REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FROM FIRMS TO SERVE AS A QUALIFIED ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONAL (QEP) FOR A BROWNFIELDS CLEANUP GRANT (256 HIGH STREET, BELFAST, ME)

Image of Waterfall Arts courtesy of Google Images

1. INTRODUCTION

Waterfall Arts, a community Arts organization in Belfast, Maine, was awarded a $350,000 FY2019 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Cleanup Grant to pay for remediation activities in their occupied facilities in an old elementary school building at 256 High Street, Belfast. 

The site consists of one parcel of land encompassing 1.24 acres, and it is currently improved with one building (Waterfall Arts), constructed in 1935. The work comprises removal and abatement of materials in both the interior and on the exterior envelop of the building. The results of previous environmental assessments under the City of Belfast’s Brownfields Assessment Program identified that various hazardous building materials were prevalent throughout the building, including asbestos-containing materials (ACM), lead-based paint (LBP), components potentially containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or mercury, and other universal wastes.

This grant will facilitate the preservation of property used for nonprofit purposes. In accordance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations, all of these hazardous building materials are required to be abated, removed, and properly disposed of off-site, prior to or during planned site renovation and redevelopment activities that are being addressed through a capital campaign. Waterfall Arts is committed to preserving the integrity and quality of the old school building; the projected redevelopment, which will be supported by this grant, is to take this nearly century-old, deteriorating building and transform it into a fresh, beautiful, self-sustaining, accessible home for experiencing and producing art.

Waterfall Arts currently seeks proposals from firms so it may select a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP), which will work with staff from Waterfall Arts, the project Advisory Broad, and staff from the EPA and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP), other stakeholders, and the greater Belfast community in overseeing this cleanup project and managing this grant.  Included in the scope of work is assistance with community relations.

2. SCOPE OF SERVICES REQUESTED

The following list of activities represents the scope of services being requested; this is based on Waterfall Arts’ workplan previously submitted to the EPA (some of these tasks will be performed in conjunction with other entities):

Task 1 – Cooperative Agreement Oversight

Specific subtasks for Task 1 include:

Reporting and Tracking: prepare quarterly reports, Minority-Owned Business Enterprises/Woman-Owned Business Enterprises reports, and Federal Financial Report forms; enter site data into the Assessment, Cleanup and Redevelopment Exchange System; and maintain grant files, including establishment of an information repository.

Task 2 – Public Meetings and Community Involvement

Specific subtasks for Task 2 include:

Community Relations Plan:  prepare plan to involve public in cleanup activities, with focus on how adjacent land owners, target community, and general public will be made aware of project, meeting times and dates, and comment periods; and prepare a ‘fact sheet’ regarding the cleanup project, including answers to frequently asked questions, that can be made available for the public.

Implement 30-Day Public Comment Period on Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives: receive and respond to questions and comments.

Public Meetings: oversee/facilitate at least 3, but up to 7, meetings, many in conjunction/partnership with Community Organizations.

Task 3- Site Specific Clean Up Activities (Final Cleanup Plans, Maine Department of Environmental Protection Voluntary Response Action Program (MEDEP VRAP) Submittals, and Bidding)

Specific subtasks for Task 3 include:

Final Cleanup/Abatement Plan: prepare draft cleanup/abatement plan; allow for review and comment by Advisory Board and Waterfall Arts’ staff; finalize cleanup/abatement plan and submit to MEDEP and EPA.

Prepare Site Specific Quality Assurance Project Plan (SSQAPP): prepare a SSQAPP for any environmental confirmatory sampling to be conducted on site, in accordance with MEDEP and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations; and submit SSQAPP to EPA for approval.

General Scope of Work: Components of project include roof replacement; removal of ACT flooring in classrooms and studios; removal and replacement of piping that contains lead solder; removal and abatement of lead-based paint both on the interior and at the window surrounds; removal and abatement of components potentially containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or mercury, and other universal wastes in areas such as lighting and thermostats.

Historic Preservation: assist EPA Project Officer in collecting information and determining if Section 106 applies.

