Lab Move Compliance: 3 Things to Know

There are a lot moving parts when it comes to completing a lab relocation. You have to pack and label chemicals, decontaminate your lab thoroughly and transport everything to the new lab, while, all the while, remembering every regulation associated with the move and making sure you’re in compliance with all of them. 

Performing a lab relocation from start to finish safely and efficiently takes a wide range of unique skills. Lacking in any area could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines as well as employee injuries and property damage. Here are seven things you (or people you’re working with) need to know before performing a lab relocation.

Regulatory Bodies

This is the most important thing you should understand before performing a lab relocation. Unlike other projects, a lab relocation requires a deep knowledge of not only facility regulations but also transportation regulations. This means everything should comply with EPA, OSHA, DOT, IATA and any local, facility or other regulatory bodies that might be involved. Some tips for helping to keep it all in order? Contact your local regulatory bodies to ask what’s expected of you in the move. Also, hiring a specialist to consult on the logistics of the project could prove to be helpful in keeping the project compliant.


To actually do the chemical move, you won’t need a permit. You’ll need vendors that are permitted to transport chemicals on DOT roads. The company driver should have all the permits to do that. Exactly what type of chemicals or hazardous materials you have will determine the types of permits that you need.

Below are some examples of permits you might need for your lab move. This isn't comprehensive but it does include the core ones. 

  • Flammable Storage Permit
  • DEA Controlled Substances Permit
  • RCRA Generator Notification
  • Radioactive Materials License
  • Ionizing Radiation Source Registration
  • Wastewater Discharge Permit
  • Laboratory Animal Use Permits
  • rDNA Permits
  • Select Agents & Toxins Licenses


Making sure you're on the same page with your landlord fits in with managing the big picture of liability. There are common scenarios where leases are  specifically vague or landlords don’t want to tell you exactly what they’re expectations are.

If that’s the case, adhere to the ANSI guidelines on how to decontaminate a research lab or manufacturing space. This is a third party certified method on how to properly decontaminate your lab. If you have a service contractor or somebody that is adhering to that standard you can provide your landlord with closure document at the end of the process.

The ANSI standard consist of 100 pages of documents detailing every last step to properly relocate a lab. If you provide that to the landlord, it’s very hard for them to tell you it’s not clean. The only way they could disagree is if they have a third party that has also done sampling and their sample results are different from yours. Then there could be some contention there. 

For more information on staying compliant and managing your move without disrupting you organization, attend our roundtable in Cambridge. View the agenda in the link below.