial  laboratories that currently  provide analytical  support to government
                 agencies. The WLA will focus solely on drinking water and will  be an integral part of EPA's
                 Environmental Laboratory  Response Network (eLRN). The eLRN is a network with a similar
                 purpose as the WLA but focuses on analyses of all environmental matrices.
                 Structure of the WLA
                 The WLA structure (see Figure 1) consists of three tiers of laboratories: sentinel, confirmatory,
                 and reference laboratories. WLA labs will be placed into a tier based on their existing capability
                 and capacity. Laboratories would have the option to expand into another tier as interest and
                 increased capability is developed.

                 Sentinel labs will perform routine monitoring and surveillance and will rule out or refer samples
                 to confirmatory labs for further analysis. Confirmatory labs will perform rapid, high-confidence
                 presumptive and confirmatory identification of samples referred by sentinel labs. These labs will
                 have Biosafety  Level (BSL) 2/3 facilities, limited surety capability for chemical warfare agents,
                 and will be able  to  analyze  radioactive  samples.  Reference labs will  provide definitive
                 characterization of chemical, biological, and radiochemical (CBR) agents  and attribution of the
                 source. These labs  will also have highly specialized containment (BSL 3/4) facilities, chemical
                 surety, and highly trained  staff. Confirmatory and reference  labs will likely participate in several
                 laboratory networks including the LRN and the eLRN.

  Water Security Division  	 FEBRUARY 2007

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Drinking Water Laboratory Response Preparedness Project
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   Laboratories participating in the WLA will provide support for biological (select and non-select)
   sample analysis,  industrial chemical sample analysis,  radiochemical  sample  analysis, and
   chemical warfare agent analysis or some combination of these depending on their capability.
   Figure 1. Water Laboratory Alliance Structure
                \ Pathogens & Toxins
                     SeteCT \ Mnn-Sefecf
                                 X
Industrial
Chemicals
Chemical Warfare
    Agents
                                                       Radiocnemicals
                                                                                   Sample
                                                                                    Flow
                                                               NOTE: Secure labs are within
                                                               the red shaded area. These
                                                               labs haw limited access to
  Definitive characterization and forensics
  SENTINEL
  (CDC desolation:
Monitoring and surveillance,
rule-out or refer
  CONFIRMATORY
  (CDC designation; Reference)
  Rapid, high-confidence presumptive and
  confirmatory identification and coordination
REFERENCE
(CDC desigjiation; National)
                                                               Al other labs shown here are
                                                               open, meaning that their
                                                               methods are publicly available-
   WLA to Date
   A number of activities have been initiated in support of the Water Security Initiative pilot that
   will also support the fully functioning WLA. Activities completed to date in support of the Water
   Security Initiative pilot include:  identifying  priority contaminants  of concern, methods, and
   method  gaps  for priority  contaminants;  developing  data management  and  communication
   systems; preparing a sampling and  analysis  plan, as well as, sampling protocols and chain of
   custody forms for lab analyses; and establishing a local network of laboratories to augment the
   analytical  capability of the pilot utility  laboratory. Other WLA  activities to  date include:
   developing Regional Laboratory Response Plans, chemical method development and validation,
   and creating a formal partnership with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL).

     Drinking Water  Laboratory Response Preparedness Project.  The EPA regions,  with  the
       support of the WSD, are developing regional laboratory response preparedness plans to help
       regions with  improving intra-regional laboratory preparedness for responding to actual or
       suspected contamination events.  The objective of this project is  to develop  a customized
       region-specific laboratory  response plan for each region.  Each plan will  be tested by
       conducting table top and operational testing exercises.
     Chemical Method  Development and Validation.   The WSD, with the  support of EPA's
       National Homeland Security Research Center, has completed single laboratory validation of
       additional contaminants for Method 300.1 (inorganic compounds  in drinking water) and a
       modified version  of  Method  532 (phenylurea compounds in  drinking  water).  Single
       laboratory validation  of additional  contaminants for Method 525.2 (organic compounds in
                                       FEBRUARY 2007

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Drinking Water Laboratory Response Preparedness Project
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          drinking water)  and multi-laboratory validation of Method 300.1 is currently underway.
          Multi-laboratory validation of the modified Method 532 is not currently being pursued due to
          poor  recoveries.  Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) methodologies are
          currently being explored for WSD contaminants of concern.  The modification of existing
          methods to analyze for additional contaminants will help fill in current gaps in analytical
          techniques for the analysis of water samples.
          APHL Partnership. The WSD has entered into a Cooperative Agreement with APHL in order
          to establish a national home-base for environmental laboratories, enhance capability  and
          capacity of  environmental  laboratories,  and build education programs  and tools  for
          environmental  labs.  This  partnership  will  enhance  information  flow  to  and from
          environmental laboratories and increase the awareness of environmental laboratories about
          water security issues.
               How the WLA Project Maps to WSD's 4 Pillars and Helps the
                                        Water Sector
            Prevention
                               tection
> Response
Recovery
                                          Drinking Water Laboratory Response Preparedness Project
                                          Chemical Method Development and Validation
                                          Association of Public Health Laboratories Partnership
      Contact Us
      For   more   information    on   the   WLA,   contact   Latisha   Mapp,   EPA   WSD
      (Mapp.Latisha@epa.gov).  Information on EPA Water Security  Division's activities, tools,
      products, and the latest scientific advances  to protect drinking water and wastewater utilities is
      available online at www.epa.gov/watersecuritv.
                                        FEBRUARY 2007

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