Department of Health Seal

TGM for the Implementation of the Hawai'i State Contingency Plan
Section 11.5


Use the methods and standard operating procedures listed in EPA SW-846 (USEPA, 1991c and 2003b) for the analyses conducted under the guidance of this TGM. Consider the analytes of interest, the sample matrices, and the minimum detectable concentrations required to accomplish project DQO when selecting analytical methods. Tables 11-A and 11-B in the Appendices provide the recommended analytical methods for soil and groundwater analysis, respectively.

Use other EPA-approved methods (such as Methods for Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes (USEPA, 1983) for analyses that measure parameters such as pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and temperature. Document any deviations from EPA-approved methods in the SAP.

When EPA-approved methods are not available or appropriate for project-specific requirements, other recognized standard analytical methods, such as those published by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), may be used. Example guidance documents for other methods and procedures that may be proposed for site investigations include:

  • American Public Health Association (APHA), American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation. 2005. "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater." 21st Edition (APHA, 2005).
  • ASTM. (updated yearly). "Annual Book of Standards." West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania (ASTM).
  • NIOSH. 1994. NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, Fourth Edition. Publication No. 94-113 (NIOSH, 1994).

The published methods are updated at various time intervals. Unless otherwise stated, laboratories conducting work under the guidance of this TGM will use the most current version of any specified analytical method.

On occasion, project-specific conditions might require the use of analytical methods that are either a modification of an EPA-approved method or are not an EPA-approved method. These methods will typically be provided by the laboratory performing the analysis. Any laboratory using modified EPA-approved methods or non-EPA-approved methods must provide a detailed description of sample preparation, instrument calibration, sample analyses, method sensitivity, associated QA/QC requirements, and acceptance criteria, preferably during the planning phases and the creation of the SAP. The laboratory or method developer must provide method performance study information (e.g. detection, recovery, calibration data) to confirm the performance of the method for each applicable matrix. If previous performance studies are not available, they must be developed during the project and included as part of the project results.

An example of a modification of an EPA-approved method that is important for analysis of most soil and sediment samples for metals (whether Multi-Increment samples or discrete samples) is EPA Method 3050 for preparation of metals analyses. Soil or sediment samples are typically sieved to the <2 millimeter (mm) particle size before analysis, and an analysis of particles of this size requires a minimum extraction and analysis mass of 10 grams (rather than 1 gram generally recommended in Method 3050) to reduce fundamental error in the analysis (see discussion in Section 4.2.2 and USEPA, 2003b; ASTM, 2003). Laboratories conducting metals analyses of soils should therefore ensure they have conducted and documented method performance data for the extraction and analysis of these larger masses of soil or sediment.