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Field-based Analytical Methods

Field-based analytical methods (FAMs) are one of the key tools of dynamic field activities because they provide the data that is used for on-site decision making. They are a broad category of analytical methods that can be applied on the site of sample collection activities. They include methods that can be used outdoors with hand-held equipment, as well as more rigorous methods that require the controlled environments of a mobile laboratory. Some of the most common FAMs are portable gas chromatography (GC), immunoassay test kits (IA), x-ray fluorescence (XRF), and gas chromotography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).

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General Technology/Method Information

Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association NEWMOA):
Innovative Technology Advisory Opinions Exit EPA

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

U.S. EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program

Summary of Quality Control Samples and the Information They Provide (PDF) (4 pp, 59K)
This document has been developed to summarize the different types of QC samples available and to provide a description of the types of information they can provide for evaluating field samples.

National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI) Exit EPA
NEMI is a searchable library of primarily water methods compiled by the National Water Quality Monitoring Council. It provides a mechanism to compare and contrast the performance and relative cost of analytical, test, and sampling methods for environmental monitoring.

U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery SW-846 Methods

  • Draft Update IVA of SW-846 On-line or SW-846 Manual
    "Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods" – For the EPA's Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery's official compendium of analytical and sampling methods which are approved for complying with RCRA regulations.

U.S. EPA Environmental Response Team (ERT) Exit EPA
Compendium of ERT Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Field Analytic Procedures:

  • 1702—Sentex Scentograph Gas Chromatograph Field Use
  • 1703—Summa Canister Cleaning Procedures
  • 1704—Summa Canister Sampling
  • 1705—GC/MS Analysis of TENAX/CMS Cartridges and Summa Canisters
  • 1706—Summa Canister Field Samples
  • 1707—X-METTM 880 Field Portable XRF Operating Procedures
  • 1708—Low Level Methane Analysis for Summa Canister Gas Samples
  • 1713—Spectrace 9000 Field Portable XRF Operating Procedures
  • 2107—Photovac 10A10 Portable Gas Chromatograph Operation
  • 2108—Photovac 10S50, 10S55, and 10S70 GC Operation
  • 2109—Photovac Gas Chromatograph Analysis for Soil, Water, and Air/Soil Gas
  • 2110—Microsensor P200
  • 2114—Photoionization Detector (PID) HNU

Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable: Field Sampling and Analysis Technologies Matrix Exit EPA

Field Analytical Measurement Technologies, Applications and Selection, California Military Environmental Coordination Committee, 1996

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Specific Technology/Method Information

Technology Specific:

Media/Analyte Specific:

Colorimetric Indicator Tests

Summary of Method Performance Capabilities for Colorimetric Analyses Using a Spectrophotometer (PDF) (5 pp, 104K)
This file provides a summary of the approximate performance capabilities of colorimetric analyses using a spectrophotometer. The summary includes analyte specific estimates of detection limits, throughput, interferences, and performance tips/limitations. The capabilities of this method will vary widely for various site specific conditions. Consequently, readers so use this information with caution and they should consult an experience chemist to determine if a particular method is appropriate for meeting project requirements.

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

Chapter VI: Field Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
From: Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks Sites: A Guide for Regulator, EPA 510-B-97-001, released by the Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

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Detector Tubes

Standard Operating Procedures for Analysis of Total Chlorinated Ethenes in Soil and Groundwater Using the Color Tec Screening Method (PDF) (5 pp, 87K)
The Color-Tec SOP describes a field screening method that combines sample purging with colorimetric gas detector tubes to quickly detect total chlorinated ethenes at very low levels in soil and groundwater samples. Ecology & Environment, Inc. developed the method in 1997 on behalf of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

Chapter VI: Field Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
From: Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks Sites: A Guide for Regulator, EPA 510-B-97-001, released by the Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

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Fiber Optic Chemical Sensors

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

Chapter VI: Field Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
From: Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks Sites: A Guide for Regulator, EPA 510-B-97-001, released by the Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

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Gas Chromotography (GC)

Summary of Method Performance Capabilities Using Gas Chromatography (Portable and Transportable) (PDF) (2 pp, 77K)
This file provides a summary of the approximate performance capabilities of gas chromatography (portable and transportable). The summary includes analyte specific estimates of detection limits, throughput, interferences, and performance tips/limitations. The capabilities of this method will vary widely for various site specific conditions. Consequently, readers so use this information with caution and they should consult an experience chemist to determine if a particular method is appropriate for meeting project requirements.

