Drinking Water Quality

Apparently nitrate moves a lot slower than we thought it did.

Nitrate testingHow do we know this? Because recent tests in areas where nitrate use has been greatly reduced just didn’t reflect the reduction, so experts decided to use groundwater analysis to determine how old it was. What they found was shocking – we’re just now seeing the effects of nitrate from decades ago!

This makes it hard to ascertain exactly what water quality will be like for a long time to come, except that we know we’re going to be dealing with higher levels and more potential toxicity problems for years to come. Even though most businesses today use far smaller amounts of nitrate, we won’t notice it for years and years.

What does this mean for businesses? Well, you can’t change what you’ve already done, but these new findings can help you out for the future – if you enlist the help of a commercial laboratory.

How does nitrate affect families?

Human babies are extremely susceptible to acute nitrate poisoning because of certain bacteria that may live in their digestive system during the first few months of life. These bacteria change nitrate into toxic nitrite (NO2). The nitrite reacts with hemoglobin (which carries oxygen to all parts of the body) to form methemoglobin, which does not carry oxygen. The level of oxygen being carried throughout the body decreases in proportion to the amount of hemoglobin converted to methemoglobin. As the oxygen level decreases, the baby is suffocated. This condition is called methemoglobinemia.

The most obvious symptom of nitrate poisoning is a bluish color of the skin, particularly around the eyes and mouth. This is called cyanosis. A baby with these symptoms should be taken to an emergency medical facility immediately. The doctor will take a blood sample to be sure the baby is not suffering from nitrate poisoning. The blood sample of an affected baby is a chocolate brown instead of a healthy red. Nitrate poisoning can be treated, and in most cases the baby makes a full recovery. It is crucial, however, to deal with the problem immediately, because without treatment a baby can die.

Around the age of three months, an increase in the amount of hydrochloric acid in a baby's stomach kills most of the bacteria that convert nitrate to nitrite. By the time a baby is six months old, its digestive systems should be fully developed, and none of the nitrate-converting bacteria remain. However, children under one year of age and pregnant women are at risk for adverse effects. In older children and adults, nitrate is absorbed and excreted, and methemoglobinemia is no longer a concern. (Learn More from NJDEP)

An Analytical Laboratory Service Can Help You Determine If Your Nitrate Levels are Too High

The new findings are important because they might mean that you are in danger of breaking NJDEP regulations for sanitary discharge even if your nitrate toxicity levels appear to be low right now. You might end up having to pay for the problems you’re causing now a decade or more into the future because you have no idea that you’re in violation of the law!

Don’t wait to find out if there’s a problem with your nitrate levels until it’s too late. Our certified testing lab can help you determine your toxicity levels now and predict what they’ll be in the future based on your current practices.

We’re well versed in soil testing, storm water sampling, waste water testing, groundwater analysis, and other helpful chemical testing services that can go a long way towards helping you become – and stay! – compliant with NJDEP regulations.

Posted: 8/5/2013 2:31:11 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

NJDEP regulations say that the VOC concentration in water can’t be over 1.5 µg/L. Unfortunately, chemical testing done in 2011 showed that the East Orange Water Commission (EOWC) had a 12-month average that came out to 1.54 µg/L that year. Water Samples Show Why You Want a Certified Testing Lab

Most people probably don’t think very much about NJDEP regulations or how they affect their lives, but you can bet that the people in The Village of South Orange are well aware. Without the findings from the certified testing lab of a commercial laboratory, they would have had no warning that they might be drinking water with an unacceptable toxicity level.

Depending on the type of toxicity present in the drinking water, people can suffer all kinds of health problems. It’s especially bad for young children, whose bodies simply don’t have enough volume to absorb the bad chemicals and filter them through their systems.

Frequent Chemical Testing Is the Safest Bet

The best way to make sure that you’re safe, or that your company is compliant with NJDEP regulations, is to periodically work with an analytical laboratory service and take all kinds of samples and tests.

A few of the kinds of chemical testing that you can engage in include:

  • Groundwater analysis
  • Waste water testing
  • Storm water sampling
  • Soil testing

The NJDEP regulations are there for a reason. Without them in place, some companies would simply do whatever they needed to keep costs down and profits up – even if that meant poisoning the very customers they wanted to buy their products. But most of the time it’s not that insidious. Most companies care about the people they serve, they just don’t realize that they are doing anything wrong.

What Chemical Testing Has Shown to The Village

So what happened with The Village in South Orange? NJDEP regulations require them to keep engaging in chemical testing twice each month while there appears to be a problem, so that’s just what they did. In April of this year, the numbers were below the toxicity threshold on every test that the EOWC did. Even better were the tests that The Village did independently.

Both used certified testing labs and took samples from different areas, and both had tests with results that were much improved. NJDEP regulations say that the results are still high enough that monitoring should continue, but due to hard work and ongoing chemical testing, they won’t face a violation.

Posted: 7/2/2013 1:55:06 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Most homeowners probably never think about chemical testing or whether or not their water would meet NJDEP regulations. After all, that’s something for businesses to worry about, right?

The problem is, when we say that water isn’t meeting NJDEP regulations, what we’re really saying is that the water isn’t clean – the toxicity levels are too high. Do you want water like that in your pipes and around where you live?

We Expect Environmental Testing to Be Done for Us

Clean water is one of those things that we’ve just come to expect in this country, but that doesn’t mean that we’re always getting it – or that the government and other regulatory bodies are always going to know when it gets too bad. Finding that out means engaging in all kinds of environmental testing – storm water sampling, groundwater analysis, waste water testing – and the sad truth is that in this era of big business and big storms, there are more ways than ever before for bad things to get into your water without anyone knowing.

toxic train wreck in Paulsboro NJTake the toxic train wreck that occurred last November in Paulsboro. Wells that were set up to do groundwater analysis are still finding high toxicity levels of vinyl chloride today, and residents don’t know how badly their homes might have been impacted and what they need to do to fix the problem.

