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Investigation versus Remediation: Perception and Reality
Emma P. Popek, Ph.D., Field Analytical Services Manager
OHM Remediation Services Corp., 5731 West Las Positas, Pleasanton, California 94588 telephone (510) 227-1105 ext. 426, fax (510) 463-0719 Garabet H. Kassakhian, Ph.D., Quality Assurance Director Tetra Tech, Inc., 670 North Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena, California 91107-2190, telephone (818) 351-4664

Paper published in the Proceedings of WTQA '97 (13th Annual Waste Testing & Quality Assurance Symposium), pp. 183-188.

Investigative strategies, not based on project Data Quality Objectives (DQO) and/or not statistically justified, have a high risk of producing non-representative analytical data. The problem is further aggravated by a data validation process that is often devoid of professional judgment. As a result, many site investigation (SI) studies do not provide sufficient or representative chemical data necessary to make solid decisions related to the selection and implementation of remedial actions. Case studies often demonstrate the discrepancy between the commonly grossly underestimated extent, type and magnitude of contamination reported in the SI and the reality that is uncovered during the actual remediation work. Causes for inadequate site investigation work are discussed, and remedies are proposed.

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