Frequent Questions

Which sampling method should a generator use to sample a waste for the purpose of hazardous waste identification?

Which sampling method should a generator use to sample a waste for the purpose of hazardous waste identification?

 

There are a number of approaches for sampling a waste for the purpose of hazardous waste identification. Pursuant to §261.20(c), a representative sample must be obtained using any of the specified methods in 40 CFR Part 261, Appendix I. A representative sample is a sample of a universe or whole (e.g., waste pile, lagoon, groundwater) that can be expected to exhibit the average properties of the universe or whole (§260.10).

Additional guidance regarding representative sampling is available in the following documents: Memo, Cotsworth to Finazzo; February 11, 1998 (RCRA Online #14259), http://yosemite.epa.gov/osw/rcra.nsf/0c994248c239947e85256d090071175f/1F73CB50612089E3852568E300468341/$file/14259.pdf.

Waste Analysis at Facilities the Generate, Treat, Store and Dispose of Hazardous Waste: A Guidance Manual; EPA530-R-12-001, www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-04/documents/tsdf-wap-guide-final.pdf.

This and other documents are available in the RCRA Online Database at the following URL: www.epa.gov/rcraonline/.

In addition, the document Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods (SW-846) provides guidance concerning sampling plans and methods (Chapter 9 “Sampling Plan" and Chapter 10 “Sampling Methods").

See also RCRA Waste Sampling Draft Technical Guidance, www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-10/documents/rwsdtg_0.pdf.

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