Stories like this are common, but that doesn’t mean you just have to hope for the best. If you’re worried about your water and want environmental testing, storm water sampling, waste water testing, and more, go ahead and get it done.

A Commercial Laboratory Puts the Power Back in Your Hands
Lots of people just like you are realizing that they can independently hire a commercial laboratory with a certified testing lab and get the work done faster and more efficiently.

In Ocean City, where lagoons need to be dredged, people are filling community centers for meetings, but city leaders say that they have their hands tied to do more, but you don’t have that problem. Take action for yourself, or join together with neighbors and hire our analytical laboratory service to come out and take a look at your entire area.

If you truly care about the wellbeing of your family and neighborhood, getting environmental testing done yourself may be the best course of action.

Posted: 6/28/2013 9:21:58 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, everyone is more concerned with keeping the toxicity levels in our water down and engaging in more kinds of chemical testing and environmental testing like storm water sampling to help this cause.

The EPA, however, is thinking about taking a different approach – at least for new developments. In an effort to keep more storm water runoff out of local bodies of water, it looks like the EPA is going to force new developments to retain more storm water at their facilities than is required at businesses with already-completed infrastructure.

It would seem like this proposed new rule will make for changes in NJDEP regulations as well, so it’s important that businesses stay on top of the latest requirements for sanitary discharge and discharge permits. If you have any questions about how this might impact you, feel free to contact New Jersey Analytical Laboratories.

NJAL Commercial Laboratory Can Advise You on Infrastructure
Our certified testing lab is used to helping companies maintain their compliance with environmental testing like storm water sampling, waste water testing, groundwater analysis, and soil testing, but that’s just the beginning of what we can do.

It’s not uncommon for our non-compliant clients to work with us to update their procedures or infrastructure in order to maintain compliance or reopen their doors after a problem is discovered, so we’re happy to advise you on your new development as well. By working with the toxicity experts at our commercial laboratory, you can make sure that your company stays ahead of the curve and knows about any alterations that you might need to make to your initial design.

And because we understand the importance of keeping costs down, we’ll make sure that our recommendations are tailored to meet not just NJDEP regulations, but also your individual needs.

Posted: 6/12/2013 11:35:35 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Chemical hygieneIf you own or operate a business with any kind of plant discharge in New Jersey, then you already know that the NJDEP has some pretty strict standards that companies must adhere to if they want to maintain permit compliance. What you might not know, though, is that to become a certified testing lab in the state, analytical laboratory service companies like NJAL have to pass the most rigorous certification process in the entire country – something we’ve done for over 12 years in a row now.

NJAL Means… Quality Environmental Testing
What does that mean for you? That when you decide to work with NJAL on your chemical hygiene plan, you’re getting the absolute best in environmental testing. We make sure that our certified testing lab hires only the most skilled and experienced staff, both to work within the lab itself and onsite conducting testing and analysis for your business.

All of our workers are certified in their respective areas and stay up-to-date with the latest research and techniques. NJAL also uses only state-of-the-art equipment from well-respected manufacturers, so you know that you’re always getting readings that are incredibly accurate, whether we’re going groundwater analysis, soil sampling, waste water testing, or more.

NJAL Means… Comprehensive Environmental Testing
NJAL is preferred by many companies in the New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania tri-state area because our certified testing lab provides comprehensive analytical laboratory service to all of our clients – no matter what industry they are in. With NJAL, you’ll never have to worry about having to hire a second or even third company to handle any of your environmental testing and chemical testing needs, because we do it all. This means far less time that you’ll have to spend trying to coordinate different people from different organizations and attempting to learn how the process works with each individual business.

Chemical testing LabJust a few of our valuable services include:
  • Waste water testing
  • Petrochemical testing
  • Groundwater analysis
  • Stream sampling
  • Plant discharge monitoring
  • Potable sampling
  • Disinfectant testing
  • Surface water monitoring
  • Raw material testing
  • Soil sampling
  • Trace chemical testing
  • Storm water monitoring
  • Waste sampling
  • Utilizing monitoring wells
  • Soil remediation

These services include both tests undertaken at our certified testing lab and a variety of sampling and monitoring done onsite in the field.

NJAL Means… Environmental Testing Data at Your Fingertips
Clients also love NJAL’s open door policy with information and communication. The day that samples arrive at our laboratory, our customers can log in and check up on their status at any time of the day or night at no extra cost to them using our MYLAB service.

And once we’ve finished all of our environmental testing and compiled the results at our lab, all of our clients receive data summaries with a certificate of analysis and electronic PDF at minimum. For customers who want something more, we can create full deliverable packages on request that have the data formatted specifically for NJDEP. Our standard turnaround time is two weeks, but repeating projects are often completed weekly, and our rush services can even get results back to clients on the same day.

NJAL Means… Environmental Testing to Keep You in Business

Ultimately, the reason to choose NJAL’s analytical lab service is because the price of making a mistake in you environmental testing is far too steep to risk trying to manage your chemical hygiene plan yourself or trust it with a lesser company. Companies go with NJAL because they know that failure isn’t an option.

Posted: 5/9/2013 9:38:21 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

New Jersey Shellfish ToxicitySuperstorm Sandy caused a lot of problems in New Jersey, but fishing was probably one of the hardest hit industries.

Entire bays had to close down as a precautionary measure to meet NJDEP regulations, because when strong storms surge through, pollutants can contaminate the water and lead to high toxicity levels in the crops.

