United States
             Environmental Protection          Office of Water            EPA 815-F-98-005
             Agency                         4607                    January 1998

              THE PROPOSED RULE
            	Fact Sheet

      The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revises or replaces compliance methods for
      measurement of contaminants in drinking water based on user suggestions, changing regulatory
      needs and improvements in technology

      In this rule, EPA is proposing to approve the use of a new membrane filter medium known as MI
      Agar for the simultaneous detection of total coliform and E. coli.  The new medium developed by
      EPA enables simultaneous detection of total coliform and E. coli because of their ability to form a
      fluorescent and blue product respectively on this medium. EPA is also proposing to amend the
      Surface Water Treatment Regulation to make the current recommendation to ship microbiological
      samples below 10C a requirement. The proposed change will reduce changes in microbial
      densities during transit and storage, and render the method consistent with the Standard Method

      In addition, EPA is proposing to approve a revised method, EPA 5153, for acid herbicides; EPA
      will not withdraw approval of EPA Methods 515 1 or 515 2 for determination of acid herbicides
      because these methods are not obsolete.  EPA is proposing to withdraw approval of Method
      549 1 for diquat and replace it with an improved version, Method 549.2  Withdrawal of Method
      549 I will be effective 18 months after promulgation of a final rule that would approve Method
    ~ 549 2 for diquat.  EPA is also proposing an ASTM method (D5317-93) for acid herbicides
      provided quality control  limits specified in EPA Method 515 1 are met

      EPA is proposing to amend the certification regulations to clarify the drinking water parameters
      for which a laboratory must be approved rather than certified by the State Another amendment
      will require a laboratory  to successfully analyze a PE sample for each method for which the
      laboratory seeks certification The amendment would clarify the original intent of requiring a
      certification document to describe both the analyte and approved method covered by the

      The drinking water industry is expected to favor this rulemaking   Analytical laboratories will
      particularly welcome the option to use the modern technologies and procedures that are contained
      in the new methods

      For more information, contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline, 1 (800) 426-4791