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Triad Benefits

For managers, key benefits of the Triad approach include reduced project costs, expedited schedules, enhanced stakeholder concurrence, and improved site decision-making.

A Triad approach offers several key benefits from a manager's perspective during the characterization and remediation of a hazardous waste site, including reduced characterization costs, expedited schedules, enhanced stakeholder concurrence, and improved site decision-making.

  • Reduced Characterization Costs. The Triad recognizes that, with the right quality assurance and quality controls in place, collaborative data sets containing data produced by a mix of qualitative, semi-quantitative, and quantitative methods can achieve decision quality objectives at often significantly reduced costs as compared to data sets derived solely from standard analytical methods employed by certified laboratories. There are several reasons for these cost savings. First, the types of real-time measurement systems used for sample analyses often have a significantly lower per-analysis cost than their standard analytical counterparts. Second, if one is able to adapt data collection programs in response to real-time results, sampling programs can be kept as focused on decision-making needs as possible, and consequently are as efficient as possible. Third, the availability of real-time data allows unexpected results to be addressed in the framework of one field deployment, minimizing the potential need for return visits to the field for additional data collection. This, in turn, eliminates redundant mobilization and demobilization costs, along with the accompanying expenses of work plan and supporting documentation development.

  • Expedited Schedules. Timely site closure requires timely decisions. Timely decisions require timely supporting data. With its emphasis on real-time measurement technologies, one of the Triad's strengths is its ability to produce timely data to support hazardous waste site decision-making. With real-time measurement systems, unexpected results during data collection can be resolved during the course of data collection work, provided contingencies have been built into the supporting planning documents. This minimizes the potential need for multiple consecutive sampling programs. The Triad also provides the possibility for integrating characterization, remediation, and closure activities into one field mobilization when site conditions and the accompanying regulatory framework allow. For example, a traditional soil remediation effort that involved the removal of contaminated soils would typically require sufficient data to design the excavation completely before remediation began. Using a Triad approach, dynamic work strategies can be implemented for the excavation as well. These allow excavation to proceed on limited initial data, with real-time data collection taking place during the excavation process to more definitively delineate the boundaries of those contaminant populations requiring removal. The preliminary CSM evolves to maturity concurrent with the remedial action, and guides remedial progress.

  • Enhanced Stakeholder Concurrence. The Triad emphasizes systematic planning, combined with dynamic work strategies. Unlike a traditional approach where stakeholders know precisely what will be done before work is initiated, in a dynamic work strategy at least some key decisions are deferred to when the actual field work takes place. Consequently, stakeholders initially are asked to concur with a process (i.e., the project rationale and decision logic) rather than a product (i.e., an inflexibly written work plan). Some level of stakeholder involvement is required as decisions are being made in the field for a Triad approach to be successful. This promotes stakeholder participation in the characterization and/or remediation process that is beyond what has traditionally been the case. This, in turn, generally results in enhanced stakeholder concurrence with the final decisions derived from data produced by dynamic work plans.

  • Improved Site Decision-Making. The ultimate goal of the Triad is improved decision quality. By focusing on reducing decision uncertainty rather than simply analytical uncertainty and making use of collaborative data sets, a Triad project will typically result in much better decisions being made with the same resource investment. With its emphasis on real-time measurement systems and dynamic work strategies, Triad-based data collection programs can pursue data collection activities for an area until decision quality objectives have been attained. That includes responding to and resolving unexpected site conditions that are encountered. In practical terms this means a reduced likelihood that contamination that would be of concern is left undiscovered, or that resources are spent unnecessarily on portions of a site where contamination concerns in fact do not exist. An important outcome from a site manager's perspective is that improved site decision-making can reduce overall remediation costs through waste stream minimization and adaptive remedial strategies.

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