The Resource Rambler

November 2011

Absolute Resource Associates Now a Department of Defense (DoD ELAP) Accredited Laboratory

Absolute Resource Associates (ARA) of Portsmouth, NH has received Department of Defense Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (DoD ELAP) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO/IEC17025) Accreditations. These accreditations solidify ARA's reputation as a leader in New England’s environmental services industry, and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility and industry compliance. ARA is one of just over 100 laboratories in the country to earn this dual (DoD ELAP / ISO/IEC 17025) status.

ACLASS, an internationally recognized accrediting body, accredited Absolute Resource Associates after the company was deemed to have met all necessary standards and requirements. DoD ELAP and ISO are both voluntary programs, the process is quite rigorous, and companies that qualify are considered among the best in the industry.  (2016 update: ARA is currently DoD accredited by Perry Johnson Laboratory, not ACLASS).

These new accreditations will allow ARA to provide services on a much broader range of Federal Projects with both existing and new customers, while still serving our existing client base, which is made up of residential, industrial, municipal and federal clients throughout New England and beyond.
 


 

ARA Is Now EDWOSB Certified

Did you know that the Federal Government is the single largest buyer of goods and services in the world?  In an effort to help small businesses survive and thrive, the US Government has developed programs which help small businesses compete for dollars in the Federal arena. These programs stipulate that a certain percentage of dollars spent be awarded to certain business categories. This helps to level the playing field when companies are bidding on government contracts.
 
Programs like 8(a), WOSB (Woman Owned Small Business) and EDWOSB (Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business) are a few of the programs that the US Government has put in place in recent years to give small companies like Absolute Resource Associates a chance to compete for government dollars. ARA has been an SBA 8(a) participant since November 2008, and is now also certified as a WOSB as well as an EDWOSB. These certifications allow ARA to bid on projects requiring these certifications, competing only against other WOSB and/or EDWOSB companies. This process is opening up new markets and opportunities for the company, and we are excited about what this means for our future. Growth for ARA means growth and good things for those we do business with, and we look forward to partnering with many of you on any Federal Projects that may come our way.
 
As our business and capabilities continue to grow, it is important to us to keep our customers and partners well informed all along the way. We’d be happy to discuss the Federal Certifications or any other questions or concerns you may have, just give us a call!
 


Asbestos & Mold Analysis

As we continue to expand our laboratory and indoor air quality (IAQ) services here at ARA, we’re pleased to announce we are now analyzing surface and air samples for mold, as well as air samples for asbestos fibers in our laboratory and in the field!

In March of this year, ARA sent Alison Keith, one of our employees with a background in microbiology, to Chicago to participate in a course for spore identification through the McCrone Research Institute. Having experience with microscopy, Alison was the perfect candidate at ARA to pioneer our mold analysis capabilities. After successfully completing the course, she is now able to analyze tape lift samples and provide mold spore counts in air cassette samples. Our IAQ division can now offer in-house mold testing to our clients, which means faster data turn around and a wider variety of rush options.
 
Geoff Sylvester, our IAQ Division manager, along with Alison Keith, successfully completed The NIOSH 582 Equivalent; Asbestos Air Sampling and Analysis course through the Institute for Environmental Education in Wilmington, MA. ARA can now analyze asbestos cassettes in house and in the field, as well as perform the proficiency test (PT) requirements for our laboratory certification. ARA has participated in and passed three PTs, meeting the various requirements for ME, MA, NH and VT. ARA is now certified as an asbestos in air analysis laboratory for NH, VT, ME and MA.

We hope to add certification for asbestos in bulk samples very soon, so if you know of a trained bulk asbestos analyst, send them our way! Here's a link to the jobs section on our website.
 


The Heat Is On!

As we seal up our homes and brace for Old Man Winter, we must be mindful of the fact that our Indoor Air Quality can suffer in the winter months, often causing allergies and illness.  Here's a link to a great article with tips on keeping the air in our indoor spaces clean in the winter months.
"Take Steps Now to Keep Indoor Air Quality Clean Through Winter"

 


Meet the Team!

Larry Maciejewski joined Absolute Resource Associates in 2004. He graduated from Keene State College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in biology, and is in charge of the volatile organic compound analysis here at ARA. Larry says that the challenge of managing a timely delivery of data to our customers, from the time we receive a set of samples through sample preparation to the evaluation of data, is what has kept things interesting and motivating.

Outside of work, Larry enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, and puttering in the garden. He also takes advantage of the snow each winter, frequenting ski mountains all over NH and ME. Larry organizes the ARA annual company outing to the mountains of Northern NH each summer, and he takes pride in making sure the trip is fun filled and well attended. Although the busy season is upon us here in the lab, Larry still manages to find time to keep up with his home improvement projects and spend time with family and friends.