History of the EPA Solid Waste Methods Compilation (SW-846)

50 Years of Progress in Environmental Monitoring
Oral Presentation

Prepared by D. Friedman
David Friedman Consulting LLC, 10817 Rippon Lodge Drive, Fairfax, Virginia, 22032-2931, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 703-389-3821


In this presentation, the author will review the history, purpose, and philosophy behind the development of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) "Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste", commonly known by its EPA document number SW-846. Why its use and structure is different from those in earlier EPA methods programs. How and why SW-846 grew from a simple collection of recommendations to help analysts address testing of wastes to determine whether a waste exhibits one of the RCRA characteristics, into the wide ranging methods reference it is today. The author will also touch on the development of the RCRA characteristics and the methods used to determine if a waste exhibits one or more characteristics.