Small businesses have been forced to miss all of the holiday buying markets from November through mid-April, leading to huge losses. Some even turned to online donation campaigns after they were turned down for loans by the federal Small Business Administration.

Environmental Testing Allows Shellfishing to Return to Barnegat Bay
But it’s finally turning around thanks to ubiquitous environmental testing and chemical testing performed by companies like NJAL with certified testing labs. Clam beds in early April were opened all the way to Beach Haven, letting clammers, shellfish growers, and others to get back to work.

NJDEP regulations called for a commercial laboratory to engage in many kinds of environmental testing to make sure that the toxicity levels of any food harvested from the waters wouldn’t cause health problems. That means not only storm water sampling by an analytical laboratory service, but also taking in actual clams to test.

NJAL knows that there’s a delicate balance between promoting business and protecting the environment, which is why our certified testing lab is always careful to make sure that we get the right results and help you to meet NJDEP regulation

USA Today: Shellfish industry slow to recover from Sandy
Manasquan-Belmar Patch:
Last of N.J. Shellfish Beds Closed Since Sandy Reopen

Posted: 4/30/2013 12:19:20 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

njdep waiver ruleWhen the Waiver Rule officially became part of state law on August 1, 2012, many local businesses lauded it. They saw it as a way to bring some flexibility into the stringent NJDEP regulations for environmental testing and toxicity and relieve some of the burden being carried by companies.

Enacted in response to Governor Chris Christie’s Executive Order No. 2, the Waiver Rule has been described as an attempt to improve the state’s economy with a “better environmental regulatory climate” based on “common sense principles.”

Naturally, this hasn’t set well with environmental and conservation groups in New Jersey, who argues it’s a way to let polluters circumvent the law. Due to this, environmentalists and business advocates have been clashing in court, and most likely, the case will end up going to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Nobody, however, seems to be asking whether the Waiver is actually worth all this excitement. After all, even though it was passed as a state law, the NJDEP still has the power to grant or deny waiver applications from companies, and in the five months since it became law, exactly 14 waiver applications have been sent to the NJDEP – none of which were approved.

What exactly does that mean? NJDEP regulations are the same as they were before the Waiver became law. Companies still need to use a certified testing lab to engage in storm water sampling, waste water testing, soil testing, groundwater analysis, and other kinds of environmental testing in order to make sure that they maintain permit compliance, and if toxicity levels are found to be too high, they still have to fix the problem and pay for cleanup costs.

In fact, there’s some question about whether the organization will ever even say yes to a waiver application. If they do, the waiver is sure to be incredibly limited, because it’s clearly stated in NJDEP regulations that “[i]t is not the purpose of this chapter to allow for the routine circumvention of any Department rule.”

Translation: businesses had better continues to use an analytical laboratory service and engage in chemical testing for the foreseeable future, because NJDEP regulations won’t be altered for just anyone.

Read More: United States: New Jersey’s Appellate Division Upholds NJDEP’s Waiver Rule, Providing Greater Flexibility To NJDEP And The Regulated Community 09 April 2013

On March 21, 2013, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court in In Re N.J.A.C. 7:1B-1.1, et seq. provided the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") and the regulated community with a major victory in upholding NJDEP's adoption of the so-called "Waiver Rule." The regulations had been promulgated and adopted by NJDEP in response to Governor Christie's Executive Order No. 2, which mandated that all State agencies adopt rules for waiver that would "ensure that regulations shall be efficient, consistent...accessible and transparent to all interested parties." ....

Posted: 4/17/2013 10:40:29 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Governer Pursues Privatized Site CleanupJust a few years ago, New Jersey state officials handled not only things like chemical testing, storm water sampling, soil testing, and other kinds of environmental testing, they were responsible for cleaning up sites deemed to be too contaminated under NJDEP regulations.

Ostensibly, this was so they could ensure everything was done correctly at each step of the process. But the sheer number of contaminated sites with various levels of complexity and severity meant that even the simplest cleanup jobs often took NJDEP an incredibly long time. They were overworked and overburdened.

All of that began to change in 2009 when NJDEP regulations changed to allow privatized companies to take over the daily cleanup operations. Within two years, the number of completed cleanups jumped by 30 percent!

Obviously, this increased speed has made developers happy. Projects that might have been on hold for years and years have started breaking ground, and the prospect of more commercialized land means more opportunities to make money.

Environmentalists’ Worries about Privatized Toxicity Cleanup Not Backed By Facts

Privatized Cleanup

Not surprisingly, environmentalists haven’t been nearly as positive about this development. They worry that putting private companies in control of toxicity cleanup and environmental testing to ensure that they meet NJDEP regulations is a recipe for disaster.

In some ways, this argument makes sense, because generally speaking, the private cleanup companies are hired by clients who
want the land cleaned so that they can use it, but there’s still plenty of oversight. Reports from groundwater analysis, waste water testing, storm water sampling, soil testing, and so on still have to be periodically turned into and reviewed by NJDEP. If there’s ever an oddity, more reviews will be done.

Beyond this, the environmental testing still has to be conducted by an analytical laboratory service with a certified testing lab. If at any point something about the cleanup doesn’t meet NJDEP regulations, more work will be done until the toxicity is within acceptable levels.

Posted: 3/28/2013 10:44:38 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

"The state is seeking more than $700 million to test and monitor 250,000 private wells and clean up an estimated 5,600 contaminated sites where drinking water is deemed unfit."

groundwater contaminationThe New Hampshire StarTribune recently had a story about how Exxon Mobil is still fighting the state in court over charges that groundwater analysis from a certified testing lab showed contamination came from using MBTE in their gasoline.

The story itself focuses on whether or not Exxon Mobil was honest with the state about the potential hazards of MBTE ahead of time, but buried within the paragraphs is a quick blurb that’s probably a lot more interesting to many companies.

