One of the most important and complex issues facing the cleanup of Superfund Sites is “who is responsible for site contamination and what percentage of the cleanup costs should be prorated among the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs)”. This paper describes one approach which has recently been used to answer these questions. This method uses a state-of-the-art mass spectrometric data processing environment to produce visual and quantitative comparisons of chromatographic and mass spectrometric patterns in an attempt to determine the origin of wastes which produced these patterns. This approach can easily be extended to a large number of complex systems, other than Superfund Sites, and has proven to be a very efficient way of understanding complicated organic mixtures.
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