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Methods and Protocols

The Council promotes the development and use of methods and protocols that support the collection of data of known quality.

National Environmental Methods Index

NEMI water drop image

In the past, comparing the quality and suitability of environmental methods was difficult because there was no master list of substances and methods for their measurement. EPA’s Environmental Monitoring Methods Index (EMMI) grew out of a list of pesticides and other analytes routinely measured by what was then the Industrial Technology Division. Originally known as the “List of Lists”, this list of analytes and methods became EMMI. Between 1990 and 1995, EMMI was expanded to encompass all lists of analytes published in the Code of Federal Regulations plus lists of additional analytes of interest to EPA. The 1995 revision included ~4200 substances and 3600 method abstracts with information on various media such as water, soil, air, and tissues and, when available, detection limits. EMMI could be searched by synonym, apparatus, CAS number, and other useful fields. When EMMI was developed, fields were created for future inclusion of method performance information. Independently, the first database of EPA method summaries linked to lists of analytes was published in 1990 in three volumes on diskettes. An MS Windows version of EPA pesticide method summaries followed in 1995.

But even in 1995, no uniform standardized criteria existed in the world for comparing critical components of environmental analytical methods with each other or with a user’s project-specific needs. Instead, published methods typically focused on specific analytical objectives and ignored information that would allow users to assess whether data from one particular method will be comparable with data produced by other methods and project designs.

To address this problem, a multiagency Methods and Data Comparability Board (MDCB) developed NEMI, a major design component of which is to make comparisons of methods, and therefore the data generated from those methods, more straightforward.

Guidance for Sensor Users

More information coming soon... Go to www.watersensors.org to learn more...