Green and Sustainable Remediation: the cleanup/abatement plan (see above) will also consider remedial options in light of the following: reasonably foreseeable changing climate conditions (e.g., sea level rise, increased frequency and intensity of flooding and/or extreme weather events, etc.); the degree to which they reduce greenhouse gas discharges, reduce energy use or employ alternative energy sources; reduce volume of wastewater generated/disposed; reduce volume of materials taken to landfills; and recycle and re-use materials generated during the cleanup process to the maximum extent practicable.  The cleanup/abatement plan will include an analysis of reasonable alternatives, including no action; the cleanup method chosen must be based on this analysis.  After the proposed cleanup/abatement plan is presented, an additional statement shall be included that will provide ways to make the proposed cleanup “greener” or “more sustainable,” such as reducing energy use or employing alternative energy sources, reducing volume of wastewater generated/disposed, reducing volume of materials taken to landfills, and recycling and re-using materials generated during the cleanup process to the maximum extent practicable.

Management of project in an occupied building: The existing building is to remain in use during the course of the removal and abatement work. The plan is to address public health and safety, as well as project phasing and management in an occupied building.

Coordination with Waterfall Arts’ Redevlopment Plans:  Waterfall Arts’ is undertaking a capital campaign that will include replacement of abated finishes (ACM flooring, LBP) and window replacement for energy conservation. The plan is to include coordination with the construction project scope and schedule and clear identification of scope responsibilities between Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment Plan.  Provide recommendation for coordination /combination of bidding.

Bidding, Selection of Environmental Contractor:  preparation of bid package, including engineering design documents (plans, specifications), Davis-Bacon requirements, and bid form; preparation of a budget detailing how EPA funds will be used to cleanup site; conduct site visit with interested contractors; and review of submitted bids and recommendation of contractor for award.

Task 4 – Oversee Site Cleanup

Specific subtasks for Task 4 include:

Oversight of Cleanup Activities: conduct appropriate site inspections; oversee installation of new roofing and any other additive work; conduct site inspections to ensure proper procedures are being followed and that work is performed according to bid documents; ensure that wage rates and posters are available to workers on-site; collect, review, and maintain payrolls; conduct on-site labor interviews; ensure cleanup is conducted according to applicable MEDEP rules and guidelines; and ensure work is proceeding according to the established timeline.

Project Updates: prepare and submit weekly updates, including photographs of work in progress. Provide two –week look ahead for upcoming work and impact on building tenants.

Confirmatory Sampling: collection of post-cleanup samples.

Cleanup Documentation: prepare and submit close-out documentation to MEDEP indicating that cleanup is complete and identifies any institutional controls and long-term monitoring; receive final cleanup documentation from MEDEP and submit to EPA; and prepare final report and grant closeout material.

3. PROPOSAL FORMAT

The following items must be included in a firm’s proposal:

Cover Letter: a cover letter expressing the firm’s interest in working with Waterfall Arts staff, the Advisory Board, EPA, MEDEP, and other stakeholders.  The firm shall affirm that they and all subconsultants used in this project will meet with all requirements of the EPA Brownfields program and the Cooperative Agreement.  This letter should be on your firm’s letterhead and signed by an officer of the firm authorized to bind the firm to all comments made in the proposal and shall include the name, address and phone number of the person(s) to contact who will be authorized to represent your firm.

Organizational Profile and Qualifications: provide a summary of all personnel potentially to be involved in the project including all subconsultants.  Designate the Principal in Charge, the Project Manager, Community Relations Manager, and other key personnel, and identify who the primary contact will be on this project.  Provide personal resumes illustrating the experience and background of key personnel who will be assigned to the project.  Provide an overall history and description of qualifications for your firm, as well as for any of your proposed subconsultants.  Provide proof of liability insurance for your firm and your proposed subconsultants.

Approach to the Project and Timeline:  describe the approach to be taken toward completion of each of the 4 tasks outlined above and an explanation of any proposed variations to the work program.  Address each of the 4 tasks separately.  Also provide a timeline for completing the various components of the scope of services requested.  (Though the period of performance for this grant is October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2022, Waterfall Arts anticipates that the substantial completion of the work will take place beginning in 2020 and go into 2021.)

Cost Information: provide a budget for your submitted proposal in chart form, broken down by each of the 4 tasks.  Further, for each of the 4 tasks, provide a chart showing the estimated number of hours spent by each employee or subconsultant as well as their hourly rates or fees, as well as a schedule of other basic costs.  No contracts shall be awarded wherein the fee is stated as a percentage of the project cost.  Approximately $55,000 has been allocated from the grant and required match for QEP services (separate from selected environmental contractor costs).  The actual scope of services may change based on final redevelopment plans and final costs for conducting remedial actions.  Firms should be aware that Waterfall Arts may negotiate the scope of services of the contract as well as its terms and conditions to fit Waterfall Arts’ needs and priorities.

