The Triad approach can be thought of as an initiative to update the environmental restoration process by providing a better union of scientific and societal factors involved in the resolution of contamination issues. It does so by emphasizing better investigation preparation (systematic project planning), greater flexibility in field work (dynamic work strategies), and advocacy of real-time measurement technologies, including field-generated data. The central concept that joins all of these ideas is the need to understand and manage uncertainties that affect decision making. The Triad approach relies on technological, scientific, and process advances that offer the potential for improvements in both quality and cost savings. The cost-saving potential is considered to be significant but is only now being documented by case studies.
This ITRC training course introduces the Triad concept and highlights how this process can increase the effectiveness and quality of environmental investigations. Key terms are defined, and the advantages and disadvantages are discussed. The concepts embodied in the three legs of the Triad approach—systematic project planning, dynamic work strategies, and real-time measurement technologies—are discussed. Some case studies are discussed, including the savings of time and money attributed to using the Triad approach. This training explains the relationship of the Triad to previous regulatory guidance and offers a discussion of issues that may affect stakeholders. An example is given of a state's efforts to formally adopt the Triad approach into its existing regulatory program. The training concludes by directing trainees to additional resources for further study. The ITRC guidance document Technical and Regulatory Guidance for the Triad Approach: A New Paradigm for Environmental Project Management (SCM-1, 2003) developed by the ITRC Sampling, Monitoring and Characterization Team, serves as the basis for this training course.