February 13, 2024 | Biosolids, Composting, Policies + Regulations, Soil Health, Storm Water Management

EPA Releases Updated PFAS Test Method

Top: Illustration of a short-chain PFAS compound with 6 or fewer carbon molecules, represented above by the gray circles.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water, in partnership with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, recently published Method 1633, “Analysis of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Aqueous, Solid, Biosolids, and Tissue Samples by LC-MS/MS,” a method to test for 40 PFAS compounds in wastewater, surface water, groundwater, soil, biosolids, sediment, landfill leachate, and fish tissue. This method can be used in various applications, including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, “providing a consistent PFAS method that has been tested in a wide variety of wastewaters and contains all the required quality control (QC) procedures for the Clean Water Act (CWA),” explains the announcement. “While the method is not nationally required for CWA compliance monitoring until the EPA has promulgated it through rulemaking, the EPA recommends it now for use in individual permits.”

DoD led the multi-laboratory validation study of the procedure in collaboration with the EPA Office of Water, the Office of Land and Emergency Management, and the Office of Research and Development. The Office of Water used the results of the multi-laboratory validation study to finalize the method and add formal performance criteria. “The Office of Water encourages laboratories, regulatory authorities, and other interested parties to review and use the method, with the understanding that it may undergo revision during a rulemaking process,” adds EPA.

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