MPCA laboratory certification

St. Cloud WWTF LabThe Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) implemented a certification program for all Minnesota municipal, government or industrial laboratories that perform analyses for the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)/State Disposal System (SDS) for permit compliance or water quality work for MPCA programs. The goal is to provide assistance, training, and oversight to help laboratories consistently provide defensible data in working to protect and improve our environment and enhance water quality.

For more information

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jennifer Thoreson, 651-757-2805 or jennifer.thoreson@state.mn.us

About the program

On January 1, 2013, the MPCA implemented a certification program for all Minnesota municipal, government or industrial labs that perform analyses for NPDES/SDS permit compliance or water quality work. For most wastewater labs this replaced the need to be accredited under the MDH Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program. Please note that the MPCA does not certify drinking water laboratories or commercial laboratories. These laboratories must maintain accreditation with the HTML icon MDH's Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program.

What does the program do?

The MPCA Certification program includes a laboratory auditing and assistance process. Certification by this program fully satisfies requirements for laboratory work as required in NPDES/SDS permits. The MPCA program provides regulatory oversight for government, municipal or industrial laboratories performing NPDES/SDS or water quality work.

MPCA started this program at the request of the regulated community. There are a variety of reasons for this change, the major one being efficiency by coordinating laboratory evaluations, facility inspections and permitting within one agency.

When should we apply?

Applications will be accepted for certification renewal starting November 1–30 for the next calendar year. Invoices will be sent out in January of the certification year. Certificates showing program participation will be mailed after the invoiced payment has been received.

What does this mean for your permit?

MPCA existing permits will be modified as of January 1, 2013, by the policy letter below. New permits will contain the new language referencing MPCA Laboratory Certification.

What if my lab performs analyses for biosolids?

The MPCA certifies laboratories for the analyses needed for the biosolids program.

Certification Steering Committee

The MPCA receives input from a Steering Committee formed from the lab community being served. Members come from small and large municipal and industrial laboratories as well as other government non-profit laboratories and facility consultants. The Steering Committee advises the MPCA on the certification process and forms, and on training and outreach activities. The Steering Committee rotates on a set schedule with new members from the laboratory community joining the committee.

Please review the MPCA Laboratory Certification Program manual to find information on on-site evaluation information and other program quality assurance/quality control requirements.

Minn. Rules addressing how to apply for the program, proficiency testing requirements and program fees.

Table of parts

 7001.4310  SCOPE
 7001.4320  DEFINITIONS
 7001.4330  CERTIFICATION REQUIRED
 7001.4340  REQUIRED METHODS
 7001.4350  CERTIFICATION QUALIFICATION
 7001.4360  APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION
 7001.4370  GRANTING CERTIFICATION
 7001.4380  VOLUNTARY WITHDRAWAL OR DISCONTINUATION OF CERTIFICATION
 7001.4390  PROFICIENCY TESTING

For more information, visit the Rules Establishing a Certification Program and Fees for Water Quality Laboratories webpage

Applications to renew laboratory certification will be open from November 1st through November 30th for the upcoming calendar year. Invoices will be sent out in January of the certification year. Initial applications may be submitted at any time.

Open the application below and follow instructions on how to complete and submit an application for renewal or initial certification. If you have problems using the document, please contact Jennifer Thoreson, 651-757-2805 or jennifer.thoreson@state.mn.us.

The application has a section for non certified parameters. How does this apply to me?

These are for field parameters that are not required by your permit to be analyzed by a Certified Laboratory. There is not a fee for these. We are asking you to provide what methods you are using for these field parameters and a copy of the SOP. Even though they do not require certification they still must be analyzed in accordance with 40 CFR part 136 if the data produced is to be reported for compliance purposes.

We are no longer a MDH certified lab. Our permit-required tests are contracted through a commercial lab. Will this MPCA lab certification apply to us?

No. As long as your permit required NPDES/SDS compliance testing is conducted by commercial lab, your laboratory will not be required to join the MPCA Certification Program.

Does this program include out-of-state laboratories that perform analyses for NPDES permit compliance for clients in the state of Minnesota? Or is the certification program only for laboratories located within the state of Minnesota?

This program only applies to facilities that hold NPDES/SDS permits issued by the MPCA; therefore, no out-of-state laboratories will be included in the program.

Will the MPCA be doing the onsite lab inspections and if so, when?

If an NPDES/SDS lab chooses to participate in the MPCA Certification program, the lab audits will be performed by the MPCA. The order of audits will be to start with labs whose audits are oldest. MPCA will begin on-site evaluations of laboratories in late 2014.

If we renew our accreditation with the MDH are we still required to be accredited with the MPCA?

NPDES labs may choose to maintain MDH Accreditation if they wish to as an alternative to the MPCA Laboratory Certification Program.

What does it cost to be certified?

The cost of the MPCA Certification program will be as low as possible to maintain the program and will be reviewed by the steering committee.

Why is the MPCA getting involved in certifying labs?

The MPCA Certification Program was formed at the request of the NPDES lab community. MPCA is consolidating the permitting process into one agency.

Is the MPCA now the certifying body for commercial laboratories?

No. The MPCA Certification Program is only for laboratories run by facilities that have an MPCA-issued NPDES/SDS permit or produce water quality data for MPCA programs. Commercial laboratories will continue to be accredited by MDH.

How does one become involved with the "steering" committee?

The steering committee was formed with 11 facilities and approved by MPCA management. The committee will have a rotating schedule to be established which will rotate new facilities onto the team. The meetings are public and laboratories are welcome to listen in or attend, but MPCA will only currently recognize the 11 facilities as active participants in the meetings. Individuals not on the steering committee can contact MPCA (preferably via email) with questions, comments, or topics of discussion.

