The purpose of this technical guidance document is to advance the appropriate use of ISM for sampling soils at waste sites and potentially contaminated land or properties. In doing so, this document addresses those challenges that constrain or prohibit use of ISM. Some of these challenges may be directly associated with ISM, but as just described, others may be associated with questions poorly addressed in traditional soil sampling approaches using discrete samples. The challenge for developing this document on ISM is quite broad. See Section 8 for a detailed discussion on regulatory challenges and survey issues regarding ISM and how they can be successfully addressed.
While the focus of this document is on sampling shallow soils, other interests and areas, including sampling of deeper soils, are also discussed. In addition, some of the limitations associated with traditional soil sampling practices are not so much attributable to the reliance on discrete samples as they are due to the lack of clear and quantifiable sampling objectives to achieve project goals. Meeting sampling goals is discussed in Section 2 and Section 3 of the document as part of the planning process, as well as part of the sampling design.
ISM usage is increasing in the environmental field. Currently, two states, Alaska and Hawaii, use ISM based on guidance documents that each state has recently developed. In addition, USEPA SW-846 Method 8330B applies incremental sampling procedures for explosive residue field sample collection and laboratory analysis. Thus, it is timely for this document to be issued. Again, it is the intent of the ISM Team that this document advance the appropriate use of ISM, as well as to expand the list of chemical contaminants that can be addressed confidently by ISM.