3.1.3 Investigation Objectives

Any environmental investigation should include consideration and articulation of project objectives during the planning stages. Ideally, the CSM should lead to the development of these specific project objectives, which vary from project to project and often from phase to phase. The objectives of environmental investigations are not unique to ISM and may include the following:

  • identification and characterization of source areas and releases
  • delineation of the extent of contamination
  • compliance with agency-specific regulatory requirements
  • establishment of background conditions and comparison with site conditions
  • estimation of exposure point concentrations for risk assessment
  • collection of confirmation sampling during and after remediation
  • selection, design, and optimization of remedial options

Investigation objectives may change as projects progress; therefore, new information and objectives must continually be considered. Dynamic or iterative sampling strategies may often prove useful with ISM. For example, additional or alternative DUs may need to be established to better understand the site or to assist in the design and selection of remedial options. Data collected for site characterization purposes may need to be supplemented with new information during the remedial phase of the project to identify volumes requiring remediation more precisely.