U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

For more information on Optimization, please contact:

Kirby Biggs
Technology Integration and Information Branch

PH: 202-823-3081 | Email:


Optimization Stages:  Investigation

Optimization Stage:  Investigation Investigation Stage Design Stage Remedy Stage LTMO Stage

Optimization during site assessment and remedial investigation (RI) focuses on developing an improved conceptual site model (CSM) to facilitate the identification of data gaps as the basis for recommending effective sampling and analysis strategies and technologies. Optimization focuses on increasing data density, usability and reliability; minimizing project costs through reduced mobilizations and report generation; and supporting the evaluation and selection of remedial alternatives. Techniques such as incremental sampling and three-dimensional (3-D) visualization may be explored in order to obtain more information about contamination at the site. To learn more about the related Superfund pipeline stages, visit Site Assessment Links to a website outside of Clu-In and Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study Links to a website outside of Clu-In.

To see information about optimization for the other pipeline or optimization stages, visit Design stage, Remedy stage or LTMO stage.

The following are sample types of data analyses performed during an investigation stage optimization:

  • Identification of various sources of uncertainty and prioritization of addressing those sources of uncertainty
  • Interpretation of existing conceptual site model (CSM) and identification of data gaps
  • Considerations for CSM refinement
  • 3-D visualization and analysis
  • Interpretation of characterization data
  • Considerations for applying innovative sampling strategies and statistical sampling designs
  • Considerations for applying real-time data collection technologies
  • Considerations for developing dynamic work plans for characterization
  • Considerations for electronic data management
  • Considerations for technology selection and demonstration of applicability to the site
  • Receptor and pathway data needs, sequencing of proposed activities

Additional information on optimization is available within Superfund Remediation Optimization:  Definition, Scope, and Approach. In addition, following are some of the resources used during an investigation stage optimization.

Selected Resources

Click on a column heading to sort the table. Search for additional publications or resources by keyword or topic using the Search page.

  Title Document Number Type Date
PDF Demonstrations of Method Applicability under a Triad Approach for Site Assessment and Cleanup - Technology Bulletin August 2008 EPA 542-F-08-006 Factsheet 2008
PDF Green Remediation Best Management Practices: Site Investigation EPA 542-F-09-004 Factsheet 2009
PDF Improving Sampling, Analysis, and Data Management for Site Investigation and Cleanup EPA 542-F-04-001a Factsheet 2004
PDF Saving Time & Money: The Brownfields and Land Revitalization Technology Support Center EPA 542-F-10-001 Factsheet 2010
PDF Advancing Best Management Practices: Applying the Triad Approach in the Superfund Program OSWER 9200.1-55 General Publication 2006
Web New Approaches Studied to Investigate Vapor Intrusion N/A General Publication 2009
PDF Remediation Optimization: Definition, Scope and Approach EPA 542-R-13-008 General Publication 2013
PDF Streamlining Site Cleanup in New York City EPA 542-R-10-005 General Publication 2010
Web Integrating Water and Waste Programs to Restore Watersheds: A Guide for Federal and State Project Managers EPA 540-K-07-001 Guidance 2007
Web Superfund Website - Soil Screening Guidance N/A Guidance 2011
Web NARPM Presents...Practical Applications and Methods of Optimization across the Superfund Pipeline (Part 1) N/A Online Resource 2013
Web NARPM Presents...Practical Applications and Methods of Optimization across the Superfund Pipeline (Part 2) N/A Online Resource 2013
Web FRTR Website - Remediation Optimization N/A Online Resources 2014
Web Superfund Website - Remedial Investigations/Feasibility Studies & Treatability Studies & Costing N/A Online Resources 2011
PDF Best Management Practices: Use of Systematic Project Planning Under a Triad Approach for Site Assessment and Cleanup EPA 542-F-10-010 Technical Publication 2010
PDF Implementing Systematic Project Planning N/A Technical Publication 2006
PDF Managing Uncertainty in Environmental Decisions N/A Technical Publication 2001
PDF Summary of the Triad Approach N/A Technical Publication 2004
PDF Technical and Regulatory Guidance for the Triad Approach: A New Paradigm for Environmental Project Management ITRC SCM-1 Technical Publication 2003
PDF Triad Issue Paper: Using Geophysical Tools to Develop the Conceptual Site Model EPA 542-F-08-007 Technical Publication 2008
PDF Use of Dynamic Work Strategies Under a Triad Approach for Site Assessment and Cleanup - Technology Bulletin EPA 542-F-05-008 Technical Publication 2005
PDF Using the Triad Approach to Improve the Cost-effectiveness of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanups EPA 542-R-01-016 Technical Publication 2001

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