Notice – RFP for Qualified Environmental Professional
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
May 18, 2022
Penobscot Indian Nation
The Penobscot Indian Nation (PIN) has received $300,000 in Brownfields Assessment funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant is for a community-wide assessment that may include the Six Penobscot River Islands located adjacent to the Lincoln Paper &Tissue Mill (LP&T). The intent of the program is to conduct brownfield assessments for sites potentially contaminated with hazardous substances on the islands adjacent to LP&T as well as throughout Penobscot lands. These sites have tremendous redevelopment potential that will bring jobs, tribal revenue, gathering spaces for educational camps, crafts production and indoor exercise, and cultural pride to our tribal members.
PIN is soliciting proposals from one or more Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEP’s) with proven expertise in Maine in environmental site and risk assessment, quality assurance project plans, groundwater and soil sampling, VRAP, remediation strategies and clean-up, cost estimates, and cost control. QEP(s) must also demonstrate familiarity with Maine environmental laws, EPA brownfields assessment requirements, rural community outreach, and effective public presentation techniques. QEP(s) with experience and knowledge of Lincoln and the LP&T site are particularly encouraged to submit a proposal. The QEP(s) will be expected to perform the following services:
- Work with PIN staff on stakeholder management / public information campaign to inform businesses, residents, and other citizens about the social, economic, and related benefits that redevelopment and reuse of these brownfields sites may offer;
- Assist the Brownfields Program to perfect the plan for utilizing these resources in identification of known and potential brownfield sites;
- Community-wide grant tasks include performing assessments, preparing site sampling plans, conducting cleanup/reuse planning, and enrolling appropriate sites in the Maine Voluntary Response Action Program (VRAP), to determine whether further assessment, cleanup, or no action is required before redevelopment can occur.
- Site-specific grant tasks include performing assessments, preparing site sampling plans, conducting cleanup/reuse planning, and enrolling appropriate sites in the Maine Voluntary Response Action Program (VRAP), to determine whether further assessment, cleanup, or no action is required before redevelopment can occur.
- Provide site eligibility information to EPA and MEDEP.
- Assist with securing access agreements with property owners.
- Creation of Brownfield clean-up plans and cost estimates;
- Work with PIN staff to complete Assessment, Cleanup and Redevelopment Exchange System (ACRES) reporting; and
- Work with PIN staff to submit quarterly and final reports.
The QEP(s) will focus work on Phase I and Phase II ESA’s. The QEP(s) will be required to complete Phase I and Phase II ESA property approval forms and work with PIN staff to update data the ACRES database. The QEP(s) will be required to submit digital draft Site-Specific Quality Assurance Project Plans (SSQAPP’s), Phase I and II ESA’s and, other reports where required (such as Hazardous Material Inventories and Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives) to PIN, EPA, and DEP (as applicable) for review and approval before finalization. One hard copy and one digital copy of all reports will need to be provided to PIN, EPA and the Maine DEP (as applicable). Every Phase 1 assessment prepared with EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant funds must comply with the All Appropriate Inquires Final Rule
2.0 PROJECT APPROACH
PIN Brownfield’s Program will build upon the work begun at the islands adjacent to the LP&T site and community-wide through EPA funded grants through the following steps:
- Continue to inform all stakeholders of Brownfields in the Penobscot Nation about the potential that redevelopment and reuse of sites may offer economically and environmentally;
- Review and expand the current list of potential sites;
- Participate in discussions with PIN staff; other tribal officials; social service; business, and other environmental interests to identify known and potential Brownfields sites;
- Conduct site eligibility determinations;
- Conduct Phase I (screening) site assessments;
- Conduct Phase II (detailing) site assessments;
- Prepare site remdiation plans and cost estimates;
- Submit final reports
The QEP(s) will work on Phase I and Phase II site assessments. QEP(s) will be required to complete Phase I and Phase II site assessment forms, as well as submit one hard copy and one digital copy of Phase I and II assessments to PIN, EPA, and other stakeholders. The PIN project manager will supervise all QEP(s) work. The EPA will receive reports on program activity throughout the duration of the grant.
Scope of Work for the QEP:
QEP Task 1: General. QEP(s) will participate in outreach and educational sessions as part of program promotion. The QEP will provide advice to PIN staff.
QEP Task 2: Phase I Assessments. The QEP(s) will conduct Phase I environmental site assessments in accordance with current ASTM E1527-13 standards and procedures. Draft Phase I reports (digital and hard copy) will be submitted for review to PIN, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)(if applicable), and EPA for a particular site before final reports are prepared. Final reports must be mailed to the parties noted above, as well as an additional hard and digital copies to PIN.
Proposals should identify the QEP’s Phase I assessment process, including landowner contact and property access agreements, the types and sources of information to be collected, and staff expected to be involved in the work. The proposal should also note how Phase I assessment information will be presented to PIN, EPA, and other stakeholders.
