Hitting Reset on Method Development, Validation and Use for EPA Programs

Crafting Consensus Methods for Environmental Sampling and Measurement
Oral Presentation

Prepared by J. Parr1, W. Lipps2
1 - The NELAC Institute, 210 S Lamar St, Weatherford, TX, 76086-4114, United States
2 - Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Inc., 7102 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD, 21046, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 817-308-0449


For 50 years, EPA has approached the process of method development, validation, and approval as a siloed organization with each EPA program office having their own approach. This has led to a proliferation of EPA methods that are virtually identical in terms of technology, but contain slightly varying requirements, especially in the quality control aspects of the method. Furthermore, methods developed by consensus standards organizations tend to be less favored, going against the spirit of OMB Circular A-119.

In a recent publication, Paul Anastas, the Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development under the Obama administration has argued that EPA needs to move away from their traditional media focus to a "Solutions-based Team Matrix." Along those lines, we believe it is time for a new approach to the use of test methods within EPA. This new approach would increase the collaboration with groups outside of EPA, would focus this methods development effort on those methods of greatest need, and reduce the number of methods overall as well as the trivial changes between various methods.