Upstate Laboratories license suspended over paperwork issues

The State Department of Health has suspended the license for Upstate Laboratories.

Company spokesperson Tony Scala confirms the license was suspended because of paperwork issues.

Upstate Laboratories specializes in environmental testing, mostly groundwater testing at wastewater treatment facilities and landfills. The Health Department certifies companies to be able to perform any environmental analysis.

In a letter to the company, the Health Department says it conducted an unannounced on-site assessment of the laboratory on December 20-22 and 28 and found 122 deficiencies, of which 10 were repeated from the 2010 on-site assessment.

Of particular concern, the letter states, are deficiencies including: failure to demonstrate that it meets all requirements of a mandated test method or regulation; failure to utilize or improper use of matrix spikes and method blanks; failure to conduct proper corrective action investigations and institute enhanced quality control.

The letter also points to concern for: failure to adequately capture records and/or audit trails pertaining to staff analytical activities, overwriting files and other data that supports historical reconstruction of lab activities that result in analytical data; and failure to ensure effective monitoring of environmental conditions as well as ensure that all equipment are adequate for the correct performance of analytical methods.

The Health Department states in the letter that it received responses pertaining to the deficiencies cited in the report which specifically addressed the cited deficiency of matrix spikes. In response, the Heath Department writes that there was â??insufficient data to support the immediate resolution of any other deficiencies.â??

Under the suspension, Upstate Laboratories is prohibited from performing â??any analysis on New York samples for which the Department issues a certificate of approval.â??