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Monitoring for PCBs

To support the implementation of the PCB Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the Delaware Estuary, DRBC monitors ambient waters, sediment and fish tissue to provide precise and defensible data on PCB concentrations in the Delaware Estuary.

DRBC also requires monitoring from point source dischargers.

The following information has been assembled to assist docket holders in completing their PCB sampling requirements:

  1. Analysis will be conducted utilizing DRBC project-specific modifications (pdf 125 KB; revised 2/3/05*) of U.S. EPA Method 1668, Revision A (pdf 688 KB)

  2. Sample Labeling and Identification Protocols (pdf 50 KB)

  3. Sample Size:

    1. Two 2-liter (nominal)** samples to be collected in PCB proofed amber glass jars

    2. The entire volume of one 2-liter amber glass jar will be extracted for analysis. The second jar will be archived for possible future analysis.

  4. Sample collection techniques (pdf 65 KB)

  5. Analysis will conducted for 209 PCB congeners (pdf 25 KB) utilizing the following data qualifier flags (pdf 5 KB) and convention for reporting coeluting congeners (pdf 36 KB)

  6. Sample extracts will be concentrated to 20 ul

  7. Analysis will be conducted utilizing a SPB-octyl column

  8. Calibration will consist of a minimum of five levels utilizing a 0.5 ng/ml standard for the low concentration calibration

  9. Sample must meet method blank contamination decision rules (pdf 30 KB)

  10. Sample must meet rinsate blank contamination decision rules (pdf 60 KB)

  11. Results must be reported to the Estimated Detection Limit (EDL) (pdf 7 KB)

  12. Results are to be reported utilizing a common Electronic Data Deliverable (EDD) and Data Package Deliverable (DPD). EDD format must be verified using DRBC’s Data Checker, and EDD files must be either emailed (preferably) to PCB_PMP@drbc.gov or mailed to DRBC on a CD or flash drive; DPDs should be retained and available upon request for 5 years.

    1. Electronic Data Deliverable (EDD) protocols (pdf 58 KB; revised 10/30/2019)

    2. Data Package Deliverable (DPD) protocols (pdf 104 KB; revised 2/18/2005)

    3. PCB Data Checker and Instructions (zip file; 8 MB)


* Storage temperature is now <6°C and preservation with sulfuric acid has been removed.

** In some instances, collection of precisely a 2-liter volume may not be possible. If the sample size falls below 2 liters, the Estimated Detection Limits (EDLs) will become elevated above project objectives. If the volume exceeds 2 liters, the additional volume poses difficulties in extracting the sample properly. The sample size collected can acceptably range from 1.8 liters to 2.1 liters, but should be as close as possible to 2 liters.

Data Glossary (pdf 40 KB)

Listing of Laboratories Known to Perform Low Level PCB Congener Analyses (pdf 363 KB; updated June 2017)