CEC Faculty Articles

Title

Information Management System for Site Remediation Efforts

Document Type

Article

Date

5-1-2000

Publication Title

Environmental Management

ISSN or ISBN

0364-152X

Volume

25

Issue

5

First Page

515

Last Page

526

Description

Environmental regulatory agencies are responsible for protecting human health and the environment in their constituencies. Their responsibilities include the identification, evaluation, and cleanup of contaminated sites. Leaking underground storage tanks (USTs) constitute a major source of subsurface and groundwater contamination. A significant portion of a regulatory body’s efforts may be directed toward the management of UST-contaminated sites. In order to manage remedial sites effectively, vast quantities of information must be maintained, including analytical data on chemical contaminants, remedial design features, and performance details. Currently, most regulatory agencies maintain such information manually. This makes it difficult to manage the data effectively. Some agencies have introduced automated record-keeping systems. However, the ad-hoc approach in these endeavors makes it difficult to efficiently analyze, disseminate, and utilize the data. This paper identifies the information requirements for UST-contaminated site management at the Waste Cleanup Section of the Department of Environmental Resources Management in Dade County, Florida. It presents a viable design for an information management system to meet these requirements. The proposed solution is based on a back-end relational database management system with relevant tools for sophisticated data analysis and data mining. The database is designed with all tables in the third normal form to ensure data integrity, flexible access, and efficient query processing. In addition to all standard reports required by the agency, the system provides answers to ad hoc queries that are typically difficult to answer under the existing system. The database also serves as a repository of information for a decision support system to aid engineering design and risk analysis. The system may be integrated with a geographic information system for effective presentation and dissemination of spatial data.

DOI

10.1007/s002679910040

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