The most neglected aspects of environmental data collection operations have been in the areas of sampling design and sample collection. For years, most major environmental data QA/QC efforts have focused on the laboratory operations, with either the tacit assumption that sampling activities had been properly designed and implemented, or with very little attention given at all to the quality of field or sampling operations. Infrequent data quality analyses did result in the recognition that major error sources were undoubtedly associated with the sampling components of environmental data collection. However, little was generally done to address or remedy these recognized data quality shortfalls. The paper will illustrate the importance of adequate planning, implementation, and assessment of field sampling work in the context of the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program.