MEA Inc.

Environmental Laboratory Services

Located in Northeast Pennsylvania, Mobile Environmental Analytical, Inc.’s Environmental Laboratory Program has been serving the environmental testing needs of private sector clients, as well as government entities, for the past 15 years. As one of the first laboratories in the State of Pennsylvania to obtain accreditation by PADEP’s Bureau of Laboratories through the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP), MEA continues today to deliver the highest quality laboratory testing service available to the regulated community. MEA’s listing as a NELAP Accredited environmental laboratory.


NELAP Accredited Test Capabilities


The laboratory specializes in gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analytical techniques as determinative methods for volatile and semi-volatile organics by USEPA Methods 8260B and 8270C. All regulated organic compounds attributed to petroleum contamination are covered under these test methods. GC/MS is the analytical technique of choice for these target analytes due to the high degree of specificity in terms of identification, as well as quantitative analysis, and required reporting limits.


Forensic Petrochemical Identification Analysis


MEA’s laboratory provides a full range of analytical testing services. However, the laboratory is specialized in the testing parameters associated with petroleum fuel releases into the subsurface and groundwater. Laboratory chemists utilize the separation technologies of gas chromatography, and the highly selective techniques of electron impact ionization to obtain mass spectra of individual organic compounds in order to fingerprint fuel source. These fingerprints, or unique chemical signatures, serve as critical pieces of forensics data leading to the identification of pollution sources. This data is also instrumental to help with the characterization of migration pathways in the subsurface.


Dating Fuel Spill Releases


Along with using GC/MS to identify individual organics within petroleum fuel mixtures in order to match, or discount possible connections between sample locations, MEA chemists will also use chromatographic profiles obtained from environmental samples to estimate the time of a fuel release. Low, mid and high distillates are impacted at varying degrees by weathering effects, which are discernable by chromatographic profiles. In addition, historical knowledge of known practices within the petroleum refining industry, such as the use of certain chemical additives and how certain products are refined, are coupled with analytical data to establish approximate dates specific fuel spills occurred.


Inquires regarding environmental testing services available through MEA’s Environmental Laboratory should be directed to the laboratory’s Technical Director.