Citizens Guide to Environmental Investigation and Private Prosecution


Appendix C  – Example of field notes

April 25, 1999

Visited the site of [company name] located at [address] with [your partner’s name]. It was cloudy and about 15oC with a light breeze from the west.

We reached the site at 10 a.m. and followed the stream walking north along the shore. I noticed some small fish among the reeds that grow there and some aquatic insects. We arrived at the pipe at 10:15 a.m. (GPS reading # # # #), and my partner took pictures: Roll #1, Photo #1 the pipe, Roll #1, Photo #2 the effluent reaching the water, and Roll #1, Photo #3 showing me sampling the effluent. I rinsed the containers as appropriate and sampled the pipe.

I sealed the containers and marked them as follows: Metal bottle marked: PC-1 April 25, 99, BI [PC indicates the sampling site and BI the sampler’s initials.] Organics bottle marked: PC-2 April 25, 99, BI

We continued walking north along the stream for five minutes leaving the site behind us. We stopped at a location similar to where the pipe was at GPS reading ## ##, and my partner took pictures Roll #1, Photo #4 showing the spot and Roll #1, Photo #5 showing me sampling the stream. I rinsed the containers three times and sampled the stream.

I sealed the containers and marked them as follows: Metals bottle marked: Upstream PC-3 April 25, 99, BI Organics bottle marked: Upstream PC-4 April 25, 99, BI

We headed back to where we had parked the car and stopped 20 feet downstream from the effluent discharge at GPS reading ## ##, and my partner took pictures Roll #1, Photo #6 showing the spot and Roll #1, Photo #7 showing me sampling the stream. I rinsed the containers three times and sampled the stream.

I sealed the containers and marked them as follows: Metals bottle marked: Downstream PC-5 April 25, 99, BI Organics bottle marked: Downstream PC-6 April 25, 99, BI

I placed all sampling bottles in the sampling box and sealed and marked it PC, April 25, 99, BI and RW [RW indicates the partner’s initials.] We then returned to the car and drove directly to the [name of laboratory] where I gave the sample box to [laboratory technician’s name] at 12:30 p.m.

[your signature]

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