QEP Task 3: Phase II Assessments and Project Report. The QEP(s) will conduct Phase II assessments and sampling work. PIN understands that Phase II work is contingent upon Phase I findings, projected costs, and EPA approval.
Phase II site assessments will further investigate and determine areas of environmental concern. Phase II assessments will establish whether continued investigation and remediation is necessary. If cleanup is necessary, Phase II work will include development of clean-up alternative and estimating clean-up costs. To address the Phase II component of the Work Plan, QEP’s should describe their approach to the following tasks:
- Preparing a work plan and cost estimate for review by PIN, DEP, and EPA as necessary before sampling activity begins.
- Preparing a Quality Assurance Project Proposal (QAPP) prior to undertaking Phase II Assessments, for review and approval by PIN and EPA. The QAPPs will include proposed sampling and analysis strategy, sampling procedures, analytical procedures, data management, and other procedures that will ensure quality control.
- Conducting all environmental assessment and sampling procedures appropriate for a site, including geophysical surveys and soil and groundwater testing. Investigations and reports will be from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) guidance. The QEP(s) will be responsible for obtaining all required permits for the work at a site including utilities clearance for all subsurface investigations.
- Performing focused feasibility studies to determine the range of reasonable remedial options and associated costs for identified environmental issues at a property.
- Determining the need to undertake additional site assessment by identifying and recommending remediation strategies based on adopted risk management/ assessment strategies particular to each proposed site (as applicable to each site with prior approval by PIN).
- Submitting draft Phase II reports for review to PIN, DEP, EPA, and other individuals or agencies as identified for a particular site before final reports are prepared.
- Mailing/e-mailing final electronic and hard copy reports to the parties noted above, as well an extra copy to PIN.
The proposal should also indicate how Phase II procedures and information will be communicated with PIN staff, EPA, and other stakeholders.
QEP Task 4: Community Outreach. The QEP(s) will provide services as referenced within the schedule in section 4.0 under Community Outreach. The proposal should also indicate procedures and information used for public outreach.
3.0 PROGRAM RESOURCES
PIN will administer the program per EPA requirements. PIN has a team of full-time professionals that will provide support and direct oversight for this project. The Project Manager will the Brownfields Program Coordinator, who will be assisted by the Water Resources Manager; Fisheries Manager; Forestry Manager, and; the Director for the Department of Natural Resources. The staff will rely on the QEP(s) to explain technical requirements of the assessment program, and collaborate in its smooth implementation..
The grant contains all financial resources to be used for this project. Approximately $260,000 will be available for QEP(s). Contractor selection criteria will include demonstrable experience/capabilities with Brownfields projects; familiarity with PIN; cost; preparing QAPP’s; ability to clearly report and communicate findings to a wide audience; expertise in site assessment procedures and technology, and; ability to coordinate effectively with all interested parties. The QEP’s activities associated with each work task needs to follow the proposed costs, and indicated level of effort.
|Work Element||Schedule||Specific Tasks|
|Community Outreach||ongoing||Stakeholder notification strategies and measures across multiple platforms – analog and digital|
Meet w/tribal officials, landowners, and potential property buyers (PIN & QEP)
Mid-project public meetings (PIN w/QEP Assistance)
Final public meetings (PIN w/QEP Assistance)
|Quality Assurance Plan||ongoing||Develop Assessment Protocol (QEP)|
Submit Draft generic QAPP (QEP)
Submit Final generic QAPP and site-specific QAPP’s (QEP)
|Site Selection||ongoing||Using site selection criteria evaluate and rank sites (PIN w/QEP Assistance)|
|Phase I Assessments||ongoing||Review documentation, records, plans, etc. (QEP)|
Site visits (QEP)
Phase I Assessment Report (QEP)
|Phase II Assessments||ongoing||Additional research and site visits (QEP)|
Soil/water/building sampling and testing (QEP)
Geophysical testing if necessary (QEP)
Final Report production/review/revision (QEP)
|Programmatic Requirements||ongoing||Maintenance of ACRES data base (QEP)|
Preparation of Quarterly billing reports and other programmatic requirements (PIN w/ QEP assistance)
Proposal should not exceed 15 pages in length (with exceptions noted below), use no smaller than 12-inch font for primary text and 8.5” by 11” paper. Submissions shall include the following:
- A cover letter expressing the firm’s interest in working with PIN and the Brownfields Advisory Committee, identification of the project manager and/or principal staff – including any sub-contractors – that will provide the requested services (this letter is not subject to the 15-page limit, but should not exceed 2 pages).
- The approach to be taken toward completion of all phases of the project and an explanation of any proposed variations to the work program and identification of any potential obstacles to successful completion and how these will be addressed.
- A list of individuals that will be committed to this project and their professional qualifications. (resumes in an appendix are not counted toward the 15-page limit).
- Documentation of relevant experience for all tasks, knowledge and projects of special relevance in Lincoln; including a brief project description and a contact name and address for references.
