EPA Publishes Draft PFAS Analytical Method for Array of Environmental Media

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This past August, EPA published Draft Method 1633 – Analysis of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (“PFAS”) in Aqueous, Solid, Biosolids, and Tissue Samples by LC-MS/MS.  Once, finalized, this single laboratory validated method will be available for 40 PFAS compounds (including Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS)) in wastewater, surface water, groundwater, soil, biosolids, sediment, landfill leachate, and fish tissue.  Note, per EPA, this method will not be required for Clean Water Act compliance monitoring until it has been proposed and promulgated through rulemaking, however, EPA encourages laboratories, regulatory authorities, and other interested parties to review and begin using the draft method, with the understanding that it is subject to revision.  The Department of Defense, in collaboration with the Office of Water and Office of Land and Emergency Management, anticipates completing a multi-laboratory validation study of the procedure in 2022, the results of which will be used to finalize the method and to add formal performance criteria.

This method, once finalized, will be useful for entities who must measure for PFAS-related compliance or monitoring obligations in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.  As discussed by EPA in its PFAS FAQs, while many laboratories use EPA Methods 537.1 and 533 to analyze for NPDES purposes, neither method is officially approved by EPA for use outside of the drinking water context.

EPA’s draft method will also be useful for any person investigating or remediating PFOA, PFOS, or PFBS in groundwater, soil, surface water, biosolids, sediment, landfill leachate, or fish tissue

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