@shannon, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) posted this:
LABB quick report on the need for soil sampling post-Katrina:
Direct link to PDF:
They note shortcomings in CTEH's (a contractor) sampling protocols when compared to the EPA's recommended protocols.
Much of the oil from Murphy’s tank went into the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH) is a contractor hired by Murphy Oil in the aftermath of one of the worst oil spills in history.3 CTEH is the company that Murphy has paid to take soil samples in the area of the oil spill.
This exposé details a number of disturbing facts about CTEH, but the bottom line for people affected by the oil spill in St. Bernard Parish is this:
1. Murphy is not acting in good faith: By hiring a seemingly notorious company like CTEH and passing CTEH off as an objective, independent third party looking out for the public good, Murphy is violating the trust of its neighbors, many of whom believed Murphy was acting in good faith when they agreed to settle with the company.
2. The results of Murphy’s soil samples appear to be questionable: CTEH’s sampling protocol and practice give reason to doubt the results of Murphy’s samples and Murphy’s assurances to the public
Upstate New York has learned the hard way about soil toxicity: after winning a court battle against Tonawanda Coke, this community science group is funded to do extensive soil testing -- they want to help the Gulf South as well:
Here is a great reference document that helps parse out some different types of sampling for different study designs, depths of samples, etc. We could probably expand on its step-by-step instructions (e.g. Section 8.3.2 for surface soil sampling), but it gives a good overview of things to consider when wanting to do a soil study, and some good steps to do it:
Table 8.2 in that doc is particularly useful.