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

U.S. EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program Verification Reports—Well-Head Monitoring-VOCs

  • Electronic Sensor Technology – Model 4100
  • Perkin-Elmer Corporation (Photovac Monitoring Instruments)– Voyager
  • Sentex Systems, Inc. – Scentograph Plus II

U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery SW-846 Methods:
(Modifications of these methods can be used in mobile laboratories)

  • 8015B—Nonhalogenated Organics Using GC/FID
  • 8021B—Aromatic and Halogenated Volatiles by Gas Chromatography Using Photoionization and/or Electrolytic Conductivity Detectors
  • 8081A—Organochlorine Pesticides by Gas Chromotography
  • 8081B—Organochlorine Pesticides by Gas Chromatography

Chapter VI: Field Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
From: Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks Sites: A Guide for Regulator, EPA 510-B-97-001, released by the Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

Compendium of ERT Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Field Analytic Procedures: Exit EPA

  • 1702—Sentex Scentograph Gas Chromatograph Field Use
  • 2107—Photovac 10A10 Portable Gas Chromatograph Operation
  • 2108—Photovac 10S50, 10S55, and 10S70 GC Operation
  • 2109—Photovac Gas Chromatograph Analysis for Soil, Water, and Air/Soil Gas

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Gas Chromotography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)

Summary of Method Performance Capabilities Using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (PDF) (3 pp, 86K)
This file provides a summary of the approximate performance capabilities of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The summary includes analyte specific estimates of detection limits, throughput, interferences, and performance tips/limitations. The capabilities of this method will vary widely for various site specific conditions. Consequently, readers so use this information with caution and they should consult an experience chemist to determine if a particular method is appropriate for meeting project requirements.

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery SW-846 Methods:
(Modifications of these methods can be used in mobile laboratories)

  • 8260B—Volatile Organic Compounds by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)
  • 8270D—Semivolatile Organic Compounds by Gas Chromotography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)

U.S. EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program Verification Reports—Portable GC/MS Technologies

  • Bruker-Franzen Analytical Systems, Inc. – EM640™
  • Viking Instruments Corporation – SpectraTrak™ 672
  • Inficon, Inc. – HAPSITE with Headspace Sampling Accessory

Chapter VI: Field Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
From: Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks Sites: A Guide for Regulator, EPA 510-B-97-001, released by the Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

Compendium of ERT Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Field Analytic Procedures: Exit EPA

  • 1705—GC/MS Analysis of TENAX/CMS Cartridges and Summa Canisters

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Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

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Hand-held Survey Instruments

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

Chapter VI: Field Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
From: Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks Sites: A Guide for Regulator, EPA 510-B-97-001, released by the Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

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Immunoassay (IA)

Summary of Method Performance Capabilities Using Immunoassay (PDF) (22 pp, 149K)
This file provides a summary of the approximate performance capabilities of immunoassay. The summary includes analyte specific estimatesof detection limits, throughput, interferences, and performance tips/limitations. The capabilities of this method will vary widely for various site specific conditions. Consequently, readers so use this information with caution and they should consult an experience chemist to determine if a particular method is appropriate for meeting project requirements.

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA) IA Technology Review Advisory Opinion Exit EPA
From: Innovative Technology: Immunoassay Field Analysis by the NEWMOA Technology Review Committee

Chapter VI: Field Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
From: Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks Sites: A Guide for Regulator, EPA 510-B-97-001, released by the Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery SW-846 Methods:

  • 4010A—Screening for Pentachlorophenol by Immunoassay
  • 4015—Screening for 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid by Immunoassay
  • 4020—Screening for Polychlorinated Biphenyls by Immunoassay
  • 4030—Soil Screening for Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Immunoassay
  • 4035—Soil Screening for Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons by Immunoassay
  • 4040—Soil Screening for Toxaphene by Immunoassay
  • 4041—Soil Screening for Chlordane by Immunoassay
  • 4042—Soil Screening for DDT by Immunoassay
  • 4050—TNT Explosives in Soil by Immunoassay
  • 4051—Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) in Soil by Immunoassay
  • 4500—Draft Method: Mercury in Soil by Immunoassay
  • 4670—Draft Method: Triazine Herbicides as Atrazine in Water by Quantitative IA

U.S. EPA Region 1 – Immunoassay Guidelines – QA UNIT FACT SHEET 10/96
From: New Immunoassay Guidance by USEPA – Region 1, New England

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Infrared Spectroscopy

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

Chapter VI: Field Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
From: Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks Sites: A Guide for Regulator, EPA 510-B-97-001, released by the Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

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Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF)

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

U.S. EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program Verifications—Cone Penetrometer-Deployed-Sensor Technologies

  • The Rapid Optical Screening Tool (ROST)Laser-Induced Fluroescence (LIF) System for Screening of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Subsurface Soils
  • The Site Characterization and Analysis Penetrometer System(SCAPS) Laser-Induced Fluorescence (LIF) Sensor and Support System

Chapter VI: Field Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
From: Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks Sites: A Guide for Regulator, EPA 510-B-97-001, released by the Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

U.S. DOE Ames Laboratory Expedited Site Characterization: Cone Penetrometer Truck with Laser Induced Fluorescence. Exit EPA

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Mass Spectrometry

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

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Turbidimetric Test Kits

Chapter VI: Field Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
From: Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks Sites: A Guide for Regulator, EPA 510-B-97-001, released by the Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

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X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)

Summary of Method Performance Capabilities Using X-Ray Fluorescence (PDF) (32 pp, 85K)
This file provides a summary of the approximate performance capabilities of X-ray fluorescence. The summary includes analyte specific estimates of detection limits, throughput, interferences, and performance tips/limitations. The capabilities of this method will vary widely for various site specific conditions. Consequently, readers so use this information with caution and they should consult an experience chemist to determine if a particular method is appropriate for meeting project requirements.

U.S. EPA Technology Innovation Office Field Analytic Technologies Encyclopedia (FATE)
Although the FATE system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/technologies/ Exit EPA

Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA) XRF Technology Review Advisory Opinion Exit EPA
From: Innovative Technology: X-Ray Fluorescence Field Analysis
Date of Opinion: September 21, 1999 by the NEWMOA Technology Review Committee

U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery SW-846 Method:

  • 6200—Field Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry for Determination of Elemental Concentrations in Soil and Sediment.

U.S. EPA Region 1 – QA Unit Fact Sheet 11/96 X-Ray Fluorescence "A Quality Perspective of Metals Analysis in the Field"

U.S. EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program Verification Reports—Field Portable XRF Analyzer Technologies

  • EDAX Portable Products - MAP Spectrum Analyzer
  • HNU Systems, Inc. - SEFA-P Analyzer
  • Metrorex, Inc. - X-MET 920-P and X-MET 940
  • Metrorex, Inc. - X-MET 920-MP
  • Niton Corporation - XL Spectrum Analyzer
  • Scitect MAP Spectrum Analyzer
  • TN Spectrace - TN 9000
  • TN Spectrace - TN Pb Analyzer

Demonstration of these technologies supported by the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program.

"Field Characterization Using Field Portable TDGC-MS, ICP/AE, XRF, and MIP/MS"
Part of Field Analytical Technology Research CFAST and Tufts University by Dr. Albert Robbat, Jr.

U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Environmental Science Division – Provides field support for XRF.

Compendium of ERT Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Field Analytic Procedures: Exit EPA

  • 1707—X-MET 880 Field Portable XRF Operating Procedures
  • 1713—Spectrace 9000 Field Portable XRF Operating Procedures

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Explosives

Standard Operating Procedures for Analysis of TNT and RDX in Groundwater Using Colorimetric Method (PDF) (12 pp, 110K)
This SOP provides procedures for the detection of RDX and TNT in water using a colorimetric method.

