A Guideline for
Dynamic Workplans and Field Analytics:
The Keys to Cost-Effective Site Characterization and Cleanup
"Dynamic workplan" is the term used to describe a hazardous waste
site characterization approach that incorporates several key elements:
Systematic planning of a site characterization project must be
performed before any field activities begin by using a well-rounded technical
team. With stakeholder input, the team determines the site decisions,
which are clearly stated goals and objectives for the investigation. Once the
site decisions are defined, the kind of information needed to support
scientifically and legally defensible site decisions can be determined. From
this, a Conceptual Site Model (CSM) can be constructed, and the types
and quality of data needed to fill existing information gaps can be
When the data quality needs have been determined (i.e.,
establish DQOs), the analytical methods/equipment are selected that will
be used to supply that data. If site decisions can be made with qualitative or
semi-quantitative data, field methods can often be used. Even when quantitative
data is needed, a wide variety of rugged field analytical equipment and methods
now exist that permit the generation of high quality data at the site location.
On-site generation of data provides "immediate" decision-making
capability which can rapidly and efficiently guide characterization efforts by
means of an adaptive sampling strategy, which uses the previous day's
results to feed into the CSM and decision-making process to direct the
collection of the next round of samples. This permits rapid location and
definition of hotspots, guides the removal or treatment of contaminated media,
and quickly identifies when enough information has been collected to address
the site decision. It is then easy to minimize the collection and analysis of
uninformative samples, to avoid unnecessary treatment, and to tell when the
project is "done," thus saving time and money. The use of a dynamic
workplan often allows projects to be completed in only one field mobilization.
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