This lawsuit was filed more than a decade ago against 26 different companies, and since then every single one has settled with the state except for Exxon Mobil. Read between the lines and you’ll easily see what that really means: every company that didn’t have pockets as deep as Exxon Mobil eventually gave in and paid a big settlement fee because they couldn’t afford to keep fighting.

The unfortunate thing is that a lot of those companies probably wouldn’t have had to deal with the problem in the first place if they’d been using an analytical laboratory service with a certified testing lab to ensure that they were complying with toxicity standards.

Environmental Testing Warns You about Potential Issues Before They Become Problems
groundwaterSome companies neglect to engage in environmental testing and chemical testing because they don’t feel like they’re doing anything wrong, or don’t believe they have the budget to test. Others simply have their analytical laboratory service do the bare minimum, or choose a company without a petrochemicals testing lab even though their business is involved in petrochemicals. But taking shortcuts ultimately leads to bigger problems.

Regulations vary from state to state, so you need to choose a service that understands local laws and rules. That way, you’ll stay within sanitary discharge levels and continue to qualify for discharge permits. Depending on where you do business and the nature of your work, you might require groundwater analysis, soil testing, storm water sampling, waste water testing, and more.

The best analytical laboratory services will even work with you to create a plan to fix the problem if your toxicity levels are too high. And once you’re back within acceptable levels, they can set up ongoing environmental testing to make sure you never get to that point again.

Posted: 3/19/2013 11:08:19 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Why is it a good idea to have my water well checked annually?

Groundwater AwarnessAn annual checkup by a qualified water well contractor is the best way to ensure problem-free service and quality water, says NGWA member name of individual of company name.

Also, preventative maintenance usually is less costly than emergency maintenance, and good well maintenance — like good car maintenance — can prolong the life of your well and related equipment. NGWA further recommends you test your water whenever there is a change in taste, odor, or appearance, or when the system is serviced.

Schedule your annual water well checkup

Wells can provide
Drinking Water Quality, and about half the U.S. population receives its drinking water from wells. But with well ownership comes the responsibility of keeping the water well in good working order. A check of your well by a qualified water well contractor may include:
  • A flow test to determine system output, along with a check of the water level before and during pumping (if possible), pump motor performance (check amp load, grounding, and line voltage), pressure tank and pressure switch contact, and general water quality (odor, cloudiness, etc.).
  • A well equipment inspection to assure it’s sanitary and meets local code.
  • A test of your water for coliform bacteria and nitrates, and anything else of local concern. Other typical additional tests are those for iron, manganese, water hardness, sulfides, and other water constituents that cause problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance, and odor.   
  • Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, and annual water well system maintenance and water testing results.   
  • Periodically check the well cover or well cap on top of the casing (well) to ensure it is in good repair and securely attached. Its seal should keep out insects and rodents.   
  • Maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems, and chemical storage areas.
  • Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well, and maintain a "clean" zone of at least 50 feet between your well and any kennels and livestock operations.


Posted: 3/9/2013 10:18:09 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

If you own or operate a business in New Jersey that causes you to work with any materials or engage in any activities that may involve pollutants, you probably know that you have to resubmit your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SPPP) every year to maintain permit compliance. If you just opened a business and didn’t know this, be careful – new facilities only have six months from the date on their permit authorization to prepare and implement their SPPP!

Even those businesses that are used to the annual certification process might not realize that there are additional permit requirements that the state is asking for this year. You can find a complete list in the Basic Industrial Stormwater General Permit Guidance Document, but facilities should know that the new requirements cover three main areas:
  • Inventory
  • Mapping
  • Your Inspection Schedule
If you neglect to include this information, your facility could end up losing its permit for not following NJDEP regulations, have to pay a large fine, and even stop operations altogether.

Most of the new information requested focuses on things like exposure to storm water runoff, process wastewaters, and storm water catch basins. By working with an analytical laboratory service, you can pinpoint where your problem areas are and make sure that you’re not just spending money to get a piece of paper, but actually helping your facility to stay within NJDEP’s regulatory limits.

Stormwatervery business’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan needs will be a little bit different, but an analytical laboratory service that has a certified testing lab will help you to clearly define them by engaging in:
  • Storm Water Sampling
  • Groundwater Analysis
  • Wastewater Testing
With the information that you gain from this kind of environmental testing, you’ll be able to form a plan of action to ensure that you always maintain permit compliance. By staying ahead of the curve with NJDEP regulations, your business can avoid any unnecessary fines, legal issues, and disruptions to your normal operations.

NJ Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual
Posted: 3/5/2013 10:36:00 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Just last month, the NJDEP regulations for vapor intrusion were updated for the first time in six years, and there were some major changes.

Vapor IntrusionIt’s vital that businesses pay attention to these changes, because they affect how companies should be going about their environmental testing and which chemicals they need to be looking for.

What exactly has changed?
Well, in groundwater analysis, the acceptable level of toxicity for several common cleaning solvents has been modified.

Vapor MigrationIn some cases, like with the chemical PCE (tetrachloroethene), regulations have eased. While the old NJDEP regulations only allowed for 1 part per billion, now companies can have up to 31 parts per billion. But screening levels for other chemicals have become more stringent, and the latest NJDEP regulations also include compounds that are appearing for the first time. That means companies will have to change their own chemical testing process in order to remain compliant.

Because vapor intrusion involves volatile contaminants entering buildings’ indoor air through basements and floor slabs, companies will want to look into their processes for soil testing and groundwater analysis, among other kinds of environmental testing, to make sure that the toxicity levels continue to meet NJDEP regulations. If the toxicity levels become too great, businesses could be held responsible not only for monitoring and restricting the pathways for vapor intrusion, but also any costs related to cleanup.

