15A NCAC 02H .0807       DECERTIFICATION AND CIVIL PENALTIES

(a)  Laboratory Decertification.  A laboratory may be decertified, for any or all parameters, for up to one year for any of the following infractions:

(1)           Failing to maintain the facilities, or records, or personnel, or equipment, or quality control program as set forth in the application, and these Rules; or

(2)           Submitting inaccurate data or other information; or

(3)           Failing to pay required fees by the date due; or

(4)           Failing to discontinue supplying data for clients or programs described in Rule .0802 of this Section during periods when a decertification is in effect; or

(5)           Failing to submit a split sample to the State Laboratory as requested; or

(6)           Failing to use approved methods of analysis; or

(7)           Failing to report laboratory supervisor or equipment changes within 30 days of such changes; or

(8)           Failing to report analysis of required annual performance evaluation samples submitted by an EPA approved vendor within the specified time limit; or

(9)           Failing to allow an inspection by an authorized representative of the State Laboratory; or

(10)         Failing to supply analytical data requested by the State Laboratory; or

(11)         Failing to submit a written amendment to the certification application within 30 days of applicable changes; or

(12)         Failing to meet required sample holding times; or

(13)         Failing to respond to requests for information by the date due; or

(14)         Failing to comply with any other terms, conditions, or requirements of this Section or of a laboratory certification.

(b)  Parameter Decertification.  A laboratory may receive a parameter decertification for failing to:

(1)           Obtain acceptable results on two consecutive blind or announced performance evaluation samples submitted by an EPA accredited vendor or the State Laboratory; or

(2)           Obtain acceptable results on two consecutive blind or announced split samples that have also been analyzed by the State Laboratory.

(c)  Falsified Data.  A laboratory that submits falsified data or other information may be decertified for all parameters for up to two years.

(d)  Decertification Factors.  In determining a period of decertification, the Director shall recognize that any harm to the natural resources of the State arising from violations of these Rules in this Section may not be immediately observed and may be incremental or cumulative with no damage that can be immediately observed or documented.  Decertification for periods up to the maximum may be based on any and or a combination of the following factors to be considered:

(1)           The degree and extent of harm, or potential harm, to the natural resources of the State or to the public health, or to private property resulting from the violation;

(2)           The duration, and gravity of the violation;

(3)           The effect, or potential effect, on ground or surface water quantity or quality or on air quality;

(4)           Cost of rectifying any damage;

(5)           The amount of money saved by noncompliance;

(6)           As to violations other than submission of falsified data or other information, whether the violation was committed willfully or intentionally;

(7)           The prior record of the laboratory in complying or failing to comply with any State and Federal laboratory Rules and regulations;

(8)           The cost to the State of investigation and enforcement procedures;

(9)           Cooperation of the laboratory in discovering, identifying, or reporting the violation;

(10)         Measures the laboratory implemented to correct the violation or abate the effect of the violation, including notifying any affected clients;

(11)         Measures the laboratory implemented to correct the cause of the violation;

(12)         Any other relevant facts.

(e)  Decertification Requirements.

(1)           A decertified laboratory is not to analyze samples for the decertified parameters for programs described in Rule .0802 of this Section or clients reporting to these programs.

(2)           A decertified commercial laboratory must supply written notification of the decertification to clients with Division of Water Quality reporting requirements.  Within 30 days, the decertified laboratory must supply the State Laboratory with a list of clients involved and copies of the notices sent to each.

(3)           A commercial laboratory that has received a parameter decertification may make arrangements to supply analysis through another certified laboratory during any decertification periods.  The decertified laboratory must supply the State Laboratory, by written notice, the name of the laboratory to be used.

(4)           A commercial laboratory decertified for all parameters cannot subcontract samples for analyses to other certified laboratories during the decertification period.

(5)           A decertified municipal or industrial laboratory must have its samples analyzed by another certified laboratory during any decertification period and supply the State Laboratory, by written notice, the name of the certified laboratory to be used.

(f)  Civil Penalties.  Civil penalties may be assessed against a laboratory which violates or fails to act in accordance with any of the terms, conditions, or requirements of the Rules in this Section or of a laboratory certification.  A laboratory is subject to both civil penalties and decertification.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143‑215.3(a)(1); 143‑215.3(a)(10); 143-215.6A;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. November 2, 1992; December 1, 1984;

Temporary Amendment Eff. October 1, 2001;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2002.