National Guidance Documents on Use and Application of Passive Samplers

ESTCP is pleased to announce the release of two new documents that provide guidance on the application of passive sampling to manage contaminated sediment sites:

The User's Manual is a joint ESTCP and EPA document written by leaders in this rapidly expanding field. The User's Manual provides chapters covering the use of polyoxyemthylene (POM), polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) for hydrophobic organic compounds, diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGTs) for metals, field deployment and retrieval methods, selection and use of performance reference compounds, quality assurance and quality control procedures, and methods for laboratory analysis. Case studies and examples of Standard Operating Procedures and Quality Assurance Project Plans are included.

The Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) Guide provides guidance to RPMs on how to integrate passive sampling into management of contaminated sediment sites. Written as a companion document to the User's Manual, the author team conducted extensive interviews with RPMs (DoD and EPA), scientists, analytical laboratories, and practitioners. From their input, the Guide focuses principally on passive sampling of hydrophobic organic compounds (e.g. PCBs, dioxin/furans, PAHs) using POM, PDMS or LDPE. The document is intended to help the RPM answer the following questions:

  • What do passive samplers measure?
  • What value do passive sampling measurements provide?
  • For which chemicals are passive sampling measurements most useful?
  • Can passive samplers be used at any stage of the remedial investigation, feasibility study, or remediation process?
  • Can passive samplers be useful if data for remedial investigations have been collected using other methods?
  • How important are Data Quality Objectives (DQOs) and the quality assurance (QA) process for incorporating passive sampling into your program?
  • What do I need to know about sample collection and processing?
  • What do I need to know about working with congeners for PCBs, dioxins/furans, and individual compounds for mixtures of PAHs?
  • Are there commercial laboratories that can do this work?
  • Does this work require specialized expertise?

Taken together, these documents provide the latest information on the use of passive samplers at contaminated sediment sites.

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