Not only will these new NJDEP regulations affect future chemical testing, they could also mean big changes to cleanups that are already occurring. In order to help businesses understand it all, a flow chart has been issued by the NJDEP describing how it works.
  • New NJDEP regulations apply to all cases that began after January 16, 2013.
  • No further investigation of the pathway for vapor intrusion will be initiated for cases that closed before January 16, 2013 and included an unrestricted use final remediation document.
  • As part of the biennial certification, cases that closed prior to January 16, 2013 with a restricted use final remediation document have to have the vapor intrusion pathway reevaluated using an “order of magnitude” analysis.
  • If a Remedial Action Workplan for groundwater was issued before January 16, 2013, an “order of magnitude” analysis must be used to reevaluate the existing data.
  • Investigators have until April 16, 2013 to use the new NJDEP regulations for vapor intrusion to evaluate site conditions for all other cases. Once this evaluation is complete, cleanup must begin and follow the new screening levels and other applicable rules.

NJDEP’s website goes more in-depth on the new NJDEP regulations.

Posted: 2/18/2013 11:57:39 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

petrochemical testingThe Clean Air Act has been around for over 40 years now, but some companies are still getting hit with fines for overlooking parts of the law. That’s exactly what happened to Hess Corporation at their Port Reading, New Jersey, refinery.

After some standard environmental testing caused them to spot a number of violations, the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency slapped the company with an enormous lawsuit that they just settled for a lesser amount. And what is that amount?
  • An $850,000 civil penalty for breaking the law
  • Plus $45 million that Hess has to spend on new pollution controls so that they don’t continue to operate above limits
They not only have to adhere to EPA standards, but also meet NJDEP regulations if they want to maintain permit compliance.

EPA enforcementEven for a petrochemical company that has deep pockets like Hess, $45 million is more than just a drop in the bucket. Departments are likely to have their budgets slashed, and some people may even lose their jobs because of this. Not to mention the fact that production at Hess’s Port Reading refinery may be significantly slowed for a while since they have to put the new pollution controls in place as soon as possible.
The worst part is that they could have avoided most of this trouble by working with an analytical laboratory service with a certified testing lab and a petrochemicals testing lab. A commercial laboratory not only provides environmental testing services for water, soil, and air. By actively engaging in chemical testing to make sure they were following EPA and NJDEP regulations, Hess would have been notified of where the toxicity was too great and they were violating sanitary discharge rules and had opportunities to fix the problems on their own.

This would have cost them less in the long run because they would have avoided fines and been able to bring their operations in line with EPA and NJDEP regulations at their own pace while maintaining permit compliance. Instead, they’re forced to do everything at once, which will cause them to lose far more money to lost productivity.

Environmental testing is vital for those in the petroleum industry, because companies that fail to meet EPA or NJDEP regulations may find themselves not only facing fines and clean-up costs, but also the loss of permits that they need in order to keep facilities operating.

An analytical laboratory service that’s been fully accredited by NJDEP will have a comprehensive petrochemicals testing lab that allows your business to engage in all kinds of toxicity monitoring, such as:
  • Chemical Testing
  • Soil Testing
  • Groundwater Analysis
  • Wastewater Testing
With that kind of thoroughness, your petrochemical company can stay one step ahead of any potential environmental concerns.
Posted: 2/6/2013 12:26:25 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Developers Learn the Hard Way That a Chemical Hygiene Plan Should Start With Construction

pre-construction soil testingSince at least 2009, the EPA has been going hard after companies that ignore the requirements of the Clean Water Act and other protective statutes. One of the lesser-known sections of the Act that has cost companies a lot of money recently involves storm water permitting requirements.

As recently as June of 2012, Toll Brothers was hit with an amazing fine of $741,000 due to storm water compliance issues from 370 projects in 23 different states, including some in our own backyard – New York and New Jersey. Due to their negligence, Toll Brothers not only has to pay that six-figure fine, they’re required to come up with a comprehensive plan to make sure that they meet regulations and maintain their compliance permits.

The interesting thing about the Toll Brothers case is that they aren’t a manufacturer or chemical company (two types of organizations you might expect to attract fines for violations) but rather a luxury homebuilder. Their violations weren’t for ongoing activities at specific facilities, but rather for neglecting to follow the proper storm water permitting regulations while engaging in construction.

soil testingAll too often, we think about ongoing chemical testing needs, such as soil testing, groundwater analysis, and waste water testing, as the only kinds of things that can be violations and cost companies money, but that’s just not the case. If they don’t want to incur large fines, developers have to think about NJDEP regulations and compliance issues right from the get-go and make sure they are meeting all requirements.

The best way to do this effectively is to put together a professional team that includes:
  • construction managers
  • engineers
  • attorneys
  • a commercial laboratory with a chemical testing lab
That way, you can engage in whatever environmental testing your legal team recommends and make sure that you have the best strategies in place to build in such a way that you maintain permit compliance.

Using a company to do environmental testing ahead of time can also alert you to any problems that you might face during the construction, and an analytical laboratory service is also useful as a consultant, because they have to stay up-to-date on all of the latest NJDEP regulations and chemical testing procedures.

Posted: 1/31/2013 12:30:03 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Even though most of us try to take care of ourselves to the best of our ability, when we want to make sure that our bodies are healthy and running smoothly, we head in to our physician for a regular checkup. With their experience and professional knowledge, they can diagnose any problems right away and let us know the best techniques for how to fix them.

chemical hygieneIt’s no different for businesses that need to maintain their permit compliance by meeting NJDEP regulations. You likely have a chemical hygiene plan that you strive to follow so you can stay within the required limits and avoid fines, but when’s the last time you had a checkup?

