2007 and 2012 Methods Update Rule

This page is for informational purposes only. Federal Regulations require adherence to the 2017 MUR, found on the Non-Field Rules and Regulations page.

2007 MUR 

The US EPA issued Guidelines for Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants under the Clean Water Act; National Primary Drinking Water Regulations; Analysis and Sampling Procedures; Final Rule (3/12/2007). This rule became effective April 11, 2007. 

2007 Methods Update Rule Announcement Letter (4/19/2007) 

Federal Register Notices

Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants - 40 CFR Part 136 (3/12/2007)

Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants - 40 CFR Part 136 (3/26/2007) 

Oil and Grease Methods

Letter Describing Federal Register Changes for Oil and Grease

EPA email regarding Hexane purity for EPA 1664

No freon use after April 11, 2007

2012 MUR 

On May 18, 2012, EPA promulgated changes to the list of Clean Water Act (CWA) methods at 40 CFR Part 136.3. This action, referred to as the Methods Update Rule (MUR), approves new methods or changes to existing methods, that affects over 100 EPA methods, Standard Methods, ASTM methods, and other test procedures in Part 136 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The final rule may be found at:


          · Allows only one approved revision of a method to be used for testing under 40 CFR 136.

· Includes new standardized quality assurance and control requirements.

· Makes some changes to sample collection, preservation, and holding times.


Methods naming convention

One major change with this MUR is the format for referencing methods in Standard Methods has changed significantly. The old system of referencing by editions of Standard Methods is no longer used. Instead the methods are reference by year (i.e., the year approved by Standard Methods Committee). For example, instead of BOD being referenced as SM 18th Edition 5210 B (multiple Editions were approved), the only approved method now is referenced as 5210 B – 2001. The approved date may be found by checking the footnote on the method introduction, as illustrated below:


* Approved by Standard Methods Committee, 2001.

Joint Task Group: James C. Young (chair), George T. Bowman, Sabry M.

Kamhawy, Terry G. Mills, Marlene Patillo, Ray C. Whittemore.


In this example, the approved BOD method may be found in either the 21st or 22nd Editions, or on line. You may notice that some methods in the 22nd Edition of Standard Methods have editorial revision dates in addition to the Standard Methods Committee approval date. Refer only to the Standard Methods Committee approval date when determining whether the method is approved.

If you are currently using an older edition of Standard Methods (e.g., 18thEdition) that does not include the approved methods, purchasing the 22nd Edition will cover most approved methods or purchasing the online subscription will cover all.


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