U.S. EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program Verification Reports—Explosives Detection Technologies Reports
Barringer Instruments – GC-IONSCAN™
Verification Statement (PDF) (41K) | Verification Report (PDF) (240K)
Research International, Inc. – FAST 2000™
Verification Statement (PDF) (28K) | Verification Report (PDF) (525K)

Field Demonstration of On-Site Analytical Methods for TNT and RDX in Ground Water
This paper evaluates the performance of eight FAMs for TNT and RDX in water.

Field Sampling and Selecting On-Site Analytical Methods for Explosives in Water
This EPA Federal Facilities Forum issue paper provides guidance to remedial project managers on selecting methods for on-site analysis of explosives in groundwate

Field Sampling and Selecting On-Site Analytical Methods for Explosives in Soil
This EPA Federal Facilities Forum issue paper provides guidance to remedial project managers on selecting methods for on-site analysis of explosives in soil.

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Radiological Methods

Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM)
MARSSIM provides information on radiological field methods in Chapter 6, Field Measurement Methods and Instrumentation, and Appendix H, Description of Field Survey and Laboratory Analysis Equipment.

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PCB Field Analytical Technologies

SOP for PCB Field Testing in Soil and Sediment Samples (PDF): (15 pp, 547K)
This method, developed by USEPA Region 1, describes an expedited method for evaluating PCBs in soil and sediments using a GC/ECD.

U.S. EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program Verification Reports—PCB Field Analytical Technologies:

  • Dexsil Corporation – L2000 PCB/Chloride Analyzer
  • Electronic Sensor Technology – 4100 Vapor Detector
  • Envirologix – PCB in Soil Tube Assay
  • Hach Company – PCB Immunoassay Kit
  • Strategic Diagnostics Inc. – D Tech Diagnostic PCB Test Kit
  • Strategic Diagnostics Inc. – EnviroGard PCB Test Kit
  • Strategic Diagnostics Inc. – Rapid Assay System for Analysis

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Soil Gas Sampling Technologies

U.S. EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program Verification Reports—Soil Gas Sampling Technologies:

  • Quadrel Services, Inc. – Emflux® Soil Gas Investigation System
  • SimulProbe – SimulProbe® Core Barrel Sampler
  • W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. – Gore-Sorber® Screening Survey Passive Soil Gas Sampling System

U.S. EPA's Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tanks:

U.S. DOE Ames Laboratory Expedited Site Characterization: Passive Soil Gas Survey Exit EPA

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Well-Head Monitoring-VOCs

U.S. EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program Verification Reports—Well-Head Monitoring-VOCs:

  • Electronic Sensor Technology – Model 4100
  • Inficon, Inc. – HAPSITE with Headspace Sampling Accessory
  • Innova AirTech Instruments – Type 1312 Multi-gas Monitor
  • Perkin-Elmer Corporation (Photovac Monitoring Instruments) – Voyager
  • Sentex Systems, Inc. – Scentograph Plus II

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Surveys of Technology Usage

Field Analytical and Site Characterization Technologies: Summary of Applications (PDF) (40 pp, 155K)
Presents information on over 200 applications of field analytical and innovative characterization technologies to allow for better understanding and broader usage.

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Publications/Articles

"Using Field Methods – Experiences & Lessons: Defensibility of Field Data" Exit EPA
by Barton Simmons – Counteracts the perception that measurements made in the field are not as legally defensible as those made in the fixed laboratory by providing legal evidence to equate the defensibility of data from the field with that from the laboratory.

Robbat Research Group Publications, Tufts University Exit EPA
by Albert Robbat, Jr. – Many articles link technologies with field analytics; abstracts available.

U.S. EPA Region 1 Article:

U.S. EPA Region 2 Article—Examples of Field Analytic Uses:

Issue Papers of U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Environmental Science Division's Technology Support Center for Monitoring and Site Characterization:

US Army Corps of Engineers Analytical Chemistry Research Exit EPA

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Vendor Information

EPA REACH IT (REmediation And CHaracterization Innovative Technologies)Although the REACH IT system no longer exist as separate system, technology on site treatment and characterization technologies formerly found at this site, is available at http://www.clu-in.org/characterization/Exit EPA

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