Frequent Questions

How did the Methods Innovation Rule affect SW-846 and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)?

How did the Methods Innovation Rule affect SW-846 and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)?

 

The Methods Innovations Rule (MIR) included the following revisions to SW-846:

Certain SW-846 testing regulations allow the use of other practical test methods, so long as they fall within EPA’s parameter to protect human health and the environment.  Some required uses of SW-846 methods remain in the regulations because they involve determination of method-defined regulatory parameters.

  • Finalized proposed revisions to Update IIIB to the Third Edition of SW-846;
  • Removed requirements to use Chapter Nine, “Sampling Plan” in certain circumstances;
  • Amended Sections 7.3.3 and 7.3.4 of SW-846 Chapter Seven to withdraw the cyanide and sulfide reactivity guidance as well as required uses of reactive cyanide and sulfide methods; and threshold levels from conditional delistings.

The MIR affects RCRA in the following ways:

  • Makes the RCRA program more effective by focusing more on measurement objectives rather than measurement technologies;
  • Provides flexibility to the regulated community by allowing the use of other methods than SW-846 for RCRA testing and monitoring activities when it is appropriate to do so;
  • Offers the use of other appropriate methods as an option. The Agency expects individuals to choose other appropriate methods only when it is more beneficial to do so; and
  • Allows greater flexibility in method selection, which should stimulate the development and use of innovative and more cost-effective monitoring technologies in the RCRA program.
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