NEVADA STATE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION
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Petition No. P2004-16

LCB File No. R 061-04

Date Received by Commission: March 15, 2004

Summary: This regulation repeals existing regulations and adopts new revised regulations. This regulation repeals Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 445A.055 through 445A.067 and adopts NAC 445A.0552 to NAC 445A.067, (i.e., Certification of Environmental Laboratories). The authority for these regulations are defined under Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 445A.425, 445A.428.

Current Status: Filed

Nevada Administrative Code: NAC 445A.0552 to NAC 445A.067

Petitioner: NDEP Bureau of Water Quality Planning

Description of Petition: This regulatory petition proposes the repeal of existing regulations and adoption of new revised regulations. The petition repeals Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 445A.055 through 445A.067 and adopts NAC 445A.0552 to NAC 445A.067, (i.e., Certification of Environmental Laboratories). The authority for these regulations are defined under Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 445A.425, 445A.428.

Currently, the regulations for certification of laboratories to analyze substances in water - as per the Federal Clean Water Act and the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act - are split between the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) and Nevada State Health Division. After the last biennium, the laboratory certification program was moved from the State Health Division to the NDEP. In part, this regulatory petition is needed to makes the necessary language adjustments in the NAC's to accommodate this change. Specifically, the new regulations retain the provisions previously established for certification of laboratories to analyze substances in wastewater, while adding provisions for laboratories to analyze substances in drinking water; the latter provision was previously administered by the Health Division. In addition, authority to certify laboratories to analyze substances in accordance with the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) has now been acquired by the NDEP - per Senate Bill 58, NRS 445A.425, 445A.428. Hence, the new revised regulations adds provisions for laboratories to analyze environmental samples for hazardous waste substances.

The regulatory petition will have only marginal economic effects and may include a slightly higher cost for some laboratories. Small laboratories will be less affected than the larger laboratories. A poll of the laboratories affected indicates that none of the in-state laboratories consider the change in fees to present a hardship, and respondents indicated a beneficial effect from the RCRA certification program. The new regulations will enable in-state laboratories to demonstrate RCRA certified status so they can participate in certain contracts. The lack of a certification program for RCRA has resulted in out-of-state laboratories obtaining an inordinate amount of RCRA work in Nevada.

The economic effects of the proposed regulations to the public would be of no consequence. In fact, the public should experience both a short-term and long-term benefit due to the improved quality of data obtained with the certification program in effect. The public should also see more competition between laboratories which may in turn stabilize costs associated with laboratory analysis. Agency costs to implement the proposed regulations would not be negatively effected; that is, the more participation in the lab certification program, the more fees will be obtained to fund the agency operations. The net effect would be the addition of one full time Laboratory Certification Official and a half time Administrative Assistant. The proposed regulations also do not overlap any existing state or federal regulations.

Regarding fees, the new regulations do contain changes in the fee structure for participating laboratories. The changes would better balance the wastewater and drinking water programs based upon actual time and effort required to administer the programs as well as support the RCRA certification program. These fees have been coordinated so that equivalent activities among the three program areas will be proportionally cost allocated. The new fee structure will generate an additional $92,000.00 per year. These funds will support operational costs of the laboratory certification program as well as support a third certification officer and a part-time administrative assistance.




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