2012 Method Update Rule

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2012 Method Update Rule

Postby jparr » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:00 pm

This forum is being created to post discussions about the EPA update rule published on May 18, 2012.
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Re: 2012 Method Update Rule

Postby jparr » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:18 pm

The first few questions came from a webinar held on June 15, 2012. All responses are from Jerry Parr and should not be considere an official response.
Question: My question has to do with the methods that are not listed and may never be listed—are they considered “not approved”, or prohibited, or does the EPA issue a separate announcement as it did for the SW-846 methods for reactive cyanide and reactive sulfide which all but banned the methods. Currently I understand that the methods listed in these tables are the methods preferred by EPA but other methods not listed must be approved for use by an Administrator.
Response: Methods not listed in Part 136 cannot be used for compliance testing for the EPA wastewater program. This language is in 136.1

The procedures shall be used to perform the measurements indicated whenever the waste constituent specified is required to be measured for:

· An application for a permit under section 402 of the Clean Water Act of 1977 (CWA), and/or reports required to be submitted under NPDES permits or other requests for quantitative or qualitative effluent data under Parts 122 to 125, and,
· Reports required to be submitted by dischargers under the NPDES established by Parts 124 and 125, and,
· Certifications issued by States pursuant to section 401 of the CWA.

The procedure prescribed herein and in part 503 shall be used to perform the measurements required for an application for a sewage sludge permit and for recordkeeping and reporting requirements under part 503.


The methods can be used for other purposes, and a state could impose more stringent requirements. For example, looking at the Texas regulations, they require the most recent approved version of Standard Methods. Here are a couple of examples:
Method 350.2 was removed from Part 136 in 2007. The method still exists, and could be used by labs, just now for clean water act testing as described above.
There TNI Method Codes table lists 7 versions of Method 3113 B. In reality, the 1993 version listed in the 19th and 20th editions are the same method. EPA has only approved the most recent version, approved in 2004. In goiong to the Standard Methods website, this method was revised and reapproved again in 2010, so a state could require labs to use the 2010 version.

Over on the drinking water side (in 40 CFR Part 141), the 18th and 19th editions are approved, along with the 1999 version on-line, but it appears not the 21st edition.

TNI plans to add 2 columns to the method table showing approved in Part 136 and 141.
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Re: 2012 Method Update Rule

Postby jparr » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:20 pm

Question: We are using Hach 10218 (which uses the same chemistry as in SM3500 Cr D) for analysis of CrVI. This method shows up on the TNI list of method codes, as having been approved 4/28/11, but I cannot find a notice of its approval anywhere, and it does not appear in Table IB of the MUR. Is that because it had approval as an ATP?

Response: The Date Added column in the TNI table does not indicate approval. Labs can be accredited for methods that are not approved by EPA.
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Re: 2012 Method Update Rule

Postby jparr » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:22 pm

Question: How can fecal coliform in sludge samples have two different holding times? 24 hours by EPA method and 8 hours for 9060? Seems odd two different hold times for same analyte using same medium.

Response: EPA added this language to paragraph (e) of 136.3:
Information in the table takes precedence over information in specific methods or elsewhere.
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Re: 2012 Method Update Rule

Postby jparr » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:31 pm

From: Lemuel Walker/DC/USEPA/US
Date: 06/14/2012 07:57 AM
Subject: Intent of Part 136.7 - QA/QC

I am sending this to the ATP Coordinators in an attempt to ward off some of the incoming questions.

With regard to the recent addition of Part 136.7 - Quality Assurance and Quality Control, the intent of the addition of this part was to codify that a permittee or laboratory is required to use suitable QA/QC procedures when conducting CWA compliance analyses.

In cases where methods listed in the tables at 136.3 do not contain QA/QC procedures as a part of the method or the compendium from which the method was taken (e.g., older EPA Methods that were originally published in Methods for the Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes) , options were given to comply with the QA/QC requirements.

These options included:
1) Referring and following QA/QC published in the "equivalent" EPA Method for that parameter that did contain QA/QC procedures,
2) Referring to the appropriate QA/QC section(s) of an approved Part 136 method from a consensus organization compendium (such as part 1000, 2000, 3000, etc. of Standard Methods), or
3) Incorporating the applicable QA/QC into the laboratory's SOP.

Our intent was not to allow people to "shop around" to determine which QC (and/or acceptance criteria) they wanted to use. The intent was that if a permittee or laboratory is using a method from "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastes", they would refer to the appropriate section of Standard Methods for QA/QC requirements. All laboratories should have SOPs that document the procedures that they use to analyze samples for various parameters by various methods. If a laboratory's SOP for a analysis of samples for a particular parameter references a method from Standard Methods then the SOP should include the QA/QC requirements and acceptance limits from Standard Methods.

It was not our intent for approved methods with existing QA/QC to be updated to include additional QA/QC procedures. Rather 136.7 address methods that did not contain QA/QC or where the QA was found in a different part of the methods compendium. If an approved method with QA/QC does not contain all 12 elements listed at part 136.7; it is not recommended or required (unless required by the permitting authority) that a laboratory add the missing elements. In many cases this would require a laboratory to establish acceptance criteria for QC elements which are not appropriate for a specific method (e.g., adding MS and MSD tests to a method that measures dissolved oxygen) .

