CITY OF BELFAST, MAINE
FISCAL YEAR 2022 UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
BROWNFIELDS REVOLVING LOAN FUND PROGRAM
COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT BF-00A00906-0
REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATION STATEMENTS
QUALIFIED ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
1. PURPOSE OF THIS REQUEST
In May of 2022, the City of Belfast was selected for a cooperative agreement (Cooperative Agreement BF-00A00906-0) in the amount of $1,000,000 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in their Fiscal Year 2022 Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Program competition.
The City of Belfast will utilize this USEPA Brownfields Revolving Loan funding to establish, implement, and manage an impactful program to provide funding in the form of loans and subgrants, to be primarily used to remediate brownfields located within the City of Belfast, with an emphasis on identified target areas (Census Block Groups 230270430001 and 230270430003).
Cooperative agreement funding will be used to cover the costs of activities at or in direct support of brownfield sites, as defined under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 §101(39).
The City of Belfast now seeks a firm to serve as the Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) to perform specific activities under this cooperative agreement. It is anticipated that this QEP will work collaboratively with the following entities and individuals: 1) the Project Team, comprised of USEPA personnel, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) personnel, and the City of Belfast’s Economic Development Director, who functions as the Project Manager and who carries out the overall coordination of the cooperative agreement; 2) other personnel from the City of Belfast, including, but not limited to the Belfast Government Television and Belfast Community Television Station Manager, the City Attorney, the City Manager, the City Planner, the Director of Code and Planning, and the Finance Director; and 3) members of the City of Belfast’s already-established Brownfields Selection Committee. Finally, additional technical assistance and oversight will be provided through the MEDEP Voluntary Response Action Program.
The period of performance for this cooperative agreement is July 1st, 2022 to September 30th, 2027. This cooperative agreement contains all financial resources to be used for this project. $72,500 out of the total cooperative agreement amount of $1,000,000 is currently allocated for the work to be performed by the QEP.
2. SCOPE OF SERVICES REQUIRED
The following is the scope of services that the firm chosen as the QEP will be required to perform. Some of these services will be performed exclusively by the QEP, while others will be performed in conjunction with other individuals and/or entities:
Task 1: Cooperative Agreement Oversight Activities
Specific subtasks to be performed by the QEP (whether exclusively or in conjunction with other individuals and/or entities) under Task 1 include:
2.1.1: assisting the Brownfields Selection Committee and/or a working group (comprised of members of the Brownfields Selection Committee, and potentially USEPA and MEDEP representatives) regarding the procurement of other, non-QEP professional services, specifically financial managers/underwriters and/or other financial specialists;
2.1.2: preparing, reviewing, and submitting quarterly reports to the Assessment, Cleanup and Redevelopment Exchange System (ACRES);
2.1.3: preparing, reviewing, and submitting additional site information to ACRES;
2.1.4: preparing, reviewing, and submitting Minority-Owned Business Enterprises/Woman-Owned Business Enterprises forms;
2.1.5: preparing, reviewing, and submitting Standard Form-425 Federal Financial Reports;
2.1.6: preparing, reviewing, and submitting Final Report and Cooperative Agreement Closeout materials;
2.1.7: assisting the Brownfields Selection Committee regarding their development of the loan and subgrant program, including developing loan and subgrant operational plans, developing loan and subgrant processes, developing loan and subgrant evaluation criteria, and developing loan and subgrant documents (applications, agreements, promissory notes, etc., that include all applicable federal environmental and cross-cutting requirements (i.e., Davis-Bacon Act)); and
2.1.8: drafting minutes for Brownfields Selection Committee meetings when in attendance/participating.
Task 2: Community Outreach and Engagement Activities
Specific subtasks to be performed by the QEP (whether exclusively or in conjunction with other individuals and/or entities) under Task 2 include:
2.2.1: providing individual confidential responses to questions and/or concerns posed by residents, current property owners, prospective property purchasers, and/or prospective developers;
2.2.2: developing new community outreach and engagement deliverables, including, but not limited to: frequently-asked questions; informational brochure; reviewing information for a portion of the City of Belfast’s website; developing and hosting a public informational meeting; participating in informational meetings of area real estate professionals, banking professionals, and/or other Brownfield-aligned groups (at least 2); reviewing information for news releases; reviewing information to be distributed in local community partners’ e-newsletters and e-mails; and reviewing information for City of Belfast’s and local community partners’ Facebook posts;
2.2.3: reviewing information for site-specific repositories established on the City of Belfast’s website;
2.2.4: preparing site-specific Community Involvement Plans;
2.2.5: implementing 30-day public comment periods on Analyses of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives; and
2.2.6: conduct public site-specific cleanup meetings.
