Pace Logo

TCLP Testing Services

Experienced TCLP Analysis You Can Trust

The safe handling, transportation, and disposal of potentially hazardous waste requires an in-depth understanding of its chemical components. Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) can provide that data, but it is a complex process. The Pace® TCLP Center of Excellence is staffed with professionals with deep experience gained from years of working with landfills and waste management organizations. The TCLP Center of Excellence can manage even the most challenging characterization projects with efficiency and accuracy. For our customers, this translates to:

Contact us today.

What Is TCLP?

Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure, also known as TCLP testing, helps ensure environmental safety when handling, transporting, or disposing of potentially hazardous materials. TCLP is a chemical analysis process used to analyze the presence of hazardous compounds in waste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified 40 toxic chemicals that may harm the environment when products containing them are disposed of in landfills.

TCLP testing simulates acidic leaching through a landfill. The resultant leachate is then characterized to quantify the extent of the danger. This information is often used to determine the appropriate method for waste disposal. Specifically, TCLP testing identifies:

How Does Leaching Occur?

Leaching occurs when liquids are filtered through waste deposits in a landfill. When the liquid meets the buried wastes, it can draw out chemicals of concern. The contaminated liquid is referred to as leachate.

garbage in landfill against blue sky. TCLP, TCLP test, hazardous waste characterization, TCLP metals, What is a TCLP test
Pace Scientist working in laboratory. TCLP, TCLP test, hazardous waste characterization, TCLP metals, What is a TCLP test

How Are Samples Prepared For TCLP Testing?

Prior to starting the TCLP method, the laboratory must classify the waste sample received as liquid or solid by determining the percent of solids. If the sample is greater than 0.5% solids, the sample is characterized as solid waste. A sample with less than 0.5% solids is characterized as liquid waste. Samples characterized as liquid waste become the sample extract and are prepped for analytical testing as required by RCRA (Resource Recovery and Conservation Act.)

What Is The Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP) Method?

The Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP) extraction process is similar to TCLP, but its project applicability differs. SPLP is generally used for soil samples to determine how easily contaminants present in soil will leach into groundwater. SPLP is often requested for projects where environmental engineers want to evaluate the risk of groundwater contamination from the land application of waste materials. In contrast, TCLP is used for waste characterization prior to disposal at a landfill and can be performed on liquid, solid, or multi-phasic samples.

Pace Scientist working in laboratory. TCLP, TCLP test, hazardous waste characterization, TCLP metals, What is a TCLP test

What TCLP Extraction Methods Does Pace® Support?

Pace® offers the following extraction methods to support a large list of analyte methods.

Who We Serve

Pace® provides TCLP testing for various industries and business concerns. Here are some common types of clients we help.

Environmental Consultants And Engineers

Consultants often manage the disposal and cleanup of industry-generated waste. They also support landfills and waste handlers.

Landfills/Waste Handlers

Landfill operators and waste handlers accept waste based on individual landfill permits. Fast waste characterization via TCLP testing may be needed to ensure the suitability of the disposal site.


Many industries generate waste that must be characterized before disposal. RCRA requires that industrial waste be characterized following testing protocols published by the EPA.


Many local governments have at least some responsibilities for waste management. Municipalities may own solid waste facilities, such as transfer stations, recycling centers, combustors, and landfills.

Pace® TCLP Center Of Excellence

Regulations require facilities producing potentially hazardous waste to know its composition so they can manage it properly and protect their employees, the environment, and the public. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires industrial and other waste to be characterized following testing protocols published by the EPA. Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure, also known as TCLP, is one of these tests, and it is not a simple process. In this blog, learn why Pace® dedicated a lab to this procedure.

Additional Resources

Need to find a lab that can handle your unique requirements?
Contact us directly or download our list of environmental certifications across our network.