US EPA Re-Certifies AS-EPA Laboratory through 2019

The American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA) announces the re-certification of its laboratory by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).

A Certification Officer for the U.S. EPA Region 9, Mr. Andy Lincoff, recently traveled to American Samoa to administer a full, on-site evaluation of the AS-EPA laboratory. The intensive two-day review focused on general laboratory practices, analytical methodologies, sample collection, handling, and preservation, quality assurance, record keeping, response to laboratory results, laboratory personnel and facility, and data reporting.

At the conclusion of the evaluation, Mr. Lincoff presented the results to AS-EPA Director Ameko Pato, confirming that the laboratory is fully certified through the year 2019. Lincoff commended AS-EPA, especially its lab personnel, for their commitment to the lab and this important public service. AS-EPA's laboratory personnel re-certified during the evaluation include Lab Chief Josephine Regis, as well as Lab Analysts Ativalu Tago, Joe Kim, and Daystar Parker.

The AS-EPA laboratory is the only U.S. EPA certified laboratory on island, and it has consistently maintained its lab certification over the years. Lab certification is necessary to produce scientifically valid and legally defensible data. Certification also ensures that data presented to the public is factual and reliable. Each year, the AS-EPA water lab tests an average of 2,400 drinking water samples and nearly 2,400 recreational marine water samples for microbial contamination. Local drinking water samples are tested for Total Coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli bacteria (abbreviated as "E. coli"). AS-EPA's certified Lab Analysts collect, test, and analyze water samples daily.

Director Ameko Pato said, "As a public servant, I would like to share this significant accomplishment with the people of American Samoa, as these are some of the many services that AS-EPA provides in order to protect public health and the environment in our Territory."

For more information about the AS-EPA lab, please call 633-2304.