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 January 2024, 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
146 Entries
4 years ago



ISM is increasingly being used in the environmental field for sampling contaminants in soil. Proponents have found that the sampling density afforded by collecting many increments, together with the disciplined processing and subsampling of the combined increments, in most cases yields more consistent and reproducible results than those obtained by more traditional (i.e., discrete) sampling approaches.

In 2009, ITRC established a technical team to evaluate ISM for sampling soils at hazardous waste sites and potentially contaminated properties. The ISM Team convened national experts in fields such as toxicology, risk assessment, statistics, and soil sampling. This 2012 guidance analyzes ISM performance, identifies considerations for unique laboratory processes and procedures, evaluates the suitability of ISM to various contamination scenarios and contaminant categories, and identifies the strengths and weaknesses of ISM.


4 years ago



The web-based guidance designed to help state regulators and other practitioners understand, evaluate, and select ASCTs to support site conceptual site model and remedial strategy development and refinement. The document describes site characterization tools that can quickly deliver semi-quantitative or qualitative data to identify locations and depths where quantitative data should be collected. These same tools typically aid in visualizing and understanding the physical and environmental characteristics of a site.  Such capabilities help target investigations and remedial actions, potentially reducing characterization and monitoring costs while improving results. ASCTs designed to provide contaminant-related data are often used in combined to bolster one another. The combination of ASCTs promotes a better understanding of the relationship between contamination mass and site geology. This understanding enhances the conceptual site model development and assists in selecting more effective remedial strategies. ASCTs in this document are divided into four general categories: direct sensing tools, downhole geophysical tools, surface geophysical tools, and remote sensing tools. An interactive ASCTs Selection Tool is provided to identify appropriate tools and information for collecting geologic, hydrologic, and chemical data. Once one or more prospective tools have been identified, more detailed information about a tool can be obtained by reviewing the description of the tool in the web-based document and the Tool Summary Tables, Case Studies, and Checklists. The Tool Summary Tables, Case Studies, and Checklists can be downloaded from the ASCT webpage in a printable format (PDF).


5 years ago



The ITRC TPH Risk Evaluation at Petroleum-Contaminated Sites (TPHRisk-1) guidance builds on long-standing and current research, and presents the current science for evaluating TPH risk at petroleum-contaminated sites. The methods and procedures to evaluate human and ecological risk and establish cleanup requirements at petroleum release sites will assist decision makers in developing and implementing a technically defensible approach. In addition, the guidance provides information and supplemental references to assist practitioners in the assessment of fate, transport, exposure, and toxicity of TPH. Practitioners will also gain information that may be used in conjunction with classic tiered approaches for risk-based decision making (ASTM 2015b), including modifications for the assessment and remedial-decision framework for TPH impacts through direct comparison to screening levels, site-specific modification of screening levels, and complete site-specific risk assessment for sources, receptors, and pathways.


5 years ago



This guidance offers the user details on post-construction stormwater BMP performance evaluation. The guidance is based on BMP lifecycle processes from selection to long-term maintenance. National verification programs and public-domain data repositories are featured to provide reliable, vetted data sources to the user for evaluating their BMP needs. The document provides applicable lifecycle considerations including contracting and overall costs. Installation factors are detailed from construction challenges to inspection checklists, quality control factors and record drawings. It goes on to address long-term technology- and performance-based operational strategies, including aspects such as routine and non-routine maintenance. Data and information from existing publicly available BMP performance programs has been incorporated into an online BMP Screening Tool. Using site-specific pollutant treatment requirements and installation considerations, the Tool can assist the user by narrowing BMP options to a list appropriate for given site conditions. The Tool also provides users summarized information on the treatment efficiency, installation requirements and maintenance issues regarding the identified BMPs, with links that connect the user with detailed data and fast links to information from across the nation.


5 years ago



The Evaluation of Innovative Methane Detection Technologies (METHANE-1) document was developed to provide an overview of existing and emerging methane detection technologies as well as guidance regarding performance characteristics and parameters to consider in technology evaluation to enable regulators, facility owners and operators, and other users to evaluate, compare, and select suitable technologies that detect and quantify methane emissions from various segments of the oil and natural gas supply chain for a variety of applications, including compliance with existing and forthcoming methane emission (leak) regulations.


6 years ago



This web-based guidance document presents quality considerations for munitions response (MR) projects. The document explains the decision logic used for an MR project and offers resources for planning and monitoring quality assurance/quality control activities to ensure quality data for confidence in decisions. An overview of the MR process is presented, as well as particular quality considerations at critical decision points for MR projects. Planning for each decision point requires specific quality metrics be assigned and ongoing monitoring confirms project objectives are met.


6 years ago



LNAPL-3 builds upon and supersedes both previous ITRC LNAPL guidance documents in an updated, web-based format. LNAPL-1 and LNAPL-2 are still available for review; however, LNAPL-3 is inclusive of those materials with new topics presented and previous topics elaborated upon and further clarified.

This guidance can be used for any LNAPL site regardless of size and site use and provides a systematic framework to:

  • develop a comprehensive LNAPL Conceptual Site Model (LCSM) for the purpose of identifying specific LNAPL concerns;
  • establish appropriate LNAPL remedial goals and specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART) objectives for identified LNAPL concerns that may warrent remedial considerations;
  • select remedial technologies that will best achieve the LNAPL remedial goals for a site, in the context of the identified LNAPL concerns and conditions; and
  • evaluate the implemented remedial technologies to measure progress toward an identified technology specified endpoint

Also provide a technical overview of NSZD for LNAPL and the methods by which rates can be estimated and measured. For this document, the original ITRC NSZD document (LNAPL-1) was updated and incorporated into the main body and appendix.


6 years ago



This guidance explains the processes controlling contaminant fate and transport in fractured rock, as well as innovative approaches to managing these sites. Additionally, this guidance describes how to develop a useful conceptual site model (CSM) and how to identify strategies to remediate and monitor contamination in fractured rock. Characterizing and remediating contaminated fractured rock sites must account for the complexities of structural control of contaminate fate and transport. Experience and a combination of skills from a number of disciplines is necessary to unravel inherent complexities of fracture flow and control. In as much as the process of characterization and remediation fractured rock is similar to an unlithified subsurface the investigation and tools differ. A Tool selection table is included to streamline the process of considering a set of tools able to collect the correct data.


6 years ago



The Bioavailability in Contaminated Soil document describes the general concepts of the bioavailability of contaminants in soil, reviews the state of the science, and discusses how to incorporate bioavailability into human health risk assessment. This guidance addresses lead, arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons for the incidental ingestion of soil.


6 years ago



This guidance document provides readers with practical steps to manage the remediation process at complex sites where remediation progress is uncertain and remediation is not anticipated to achieve closure or even long-term management within a reasonable time frame. Readers will learn the following: 1) Identify and integrate technical and nontechnical challenges into a holistic approach to remediation, 2) Use a Remediation Potential Assessment to identify whether adaptive site management is warranted due to site complexity, 3) Understand and apply adaptive site management principles, 4) Develop a performance-based long-term management plan, 5) Apply well-demonstrated techniques for effective stakeholder engagement, and 6) Review in-depth case studies of real-world applications of remediation and remediation management at complex sites.