Environmental Protection

Water laboratory worker

Agency Releases Water Laboratory Alliance Response Plan

The guidance offers an approach for coordinated water lab response in the case of a natural disaster, accident, or intentional event.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the Water Laboratory Alliance Response Plan (WLA-RP) to provide guidance for a coordinated laboratory (lab) response to a water contamination incident that may require additional analytical support and a broader response than a typical lab can provide.

The WLA-RP is designed to work within existing Incident Command System (ICS) structures and procedures. It provides a consistent, national approach to coordinated lab response to water contamination events. The WLA-RP is intended for use in both small incidents requiring support from a single lab and multi-regional incidents supported by many labs.

During a natural disaster, an accident, or an intentional event affecting the water sector, a large number of environmental samples will be generated, likely overwhelming the capacity and/or capability of any individual lab to provide sufficient analytical support. This plan does not obligate labs to provide support in such an event, but rather provides a consistent approach to how water utility, state, and EPA regional labs can work together to meet the need for analytical support. This plan should not be construed to supplant or subordinate existing legal authorities, but can be used as needed to coordinate lab support for water contamination incidents.

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