News and Resourses About SW-846 - Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste Physical/Chemical Methods

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What is SW-846?

The EPA publication SW-846, entitled Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods, is the Office of Solid Waste's (OSW) official compendium of analytical and sampling methods that have been evaluated and approved for use in complying with the RCRA regulations. SW-846 functions primarily as a guidance document setting forth acceptable, although not required, methods for the regulated and regulatory communities to use in responding to RCRA-related sampling and analysis requirements. I

SW-846 is a multi-volume document that changes over time as new information and data are developed. It has been issued by EPA since 1980 and is currently in its third edition. Advances in analytical instrumentation and techniques are continually reviewed by OSW and incorporated into periodic updates to SW-846 to support changes in the regulatory program and to improve method performance and cost effectiveness. To date, EPA has finalized Updates I, II, IIA, IIB, III and IIIA to the SW-846 manual, and the updated and fully integrated manual contains approximately 3500 pages. The Methods Team of OSW has also published Draft Update IVA for public use and is currently working on Draft Update IVB. See below for how to obtain official printed copies of SW-846 from GPO or NTIS, how to obtain a CD-ROM of SW-846 from NTIS, and how to obtain SW-846 ON-LINE.

In the News

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Update on new methods being developed
            Now on-line, pre-release versions of  6 additional Draft Update IVB methods

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Updated article on the Status of the RCRA Methods Program

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New fax and phone numbers for the MICE Service

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Minutes from the Public Meeting on Waste Leaching are now available on-line

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Immunoassay test kits validated by OSW

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New Methods 9070A and 9071B for oily waste determination

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OSW's Guidance documents

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UPDATE ON THE NEW METHODS THAT ARE CURRENTLY BEING DEVELOPED

OSW is currently working on a second part of Update IV, to be called "Draft Update IVB" and which will be announced in a future FR NODA.  Update IVB could contain up to 50 methods, 20 of which are new methods, most of which will be organic methods.

OSW will periodically post at this site pre-release versions of Draft Update IVB methods. Once all the methods and chapters of Draft Update IVB are complete, the NODA will be published. All the methods will be given the same footer date and posted anew at this site.

Pre-release versions of 6 additional methods from Draft Update IVB are now available on-line.  To see the methods, please click on the method number below. These files are retrievable in the Portable Document Format (PDF).

Method 3545A: Pressurized Fluid Extraction (PFE). This method will replace the Draft Update IVA version. Extraction conditions for diesel range organics (DRO) were added to the method, including a silica gel cleanup option. The sample extraction procedures include an explicit discussion about the validation of any solvent system that is used. The entire discussion of the sample preparation, drying, grinding, and extraction procedures has been revised for clarity and consistency with the other newly revised 3500 Series methods.

Method 8015C: Nonhalogenated Organics Using GC/FID. This method was revised to include new procedures for the analysis of triethylamine using direct aqueous injection and a GC column specific to amines. Also included were new performance data for diesel range organics (DRO) extracted using pressurized fluid extraction. Editorial changes included the addition of new boilerplate language that is consistent with other recently-revised methods.

Method 8540: Pentachlorophenol by UV-Induced Colorimetry. This is a new field testing procedure for determining pentachlorophenol (PCP) in soil samples. The method employs a commercially-available testing product and involves a simple methanol shake-out extraction of the PCP from the soil sample, a solid-phase extraction cleanup step, followed by a UV-induced reaction of PCP and the test reagent, and the colorimetric determination of PCP. The method was designed primarily for use at wood treatment sites, where other wood treatment compounds such as fuel oil and creosote are present.

Method 8321B: Solvent-extractable Nonvolatile Compounds by High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Thermospray/Mass Spectrometry (HPLC/TS/MS) or Ultraviolet (UV) Detection. This method will replace the Draft Update IVA version. Sixteen new carbamate compounds were added to the method, along with new performance data for 31 carbamates and related compounds. Photo diode array detectors were added to the description of the HPLC/UV system. The discussion of sample extraction procedures includes explicit references to the use of the 3500 Series methods, as well as the specific extraction procedures that are listed in the method. In addition to other editorial changes, the long list of references in this method was reduced to those that are relevant to the performance data that are provided in the method.