At many companies, the chemical hygiene plan ends up on the shelf gathering dust. You may view it as simply a bureaucratic requirement and nothing more, but a well put-together chemical hygiene plan can play a large role in the safety of your workers, your impact on the environment, and ultimately, your company’s bottom line.

Even companies with the best intentions can make mistakes, which is why it’s wise to get an annual checkup from a certified testing lab.
  • Over time, NJDEP regulations change. If you haven’t updated your chemical hygiene plan in a while, it may actually be out of date.
  • New technologies and procedures emerge. Is your company following the most recent best practices? If not, it may be time to learn about them, get your staff trained, and ensure you’re engaging in the right kinds of environmental testing.
  • Your environment may have changed. You may be monitoring some of the changes in your local environment, such as emissions from your own operations, but it’s also possible that you are completely unaware of other potential issues, particularly if they are caused by the operations of other companies in the area or even major weather events.
As part of your checkup, you may want to run many types of environmental testing to ensure that all of your numbers are where they need to be, including services such as:
  • groundwater analysis
  • testing plant discharge
  • utilizing groundwater wells for monitoring
  • waste water testing
  • taking soil samples
  • storm water sampling
Due to their experience and the quality of the equipment in their certified testing lab, an analytical laboratory service can not only let you know if you’re nearing any regulatory limits, but also provide a comprehensive report detailing the ways in which you could make your chemical hygiene plan safer and more effective.

For busy organizations that just don’t have time to coordinate between several different companies, finding a certified testing lab who will work with you throughout the entire process can be invaluable.
Posted: 1/20/2013 10:38:59 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Don’t Let Your Company Find Itself on the Wrong Side of a Big Contamination Settlement

On December 6, the U.S. entered into a $50-million settlement with dozens of parties to clean up harmful groundwater contamination in San Bernardino County, CA. Among those listed in the settlement are two cities, the county itself, and a number of companies, including Pyro Spectaculars, Inc., Emhart Industries, and Black & Decker, Inc.

The area was used to manufacture, test, and store pyrotechnics, munitions, fireworks, and rocket motors. As a result, chemical analysis revealed that perchlorate and trichloroethylene, which can lead to issues with the lungs, nervous system, liver, and even irregular growth and development if consumed, had been leaking into the groundwater for decades. Eventually, this contamination caused drinking water supply wells to close in Rialto and Colton so that more people wouldn’t be potentially harmed.

There are no real winners with this situation. People were harmed by companies’ actions, and now those companies will have to struggle to pay fines and clean-up costs. What’s so frustrating about hearing stories like this is that it’s a problem that could have easily been avoided. The right chemical testing service would have let the companies know when they were close to reaching regulatory limits and worked with them to modify operations so that they didn’t find themselves in trouble in the future.

Obviously, this occurred in California and not New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that your company couldn’t be held financially responsible if something similar were to happen here. That’s why it’s so important to periodically engage in chemical testing to ensure that you’re staying within the acceptable limits. Otherwise, you could end up like one of those unfortunate businesses named in the California lawsuit.

Ideally, you want:

One commercial laboratory to handle all your chemical testing services.
Not only is this convenient and cost-effective, it also allows you to get a more complete picture of your company’s environmental impact. Services you may need include:

storm water sampling
plant discharges
surface water analysis
soil samples
plant-processed water
drinking water
ground water
well monitoring
soil remediation
A commercial laboratory with knowledge of permit compliance and your area’s regulations. Typically, this means searching for a company near your geographical location or with specific expertise in your industry. For New Jersey companies, you want to ensure that your testing lab is familiar with NJDEP regulations.

A commercial laboratory that focuses on prevention as well as detection.
You want to catch a problem before it happens, and that means not just being alerted when you are exceeding limits but also when there are trends that point to a potential problem. A good chemical testing company will be able to provide you with an explanation of results, particularly when toxicity levels are higher than expected, and also advice on how to correct the problem.

A commercial laboratory with experience handling testing during clean-up as well.
If you are caught in the unfortunate position of dealing with environmental contamination, proper chemical testing is more crucial than ever as you handle the investigation and possible remediation.  You’ll need guidance on how to make the most cost-effective and efficient clean-up decisions based on timely, measureable results.

Posted: 1/10/2013 12:54:25 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Climate Change And Hurricane Sandy: How Global Warming Might Have Made The Superstorm Worse.

As officials begin the arduous task of pumping corrosive seawater out of New York City’s subway system and try to restore power to lower Manhattan, and residents of the New Jersey Shore begin to take stock of the destruction, experts and political leaders are asking what Hurricane Sandy had to do with climate change. After all, the storm struck a region that has been hit hard by several rare extreme weather events in recent years, from Hurricane Irene to “Snowtober.” More...

Climate Change Study Indicates Amount Of Heat-Trapping Pollution Rose By 3 Percent Worldwide Last Year.

The amount of heat-trapping pollution the world spewed rose again last year by 3 percent. So scientists say it's now unlikely that global warming can be limited to a couple of degrees, which is an international goal. More...

