WV-Based Environmental Research Lab Enjoys Steady Growth
The State Journal
22 January 1013
By Taylor Kuykendall, Reporter
By name alone, Research Environmental Industrial Consultants, or
REIC, might seem like one company. Describing it sounds like far
That's because in an effort to maintain high quality control
standards, the laboratory not only conducts its own unique battery
of scientific experiment and analyses, but it also conducts a
regional courier, breeds its own aquatic test subjects and manages
an information system that puts data at its customers fingertips.
The Beckley-based company primarily deals with wastewater,
drinking water and soil samples. The mining and oil and gas
industries are big customers, but so are governmental agencies.
Those agencies include environmental protection departments and
highway departments working in various states within REIC's
"It's a pretty wide range of clients," said Clarence L. Haile,
executive vice president of REIC, which was founded in the early
1980s and just recently opened a service center in Morgantown.
The lab is located in multiple buildings on a campus near the
Raleigh County Memorial Airport. In each building, specialty labs
teem with employees conducting various tests.
"We're pretty much a full-service laboratory," Haile said. "That
doesn't mean we do everything, because everything is too big. We
do most all of the common tests, and we can subcontract some very
specialized analyses. We're good at knowing who to subcontract, as
Haile said even the fish used in biological tests are grown at the
lab. That's because the lab previously had problems with finding
and acquiring lively, active fish. Breeding in-house helps REIC
follow one of the most important tenets of science — maintain as
perfect a control as possible to test a variable.
Haile emphasized REIC's commitment to quality, saying that
commitment is what allowed REIC to grow from a handful of people
in Beckley to a staff of approximately 110 people with service
center locations in Morgantown, as well as the Mid-Ohio Valley,
Shenandoah Valley and Roanoke, Va.
"We're here. We're a large company and compete well with the large
national firms," he said. " … If you do high quality work for a
client, you're going to do business with that client for a long
He said the company has grown more than 30 percent in the past six
or seven years.
A particular area the company excels at, he said, is in its
ability to go beyond simple regulatory-specific tests. Experience
with problem solving and experimental methods development is
prevalent at REIC.
The local service centers conduct a limited amount of testing. If
the tests have a wait period of more than 24 hours, Haile said the
samples are brought via REIC's courier service to the Beckley lab.
Doing most of its work out of the same lab allows better quality
control, Haile said. It also enables researchers to devote more
resources to each task. REIC, he said, is largest lab of its type
in the state.
"I say we're regional, but it's a big region," Haile said.
The courier service extends the lab's range across the entire
state and much of its borders. One customer, Haile said, is as far
as southern North Carolina.
The company doesn't take sides on issues. The purpose of the lab,
Haile said, is simply to utilize the best scientific methods
available and report the results.
"Our purpose is to provide high quality service our clients can
depend on. We're a neutral party in that respect," Haile said.
"What our clients do with that information is their
responsibility, but we want to make sure they have the truth. No
matter what path they take, they should have the truth."
To learn more about the laboratory, including a video tour, visit