Development of criteria used to establish a background environmental monitoring station

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Abstract

It is generally considered necessary to measure concentrations of contaminants-of-concern at a background location when conducting atmospheric environmental surveillance. This is because it is recognized that measurements of background concentrations can enhance interpretation of environmental monitoring data. Despite the recognized need for background measurements, there is little published guidance available that describes how to identify an appropriate atmospheric background monitoring location. This paper develops generic criteria that can guide the decision making process for identifying suitable locations for background atmospheric monitoring station. Detailed methods for evaluating some of these criteria are also provided and a case study for establishment of an atmospheric background surveillance station as part of an environmental surveillance program is described. While the case study focuses on monitoring for radionuclides, the approach is equally valid for any airborne constituent being monitored. The case study shows that implementation of the developed criteria can result in a good, defensible choice for a background atmospheric monitoring location.

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Fritz, B. G., Barnett, J. M., Snyder, S. F., Bisping, L. E., & Rishel, J. P. (2015). Development of criteria used to establish a background environmental monitoring station. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 143, 52–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.02.010

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