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Resources for Planning New Data Collections

 When planning for new data collections, there are many factors to consider including:You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.

  • Purpose of project and data collection
  • Potential secondary use of the data
  • Distributions of contaminant
  • Sources of variability
  • Chemical/physical properties
  • Information about the area/process (size/breadth of area, temporal components, geography)
  • Tolerance for potential decision errors and/or precision requirements
  • Sampling/analysis constraints (instrument performance, analytical methods, sample's physical size and shape)
  • Budget
  • Regulatory requirements

The following are some additional resources specific to new data collections that supplement the resources described on Systematic Planning page.

Designing a New Data Collection

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Sampling Designs

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Software for Estimating Sample Sizes and Locations

  • Visual Sample Plan (VSP) is a simple, defensible tool for defining an optimal, technically defensible sampling scheme for site characterization. VSP is applicable for any two-dimensional sampling plan including surface soil, building surfaces, water bodies, or other similar applications.

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  • Introduction to Data Quality Objectives - This course teaches participants the basic elements of the Data Quality Objectives Process.

    Participants learn the elements of this process, how the process applies to a regulatory program at EPA, and how to interpret the consequences of potential decision errors. Then the participants work together as teams to apply the process to some real-life examples.
  • Introduction to Quality Assurance Project Plans - This course is designed for individuals who write, review, and/or approve Quality Assurance Project Plans and is designed with a "how-to" approach. Participants are expected to have some basic grounding in quality assurance principles.

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