ABSTRACT: A Regulator's Perspective on Environmental Site Investigations
HOOSE, SEENA N., Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Jose, CA
Recognizing and applying fundamental scientific principles are critical to accomplishing thorough and cost-effective site investigations. All too often, investigators ignore factors such as gravity, groundwater movement parallel to flow lines, comparison of data collected under similar conditions (i.e., don't mix apples and oranges), the variability of geologic conditions, and established methods for collecting and describing geologic information. Commonly, the excuse presented for such unscientific work is the press of time or that "the client wouldn't pay for a research project."Added costs are the unfortunate consequences of incomplete or inadequate investigations. Regulatory agencies eventually will require the work done over again correctly. Contamination may continue to migrate uring the interim, resulting in lost resources, public endangerment, and increased cost for remediation paid by the client or the public. The registered geologist who is in charge of the investigation has a moral, ethical, and professional duty to prevent these usually elementary scientific mistakes.