Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Pennsylvania soil scientists working in the private sector are being called upon more frequently to solve complex environmental problems. This is often in response to the emergence of new technologies, such as new approaches to on-site wastewater treatment, the recognition of new problems, such as soil and groundwater contamination related to land waste disposal, the increasing recognition of the sensitivity of certain landscapes, such as wetlands, or the enactment of new laws and regulations. As government funding has decreased, consulting Soil Scientists have also been called upon to fill roles in areas previously addressed by federal employees. The increasing variability in soil science services has resulted in an increasing lack of consistency in the technical approach, the level of investigative detail, and reporting protocols followed when performing these site investigations and environmental assessments.
The Pennsylvania Association of Professional Soil Scientists (PAPSS) has recognized a need for standardization in reporting as well as a need for a minimum standard of detail and expertise in the practice of soil science. In order to protect the environment, the public health and welfare, fill the void that was formerly occupied by federally employed soil scientists and increase the level of professionalism, PAPSS began the compilation of a Manual in 2008 to set minimum standards in reporting the results of site-specific soil investigations in Pennsylvania. Drawing upon Manuals from other states in the northeastern U.S, and the expertise of its membership, PAPSS is presenting Version 2.0 of its Manual for review by all interested soil scientist.