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Methods Development & Approval Process

Method Development and Approval Process

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The Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery's (ORCR) manual of EPA-approved analytical methods, Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods (SW-846), ensures the availability of established, validated methods for the measurements and monitoring needed for the RCRA program. All of the methods published in SW-846 have been approved by EPA. While EPA cannot evaluate every applicable method, the Agency does conduct scientific evaluations of new methods that:

ORCR has established a two-part process to assist people interested in having a method included in SW-846.

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Part One: Technical Assistance

The Methods Team supports the development of new measurement technologies by:

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Part Two: The Application Process

To have a method published in SW-846, applicants must follow certain procedures established by the Methods Team. Adherence to these requirements can help speed the approval process.

When a method project is completed, the developer should assemble a package of documents describing the project and submit it to the Agency for review and evaluation. The documentation package should include:

The above material should be submitted in hard copy and on disk (preferably in MS Word 2003) to the following address:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (5307P)
Washington, DC 20460

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Method Evaluation Criteria

EPA uses the following criteria when evaluating a new method:

When submitting methods, developers should determine if there is an existing or anticipated RCRA regulatory need for the method and if it is significantly different in principle or approach from existing SW-846 methods. The ORCR Methods Team can assist the developer in making this determination.

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