Guidance & Documents

ITRC publishes and produces guidance documents and training courses that help state environmental agencies and others gain valuable technical knowledge and develop consistent regulatory approaches for reviewing and approving specific technologies. These include technical overviews, case studies, and technical and regulatory guidance documents. See the latest ITRC Product List, Updated in July 2023, for a list of all of ITRC's published products. 

These documents are written and reviewed by teams of environmental professionals, including state and federal environmental regulators, federal agency representatives, industry experts, community stakeholders, and academia. All ITRC documents undergo a rigorous external review, and all external comments and team responses are captured and posted to the team ITRC Connect community. ITRC will consider a lack of response during the 45-day external review period to signify no serious objection to the content within the product.


Knowledge Map

ITRC's QUEST Knowledge Map is an interactive tool for navigating ITRC's environmental guidance documents and resources, allowing users to filter through ITRC's vast library based on concise subjects.

Guidance Documents
143 Entries
14 days ago



This Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) online document includes the PFAS Technical and Regulatory Guidance Document, PFAS Fact Sheets and Explainer Videos, Training Module Videos and external tables of data and information prepared by the ITRC PFAS Team. The document is designed specifically to support state and federal environmental staff, as well as others (including stakeholders, project managers, and decision makers), to gain a working knowledge of the current state of PFAS science and practice. The web-based nature of this document lends itself to updating of key information in this rapidly evolving subject. It is the intention of ITRC to periodically update the document as significant new information about PFAS develops. The guidance document can be downloaded as a PDF.


2 months ago

Capping is a commonly selected approach for the remediation of subaqueous contaminated sediments. This guidance provides a framework for the design, construction, and long-term monitoring approach for the chemical isolation function of sediment caps. It is intended for regulators, stakeholders, consultants, responsible parties, and owners of contaminated sediment sites where sediment capping has been selected as a remedy.

As a supplement to the ITRC’s 2014 Contaminated Sediments Remediation guidance document, SD-1 provides more details regarding the design, construction, modeling, and long-term monitoring and maintenance of the chemical isolation. 


5 months ago

Groundwater extraction and treatment (aka Pump & Treat or P&T) is not a new remediation technology and is widely used for the cleanup of contaminated sites. Remedies utilizing P&T need to be evaluated, optimized, and adapted to changing site conditions throughout their life cycle - not just at the startup of these systems - to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the remedy, maintain or improve receptor protection, ensure adequate maintenance, reduce cost and liability, reduce the environmental footprint, and improve resiliency to environmental changes.

ITRC's Pump & Treat Optimization guidance provides an understanding of adaptive management as a key to optimization and presents a technical framework for conducting optimization efforts at P&T sites, along with interactive checklists for detailed evaluation and optimization guidance as well as supporting case studies of project implementation.


9 months ago

Microplastics (MP) are ubiquitous in our environment and pose one of the biggest emerging threats to the global environmental community. The science surrounding MP, their potential health effects, and knowledge of their fate and transport is very new and ongoing, with research articles being published at a rapidly accelerating rate. Even techniques and best practices for sample collection and analysis of these tiny particles and fibers are still very much evolving. ITRC's Microplastics Team has synthesized the available information on MP into a single comprehensive guidance document.


10 months ago

ITRC's Hydrocarbons Training Team (Effective Application of Guidance Documents for Hydrocarbons Sites) has developed new tools and training to address data gaps that occur from reviewing multiple source files on this topic. This training site builds upon the information presented in three popular ITRC Guidance Documents: Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (LNAPL), Petroleum Vapor Intrusion (PVI), and Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) Risk Evaluation. 


10 months ago

There is a greater need to store, manage, and interpret environmental data for effective decision-making in today's ever-more complicated world, and the demand for accurate, reliable, and accessible data from state regulatory agencies and other organizations is only expected to grow. ITRC's Environmental Data Management Best Practices guidance documents are designed specifically for state, tribal, and federal environmental staff, as well as others (including stakeholders, project managers, and decision-makers), to gain a working knowledge of best practices for environmental data management (EDM). The document was developed by a team of over 400 environmental practitioners drawn from state and federal government, academia, industry, environmental consulting, and public interest groups.

These Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) online resources include Fact Sheets, Subtopic Sheets, Checklists, Case Studies, Interactive Tools, and Supporting Documents prepared by the Environmental Data Management Best Practices (EDMBP) Team. Links within the online document help the reader locate interrelated topics. The web-based nature of this document lends itself to updating key information in this continually evolving subject.


one year ago

Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms (HCBs) are complex ecological phenomenon that can occur where cyanobacteria proliferate and dominate aquatic ecosystems including lakes, streams, rivers, reservoirs, ponds, and freshwater-influenced estuaries. They serve as vibrant hubs for recreation, tourism, and local identity. Human activities can influence and alter their natural ecological equilibrium. Freshwater inland lakes and reservoirs supply approximately 70% of our nation’s drinking water and industry withdrawals.

HCBs can occur in many parts of a water body. Planktonic HCBs occur when cyanobacteria dominate the water column (pelagic zones) of water bodies. In addition to being suspended in the open water, some cyanobacterial species grow attached to surfaces in a water body. These attached cyanobacteria can grow at the bottom of a water body (benthic zone) but may also be found nearer to the surface growing on submerged vegetation or woody debris.

A companion to ITRC's first Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms document (HCB-1), this brand-new Benthic Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms (HCB-2) document dives into the unique challenges in evaluating and communicating the public health and environmental risks of Benthic HCBs, and provides insight into contemporary best management practices for dealing with these harmful toxic blooms.


one year ago

Although some state and federal agencies and other entities have guidance documents regarding soil background, there is not one comprehensive and widely accepted guidance document that summarizes the state of the science on this topic. This ITRC guidance document is intended to fill the gap by providing a comprehensive defensible framework for establishing and using soil background in risk assessments. It focuses on the process of establishing defensible background concentrations of naturally occurring or anthropogenic ambient chemicals to be used for risk assessment at contaminated sites.
#Bioavailability of Contaminants in Soil

2 years ago



Sustainable Resilient Remediation (SRR) is an optimized solution to cleaning up and reusing a hazardous waste site that limits negative environmental impacts, maximizes social and economic benefits, and creates resilience against increasing threats. The objective of this SRR guidance is to provide resources for regulators, stakeholders, consultants and responsible parties to help integrate sustainability and resilience practices into remediation projects.


2 years ago



Cyanobacteria are microscopic, photosynthetic organisms that are found naturally in all aquatic environments. Under certain conditions, cyanobacteria can multiply and become very abundant, discoloring the water throughout a water body or accumulating at the surface; these occurrences are known as blooms. This ITRC guidance discusses key aspects of harmful cyanobacterial blooms management that waterbody managers and other interested parties should consider as they respond to these events.