Posted: 12/4/2012 11:29:31 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Private wells and public water supplies that have been out of power are suspect to contamintation also Govenor Christie has said that public water supplies may have been compromised in many areas of our state.
  1. Flood waters from Sandy pose risk of water supply contamination
  2. Water Contaminated With Sewage And Other Gross Things

New Jersey analytical labs offers a public water scan and a private water scan to verifiy the quality of your water supply and tests can be scheduled via NJAL.com or via telephone at 609-737-3477 or 908-689-6636 or by dropping off samples the the locations below.
Please be advised that once your power is restored we urge you to confirm your water quality by chosing one of  the tests, currently discounted to support our clients in the affected areas as a result of hurricane Sandy.
Sample drop off locations are currently set in 3 locations:


Sam Stothoff Well Drilling
Route 31 and Emery Avenue
Flemington, NJ 08822
New Jersey Analytical Labs
380 Scotch Road, Building 2
Ewing, NJ 08628
Colaluce Well and Pump Service
2393 Route 57
Washington, NJ 07882


  • Contamination test-Water Purity for wells-public water in NJ
  • Wells would be a Standard Plus Scan at $299 to verify drinking water purity.
  • Public water would be a public city water scan.  
Call For Info: 609-737-3477 -- 908-689-6636

Posted: 11/5/2012 11:36:32 AM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Is Your Water Making You Sick?


Posted: 09/05/2012 4:18 pm

Pollution continues to impact surface and ground waters, our drinking waters as well as coastlines and recreational waters.

There are an estimated 19 million waterborne illnesses per year due to the contamination of drinking water systems in the U.S., with 5.4 million illnesses from groundwater and 13 million illnesses from surface water systems.1 That includes diarrhea, respiratory infections, skin infections, meningitis and even chronic conditions like myocarditis, kidney failure and neurological problems, including joint pains. More...
Posted: 9/6/2012 2:57:27 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

New Jersey's Raritan River Basin represents the smallest of NWNL's 6 case-study watersheds in Africa and North America.  Despite its bucolic upstream habitats, the Raritan's heavily-industrialized downstream reaches testify to the need for SuperFund sites and other approaches addressing pollution as well as the sustainable resource management of urban watersheds.

Posted: 2/16/2012 2:46:20 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

N.J. sites could have been on cleanup list

To environmentalists, the failure to include the sites on the Superfund list is particularly galling given that the state has privatized its hazardous-waste cleanup program, a decision they argue can result in cheaper cleanups and less public scrutiny of how pollution problems are remedied. More


Posted: 2/16/2012 2:32:06 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Dimock, Pennsylvania: EPA To Send Water To Town With Tainted Wells

MICHAEL RUBINKAM   01/19/12 09:35 PM ET   AP

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it will deliver fresh water to four homes in a northeastern Pennsylvania village where residential water wells were tainted by a gas driller. The agency also said it will begin testing the water supplies of dozens more homes as it ramps up its investigation more than three years after homeowners say the water supply was ruined. More...

Posted: 1/21/2012 3:18:46 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

N.J. clean water rules in jeopardy

Published: NJ.COM Sunday, December 18, 2011, 6:00 AM 

TRENTON — Developers and New Jersey’s leading environmental groups are waging a high-stakes battle over a bill that would delay and, in some cases, circumvent protections for the state’s clean drinking water supply. MORE...

Posted: 12/23/2011 3:56:01 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Mercury added to list of contaminants at Teaneck park


Teaneck officials on Thursday added mercury to a list of contaminants whose discovery in the soil at Votee Park prompted them to close the area to visitors.
From left, Maurice Mason, and Lester Autry of Teaneck DPW place signs informing the public that Votee Park is closed.

Votee Park was closed Wednesday after soil tests on the soccer fields showed levels of benzo(a)pyrene and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, that exceeded safety standards set by the state Department of Environmental Protection. More
Posted: 12/18/2011 5:16:55 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Fracking Wells in Northeastern PA

NJAL says: "The process of Fracking wells is a violent process that significantly disrupts the rock, soil and water underground to dislodge methane to be extracted for natural gas supplies. This same process can disturb the underground water supplies and move pollution in the form of methane and other gas-like substances into drinking water supplies. A simple test to check for this is to request a volatile organic scan. Additionally some of the extraction fluids used can contain Cadmium and Arsenic, these two metals should also be checked." Read article below...

Study finds methane in wells near natural gas drilling

By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY

A controversial form of drilling for natural gas from shale rock appears to be contaminating groundwater wells with methane in northeastern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York, according to a Duke University study.

Posted: 5/11/2011 12:48:41 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

Lawrenceville Press:

Lawrence Residents May Notice Change in Taste, Smell of Water

Beginning today (Monday, May 2), some Lawrence Township residents who are served by New Jersey American Water may notice a slight change in the taste and odor of their tap water. More...

Posted: 5/2/2011 3:48:23 PM by NJAL | with 0 comments

APP.COM Asbury Park Press:

Nuclear dangers extend beyond water supply U.S. must focus on creating a sane, renewable energy policy

The superb year-long investigation by Asbury Press Park reporter Todd Bates into tritium leaks at the nation's nuclear plants, including Oyster Creek in Lacey, has highlighted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's failure to effectively monitor and prevent radioactive tritium leaks into our nation's water supply. MORE...

Posted: 4/27/2011 11:59:34 AM by NJAL | with 1 comments

About NJAL

New Jersey Analytical Laboratories LLC (NJAL) is a full service NJDEP certified Laboratory centrally located in New Jersey to best serve the state’s needs for environmental testing. NJAL operates on a collaborative concept with our clients. Through the course of conducting testing we are in the discovery portion of a project and can funnel clients and leads to our family of existing commercial clients. This concept has carried far in our history and has proven to be a success for all of our clients and in return we also gain from this process. The lab industry is competitive in both pricing and service; NJAL strives to achieve balance in this arena and has proven itself to be able to provide defendable, timely and dependable data for over nine years.

Posted: 4/27/2011 11:44:49 AM by NJAL | with 1 comments

From the NJAL Archive:

New Jersey Analytical Laboratories was featured in U.S. 1 Newspaper.

Drinking a glass of water can be a precarious matter in New Jersey, as Jamie Latham and Allen Thomas know well. These two ex-Envirogen employees have taken groundwater and well water samples that would scare the bejeezus out of anyone. "The worst I've ever seen is in Linden," says Latham. "We took a groundwater sample, opened the lid, and brown fumes came up."

