Frequent Questions

What is the Methods Innovation Rule (MIR)?

What is the Methods Innovation Rule?


On June 14, 2005 EPA published the Methods Innovation Rule (MIR) (70 FR 34538-34592). The MIR allows for more flexibility in the use of alternative methods outside of those listed in EPA publication, SW-846, Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods. This document is the Agency's official compendium of analytical and sampling methods that have been evaluated and approved for use in complying with regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

This rule clarified the difference between SW-846 methods that are required and those that are intended as guidance methods. In addition, some required uses of SW-846 methods – known as Method Defined Parameters (MDPs) – remain regulated in situations where a particular procedure is the only one capable of properly measuring for sampling and analysis. The Agency finalized Update IIIB to the Third Edition of SW-846, and removed unnecessarily required uses of Chapter Nine, "Sampling Plan." In addition, this rule amended Sections 7.3.3 and 7.3.4 of SW-846, Chapter Seven, to withdraw the cyanide and sulfide reactivity guidance. The required uses of reactive cyanide and sulfide methods and threshold levels from conditional delistings were also removed.

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