Coming soon

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MPCA Lab MPCA Permit/Lab ID EPA Lab ID City State Phone
ADM Corn Processing Marshall MN0057037 MN00902 Marshall MN 507-537-2508
Albert Lea Wastewater Treatment Plant MN0041092 MN00030 Albert Lea MN 507-373-9159
Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District MN0040738 MN00921 Alexandria MN 320-762-1135
American Crystal Sugar - Crookston MN0001929 MN00009 Crookston MN 218-281-0122
American Crystal Sugar - East Grand Forks MN0001937 MN00923 East Grand Forks MN 218-773-5130
American Crystal Sugar Laboratory - Moorhead MN0001945 MN00021 Moorhead MN 218-291-5435
Austin Wastewater Treatment Facility MN0022683 MN00036 Austin MN 507-437-7701
Becker Wastewater Treatment Facility, City of  MN0025666 MN00983 Becker MN 612-619-5655
Blooming Prairie Wastewater Treatment Plant MN0021822 MN00985 Blooming Prairie MN 507-583-7308
Boise White Paper, LLC - International Falls, MN MN0001643 MN00024 International Falls MN 218-285-5170
Brainerd Wastewater Treatment Plant MN0049328 MN00012 Brainerd MN 218-825-3274
Cambridge Water And Wastewater Laboratory MN0020362 MN01008 Cambridge MN 763-689-1800
CBT Environmental Laboratory MN0053341 MN00906 Coleraine MN 218-245-3450
Detroit Lakes Water & Wastewater Laboratory, City of  MN0020192 MN00005 Detroit Lakes MN 218-846-7102
Ely Environmental Laboratory Services MN0020508 MN00013 Ely MN 218-365-3247
Fairmont, City of MN0030112 MN00018 Fairmont MN 507-235-6502
Flint Hills Resources, L.P. MN0000418 MN00042 Rosemount MN 651-480-3959
Gedney Company MN0022446 MN00081 Chaska MN 952-368-3743
Glencoe Wastewater Treatment Plant MN0022233 MN00969 Glencoe MN 320-864-4115
GNP Co- (Gold n' Plump) Laboratory Services MN0047261 MN01023 St. Cloud MN 320-202-7663
Grand Rapids Public Utilities Wastewater Laboratory MN0022080 MN00927 Grand Rapids MN 218-326-7197
Hutchinson Wastewater Treatment Facility MN0055832 MN00017 Hutchinson MN 320-234-4233
Litchfield WWTP MN0023973 MN00046 Litchfield MN 320-693-3321
Little Falls Waste Treatment Plant MN0020761 MN00022 Little Falls MN 320-616-5540
Luverne WWTP, City of  MN0020141 MN00932 Luverne MN 507-449-5030
Mankato Wastewater Treatment Plant, City of  MN0030171 MN00039 Mankato MN 507-387-8667
Marshall Wastewater Treatment Facility MN0022179 MN00011 Marshall MN 507-537-6776
Melrose Wastewater Treatment Facility Lab MN0020290 MN00936 Melrose MN 320-256-1950
Metropolitan Council Analytical Services MN0029815 MN00025 St Paul MN 651-602-8115
Montevideo Wastewater Treatment Plant MN0020133 MN00970 Montevideo MN 320-269-5419
Moorhead Wastewater Treatment Facility, City of  MN0049069 MN00032 Moorhead MN 218-299-5385
Natural Resources Research Institute Central Analytical Laboratory MNL0001 MN01042 Duluth MN 218-788-2737
New Ulm Wastewater Facilities MN0030066 MN00045 New Ulm MN 507-359-8360
North Koochiching Sanitary Sewer District MN0020257 MN00952 International Falls MN 218-283-4748
Park Rapids, City of, Lamb-Weston/RDO Frozen MN0051454 MN01000 Park Rapids MN 218-732-2107
Rahr Malting Wastewater Lab MN0031917 MN00979 Shakopee MN 952-496-7108
Ramsey County Lake Management MNL0002 MN00995 Arden Hills MN 651-266-7161
Red Wing Municipal WWTF Laboratory MN0024571 MN00038 Red Wing MN 651-764-3242
Rochester Water Reclamation Plant MN0024619 MN00007 Rochester MN 507-328-2655
St. Cloud Wastewater Treatment Facility MN0040878 MN00043 St Cloud MN 320-255-7226
St. Peter WWTF aka Traverse Des Sioux  MN0022535 MN00090 St. Peter MN 507-934-0670
Thief River Falls, City Of  MN0021431 MN00040 Thief River Falls MN 218-681-3809
Three Rivers Park District Water Resources Laboratory MNL0003 MN01044 Plymouth MN 763-694-7854
Wadena Wastewater Treatment Plant MN0020672 MN01025 Wadena MN 218-631-7715
Western Lake Superior Sanitary District MN0049786 MN00052 Duluth MN 218-740-4814
Willmar Wastewater Treatment Plant MN0025259 MN00959 Willmar MN 320-235-4760
Worthington Industrial Treatment Plant Laboratory MN0031178 MN00028 Worthington MN 507-376-9655
Worthington Public Utilities Laboratory MN0031186 MN00963 Worthington MN 507-372-8660
Xcel Energy-Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant  MN0004006 MN00950 Welch MN 651-267-6172
Xcel-Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant (MNGP) MN0000868 MN00949 Monticello MN 763-271-5839
Xcel-Sherburne County Generating Plant  MN0002186 MN00050 Becker MN 763-261-3394