While water treatment plants filter out most of the contaminants lingering in New Jersey's water sources, well water can be more risky, a concern that prompted the state assembly to pass a bill last May requiring homeowners to test their well water for contaminants when they sell or lease a home. All that unsavory news is easier to wash down, however, knowing that environmental scientists like Latham and Thomas are keeping watch. New Jersey Analytical Laboratories, a start-up the two scientists launched at 1590 Reed Road, provides drinking water analysis to homeowners and environmental or industry groups alike.

An environmental testing lab isn't your usual kind of start-up, but Latham and Thomas, who have been friends practically since childhood, says there is plenty of work to be done. "In the early 1980s, with the environmental regulations like Superfund, there was a tremendous amount of money poured into making industries more environmentally friendly," says Thomas. "Over the years, with some easing of the regulations, labs had lowered their prices, and the market was saturated, dragging the lab prices down so low that many consolidated or left. The environmental economy really drilled many out, and in the last year we've seen that lab pricing is now starting to rise back up. At the same time, the state and federal limitations have been getting stricter. Our drinking water is a limited resource, and environmental contaminants are becoming more prevalent because there's more industry." Meanwhile, now that water companies must issue annual water quality reports, consumers are starting to be more educated.

Earlier this year, environmentalists analyzing federal data concluded that somewhere between 700,000 and 1.6 million New Jersey residents are drinking tap water with unsafe levels of arsenic. Latham and Thomas have often found MTBEs (an additive in gasoline that mixes easily with water) and other volatile organic materials lingering around well water systems. "These gas stations have old tanks that have leaked, and that goes into drinking water around the town," says Thomas. "The worst that I have seen is a strong presence of gasoline, MTBE, and TCE, a chemical degreaser used by dry cleaners that was popular in the 1950s. It's ultimately taken off the market, but what was dumped in the ground is still there." "You wouldn't believe how many people have had that in their drinking water," says Latham. "There's no doubt about it, it's a carcinogen, and you don't want to be drinking it. It's a relatively cheap system to purify the water, you just have to know if it's there. That's our part."

Earth, wind, and water all fall under the domain of NJAL. Latham and Thomas can analyze drinking water, waste water, groundwater from naturally occurring aquifers, soil samples, and finally air. With $200,000 worth of high-tech equipment ("We have our houses in it and every penny saved," says Latham), they can analyze bacteria levels, pH, salts, minerals, nutrients, and residue levels in any given sample, and can also spot volatile organics (such as MTBE) and the presence of dangerous metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic. Oddly enough, only one out of the five employees that work here need to be out in the field on any given day. "Laboratories operate differently from other businesses," says Thomas. "You can run around and do your sales and quoting during the day, and the lab runs itself at night and we evaluate it the next day."

NJAL is certified by the State of New Jersey and competes for contracts by state organizations, but they currently have a dozen private contracts, including a $50,000 stream study for a large environmental consulting firm in Princeton and a job with an environmental engineering firm in Central Jersey worth $200,000. The company also does a lot of work for private homeowners and has six or seven home inspection companies on their client list. When NJAL opened in February, Thomas and Latham already had a line at the door. In 1994 the two had been hired to build a analytical program at Envirogen, the environmental remediation company at 4100 Quakerbridge Road. Although the lab supported a corps of engineers in research and development, Envirogen never intended to get into the commercial lab market, says Thomas, which was why he and Latham left. "We had to turn away so much work because Envirogen was not in the lab business," he says, "and obviously Jamie and I wanted to be."

Since 1988, in fact, Thomas and Latham have been on parallel tracks -- in 1988, they met at Chyun Associates in Princeton, a lab under the directorship of Mike Wright, and in 1991 both hopped over to Envirogen. There's even some evidence to suggest that the link between these two entrepreneurs goes back further.

Thomas attended Ewing High and earned his BS in biology from Rider, Class of 1988. He and his wife Robin have two children. Latham grew up in Pennington and Lambertville and went to high school in Hopewell. He earned his degree in biology from Rutgers University, Class of 1990, and is married to a special education teacher. Both their fathers were engineers at RCA in the 1960s, and Latham and Thomas say they've known "of" each other since the late 1970s.

While studying biology, however, Thomas was also serving as in the Army Reserve, which gave him an unusual perspective on his profession. "When I first started out in the industry I just looked at the testing job as a job," says Thomas, "but while I was going through college, I was trying to understand about life and the natural balance in the environment. When you get into environmental analysis, you discover the contaminants that ruin that process. I'm a major in the Army Reserve so I have a chance to see a lot of places in the world that people can't see, that are pristine and untouched, and that has an impact when you come to New Jersey, which is so densely packed. Everything you use from shampoo to laundry detergent has to be dealt with to make it pure again." Even before Thomas and Latham had an office or lab, two clients had given them letters of commitment. The pair installed everything with their bare hands on nights and weekends. Thomas' wife is the office manager. Most of the office is funded through their savings, but the partners also received some commercial back-up. "We pretty much we knew where to get the equipment for the best price," says Thomas. "If we use the best tools, we can put our resources better elsewhere."

Although strictly in the business of testing, Thomas, for his part, would like to play a role in cleaning up the heavily industrialized areas in northern Jersey around Carteret. "A lot of the samples that I've analyzed are scary," says Thomas. "It's hard to understand how someone could contaminate the earth in that way and just leave it, just pour pure chemicals down the drain. We've all seen samples that are just completely toxic. When we do the environmental engineering analysis, we're playing an integral role in cleaning up."
Posted: 4/2/2011 8:30:19 PM by NJAL Client 1 | with 0 comments