EPA Announces Analytical Method for Testing for PFAS

On September 2, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the publication of a laboratory-validated analytical method (Draft Method 1633) for testing for per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances. EPA reported that its Office of Water developed Draft Method 1633 in conjunction with the Department of Defense. The method is reportedly able to test for 40 PFAS compounds in eight different media, including wastewater, surface water, groundwater, soil, biosolids, sediment, landfill leachate, and fish tissue.

In its announcement, EPA explained that it is encouraging National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting agencies to use Draft Method 1633 even though the method has not yet been promulgated. However, as EPA noted, the announcement of Draft Method 1633 does not impose any national requirements unless EPA promulgates the analytical method through notice and comment rulemaking. Although EPA has not announced a timetable for promulgating Draft Method 1633, the agency’s announcement suggests it may happen soon.

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