Independent Contractor Program - Application

This page last reviewed July 17, 2014


Program Description


The Air Resources Board (ARB) updated regulations related to source testing in 1981.  At that time, language was added to the regulations to allow the use of Independent Contractors that were preapproved by ARB to perform any compliance tests that ARB would normally perform.  Preapproval was required to ensure that the Independent Contractors were qualified to perform the test methods requested.  Additional language was added to address conflict of interest, right-of-entry, and other potential issues.

ARB grants approvals to perform any published test methods used for compliance with air pollution control regulations in California, as an alternative to these tests being performed by ARB staff.  The Independent Contractor must be able to perform both the sampling and analysis in-house, and neither may be subcontracted to an outside contractor.  Approvals are granted based on the Independent Contractor's ability to meet general program criteria and the specific requirements for the individual test methods requested.  ARB does not require that testing contractors be approved prior to performing testing in California.  Please check with the local Air Pollution Control District or Air Quality Management District (APCD or AQMD) where the testing will be performed to find out about the APCD or AQMD's requirements.


Approval Process

Since the Independent Contractor may be providing compliance information to ARB, the Independent Contractor is audited to ensure it is able to accurately perform sampling and analysis. Approvals are granted based on the Independent Contractor's ability to meet general program criteria and the specific requirements for the individual test methods requested.  Also, in order for an Independent Contractor to be approved pursuant to the Independent Contractor Program, it must perform both the sampling and the analysis for each test method entirely in-house. The Initial Approval Audit generally consists of three steps and usually takes several months.


  1. ARB requires that the contractor submit information about its testing program.  The information is reviewed by ARB to determine if the testing program appears to be sufficient to justify further auditing. Contractors are also required to certify that they will comply with ARB standards regarding conflict of interest and to notify ARB of recent litigation with which the contractor was involved.

  2. ARB inspects the contractor's facility to determine if it is adequate to perform the testing and analysis for which the contractor wishes to be approved. At that time, ARB also audits the contractor's quality assurance procedures.

  3. For some test methods, ARB requires the contractor to perform a proficiency demonstration in Sacramento to test the contractor's ability to perform accurate testing as compared to known standards. ARB may instead perform a comparative field audit.


Once ARB has received the contractor's application for approval pursuant to the Independent Contractor Program, the contractor will be assigned an ARB Company Number and each test method it has requested approval for will be assigned an ARB Control Number.  Using the Independent Contractor Program's Online Certification Tracking System (OCTS), the contractor will be able check the status of each of the test methods for which it has requested approval.  The ARB Company Number can later be used to check the status of renewals to the Independent Contractor Program.


Submittals

Please send ARB:

  • A priority list of the methods the contractor wishes to become approved to perform. Please include both the sampling and analysis methodology that will be used. If the method the contractor is interested in becoming approved for is not a published U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ARB or local District air pollution compliance test method, please cite one regulation or permit condition which specifies the desired test method as a requirement for compliance with air pollution control regulations in California. Also, for any ASTM methods the contractor wishes to perform, please include the version, i.e. ASTM D323-58, and the material to be tested using the method. Please note that if the method the contractor wishes to be approved to perform requires the use of another method, the company will be required to be approved the embedded method also. Also, ARB does not approve contractors for only a portion of a method, the contractor must be able to perform the method in its entirety.

  • Information on at least two actual source tests performed using the methods for which the contractor wishes to be approved. Please list the method performed, the date the test was performed, the source tested, the purpose of the test, the members of the contractor's staff who performed the sampling and the analysis, and the results of the test. You may also make any comments regarding the test which you believe may be appropriate. This information may be disposed of after the auditing of all of the tests on the application is completed.

  • A specific list, by test method, of the major equipment which the contractor will use in both its sampling and analysis. Please indicate each instruments' make, model, principle of operation, and/or the type of detector, where appropriate.

  • Resumes of each of the contractor's sampling and analysis personnel.

  • A signed Litigation Statement, if appropriate. If the contractor has been involved in any litigation due to its environmental testing performance or business practices, please explain the reason for the litigation and its status. (PDF)

  • A signed Conflict of Interest form. (PDF)


Applications to the Independent Contractor Program may be made by mail, or email. You may submit them to ARB at:

Kathryn Gugeler
Monitoring and Laboratory Division
Air Resources Board
Post Office Box 2815
Sacramento, California 95812

References


Contact Information


For more information on the Independent Contractor Program, please contact Kathryn Gugeler at (916) 322-0221.