You can’t wait for fixed laboratory results when you are using a dynamic work strategy to minimize cost and keep the investigation focused. Our MobiLab™ onsite laboratories are there to serve you, and you are the only client for that lab while we are there. The near real-time data provided by our onsite labs allows you to make critical decisions as the investigation progresses, saving valuable time and money. Depending on the number of samples provided to the laboratory, the cost per sample may well be cheaper than your regular fixed laboratory. MobiLabs operate under strict QA/QC and are accredited under the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP). This is not screening level data. This is fully defensible laboratory data.
Cascade’s laboratory service generates, manages, and presents fully defensible analytical chemistry data in both fixed and onsite laboratory settings; offering the subsurface investigation and remediation community a timely and extremely reliable product.
Our analytical chemistry services are available nationwide and we have provided laboratory services at many international locations.
The laboratory services are focused primarily on organic contaminants such as:
- Volatile organic compounds (EPA method 8260)
- Chlorinated solvents
- Fuels and lubricants
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
We now offer onsite lab services providing low level, fully defensible analyses for Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) in water and soil matrices. This is not a screening method, this is the state-of-the-science LC/MS/MS method providing positive analyte ID and low part per trillion detection limits.
Cascade’s laboratories operate under a comprehensive quality system that incorporates National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) standards. Currently, we are certified for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in water and soil matrices. Our quality program adheres strictly to EPA SW-846 8000 Series guidelines, ensuring results that are as accurate, precise, and defensible as those of fixed labs.
Additional benefits of using an onsite laboratory include:
- Real-time data allowing investigators to:
- Make critical decisions in the field
- Keep the investigation focused and reduce cost
- Increased QA/QC samples
- Ability to resolve equipment contamination issues quickly
- More time sampling and less time packing coolers
- With no shipping:
- No lost/broken samples and
- Samples stay at acceptable temperature range
Cascade’s fixed facility is located in Montpelier, VT and includes a 1200 ft² lab space that is used for routine analyses as well as method development operations. The laboratory’s primary equipment is comprised of the following items:
- Major Support Equipment
- Mobile Laboratory Vehicles
- Tow vehicles
- Major Instrumentation Quantity
- Mass Spectrometers
- Gas Chromatographs
- Liquid Chromatographs
- Microwave Ovens
Analytical Service Offerings
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – EPA Method 8260
Cascade is accredited for VOCs, including 1,4-dioxane, in soil and water matrices under the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) using a Solid Phase Microextraction technique (ASTM D6520) followed by GC/MS analyses via SW846 EPA method 8260. Cascade has been using the SPME method for 20 years as an efficient and reliable technique for these types of analyses, especially in a dynamic fieldwork setting where the timing of analytical results is often critical to the success of the project. The SPME/GC/MS analytical technique does not require the use of solvents, can be deployed very easily in most field settings, and extractions and analytical runs are accomplished in less than 20 minutes. Most labs require a separate analytical method to analyze for the 1,4-dioxane while Cascade’s method can do both the 1,4-dioxane and the VOCs in a single analytical sequence. The SPME/GC/MS technique has routinely provided significant value to investigative programs that rely on efficient, low-volume groundwater sampling techniques and rapid turnaround analytical results that are used to guide the investigation.
Cascade uses a proprietary extraction and analytical technique for determining the mass and concentration of contaminants in the rock matrix at contaminated fractured rock sites. This service is offered as part of our COREDFN™ service line for assessing the nature of matrix diffusion effects at these sites. This method is capable of detecting VOCs in rock samples at sub part per billion levels. The method was developed at the University of Waterloo (Gorecki, 2005) and has been transferred to Cascade’s lab program under agreement with Professor Gorecki. The method uses microwave assisted extraction (MAE, EPA Method 3546), followed by a cool on-column injection technique on a GC that uses dual electron capture detection (ECD) systems. The ultra trace detection limits for PCE and TCE are 0.25 and 0.38 ug/Kg, respectively.
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) EPA Methods 3546/8082
Cascade uses a microwave assisted extraction (MAE) procedure (EPA 3546) followed by a GC/ECD analytical method (EPA 8082) to quantify PCBs in water and solid matrices. The MAE technique requires significantly less volume of solvent and is much faster than other extraction techniques, such as soxhlet extraction. Together, the MAE and GC/ECD analytical program provides a very fast, accurate and fully defensible analytical data set data for the sampling team to rely on for making sound decisions about the site’s activities.
Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAs) – Only Lab in the USA Setup for Onsite Analyses
Perfluorinated and polyfluorinated compounds are emerging contaminants turning up at sites all over the world. Some of these compounds, in particular perfluorinated octanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoro octane sulfonate (PFOS), are toxic at levels measured in parts per trillion. The PFA analyses are conducted using a state of the art liquid chromatography method coupled with tandem mass spectrometry for detection of the individual PFA compounds in water and solid matrices. The LC/MS/MS method is designed to look for the PFA compounds at part per trillion levels in water and sub part per billion levels in solids. The methods used are modified versions of EPA Method 537 (drinking water) and ASTM D7968–14 (soil). Cascade is currently pursuing certification via the Department of Defense Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (DoD ELAP).
Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs) EPA Methods 3546/8270
Cascade uses a microwave assisted extraction (MAE) procedure (EPA 3546) followed by a GC/MS analytical method (EPA 8270) to quantify SVOCs in solid matrices. Cascade’s program is geared towards the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are present in many of the heavier fuels and waste byproducts of the manufactured gas processes.
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Director, Analytical Chemistry Services