State regulators revoked the license of a Leominster company after investigators determined laboratory officials failed to properly analyze private drinking water samples, engaged in unfair and deceptive practices and have made false or misleading statements in laboratory reports.

The decertification of Environmental Testing and Research Laboratories, Inc. followed a secret investigation by the Environmental Strike Force of the Department of Environmental Protection and its Division of Environmental Laboratory Sciences. The company had appealed the revocation of its license, but the DEP reported on Monday that Commissioner Martin Suuberg had confirmed decision after a trial hearing.

The investigation was launched in response to complaints from local boards of health and homeowners who DEP said were “suspected or confused by” the testing and reporting practices of ETR, which primarily serves private network owners. water supply.

The probe involved partnering with a certified third party to arrange “double-blind” water samples that were sent to ETR for analysis. The results, according to the DEP, “showed that the lab had reported the existence of certain bacteria, fungi and chemicals that did not and could not exist in the sterile and spiked samples that the undercover investigators had sent for investigation. tests ”.

“Rigorous, careful and targeted enforcement ensures a level playing field for the overwhelming majority of certified laboratories that comply with state regulations,” said Pamela Talbot, Director of ESF. “We are investigating these types of complaints to ensure that consumers can be confident that drinking water tested by certified laboratories is performed in accordance with all state requirements to protect public health. “

(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.

Sign up for our newsletter for the latest news straight to your inbox