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Q&A Series: 3 Key Lab Relocation Questions Answered by Industry Expert, Ian Lanza

chem lab-3.jpgWhether you are expanding into a new space, renovating, moving operations, consolidating laboratories, or decommissioning a facility, laboratory cleanout and relocation can be complicated and costly. In this webinar lab relocation expert, Ian Lanza, shares best practices for successfully moving a lab.

Q: How far out should you start planning and how long does a typical lab move take? 

I like to begin planning during the new lease negotiation. Unfortunately, a lot of times that happens at the executive level but if you can break into that conversation, that to me is the right time to begin planning for it because you can manage the environmental liability of that new facility that you’re moving into and you’ll have a better idea of expectations and timelines. 

Again, there’s not an exact day or month answer but try and figure out where you are in those lease negotiations and interject yourself. Trying to pull something off three months out from the relocation is really, really tight.

Usually executive leadership understands the importance of having space. In my experience, those negotiations can be 12-24 months out. You may want to interject yourself early and be part of the review team to ensure you have proper engineering controls.

Q: What permits are required prior to the start of a move?

To actually do the chemical move, you won’t need any permit. You’ll need vendors that are permitted to transport chemicals on DOT roads so the company driver will have all the permits to do that. And then depending on exactly what you have, what type of chemicals or hazardous materials you’re using, you will be able to determine the types of permits you need. Here’s a list of some of the key permits:

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

Look at the federal regulations, state regulations and your town or city regulations. I’m based in Cambridge, Massachusetts where there are a lot of city regulations that require additional permits that may not be necessary in a different geography.

Q: If a landlord decides a lab is not clean enough after decontamination, what’s the best course of action?

This speaks to the importance of managing liability. I found that most times leases are specifically vague and then other times landlords don’t want to tell you exactly what their expectations are. If that’s the case, I’m strongly recommending adhering to the ANSI guidelines on how to decontaminate a research lab or manufacturing space. If you have a service contractor or somebody that is adhering to that standard, you can provide that closure document at the end. If you provide that to them, it’s very hard for them to tell you it’s not clean. 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. But if you’re adhering to that ANSI Standard, you’re really covering a lot of your liability.

Check out the full webinar recording by clicking the link below

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