Office of Research and Development; Ambient Air Monitoring Reference and Equivalent Methods: Designation of a New Reference Method

Summary:

Notice is hereby given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated, in accordance with 40 CFR Part 53, a new reference method for measuring mass concentrations of coarse particulate matter (PM 10-2.5) in the ambient air.

For further information contact:

Surender Kaushik, Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (MD-D205-03), National Exposure Research Laboratory, U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711. Phone: (919) 541-5691, e-mail:Kaushik.Surender@epa.gov.

Supplementary information:

In accordance with regulations at 40 CFR Part 53, the EPA evaluates various methods for monitoring the concentrations of those ambient air pollutants for which EPA has established National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQSs) as set forth in 40 CFR Part 50. Monitoring methods that are determined to meet specific requirements for adequacy are designated by the EPA as either reference methods or equivalent methods (as applicable), thereby permitting their use under 40 CFR Part 58 by States and other agencies for determining attainment of the NAAQSs.

The EPA hereby announces the designation of a new reference method for measuring mass concentrations of coarse particulate matter (PM 10-2.5) in the ambient air. This designation is made under the provisions of 40 CFR Part 53, as amended on December 18, 2006 (71 FR 61271).

The new reference method for PM 10-2.5 is a manual method that utilizes a pair of FRM samplers that has already been designated as PM 2.5(RFPS-0498-116) and PM 10C(RFPS-1298-125), and the requirements specified in Appendix O of 40 CFR Part 50. The newly designated PM 10-2.5 reference method is identified as follows:

RFPS-1208-173, “BGI Incorporated Model PQ200 PM 10-2.5 sampler pair for the determination of coarse particulate matter as PM 10-2.5 consisting of a pair of BGI Model PQ200 samplers, with one configured for sampling PM 2.5(RFPS-0498-116) and the other configured for sampling PM 10c(RFPS-1298-125) with the PM 2.5 separator replaced with a BGI WINS Eliminator and operated in accordance with the Model PQ200 Instruction manual supplement Appendix O.

An application for a reference method determination for the candidate method was received by the EPA on July 31, 2008. The sampler pair is commercially available from the applicant, BGI Incorporated, 58 Guinan Street, Waltham, MA 02451, USA (http://www.bgiusa.com).

After reviewing the information submitted by the applicant in the application, EPA has determined, in accordance with CFR Parts 53 (as amended on October 17, 2006), that this method should be designated as a reference method. The information submitted by the applicant in the application will be kept on file, either at EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711 or in an approved archive storage facility, and will be available for inspection (with advance notice) to the extent consistent with 40 CFR Part 2 (EPA's regulations implementing the Freedom of Information Act).

As a designated reference method, this method is acceptable for use by states and other air monitoring agencies under the requirements of 40 CFR Part 58, Ambient Air Quality Surveillance. For such purposes, the method must be used in strict accordance with the operation or instruction manual associated with the method and subject to any specifications and limitations (e.g., configuration or operational settings) specified in the applicable designation method description (see the identifications of the method above).

Use of the method should also be in general accordance with the guidance and recommendations of applicable sections of the “Quality Assurance Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems, Volume I,” EPA/600/R-94/038a and “Quality Assurance Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems, Volume II, Part 1,” EPA-454/R-98-004 (available at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/amtic/qabook.html). Vendor modifications of a designated reference method used for purposes of Part 58 are permitted only with prior approval of the EPA, as provided in Part 53. Provisions concerning modification of such methods by users are specified under Section 2.8 (Modifications of Methods by Users) of Appendix C to 40 CFR Part 58.

In general, a method designation applies to any sampler or analyzer which is identical to the sampler or analyzer described in the application for designation. In some cases, similar samplers or analyzers manufactured prior to the designation may be upgraded or converted (e.g., by minor modification or by substitution of the approved operation or instruction manual) so as to be identical to the designated method and thus achieve designated status. The manufacturer should be consulted to determine the feasibility of such upgrading or conversion.

Part 53 requires that sellers of designated reference or equivalent method analyzers or samplers comply with certain conditions. These conditions are specified in 40 CFR 53.9 and are summarized below:

(a) A copy of the approved operation or instruction manual must accompany the sampler or analyzer when it is delivered to the ultimate purchaser.

(b) The sampler or analyzer must not generate any unreasonable hazard to operators or to the environment.

(c) The sampler or analyzer must function within the limits of the applicable performance specificationsgiven in 40 CFR Parts 50 and 53 for at least one year after delivery when maintained and operated in accordance with the operation or instruction manual.

(d) Any sampler or analyzer offered for sale as part of a reference or equivalent method must bear a label or sticker indicating that it has been designated as part of a reference or equivalent method in accordance with Part 53 and showing its designated method identification number.

(e) If such an analyzer has two or more selectable ranges, the label or sticker must be placed in close proximity to the range selector and indicate which range or ranges have been included in the reference or equivalent method designation.

(f) An applicant who offers samplers or analyzers for sale as part of a reference or equivalent method is required to maintain a list of ultimate purchasers of such samplers or analyzers and to notify them within 30 days if a reference or equivalent method designation applicable to the method has been canceled or if adjustment of the sampler or analyzer is necessary under 40 CFR 53.11(b) to avoid a cancellation.

(g) An applicant who modifies a sampler or analyzer previously designated as part of a reference or equivalent method is not permitted to sell the sampler or analyzer (as modified) as part of a reference or equivalent method (although it may be sold without such representation), nor to attach a designation label or sticker to the sampler or analyzer (as modified) under the provisions described above, until the applicant has received notice under 40 CFR 53.14(c) that the original designation or a new designation applies to the method as modified, or until the applicant has applied for and received notice under 40 CFR 53.8(b) of a new reference or equivalent method determination for the sampler or analyzer as modified.

Aside from occasional breakdowns or malfunctions, consistent or repeated noncompliance with any of these conditions should be reported to: Director, Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (MD-E205-01), National Exposure Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711.

Designation of this new reference method is intended to assist the States in establishing and operating their air quality surveillance systems under 40 CFR Part 58. Questions concerning the commercial availability or technical aspects of the method should be directed to the applicant.

Jewel F. Morris,

Acting Director, National Exposure Research Laboratory.

References

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