EPA Continues to Update its Environmental Sampling & Analytical Methods (ESAM) Program
Published November 19, 2019
EPA’s Homeland Security Research Program (HSRP) aims to increase the United States’ capabilities to prepare for and respond to environmental disasters involving chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear substances (CBRN). As part of this effort, EPA researchers develop scientific data, methods, and tools that can be used by various stakeholders, including laboratories and on-scene coordinators, to increase the effectiveness of response.
One of HSRP’s most important efforts is the Environmental Sampling & Analytical Methods (ESAM) Program. Launched in 2018, the ESAM program and associated website is a one-stop resource for field-and-laboratory-ready documents and web-based tools supporting characterization and post-decontamination sampling of sites following an intentional or accidental homeland security-related contamination incident.
The ESAM webpage has five distinct sections of resources that support the remediation of a contaminated site.
- Sample Collection Procedures and Strategies: Contains information on the sample collection procedures and strategies and the Sample Collection Information Documents (SCID). The SCID documents and query tools provide general information for collection of samples.
- Analytical Methods and Protocols: Contains information on collaborative analytical methods and protocols, which were developed by HSRP together with partnering laboratories and agencies, and the Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery (SAM). The SAM document and query search identifies select processing and analytical methods for analyzing samples following an intentional or unintentional contamination incident involving biotoxin, chemical, biological, or radiochemical agents.
- Homeland Security Research Tools and Resources (New): Includes information on the Homeland Security Research Program and Waste Management Tools, which can be used by partners to prevent, prepare for and recover from contamination incidents involving chemical, biotoxin, pathogen, and radiological agents.
- Data Management (New): Includes link to EPA’s software tool, Scribe, which can assist with managing environmental sampling data, observational data, and monitoring field data.
- Data Quality and Planning (New): Includes links to HSRP-developed sampling and analysis plan resources for pathogens and resources to manage the quality of environmental data.
EPA will continue to development and re-evaluate analytical methods and protocols to support laboratories faced with incident response.