United States
Environmental Protection
February 2005

          The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) i s allowing more flexibility in the use
    of alternative methods outside of those listed in EPA publication SW-846, TestMethods
   for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods. This document is OSW s
    official compendium of analytical and sampling methods that have been evaluated and
    approved for use in complying with RCRA regulations.

       This rule clarifies the difference between SW-846 methods that are required and
    those that are guidance methods in the regulations. In addition, some required uses of
    SW-846 methods remain regulated in situations where a particular procedure is the only
    one capable of properly measuring for sampling and analysis. This is known as a
    method-defined parameter. The Agency also is finalizing Update HUB to the Third Edition
    of SW-846, and removing unnecessarily required uses of Chapter Nine," Sampling Plan."
    In addition, this final rule is amending Sections 7.3.3 and 7.3.4 of SW-846 Chapter
    Seven to withdraw the cyanide and sulfide reactivity guidance and the rule removes the
    required uses of reactive cyanide and sulfide methods and threshold levels from condi-
    tional delistings.

          SW-846 was first published in 1980 to support requirements for testing hazard-
    ous and nonhazardous waste. At the time, SW-846 was intended to serve as a guidance
    manual of generally appropriate and reliable analytical methods for testing and monitoring
    waste. Some of the RCRA regulations required the use of SW-846 methods in general,
    and therefore all of the publication had to be incorporated by reference at 40 CFR
    260.11 (a).  EPA has determined that some of the required uses of SW-846 are not
    necessary.  In addition, members of the regulated community requested the opportunity
    to use other reliable methods to comply with hazardous waste regulations. On May 8,
    1998, EPA also proposed to remove certain required uses of SW-846 methods, and to
    allow more flexibility in test method selection.

          Subsequently, on October 30,2002 (67 FR 66251-66301), the Agency pro-
    posed to amend the hazardous and nonhazardous solid waste regulations for testing and
    monitoring activities from the RCRA regulations.

    For  IViore information
    This fact sheet and other information related to the Methods Innovation Rule are available
    on the Internet at http ://www. epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/test/mir.htm.