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National Laboratory for Environmental Testing

Canada Centre for Inland Waters
National Hydrology Research Centre

What we do
Who we are
Inorganic Analysis Laboratory
Organic Analysis Laboratory
Regional Water Quality Laboratory
Current Activities
Contact information

What we do:

The National Laboratory for Environmental Testing (NLET) delivers a broad range of specialized and accredited analytical laboratory services, including sample characterization, technical consulting, client services and quality management in support of Environment Canada monitoring, assessment and research programs across the country.  Located at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington, Ontario, and at the National Hydrology Research Centre (NHRC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, NLET supports Environment Canada to address the plans and priorities of the Department.

The NLET mission is to support and provide analytical leadership in the laboratory science needs of Environment Canada research and monitoring programs through responsive, cost-effective laboratory services that meet international standards of quality.

Positioned organizationally within the Water Science and Technology Directorate of Environment Canada, NLET provides: a) standardized and fully accredited environmental analysis capability for a wide range of organic and inorganic constituents in environmental samples (with a specialization in trace and ultra-trace organics and metals); b) unique analytical capabilities for delivery of collaborative projects outside the normal boundaries of the QA framework; and c) special analytical methods development and adaptation in support of partnership-based applied research projects.

The analytical laboratories of NLET are accredited by CALA (the Canadian association for laboratory accreditation) to the standard ISO/IEC 17025.  NLET is an active participant in major national and international inter-laboratory performance-testing programs.  

The National Laboratory for Environmental Testing consists of three operational laboratories and its associated supporting infrastructure.

Who we are:

Pat Falletta, A/Manager
Ivy D'sa, Quality System Coordinator
Sharon Carrier, Supervisor, Client Services

Inorganic Analysis Laboratory

Gino Sardella, Head, Inorganic Analysis Laboratory
Christina Cannon, Supervisor, Ions and Nutrients Laboratory
Bert Francoeur, Supervisor, Trace Metals Laboratory
John Salvatore,Supervisor, Inorganic Analysis, Wastewater Technology Laboratory
Jacques Carrier, Environmental Analytical Specialist

Organic Analysis Laboratory

Ed Sverko, Head, Organic Analysis Laboratory
Enzo Barresi, Supervisor, Analytical Chemistry – Atmosphere and Biota
Steve Cagampan, Supervisor, Analytical Chemistry – Aquatic Environments
Lewina Svoboda, Supervisor, Analytical Chemistry – Wastewater

Regional Water Quality Laboratory

Naomi Yuen, Regional Water Quality Laboratory, Supervisor

Inorganic Analysis Laboratory

The Inorganic Analysis Laboratory (IAL) provides accredited analytical measurements to departmental programs and projects nationally, for a wide variety of inorganic parameters in environmental substrates, including major ions, nutrients and metals.  Analytical instrumentation includes automated and robotic systems that utilize spectrophotometry, high resolution and quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, ion chromatography and other specialized techniques.  IAL specializes in high-quality trace and ultra-trace analysis in water, sediment and biota.  Technical consulting services are provided to EC clients, including appropriate sampling techniques.

Organic Analysis Laboratory

The Organic Analysis Laboratory (OAL) provides accredited analytical measurements to departmental programs and projects nationally for a wide variety of organic compounds including current-use pesticides, herbicides, industrial chemicals (e.g. brominated flame retardants)and other organic contaminants in environmental substrates.  Analytical instrumentation includes gas and liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometric and other specialized detection systems.  All data are handled by means of a single, integrated, computerized data acquisition system.  The unit specializes in providing high-quality analysis for trace and ultra-trace analysis of organic contaminants in water, sediment and biota in its state-of-the-art Ultra Trace Laboratory.  The unit also provides a specialized analytical measurement capability for unique environmental samples and provides technical consulting services to EC clients.

Regional Water Quality Laboratory

The Regional Water Quality Laboratory (RWQL), located at NHRC in Saskatoon, provides accredited measurements for a variety of inorganic parameters, including physicals and nutrients, to departmental programs and projects, primarily for the prairie and northern regions of Environment Canada.  The RQWL specializes in low-level analysis of nitrate-nitrite and phosphorus.  Analytical instrumentation includes automated systems that utilize spectrophotometry and other specialized techniques.  Technical consulting services are provided to EC clients.

Current Activities

  • Provide important quality-assured scientific data to address Environment Canada priorities for regional and national environmental monitoring and research programs.
  • Provide expert advice in the design and execution of environmental sampling, analysis and interpretation of laboratory-generated data, including quality assurance data.
  • Develop and adapt new methodologies and innovative testing procedures to address emergent compounds (e.g., pharmaceuticals, new agricultural chemicals, personal care products) and to suit changing and new client testing requirements and incorporate techniques to maximize the information that can be derived from sample analysis.
  • Implement clean laboratory procedures and develop low-level field sampling techniques in order to meet client requirements for ultra-trace analyses and reporting.
  • Actively participate in performance assessment programs to provide assurance of NLET testing capability and to evaluate NLET performance against national and international data contributors for data comparability.
  • Provide advice regarding quality assurance functions and related developments and promote a culture that embraces quality assurance as an integral component of any environmental monitoring and research program.
  • Provide representation and input to standing committees such as the Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network Steering Committee, the Pesticide Science Fund, Chemical Management Plan Analytical Methods and the Niagara River bi-national working groups to develop and review procedures for measurement of contaminant data and make recommendations for future direction.
  • Collaborate with the International Joint Research Center (Harbin, China) to provide analytical expertise in the investigation of sources, occurrences, and fate of persistent toxic substances in the environment of China, Russia, and other Asian countries.

For further information, please contact:

Pat Falletta, A/Manager
National Laboratory for Environmental Testing
Environment Canada
Canada Centre for Inland Waters
867 Lakeshore Road, P.O. Box 5050
Burlington , ON  L7R 4A6
tel.: (905) 336-4563
fax: (905) 336-6404

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