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Total CEUs for This E-Course: 15.2 CEUs

Modules Included in This E-Course

Collection of soil samples for volatile organic compound (VOC) analysis is a critical component of environmental investigations at many sites, ranging from service stations and drycleaners to Superfund sites, and at many key stages of site investigations, from initial characterization to remedial design to verification that site closure standards have been met. Traditional soil sample collection and handling methods used for VOCs are subject to significant sources of bias and error that commonly result in gross underestimation of actual sample concentrations. Given the magnitude of the decisions that are made based on these data, the technical and economic impacts of using these sampling methods can be enormous.

This 14-module E-Course covers the topic of soil sampling for VOCs comprehensively. The first 3 modules of the course set the stage for the remainder of the course by covering the science behind soil sampling, including the importance of developing an understanding of the heterogeneity of subsurface materials and the physical and chemical properties of soil samples (and any contaminants in the samples), how samples should be collected and handled to preserve these properties, how traditional sampling methods can result in significant sources of error in field and lab analyses, and how more up-to-date sampling methods provide much higher confidence in sample analytical results. Also addressed are the limitations of conventional site characterization approaches, the economic and technical advantages of using accelerated/expedited site characterization, and how to determine how many soil borings and samples are enough to satisfy site-specific sampling program objectives.

The remainder of this E-Course focuses on operation and use of a variety of soil sampling equipment (from hand augers and push-tubes to direct-push and sonic drilling, including numerous ASTM standards on soil sample collection methods); proper use of US EPA Method 5035B for soil sample collection and preservation (volumetric methods and chemical preservation methods); soil sample description and handling in the field; field sample analysis options for VOCs in soil samples; field equipment decontamination procedures; implementation of field quality assurance/quality control protocols to ensure both precision and accuracy in soil sampling events; soil sample handling and shipment; and documentation of environmental sampling events to ensure defensibility of data.

In the field video portions of these modules, students learn how to collect soil samples using direct-push, hollow-stem auger and sonic drilling methods; how to describe and handle soil samples in the field; how to properly clean soil sampling equipment; how to collect quality control samples for soil; how to use headspace and extraction methods to analyze samples for VOCs in the field; and how to correctly use the volumetric sampling methods and chemical preservation/extraction methods required by U.S. EPA Method 5035B for collection and preservation of soil samples for VOC analysis.

Students will be able to immediately apply information provided in this course to field projects where VOCs are of concern and, in doing so, should significantly improve the quality of data generated during soil investigations so sound decisions can be made in a cost-effective manner.

Modules Included in This E-Course

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