Final Rule: Methods Innovation Rule (MIR)
The Methods Innovation Rule (MIR) is an important step toward a performance-based measurement system (PBMS), and part of the Agency's efforts toward "Innovating for Better Results." In general, the MIR allows more flexibility when conducting Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)-related sampling and analysis.
On June 14, 2005, EPA implemented an action amending the RCRA test methods regulatory requirements in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 63, 258, 260, 261, 264, 265, 266, 268, 270, 271, and 279. This ruling is applicable to:
- Waste sampling and analysis for RCRA-related activities
- Waste sampling and analysis for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)-related activities
The rule allows for some flexibility in most SW-846 methods. As a result of the rule’s passing, laboratories may:
- Modify SW-846 methods, provided the modified method meets the defined quality assurance (QA) parameters established in the method or defined for the project
- Use non-SW-846 methods, provided the method falls within EPA’s parameter to protect human health and the environment
All SW-846 methods are covered by this rule except for methods that involve determination of method-defined parameters (MDPs), listed below, which must be followed to the letter for regulatory compliance.
EPA made seven technical corrections to improve the clarity of the Methods Innovation Rule on August 1, 2005. These changes correct minor spelling errors and table inconsistencies.
Method-defined parameters are physical or chemical properties of materials determined with specific methods used to evaluate whether the materials comply with certain RCRA Subtitle C regulations. Method-defined parameters can only be determined by the methods prescribed in RCRA regulations because the methods are part of the regulations. These methods (listed below) must be followed exactly as written, or the resulting data cannot be used to ensure regulatory compliance. In addition to the table below, a list of method-defined parameters may be found at 40 CFR Section 260.11.
|MDP Method Number||MDP Method Title|
|0010||Modified Method 5 Sampling Train|
|0011||Sampling for Selected Aldehyde and Ketone Emissions from Stationary Sources|
|0020||Source Assessment sampling System (SASS)|
|0023A||Sampling Method for Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Polychlorinated Dibenzofuran Emissions from Stationary Sources|
|0030||Volatile Organics Sampling Train|
|0031||Sampling Method For Volatile Organic Compounds (SMVOC)|
|0040||Sampling of Principle Organic Hazardous Constituents From Combustion Sources Using Tedlar® Bags|
|0050||Isokinetic HCl/Cl2 Emission Sampling Train|
|0051||Midget Impinger HCl/Cl2 Emission Sampling Train|
|0060||Determination of Metals in Stack Emissions|
|0061||Determinations of Hexavalent Chromium Emissions from Stationary Sources|
|1010A||Test Methods for Flash Point by Pensky-Martens Closed-Cup Tester|
|1020B||Standard Test Methods for Flash Point by Setaflash (Small Scale) Closed-Cup Apparatus|
|1110A||Corrosivity Toward Steel|
|1310B||Extraction Procedure (EP) Toxicity Test Method and Structural Integrity Test|
|1311||Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure|
|1312||Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure|
|1320||Multiple Extraction Procedure|
|1330A||Extraction Procedure for Oily Wastes|
|3542||Extraction of Semivolatile Analytes Collected Using Method 0010 (Modified Method 5 Sampling Train)|
|5041A||Analysis for Desorption of Sorbent Cartridges from Volatile Organic Sampling Train (VOST)|
|9010C||Total and Amenable Cyanide: Distillation|
|9012B||Total and Amenable Cyanide (Automated Colorimetric, with Off-Line Distillation)|
|9040C||pH Electrometric Measurement|
|9045D||Soil and Waste pH|
|9060A||Total Organic Carbon|
|9070A||n-Hexane Extractable Material (HEM) for Aqueous Samples
See Method 1664, Publication No. EPA-821-R-98-002
|9071B||n-Hexane Extractable Material (HEM) for Sludge, Sediment, and Solid Samples|
|9095B||Paint Filter Liquids Test|
EPA first released the SW-846 publication in 1980 to support RCRA-related sampling and analysis. The compendium intended to serve as a guidance manual of generally appropriate and reliable analytical methods for environmental monitoring and compliance. Some of the regulations required the use of SW-846 methods, and therefore the publication was incorporated by reference at 40 CFR Section 260.11(a).
Revisiting SW-846: Notice of Intent
Since the 1980s, EPA determined that some of the required uses of SW-846 were not necessary. In addition, members of the regulated community requested the opportunity to use other reliable methods to comply with RCRA. On May 8, 1998, EPA proposed to remove certain required uses of SW-846 methods, and to allow more flexibility in test method selection.
Proposing Methods Innovation Rule
Subsequently, on October 30, 2002, the Agency proposed to amend the hazardous and nonhazardous solid waste regulations for testing and monitoring activities.