EPA announced in the September 23 Federal Register a proposed rule that would expand the list of approved methods for testing required by NPDES permits. The rule includes new methods based upon new technologies, as well as new versions of previously EPA-accepted methods. In addition to proposing approval of a number of new and revised test methods it has developed, EPA also is proposing to approve methods developed by voluntary standards organizations such as ASTM International and the Standards Methods Committee, a joint initiative of the American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, and WEF.
Pollutants associated with the new methods affected by this ruling include: oil and grease, ammonia, inorganic ions, arsenic and selenium, aluminum and beryllium, chemical oxygen demand, phosphorus, potassium, and volatile residue. Pollutants associated with new methods developed by ASTM International for pollutants already on EPA's lists of approved test methods, such as cyanide, dissolved oxygen in water, and carbon; and proposed ASTM methods for new pollutants, such as nonylphenols, a category that is being added to the list of approved test procedures for non-pesticide organic compounds. Among the proposed changes are two updated EPA methods for the pathogen cryptosporidium and the parasite giardia using filtration. The proposed rule also outlines minimum quality requirements to improve consistency across different versions of a test method, corrections to previously approved methods, and changes to requirements for collecting and preserving samples, EPA is accepting comments on the proposed rule until November 22, 2010.