Experience and Representative Projects: list representative examples of related work (projects) your firm has performed over the past three (3) years which illustrates your firm’s role and experience in providing the scope of services requested.  For each example (project), include a brief description and a reference with contact information.  Also provide a list of all current EPA-funded Brownfields projects (assessment, cleanup, revolving loan fund, etc.) that your firm is currently working on. 

Staffing and Resource Availability: provide information regarding your firm’s current staffing, current workload, and availability to provide the scope of services as soon as the contract is awarded.

While there is no minimum or maximum number of pages for a proposal, Waterfall Arts politely requests and appreciates that firms do their utmost to efficiently address each of items required in the proposal.

4. SUBMISSION PROCEDURE AND DEADLINE

Interested firms will submit eight (8) bound copies of their entire proposal, along with the same proposal in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format on either a CD-Rom or a flash drive.  Proposals will be sealed, marked “QEP – Brownfields Cleanup Grant – Waterfall Arts,” and will either be mailed or hand-delivered (no e-mail) to:

Kim Fleming, Executive Director
Waterfall Arts
256 High Street
Belfast, Maine 04915

Proposals will be due by 3:00 PM on THURSDAY, October 17, 2019.

All submissions will become property of Waterfall Arts and will not be returned.  Waterfall Arts reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals, and further reserves the right to waive any defect or informality in any proposal, should it be in the best interest of Waterfall Arts.  Waterfall Arts is not liable for any costs incurred by firms prior to the issuance of a contract, including any costs incurred in responding to this request for proposals.  It is expressly understood and agreed that the submission of a proposal does not require or obligate Waterfall Arts to pursue an agreement or contract with any firm.

A site walk-through has been scheduled for Monday, September 30, 2019, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM at Waterfall Arts, 256 High Street, Belfast, ME 04915.

5. SELECTION CRITERIA AND PROCESS

Proposals (and interviews for selected firms) will be evaluated by members of the Waterfall Arts staff and Advisory Board in consideration of the following criteria:

  • The clarity of the proposal, the understanding of the project site, the cleanup project, and its objectives, and the responsiveness to the work program.
  • The respondent’s experience and qualifications to perform the requested scope of services, with particular attention on experience with successful projects similar in size and nature/complexity to this one.
  • The degree to which the respondent demonstrates an ability to work effectively and coordinate activities with Waterfall Arts, the Advisory Board, EPA, MEDEP, and other interested stakeholders.
  • Labor rates and other output costs. (Waterfall Arts reserves the right to choose a QEP that is not the lowest-cost one.)
  • References.

Waterfall Arts’ Brownfields advisory committee will be responsible for screening proposals, conducting interviews of selected firms, and recommending of a QEP to hire to the Executive Director.  The Executive Director will make the final decision regarding selection of a QEP.  The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals:

  • Bidder’s Qualifications – 25 points
    Qualifications of the firm or firms assigned, including appropriate areas of expertise, relevant experience, technical capabilities and quality references that suggest they are the best qualified to undertake the project, in addition to, knowledge of the SRPC planning region, work experience with NHDES, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Overall Quality of Proposed Project Approach – 30 points
    The technical quality and composition of proposed approach and consistency of approach with the SRPC workplan and EPA program objectives.
  • Personnel Qualifications – 25 points
    Qualification of the professionals assigned to this project including technical attributes and relevant experience that make them uniquely qualified to undertake this project.
  • Cost Proposal– 20 points 
    Comparison of per-unit costs to ensure efficient use of SRPC’s contractual funds for proposed outreach, assessment, and cleanup planning activities.

Note that this is a qualifications and best value based, not low bid, selection. Following review of proposals, one or more firms will be selected for interviews (date has not yet been determined), which will be facilitated by members of Waterfall Arts staff and the Advisory Board, with assistance from MEDEP and EPA staff.  Following interviews, the Advisory Board will recommend one firm to Waterfall Arts for their approval.  Once approved by the Waterfall Arts Board of Directors, a contract shall be extended to the firm.

6. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Firms considering responding to this request for proposals may find the following documents and resources to be helpful and informative, in preparation of a proposal and for an interview, if selected:

7. QUESTIONS

Specific questions regarding information in this request for proposals shall be posed in writing (e-mail acceptable) to: Kim Fleming, Executive Director, Waterfall Arts, Belfast, Maine 04915, or at kim@waterfallarts.org, by 3:00 PM, Thursday, October 3, 2019.  Waterfall Arts will answer all questions posed and post them online at www.waterfallarts.org/brownfields, by 5:00 PM, Thursday, October 10, 2019, so that all interested firms may see the responses.

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