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SW-846 Method Development

EPA conducts scientific evaluations of new analytical methods for possible inclusion in The SW-846 Compendium if the methods:

  • Offer cost-effective alternatives
  • Provide “green chemistry” alternatives or considerations
  • Significantly improve data quality
  • Are expected to find broad application in environmental monitoring

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EPA’s Role in Method Development

The EPA Methods Team supports the development of new environmental measurement or monitoring technologies by:

  • Assisting developers in designing proof of concept studies
  • Hosting forums to facilitate the exchange of ideas between method developers and users
  • Assisting method developers in designing evaluation studies prior to submitting an approval application

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Method Developers and the Approval Process

Method developers hoping for an EPA review should follow the procedures in the guidance documents to help speed up the method approval process. When a method is completed and ready for review, the method developer should assemble a package of documents including:

  • An electronic copy of the method, adhering to the SW-846 Style Guide
  • Supporting documentation describing the rationale behind the method development effort
  • A data package containing both the raw and summarized single-laboratory and multi-laboratory data
  • Any diagrams of specific equipment and instrument results (e.g., chromatograms or spectra) pertinent to the demonstration of appropriate performance for the intended application
  • Electronic copies of any references listed in the method
  • Any method-specific quality control criteria

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Method Evaluation Criteria for SW-846

EPA uses the following criteria when evaluating a new method for SW-846:

  • Is there a need for the intended scope and application of the method?
  • Will the submitted method generate data consistent with the intended scope and application?
  • Have appropriate quality control procedures been developed?
  • Is there an existing or anticipated Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulatory need for the method?
  • Is the method significantly different in principle or approach from existing SW-846 method?

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