===================================
Lemuel (Lem) Walker, Jr.
Clean Water Act ATP Coordinator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Science and Technology
Engineering and Analysis Division (EAD)
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Re: 2012 Method Update Rule

Postby jparr » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:32 pm

From: Lemuel Walker/DC/USEPA/US
Date: 06/07/2012 07:48 AM
Subject: Another Q&A About DO Measurement

Question:
I understand EPA has approved alternate test procedures for optical DO probes under 40 CFR 136.3. The Federal Register notice ( Vol. 77, No. 97 / Friday, May 18, 2012) listed Hach Company’s Method 10360 Luminescence Measurement of Dissolved Oxygen and the In-Situ Incorporated’s Method 1002– 8–2009 Dissolved Oxygen Measurement by Optical Probe. Are these the only instruments approved by this notice or does the approval apply to any instrument using this same technology? We are purchasing an instrument and want to make sure it is approved for NPDES monitoring.

Answer:
In the most recent Method Update Rule that was published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2012, (77 FR 29758), EPA has added luminescence based sensor technology for measurement of dissolved oxygen (DO) to Table IB at 40 CFR Part 136.3.

Three methods that use luminescent based sensor were added to the list of approved methods for measurement of DO.

In addition to the two methods that were developed by instrument manufacturers and submitted for approval through the ATP program, (Hach Method 10360 and In-Situ Method 1002-8-2009), one method developed by a Voluntary Consensus Standard Body (VCSB) ASTM D888 Standard Test Methods for Dissolved Oxygen In Water, Test Method C - Instrumental Probe Procedure- Luinescence-Based Sensor was included in the list of approved methods. This method does not specify a particular make or model of sensor. Therefore, any luminescence-based sensor that meets the requirements of the method may be used.
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Re: 2012 Method Update Rule

Postby jparr » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:35 pm

From: Lemuel Walker/DC/USEPA/US
Date: 05/23/2012 07:07 AM
Subject: Two Questions Received on the Method Update Rule effective date

Question 1:I have received calls from several wastewater operators who would like to begin using the Hach Luminescence DO probe. Until now, facilities would have to apply for Limited Use of this probe through the Alternate Test Procedure process. (Illinois only grants use through ATP approval for Limited Use.)

A few operators think they can begin using the Hach DO probe immediately since the final rule has been signed and published in the Federal Register. They are using the “published date” as the start date.

Response: I interpret the wording of “effective date will be June 18, 2012” to mean these newly approved methods/technologies, such as the Hach probe, can begin being used on June 18, 2012. Therefore, between the dates of May 18, 2012-June 17, 2012, they would have to continue using the methods/technologies listed in the previous 40 CFR Part 136.

The Alternate Test Procedures (ATPs) such as Hach Method 10360 (luminescence DO probe) that are included in the final rule employ new technologies that have been evaluated and found to meet the requirements for compliance monitoring performed under the Clean Water Act. That is, the performance of these methods is substantially similar to that of the other methods approved at part 136 for measurement of the regulated parameters.

As with any federal regulatory action, EPA recognizes that immediate implementation on the date of publication is not practical. Therefore, EPA establishes an effective date for implementation in the published rule (e.g., June 18, 2012). This methods update rule specified a 30-day implementation date, but depending on the nature of the rulemaking, a later date may be used if EPA feels it is likely to take longer to implement a particular regulatory action.

In the case of our methods updates, the nature of rule adds new methods for monitoring compliance with existing discharge requirements, thus giving laboratories new method options from which to choose, and does not add new monitoring requirements. If a laboratory wishes to begin use of a new method included in the final rule to demonstrate compliance with a specific permit limit once the final rule is published, and if the authority that issued that permit agrees, then I think it would be following the spirit of the ATP program and intent of the final rule, which is to allow the use of these new technologies.

If the authority that issued the permit is unwilling to accept the results obtained from use of a method included in the final rule until the effective date and insists on the use of one of the other approved methods until the effective date listed in the FR notice, then technically they would have the right to do that. However, it is not clear to me what benefit the permitting authority would gain from that approach.

Question 2:Is there a date by which all method/technology use is required to be switched to the newly published final 40 CFR Part 136? Is there an acceptable transition period for laboratories to upgrade and apply for accreditation in updated methodologies?

Response
I do not believe that there are any instances in which an updated method is requiring the use of a new technology that would require a laboratory to upgrade or purchase any new equipment. In all instances where an ATP or new method is being approved, there are other methods which were previously approved and are still approved. The methods that employ new technologies such as the luminescence DO probe are not replacing the older methods they are simply providing additional methods as options.
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Re: 2012 Method Update Rule

Postby bray » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:16 am

Just a couple of notes. EPA approved the HACH LDO method, but the notes state it is method 10360 v1.2, November, 2011. I have a copy of v1.1 but HACH seems not to have v1.2 posted on the web. I have made the request and am still waiting to hear from the compliance chemist.

EPA did actually set up the potential for variable QA/QC including acceptance limits by not being very specific on sources. Although the belief is that labs will seek out information from Std Methods, ASTM also qualifies as a consensus setting body and it may have different procedures and criteria. EPA has done a lot to assure that Std. Methods conforms to EPA needs, but has not done so with other bodies. In order to assure uniformity they should have limited resources. BTW, TNI is a consensus body, but seems to have very limited information as most things are left to the lab to discern and set.
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