Technical Advisor full position Solicitation

Portland Harbor Technical Advisor Solicitation

April 15, 2019

The Willamette River Advocacy Group is soliciting proposals for a technical advisor to provide assistance in the review and analysis of remedial activities undertaken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the Portland Harbor Superfund site. Working on behalf of those communities most affected by the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, the Willamette River Advocacy Group (WRAG)’s mission is to facilitate access to and communication with technical advisers. We strive to collaborate with other stakeholder groups in supporting a cleanup process that relies on community input and restores, protects, and enriches the environment for fish, wildlife, and human health.

The technical advisor will assist WRAG members in interpreting documents generated throughout the Superfund process at remediation sites along the approximately 11 mile stretch of the Willamette River designated as a Superfund site.  The WRAG is one of several groups working to assist communities near the Superfund to be long-term advocates for their health and the health of the River. The WRAG will work closely with the Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group, the Audubon Society of Portland, and the Portland Harbor Community Coalition,

The Technical Advisor will help the WRAG review site data as well as data-gathering techniques. This assistance will ensure that stakeholders are informed about all aspects of site cleanup activities, enabling them to participate more effectively in EPA’s decision-making process.

WRAG will periodically evaluate this contract. The current scope of work for this contract involves tasks related mostly to the Remedial Design phase of the cleanup. The scope of work will require one or more technical advisors to perform the following tasks during a potential three-year contractual period (with options for additional years), beginning as soon as a suitable candidate is identified:

  1. Reviewing technical documents generated during baseline sampling, remedial design (RD), and remedial action (RA). These documents may include work plans, sampling plans, quality assurance/quality control plans, risk assessment, health assessments, record of decision, pre-final and final engineering designs, and other technical documents pertaining to the Portland Harbor Superfund cleanup.
  2. Preparation of summary memos and reports of technical documents and information for public distribution.  
  3. Preparing and presenting summaries of technical information to community members at in-person or online events, as appropriate.
  4. Review of written comments or feedback prepared by the WRAG and stakeholder groups to be submitted to EPA during public comment periods or feedback opportunities.
  5. Assist in generating outreach materials through proofreading and fact checking.

Those wishing to be considered should submit a proposal that includes a general description of their approach for conducting this kind of work, along with their CV, and a detailed cost estimate. The technical advisor must have verifiable credentials and must provide the WRAG with a list of previous clients and information on any past, current, or anticipated business or financial relationships with any of the cleanup’s potentially responsible parties (PRP’s) at the site, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, subcontractors, and current clients, including businesses, and local, state, and federal government agencies. Previous work or affiliation with a PRP does not automatically disqualify any candidate.

The successful candidate will have:

  • Technical qualifications in the areas of epidemiology, toxicology, biology, health and risk assessment.
  • Expertise to perform the scope of work, including expertise in toxicology, hydrogeology, and engineering, or be able to obtain this expertise.
  • Experience with clients who do not possess extensive technical experience, and the ability to communicate complex material to that audience.
  • Reasonable level of comfort and ability in presenting before a group and participating in community forums.
  • Adequate financial expertise in place to manage the tasks required and account for expenditures.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of CERCLA and other relevant statutes.
  • Reliability, personal and professional integrity and the ability to work cooperatively with community stakeholders.
  • Possess a basic understanding of the tenets of equity and diversity and ability to communicate to a broad audience.

Each proposal received will be evaluated on the following criteria, which are weighted based on the WRAG’s priorities:

  • 20% Past relevant experience.
  • 10% Knowledge of the EPA Superfund program as well as knowledge of EPA procedures and reporting requirements
  • 20% Cost
  • 25% Relevant expertise (i.e., toxicology, health sciences), both academic and demonstrated.
  • 25% Ability to provide written and oral translations of technical documents and data in terms understandable to lay persons.


The WRAG will work to evaluate proposals by assigning a score (on a scale of 1 – 5) to each criterion. The weighted scores will be added for a total score. The highest possible total score per reviewer is 25. The goal of the selection criteria is to determine which candidates will be asked to interview for the position, and obtain the best proposal at a reasonable cost. The interview process, similarly, will entail standard interview questions, some in reference to the candidates submitted proposal. The criteria and scoring will be the same as the proposal review.

The group has the option to renew the contract up to and after the initial three- year grant period for additional one- to three-year contract periods as long as the cleanup continues. Contract renewal will be based on overall satisfaction with the technical advisor’s previous performance and availability of funds.

A total of approximately 100 hours of work is estimated for this contract during the first year of the Remedial Design phase of cleanup; the distribution of these hours is dependent upon the pace at which site cleanup proceeds. Remedial Design is expected to continue and Remedial Action is expected to begin in some areas of the site in the second and third year with a possible 210 hours of additional work.

One labor-hour contract will be awarded to the best qualified applicant within a competitive price range, while reserving the option to hire an additional candidate if another field of expertise is needed. The WRAG will negotiate to obtain the best final offer. Candidates will be informed of the WRAG’s decision to reject or accept a proposal. The deadline for submitting proposals is December 31, 2019. Qualified firms or individuals are encouraged to respond to this solicitation. To be eligible, and upon request, all applicants must provide information on an any existing or previous connections to Potentially Responsible Parties. All submissions should include a proposal, letter of interest, and CV to be sent electronically to:

Willamette River Advocacy Group

wragpdx@gmail.com

Additional information such as a complete list of Portland Harbor PRP’s can be found at our website, wragpdx.wordpress.com. Please also note that pursuant to 40 CFR Part 35.4205(e), the EPA has the option to review the technical advisor contract.

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