Request for proposal: Lincoln County Port Authority

Request for proposal - Lincoln County Port AuthorityIntroduction

Lincoln County Port Authority located in South Lincoln County, Montana requests proposals from qualified consulting, engineering, or logging industry firms to provide expertise related to contamination clean-up efforts and logging practices. This expertise will be directed towards developing a plan to remove asbestos contaminated bark and duff from the forests around Lincoln County, specifically focused on an area defined by the EPA as Operational Unit 3, in order to reclaim the vegetation and natural timber resources contaminated by previous mining errors and to restore the forest to public use. The result of this Request for Proposal (RFP) will be a technical feasibility study. This feasibility study will identify the plan to be followed for the reclamation process.

Project Location

Currently, the areas which this project will encompass include the areas where asbestos contaminated trees, contaminated by previous mining errors, have been identified. We will concentrate our plan for remediation on Operational Unit 3, which is about 35,000 acres of mixed ownership property (75% Forest Service with the remaining divided between WR Grace, Plum Creek and State of Montana School Trust Land parcels) located 6 miles outside Libby’s city center, as this is the area closest to the old vermiculite mine with the largest volume of contaminated natural timber resources. It is important to note that this project intends to develop a plan flexible enough to handle remediation of any asbestos contaminated wood in Libby and its surrounding areas. While currently the EPA has only tested trees in the identified operational units, the EPA’s testing boundaries are continually expanding as part of its “nature and extent” testing in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of all contaminated locations.

History of Problem and Need for Project

The history of the asbestos contamination dates back to the early 1920’s and the start of vermiculite mining in Libby. Vermiculite was mined from “Zonolite Mountain” nine miles northeast of Libby and processed for export in and around the town of Libby from the early 1920s until 1990. This was once the largest vermiculite mining operation in the world. The vermiculite, which was mined at the W.R. Grace Company’s operations in Libby, is contaminated with amphibole asbestos fibers (Libby Asbestos, or LA) also known as tremolite. Mining and processing operations, natural veins of vermiculite, as well as home use of vermiculite products, resulted in the spreading of LA throughout the town and the surrounding forests. Unusually high numbers of people in Libby have been diagnosed with asbestos-related respiratory disease; death from asbestos-related diseases is also elevated. Since 1999, the EPA’s Emergency Response Branch has been conducting sampling and removals to address the most highly contaminated areas in the Libby valley.

Once the EPA has completed its remedial investigation for OU3, they will begin to develop a remediation plan. However, the EPA does not have the industry expertise necessary to analyze forest clean-up options such as debarking and processing contaminated wood, which would serve to reclaim the land and natural resources. This feasibility study will be presented to the EPA as the preferred plan. The engineering and science used in this plan may be considered by the EPA, the Forest Service, and DNRC during their restoration decision process.

This project also serves a public health and safety objective of reducing the fuel levels for potential forest fires, which would not only destroy the natural resources in the area but may also spread the asbestos contamination to clean areas, such as back into Libby and into other surrounding communities. Due to the risk of forest fire and depending upon the results of the EPA’s asbestos contaminated duff burn test, there may prove to be a critical and immediate need for such restoration. This feasibility project will provide the community with a valuable tool in its efforts to secure EPA funding for a forest remediation project.

Purpose/Anticipated Results

The objective of this project is to perform the following:

  • Develop a remediation alternatives list that identifies all the possible remediation approaches, which should be a limited list given the associated risks and need for complete containment;
  • Analyze these alternatives to determine the “best” one or two, “best” defined as the technically sound alternative that captures and removes the most contamination and releases the natural resources / restores the forest;
  • Plan out in a step-by-step format the clean-up process for the best alternatives;
  • Detail the modifications necessary to processing equipment as well as to processing techniques, including considering the necessity of respiratory protection, to ensure the safety of the workers as well as to ensure hazardous fibers are captured, contained, and do not re-contaminate the clean timber resource;
  • Identify all other necessary best management and safe remediation practices.


During the course of this project a series of formal and informal meetings are expected. Informal meetings with the “Libby Asbestos Forest Restoration Group,” which includes Montana Department of Natural Resource Conservation, US Forest Service, EPA, Lincoln County Port Authority, and representatives from the logging and milling industry will be necessary at a minimum of once every four weeks while the project is active. These meetings will take place at the Forest Service offices in Libby, and will serve as progress reports on the technical feasibility plan as well as on the EPA’s risk assessment efforts. These meetings usually include conference call capabilities. Formal meetings should occur with the Lincoln County Port Authority and their selected project support group once the best processing alternatives are selected for further review and once a draft of the plan is completed.


All project activities must be completed within 120 days after the contract is signed.
This request for proposal does not obligate Lincoln County Port Authority to complete the project, and Lincoln County Port Authority reserves the right to cancel the solicitation if it is considered to be in its best interest.

Up to the time of the pre-bid conference, prospective responders who have any questions regarding this request for proposal may call or write:

Brigid Bulfin
Lincoln County Port Authority
PO Box 1071
Libby, Montana 59923

Paul Rumelhart
Lincoln County Port Authority
PO Box 1071
Libby, Montana 59923

A Pre-Bid Conference will be held for all respondents on April 11, 2012 at 2:00pm at the Kootenai National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 31374 US Highway 2, Libby, MT 59923-3022. This conference will serve as a final chance to answer respondents’ questions, after which no further questions will be accepted.

All proposals must be sent to the following address:

Lincoln County Port Authority
PO Box 1071
Libby, Montana 59923

All proposals must be received no later than April 30, 2012. The project must be completed within 120 days from the date that the contract officially begins.

All proposals will be evaluated on the basis of content. The following are considered minimum contents for the proposal:

  1. A restatement of the objectives, goals, and tasks to show or demonstrate the responder’s view and understanding of the nature of the project.
  2. Identification and description of the deliverables to be provided by the responder.
  3. An outline of the responder’s background and experience, with particular emphasis on the skills and expertise necessary for conducting forest remediation from known contaminants. Note all professional licensures related to for performing this feasibility study. Past experience conducting the work activities described herein, or in conducting equivalent work activities, must be included in the qualifications section of the proposal. The proposal should identify the personnel that will work on the project along with details on training, work experience and proposed role in the project. No change in personnel assigned to the project will be permitted without prior approval of Lincoln County Port Authority.
  4. A detailed cost estimate and work plan that will identify the major tasks to be accomplished and who will do them. This work plan will be used as a scheduling and managing tool, as well as the basis for invoicing.

All proposals received by the deadline will be evaluated by representatives of the Lincoln County Port Authority.

The following criteria will be used in evaluating the proposals:

  1. Expressed understanding of proposal objectives
  2. Work plan
  3. Cost detail
  4. Qualifications/experience of company
  5. Qualifications/experience of personnel working on the project

Lincoln County Port Authority will evaluate all proposals and expect to select a consultant by May 15, 2012.

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