Initial studies
the first step to be done is to obtain all immediately available 
information on the relevant site. The primary objective
is to identify both the nature and physical location of the
potential sources of contamination. It comprises the collection
of historical data on use of the site, including information
on possible listing of the site, the acquisition of geological
and hydrological data for the area, a site visit, an assessment
of the data collected and a hypothesis on possible contamination.
Although each investigation is unique most investigations 
include the following steps: (1) definition of objectives
(2) collection of existing data (including literature
review), (3) field investigations and sampling, (4) laboratory
analysis (5) data interpretation and conclusions, and
(6) report preparation and recommendations. Failure to
follow these steps may result in excessive cost and, in the
worst case rejection of the study results as inadequate.

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