Method 9058: Determination of Perchlorate using Ion Chromatography with Chemical Suppression Conductivity Detection. This method covers the determination of the perchlorate anion by ion chromatography. The linear calibration range for perchlorate is approximately 4 to 500 g/L. A fixed volume of sample is injected into an ion chromatographic system, where the perchlorate anion is separated from other interfering anions and quantified.

Method 9210A: Potentiometric Determination of Nitrate in Aqueous Samples with Ion-Selective Electrode.

To see all the Draft Update IVB methods that have been pre-released so far please go to the Draft Update IVB page.   If you would like to see a preliminary list of the new methods to be included in Update IVB, along with more information on application and uses of these methods, please click here.

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UPDATED ARTICLE ON THE STATUS OF THE RCRA PROGRAM

To find out more information about the current status of the RCRA methods development program, please look at the article  "An Update of the Current Status of the RCRA Method Development Program". This article has been updated to include the activities of the OSW Methods Team in advancing the RCRA Methods Development Program over the past year. The 1998 version of this article can also be downloaded by clicking here.

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NEW FAX AND PHONE NUMBERS FOR THE MICE SERVICE

As of December 22, the MICE Service will have new fax and phone numbers. For all your method-related questions and comments on technical issues regarding SW-846, you can contact the MICE Service at:

Fax:  703-903-1373
Phone:   703-676-4690 (the current phone number 703-821-4690 will continue to work until December 31, 1999)

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MINUTES FROM THE PUBLIC MEETING ON WASTE LEACHING

OSW held a public meeting on the Development of New Waste Leaching Procedures on July 22 and 23.  This meeting included discussions on modeling and risk assessment, leaching science and leaching policy and applications, among other topics. Attendees provided valuable input on approaches to improve the accuracy of leachate prediction tools as well as on considerations for the development of the next generation of leaching tests. The meeting minutes are now available on-line in PDF format.

To download the meeting minutes, please go to the Public Meeting on Waste Leaching page.

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IMMUNOASSAY TEST KITS VALIDATED BY OSW

A list of immunoassay test kits that have been validated by OSW is now available on-line. Please click here to download a copy of this document or go to the Method Development and Approval Process page. 

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NEW METHODS 9070A AND 9071B FOR OILY WASTE DETERMINATION

OSW has revised the existing Methods 9070 and 9071A to replace the CFC Freon 113 with n-hexane as the extraction solvent for determination of oil and grease. This change has been issued as a Direct Final Rule, which was published in the Federal Register on May 14, 1999. To view this notice, please click here.

Both of the revised methods are incorporated into SW-846 as Update IIIA. For more information on the revised methods, please go to the Update IIIA page. To download the revised methods, Table of Contents and Chapter 5, please go to the SW-846 page.

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GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS FOR METHOD DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION AND SUBMITTAL OF NEW IMMUNOASSAY METHODS

Two new OSW's guidance documents - one for method development and validation and another on submittal of new immunoassay methods - are now available on-line. To download a copy of these documents, click on the document name below.

Method Development and Validation Guidance
Guidance for Submittal of New Immunoassay Methods

For more information, please go to the Method Development and Approval Process page.

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A NEW METHOD DATABASE IS BEING DEVELOPED BY THE WASTE POLICY INSTITUTE

The Waste Policy Institute is in the process of developing an "On-line Environmental Methods Database".  The purpose of the database is to help people quickly obtain up-to-date information about method or technology performance. 

The site is being added to the Other Information Resources  page but can also be accessed by  clicking here.

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ALSO, ON-LINE:

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Draft Update IVA: Click here for an online copy of the notice announcing the availability of Draft Update IVA. To download the on-line methods, please click here.

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Clarification Memorandum on SW-846 Methods: Click here for a copy of the memorandum of clarification and guidance regarding SW-846 Methods 3550B, 5021, 5035, 6010B, 8000B, and 8082 and the use of SW-846 in general.

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LOOK FOR THESE ARTICLES WRITTEN BY THE EPA OSW METHODS TEAM RELATING TO SW-846:

1. "An Update of the Current Status of the RCRA Method Development Program". This article has been updated to include the activities of the OSW Methods Team in advancing the RCRA Methods Development Program over the past year.

The 1998 version of this article can also be downloaded by clicking here.

This page was last changed on 03/22/06