ESRI ArcUser Magazine: New Jersey Uses GIS to Collect Site Remediation Data

April 5, 1998

Using GIS To Manage Remediation Data


GIS holds great potential as a tool for managing environmental site remediation data. While using GIS to locate Superfund sites is commonplace, GIS has played only a minor role in the review and analysis of chemical data gathered during an investigation or monitoring activity.

There are a number of reasons why GIS has not become commonplace in the evaluation of site remediation data. First, remediation projects generate huge volumes of data. Hard-copy Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) reports can easily fill 10 or more boxes. Transferring data from paper to electronic format can be a daunting and costly task.

Second, GIS traditionally has not been used by remediation specialists during the decision making process. Typically the work of project managers, chemists, geologists, and risk assessors is brought together in static reports. A method for integrating these reports with GIS was not immediately apparent. Some participants in the remediation process were unfamiliar with GIS and related computer technologies.

In addition, objective measurements for pollution abatement have not been agreed on within the regulatory community. “Bean-counts” and dollars spent on cleanups or containment have been the classic measure. While easily compiled, these data have not demonstrated a direct link to enhanced safety to people or the environment. Actually, this method of measuring progress has been a major source of friction between regulators and the regulated community.

Read the rest of the article in ESRI’s ArcUser Magazine.

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