September 9, 2015

Update V to the 3rd Edition of SW–846

EPA publication SW–846, entitled Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods, is the agency's official compendium of sampling and analytical methods that have been evaluated and approved for use in complying with the RCRA regulations. The current version of SW–846 (the 3rd Edition) contains 13 chapters of general guidance and over 200 specific methods for the sampling and analysis of wastes.

On August 13, 2015, EPA finalized Update V to the 3rd Edition of SW–846. [80 FR 48522] These revisions contain 23 new and revised analytical methods and reflect modifications to Chapters One through Five of SW–846. Finally, the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) has added a policy statement regarding the use of SW–846 after the Preface. A few notable items included in the above are:

ORCR’s policy statement notes that SW–846 methods should be considered guidance, except for those particular methods referenced in the regulations (e.g., Method 1311 for the TCLP). The office further states “users may select any scientifically appropriate method when conducting analyses to comply with the RCRA regulatory program.”

 


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This document addresses issues of a general nature related to the federal RCRA regulations. Persons evaluating specific circumstances dealing with the RCRA regulations should review state and local laws and regulations, which may be more stringent than federal requirements. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any site-specific circumstances.