- Any other information illustrating the respondents’ qualifications for performing the work outlined in this RFP.
- A cost proposal containing proposed total hours per staff and estimated cost of each work element based on hourly billing rates for each staff member involved, mileage and other travel costs, charge rates for equipment used in the project and related operational expenses and rates. The total project cost should be itemized using these and related categories.
- Insofaras possible, all proposal materials should be contained within a single electronic document in either Microsoft Word format, or as a pdf file.
6.0 PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE
Work associated with this project will begin as soon as possible after the official starting date of the contract (October 1, 2021) and must be completed by September 2024. A project timeline should be included with the proposal.
7.0 COMPENSATION & INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
Payment for services will be made on a lump sum basis with periodic payments based on invoices for work performed reimbursed on a regularly scheduled basis, no less than every month. Payments shall not exceed those allowed in the billing rates for QEPs specified in PIN’s agreement with EPA.
QEP(s) must provide documentation of the following insurance for itself and all sub-contractors:
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance with Maine statutory Limits and Employers Liability Insurance for any employee.
- Comprehensive/Commercial general Liability Insurance $1,000,000.
- Automobile Liability Insurance covering all owned, hired, and non-owned vehicles with Personal Protection Insurance and Property Protection Insurance to comply with the provisions of the Maine Insurance Laws.
- Professional Liability Insurance $1,000,000
- Pollution Contactor Liability Insurance
Consideration of all QEPs, which includes equal opportunity for minority business enterprises (MBE) and women business enterprises (WBE), will be made in the QEP selection process. Fair share goals are to attract and utilize WBE/MBE contracts, subcontracts, and procurement.
9.0 SUBMISSIONS/SELECTION CRITERIA
Proposals from interested QEPs must be received in PIN no later than 2:00 PM on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. A scoring committee composed of members PIN staff will make the final decision regarding selection of QEP(s). A QEP selection and response will be made within 10 to 15 business days after proposals are submitted.
The criteria used in evaluating the proposals will include:
- Clarity of the proposal, understanding of the project objectives, and responsiveness to the work program.
- The respondent’s experience and qualifications to perform the requested service in the specific conditions faced by the PIN.
- The extent to which the proposed costs, and indicated level of effort, are supported by the activity associated with each work task.
- Ability to communicate findings in a manner understandable to the general public.
- The degree to which the respondent demonstrates an ability to work effectively and coordinate activities with PIN staff, residents of the community, the EPA, and other interested parties.
- References from those involved in similar projects.
Applicants may apply for all or a portion of the work associated with the grant. High-ranking applicants may be invited to an interview session. Applicant selection will be based on the aforementioned criteria. The PIN reserves the right to award the contract to multiple bidders if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the PIN. The PIN reserves the right to negotiate the final work plans and scope of work between two or more QEPs, and maintains the final approval authority in awarding the Agreement.
All submissions and inquiries to:
Email: [email protected]
In the interest of fairness to all applicants, potential applicants are asked to send e-mail contact information to: [email protected] by May 25, 2022. All answers to inquiries from individual applicants will be sent to all applicants for whom PIN has e-mail addresses by this date. No responses will be made after June 1, 2022.
Successful QEP(s) will be required to enter into a contract(s) that includes, without limitation, criteria set forth in this RFP and standard contract provisions as well as in a form approved by the PIN’s legal counsel. Such provisions include, without limitation, consultant reporting, indemnification, insurance, compliance with laws, conflict of interest, fees, ownership of documents, equal employment opportunity, fair share goals, and other provisions for compliance with the Brownfields Program and deemed in the best interest of the PIN.
Item 1: Program Development. PIN staff will offer assistance to the QEP(s) through coordination of efforts among various interested parties and regular communication.
Item 2: Community Outreach. PIN will also keep information available to all interested parties as well as keeping the channel of communication open for feedback and input throughout the project. Information will also be offered through press releases, newspapers and website postings to keep the public informed of the project’s status as well as any upcoming public meetings. QEP(s) attendance will be necessary at meetings to ensure that questions can be properly answered, and complete updates of the project can be given.
Item 3: Site Identification. A variety of resources will be used to obtain information for potential site identification. Records offered at the state and federal level will be considered. At the local level, municipalities will be surveyed, along with any local businesses and individuals that may be able to offer additional information on potential sites.
Item 4: Site Selection. PIN is continually revising priorities for sites development based of potential and emerging opportunities. The criteria for ranking and selecting sites include: potential for beneficial site redevelopment; consistency of site improvements with recommendations in a comprehensive plan; presence of utilities and infrastructure; creation of jobs and improving environmental quality, and; potential threats to human health and environment. Specific environmental threats will include threats to fish and water resources. Criteria may also include extent of potential cleanup costs. For sites where commercial or residential uses are not feasible, criteria will include potential reuse or management of the site by a non-profit.