We describe an approach to environmental monitoring that has been developed to deal with future pulp mills in Australia. We propose decision criteria that balance the chance of missing impacts and the chance of falsely accusing a proponent of environmental damage. Rather than focusing on either Type I or Type II statistical errors, we fix the ratio of the two error rates according to perceived costs of making each error. As monitoring is scaled up or down, risks of both errors rise and fall proportionately, in contrast to more traditional approaches, in which one error rate is fixed. We describe the steps necessary to implement a monitoring program using these criteria. Our emphasis is on guidelines that allow the flexibility to deal with monitoring a range of point source discharges in coastal environments that vary widely.

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