An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Site Characterization and Monitoring Technical Support Center (SCMTSC)

On this page:

The Site Characterization and Monitoring Technical Support Center (SCMTSC) provides technical assistance to regional programs on complex hazardous waste site characterization issues. When on-site work is required, the SCMTSC provides specialized teams of ORD and contract scientists equipped to aid the regions with screening and site characterization. The diversity of expertise available through the SCMTSC allows it to work with the regional programs at any time during a site characterization event. Often these projects lead to identification of further research needs or development of protocols for experimental or sampling design. The SCMTSC works with other EPA support centers as part of the EPA’s Technical Support Project.

What We Can Do For You

The SCMTSC provides quick-response technical assistance to remedial project managers and other decision makers on site-specific problems at Superfund, RCRA, and Brownfields sites by:

  • Evaluating reports, models and work plans related to field sampling and measurement
  • Reviewing field sampling and monitoring and contaminant measurement activities, including:
    • soil-gas measurements
    • site characterization technologies
    • waste  fingerprinting
    • geophysics
  • Assisting with statistical needs for site characterization
  • Developing issue papers
  • Performing special analytical services
  • Providing evaluations on vapor intrusion, environmental forensics and remote sensing technology


The SCMTSC’s structure allows for rapid response to requests for assistance on site-specific issues and access to experts in environmental sampling and investigation. Available resources include:

  • A core team of scientists and engineers providing a readily available source of technical support
  • A broad scientific base of scientists and engineers specializing in the field sampling, analysis, and characterization of contaminants
  • Access to technology oriented firms, support contractors, and specialized consultants

Site-Specific Assistance

The SCMTSC provides technical assistance for more than 100 short-term information requests and over 20 long-term site-specific projects every year. This support includes:

  • Technical guidance on site characterization and the selection of investigative or monitoring techniques
  • Review and interpretation of site-specific statistical methods and analysis of data
  • Assistance in the review, development, or interpretation of sampling and monitoring plans
  • Analysis and evaluation of site data
  • Interpretation and development of conceptual site models

Recent Project Highlights

Red River, Oklahoma (EPA Region 6)

Between 2011 and 2013, four fish kills occurred in the Red River watershed in southeastern Oklahoma. The SCMTSC assisted EPA Region 6 and the State of Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality in identifying unknown contaminants that were present at the time of the kills.  Using mass spectrometry, the conditional assignments of the molecular weights and chemical formulas of the unknown contaminants were determined.  A final external report was published in 2014.

Atlantic, Iowa (EPA Region 7)

The municipal water supply well field in this small town in western Iowa is contaminated with perchloroethylene (PCE). EPA believes the source of the contamination is a former dry cleaners facility.  SCMTSC has provided support to regional project managers to better understand ground water conditions at the site.  This support included evaluating a ground water pump and treat system and the impacts of source treatment on fate and transport of the aqueous-phase PCE plume.  SCMTSC also assisted with developing a conceptual site model and constructing a ground water flow and contaminant transport model.  The models were used to evaluate the impacts of remedial alternatives. Predictive simulations executed with the models suggest that remediation of the remaining PCE source in the clays and silts does not have a dramatic impact on the shape of the plume or on the magnitude and remediation timeframes.

The models, data and information generated by SCMTSC will help make more cost-effective source removal and ground water cleanup decisions at this site.


Felicia Barnett, Director
Site Characterization and Monitoring Technical Support Center
(404) 562-8659