ii | a . ,	Office of Water
United States
EPA 821-F-17-001
oEPA Environmental Protection
Agency	August 2017
Final Clean Water Act Methods Update
Rule for the Analysis of Effluent
EPA is promulgating specific changes to analytical
test procedures that are used by industries and
municipalities to analyze the chemical, physical, and
biological components of wastewater and other
environmental samples that are required by
regulations under the Clean Water Act. The changes
include revised EPA methods and revised methods
published by voluntary consensus standard bodies,
such as ASTM International and the Standard
Methods Committee. EPA is adding certain methods
reviewed under the Alternate Test Procedures (ATP)
program to 40 CFR part 136 and clarifying the
procedures for EPA approval of nationwide and
limited use ATPs. Further, EPA is revising the
procedure for determination of the method
detection limit.
EPA approves analytical methods for measuring
regulated pollutants in wastewater, as contained in
the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 40 Part
136. The regulated community and laboratories use
these approved methods for determining
compliance with National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (NPDES) permits or other
monitoring requirements. Often, these entities have
a choice in deciding which approved method they
will use to measure a pollutant because more than
one approved method is available.
To promote method innovation, the EPA also
maintains a program whereby method developers
may apply for an EPA review and potentially for
approval of ATPs. This ATP program is described for
Clean Water Act applications at 40 CFR parts 136.4
and 136.5.
Periodically, EPA updates the approved test
procedures in 40 CFR part 136.
What will EPA's updates change?
These method updates will provide increased
flexibility to the regulated community, improve data
quality, and update Clean Water Act methods to
keep current with technology advances.
This rule will provide clarification of the process for
requesting limited or nationwide review of ATPs.
Finally, the revision to the procedure for
determination of the method detection limits will
address laboratory contamination and better
account for intra- laboratory variability.
Where can I find more information?
You can view the Federal Register notice at
www.regulations.gov under Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-
2014-0797. The notice is also available on the Clean
Water Act Analytical Methods website at:
rule-2017 .
You may also contact Adrian Hanley at