The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) recently announced that the New York State Department of Health awarded it certification through the Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP).
The AWI Environmental Research Lab is a state-of-the-art laboratory specifically designed for the analysis of surface and ground water in the Adirondack region. The laboratory saw major upgrades in 2010 when Paul Smith’s College built the Countess Alicia Spaulding-Paolozzi Environmental Science and Education Center.
Since that time, the lab has made important contributions to the protection of clean water in the region including a greater understanding of the impact of road salt within the environment. This milestone achievement expands Paul Smith’s College’s capabilities to detect and address threats to the region’s lakes and streams.
ELAP is part of a national laboratory accreditation program that ensures the accuracy and reliability of environmental analyses conducted for regulatory purposes. This certification is a new requirement for eligibility to receive state and federal grants and contracts and it opens new opportunities to support the region’s clean water and communities.
“This is an important achievement for us”, says AWI‘s executive director, Dr. Dan Kelting. “Lab certification allows us to significantly increase our capacity to understand and efficiently respond to some of the most pressing water quality issues in our region.”
“It is exciting that we are one of the few academic research labs in NYS that are ELAP certified” says Dr. Brendan Wiltse, AWI‘s senior research scientist. “Certification is a tough process to go through as it requires an enormous amount of staff time and expenses. Our work is at the intersection of research, policy, and management and this step helps us continue to inform clean water policies to benefit the public.”
To help celebrate this achievement, the public is invited to join AWI at a spring open house at Paul Smith’s College on Saturday, May 21st from 2-5 pm. This free event is an opportunity to tour AWI‘s laboratory, chat with AWI staff about its work, and experience a demonstration of “clean, drain, dry” boat washing and other activities. Light refreshments will be served. Visitors may also walk the grounds of the beautiful Paul Smith’s College campus located on the shores of Lower St. Regis Lake. For more information and directions to the AWI building on campus, visit adkwatershed.org.
Photo at top: Adirondack Watershed Institute staff runs analyses in its newly state certified Environmental Research Laboratory. Photo provided by the AWI.