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The mergers and acquisitions continue in the environmental laboratory marketplace with a few transactions. 

Pace acquires GCAL and McCoy & McCoy; Vanderboom passes CEO Torch

Pace Analytical Services, LLC (Pace) headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, acquired Gulf Coast Analytical Laboratory (GCAL) located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on September 5, 2019. Pace indicated that the GCAL acquisition significantly increases its capabilities and capacity in the Gulf Coast region.

Pace also acquired the environmental laboratory McCoy & McCoy Laboratories, Inc. (McCoy & McCoy) located in Madisonville, Kentucky, earlier in 2019. Pace looks to expand the services of McCoy & McCoy in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the bordering states as part of the Great Lakes Region.

Longtime Pace Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Vanderboom announced the CEO position would be turned over to Eric Roman effective October 1, 2019.  Mr. Roman comes to Pace from positions formerly with GE Healthcare and Thermo Fisher. Mr. Vanderboom will continue to work full time in a new role as the Executive Chairman. We wish continued success for Mr. Vanderboom and Mr. Roman.

Montrose acquires AWS

Montrose Environmental Group, Inc. (Montrose) headquartered in Irvine, California, announced on July 18, 2019, the acquisition of Air, Water and Soil Laboratories, Inc. (AWS), located in Richmond, Virginia. Montrose indicated that the acquisition of AWS will expand its services on the East Coast through the wholly owned subsidiary Enthalpy Analytical, LLC (Enthalpy).

Eurofins TestAmerica closes Nashville Lab

Eurofins TestAmerica announced in early August 2019 that it will lay off 55 employees at the Nashville, Tennessee laboratory and work toward closing the laboratory location by the end of 2019. The Nashville laboratory had a long history of providing environmental testing services and we are sad to see them close.

High PFAS Result Due to Lab Error

The Daily Telegram (Adrian, Michigan) reported on September 25, 2019, that a high result for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) associated with surface water at the intake of the Deerfield Water Filtration Plant from August 2019, was due to a laboratory error.  The laboratory was indicated to be Vista Analytical Laboratory located in El Dorado, California. The article further indicates that The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) continues to test public water supplies that have surface water intakes on a monthly basis to monitor for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

What the article does not indicate was that Vista laboratory management identified the error themselves and disclosed the error to EGLE. David Blye, Principal Chemist with Environmental Standards, contacted Vista and inquired about the error.  Although very unfortunate, Vista determined by comparing analysis results of the sample in question that an extract from a different sample had been incorrectly labeled causing the erroneous result. Vista managements strong ethics policy and reputation lead to the only option – contact EGLE and report the error. The error was pinpointed to one Analyst, and as a result of this error, every sample prepared by that individual is being reanalyzed to ensure no other errors occurred.  That is scientific integrity and what is needed in the commercial environmental marketplace.

In the current, PFAS frenzy where hundreds of samples are being analyzed by laboratories, big and small, experienced – and yes, inexperienced, human error will happen. The pressure on laboratories to report data and adhere to turnaround times is immense as public health concerns are on the line. But, not all laboratories are created equal and not all data are perfect. If you need help with your PFAS issues, let the experts that reside at Environmental Standards help you. 

David Blye, CEAC

Senior Principal Chemist