Task 3: Loan and Subgrant Activities
Specific subtasks to be performed by the QEP (whether exclusively or in conjunction with other individuals and/or entities) under Task 3 include:
2.3.1: confirming site and borrower/subgrantee eligibility;
2.3.2: ensuring that the borrower/subgrantee has enrolled site in Maine Department of Environmental Protection Voluntary Response Action Program;
2.3.3: assisting the USEPA project officer in collecting information and determining if a Section 106 review applies to a site cleanup;
18.104.22.168: performing Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) activities (if an ABCA is to be developed by the QEP), including: assisting the Brownfields Selection Committee in reviewing and deciding upon requests from current property owners, prospective property purchasers, and/or prospective property developers to conduct an ABCA; developing the ABCA; submitting the draft ABCA report to the Project Team; receiving comments on the draft ABCA report from the Project Team; finalizing and submitting the ABCA report;
22.214.171.124: performing Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) activities (if an ABCA is to be developed by the borrower’s/subgrantee’s representative), including: reviewing the ABCA for adequacy and compliance with USEPA rules and regulations;
126.96.36.199: performing Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) activities (whether an ABCA is to be developed by the QEP or by the borrower’s/subgrantee’s representative), including: discussing final ABCA report findings and possible next steps with current property owners, prospective property purchasers, and/or prospective property developers;
2.3.5: incorporating green and sustainable remediation principles/techniques into cleanups;
2.3.6: documenting results of public comment period and public meeting (to include comments received, public meeting attendance, response to relevant comments, selection of final cleanup remedy, any changes to the final cleanup remedy, etc.);
2.3.7: preparing appropriate remedial design documents for the MEDEP Voluntary Response Action Program (VRAP), engineering design documents for cleanup contractors to perform work (including Davis-Bacon requirements), and a budget detailing how USEPA funds will be used to clean up sites; and
2.3.8: preparing Site-Specific Quality Assurance Project Plans and Health and Safety Plans.
Task 4: Site Cleanup Oversight Activities
2.4.1: conducting oversight of cleanup activities;
2.4.2: conducting site inspections, conducting on-site interviews, and collecting payroll documentation for Davis-Bacon Act compliance;
2.4.3: collecting post-cleanup samples, as necessary (unless instead done partially or entirely by the subgrantee’s/borrower’s representative);
2.4.4: preparing and submitting close-out documentation to the MEDEP VRAP (unless instead done partially or entirely by the subgrantee’s/borrower’s representative); and
2.4.5: receiving Certificates of Completion from the MEDEP VRAP and submitting them to the USEPA.
3. QUALIFICATION STATEMENT FORMAT, EVALUATION FACTORS
Interested firms are instructed to follow the format by providing a cover letter and responding to each of the six evaluation factors (3.1-3.6) listed below; the percentage weight for each evaluation factor follows. Statements that do not follow this format or do not contain the requested information may be considered unresponsive statements and will not be considered by the City of Belfast. The maximum length for a statement is 60 digital pages; this limit applies to the entirety of the qualification statement, whether it is the cover letter, responses to the evaluation factors, appendices, tables, resumes, any other supporting documents, covers, or divider sheets. Any pages that are in excess of the 60 will be removed from the statement and will not be reviewed or considered. While the City of Belfast is not requiring any minimum or maximum font size, spacing, or margins, firms are strongly encouraged to consider readability when preparing their qualification statement. The maximum file size for the statement is 10 Megabytes; this is to ensure the successful emailing of the statement. A file that is larger than this size will be rejected and will not be reviewed or considered.
Cover Letter: the firm’s qualification statement shall be preceded by a cover letter expressing the firm’s interest in working with City of Belfast personnel, the Brownfields Selection Committee, USEPA representatives, MEDEP representatives, and other potential stakeholders. The firm shall affirm that they and all subconsultants used in this project will: 1) meet all requirements of the USEPA Brownfields Program; 2) meet all requirements of the cooperative agreement; and 3) not be found to be debarred or suspended or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in Federal assistance programs, unless an exception has been obtained from the USEPA under 2 CFR 180.135. This letter should be on the firm’s letterhead and signed by an officer of the firm authorized to bind the firm to all comments made in the qualification statement and shall include the name, e-mail address, and phone number of the person(s) to contact who will be authorized to represent the firm.
3.1: Experience: the firm will provide a list of its recent (within the last 5 years) and current projects, if any, awarded by a city, another type of governmental unit, or a governmental agency, for any brownfield-related projects. For each project, the firm shall include the following information: project start and end dates; current status of project; outputs, outcomes, and results from the project; services performed; and the name of the governmental unit or agency and their contact information (for reference verification purposes). (This evaluation factor is worth 30% of a firm’s qualification statement score.)
3.2: Local Brownfields Knowledge: the firm will demonstrate a familiarity with: 1) the City of Belfast and its history in regards to the creation of Brownfields, the impacts of Brownfields, and the potential to identify additional Brownfields for assessment and cleanup; and 2) the history and results of the City of Belfast’s Brownfields Assessment Program and the City of Belfast’s efforts in cleaning up Brownfields. (This evaluation factor is worth 10% of a firm’s qualification statement score.)
3.3: Project Approach: the firm will describe the approach to be taken toward completion of each of the 4 tasks outlined above in the scope of services requested and an explanation of any proposed variations to the work program. In this response section the firm will separately address each of the 4 major tasks listed above under Scope of Services Required. (This evaluation factor is worth 20% of a firm’s qualification statement score.)
