Composite Sampling

Volume 4 of the series Environmental and Ecological Statistics pp 209-225


Composite Sampling of Soils and Sediments

  • Ganapati P. PatilAffiliated withCenter for Statistical Ecology and Environmental Statistics, Pennsylvania State University Email author 
  • , Sharad D. GoreAffiliated withDepartment of Statistics, University of Pune
  • , Charles Taillie*Affiliated withCenter for Statistical Ecology and Environmental Statistics, Penn State University

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set reporting requirements for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) spills and views PCB spills as improper disposal of PCBs. The EPA has determined that PCB spills must be controlled and cleaned up. Components of the cleanup process may include, among other things, sampling and analysis to determine the materials spilled. The level of action required is dependent on the amount of spilled liquid, PCB concentration, spill area and dispersion potential, and potential human exposure. A sampling design is proposed by Boomer et al. (1985) for use by EPA enforcement staff. The proposed design involves sampling on a hexagonal grid which is centered on the spill site and extends just beyond its boundaries. Compositing strategies, in which several samples are pooled and analyzed together, are recommended.