3.4: Cost of Services: the firm will provide a budget for each of the 4 tasks in table form, which will include the estimated number of hours spent by each employee and their hourly rates, and the estimated number of hours spent by each subcontractor and their fees. The firm will also include a schedule of other costs (personnel and other categories) that would be expected to be relevant to this cooperative agreement during its period of performance. The City of Belfast’s order of preference with respect to changes in costs of services during the cooperative agreement’s period of performance is: 1 - highest preference) no changes to any costs of services during the cooperative agreement’s period of performance; 2) changes to costs of services occurring during the cooperative agreement’s period of performance but any changes are clearly defined in the qualification statement (e.g. a fixed rate increase after a specified period of time); and 3 - lowest preference) changes to costs of services occurring during the cooperative agreement’s period of performance but changes are not clearly defined in the qualification statement. No contracts shall be awarded wherein the fee is stated as a percentage of the project cost. $300,000 has been allocated from this cooperative agreement for QEP services. (This evaluation factor is worth 15% of a firm’s qualification statement score.)
3.5: Capacity: the firm will identify and state its current project workload (both Brownfields-related and not) and its capacity to undertake additional projects. Also, the firm will demonstrate that it possesses sufficient insurance coverage in place for the anticipated scope of services, and that it also possesses sufficient financial capacity to successfully and efficiently complete projects. (This evaluation factor is worth 15% of a firm’s qualification statement score.)
3.6: Personnel: the firm will identify any and all staff that would be anticipated to be involved to any significant degree in the implementation of this cooperative agreement during its period of performance and describe their expertise. The firm will also provide background information for any subcontractors expected to be used in the implementation of this cooperative agreement during its period of performance. (This evaluation factor is worth 10% of a firm’s qualification statement score.)
4. QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS REQUEST
Any and all questions regarding this request must be emailed to such that they are received by 5:00 p.m. local time on Thursday, November 17th, 2022 in order to be answered. The City of Belfast will provide confirmation of successful receipt of a question to the sender via email. All questions submitted by this deadline will be answered and posted only on the City of Belfast’s website at www.cityofbelfast.org/qep-rlf by 12:00 p.m. local time on Monday, November 21st, 2022. Answers to questions will not be emailed to firms.
Update: no questions were received by the deadline of November 17th, 2022.
5. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND DEADLINE
Firms who wish to have their qualification statements considered must follow these submission requirements:
5.1: the firm will submit their qualification statement as a single file in Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf) that is PC-compatible, which does not exceed 60 digital pages in length, and which does not exceed 10 Megabytes in file size;
5.2: the firm will email their qualification statement such that it is received by 12:00 p.m. local time on Monday, December 5th, 2022 at the following email address: . The City of Belfast will provide confirmation of successful receipt of the qualification statement, and that it also meets the requirements for file format, compatibility, length, and file size, to the sender via email.
5.3: All submissions will become the property of the City of Belfast and no materials will be returned. The City of Belfast 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 the City of Belfast. While the cost of a firm’s services is an evaluation factor, the City of Belfast is not required to select the lowest-cost firm. The City of Belfast 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. It is expressly understood and agreed that the submission of a qualification statement does not require or obligate the City of Belfast to pursue an agreement or a contract with any firm.
6. EVALUATION PROCESS
Following the receipt of the qualification statements, a working group comprised of members of the Brownfields Selection Committee, and potentially advised by USEPA and MEDEP representatives, shall evaluate the statements and recommend a firm to hire as the QEP to the Belfast City Council. The working group, at its discretion, may decide to conduct interviews of one or more firms prior to providing a recommendation to the Belfast City Council; firms are asked to keep the two time periods of 12:00pm to 4:00pm local time on Tuesday, December 13th, 2022, and 12:00pm to 4:00pm local time on Wednesday, December 14th, 2022 available, in the event that interviews will be conducted. Final authority to hire a firm as the QEP and authorization to execute a contract with that firm rests exclusively with the Belfast City Council; it is anticipated that the Belfast City Council will do this at their regularly-scheduled meeting on the evening of Tuesday, December 20th, 2022. The hired QEP is expected to begin work swiftly after this approval is granted by the Belfast City Council.
7. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Firms considering responding to this request may find the following documents and information to be helpful and informative, in preparation of a qualification statement and for an interview, if selected:
7.1: Original cooperative agreement application (with supporting documents);
7.2: USEPA-approved workplan and budget detail;
7.3: Required federal forms: SF-424 (application for federal assistance); SF-424A (budget information - non-construction programs); 6600-6 (certification regarding lobbying); SF-LLL (disclosure of lobbying activities); 4700-4 (preaward compliance review report), and 5700-54 (key contacts).
(All of these above documents, along with the Request for Qualification Statements itself, are available for download at www.cityofbelfast.org/qep-rlf (see under “Related Documents”) or may be requested to be e-mailed by contacting Thomas Kittredge, Economic Development Director, City of Belfast, via e-mail at .)
7.4: Information is available online regarding the City of Belfast’s Brownfields Assessment Program and previously produced environmental assessment reports.
7.5: Information is available online regarding the City of Belfast’s efforts regarding the remediation of brownfield sites.