Banner Year for CIRI Subsidiary North Wind Group

Strong financials, new office locations, and numerous awards and industry recognition – 2018 proved a banner year for CIRI subsidiary North Wind Group (NWG). Based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, NWG is a leading small business in the federal environmental services market.

“Over the past five years, we’ve delivered strong financial performance while retaining more than 95 percent of our core employees,” said NWG President and CEO Chris Leichtweis. “In 2018 alone, we more than doubled the amount of our single-contract awards and have a robust portfolio of current and potential projects.”


New Office Locations

NWG set the stage for continued steady growth by opening new offices this fall in Bremerton, Wash., and Morgantown W.Va. The Bremerton office opening follows the successful launch of NWG’s regional office in Seattle less than two years ago. Growth and increased focus on the Eastern region mature markets led NWG to expand its Eastern region and divide it into two regions, Northeast and Southeast, with the West Virginia office representing its first in the latter region.

Project Milestones

A photo of the North Ridge Estates residential subdivision, where NWG recently completed a three-year cleanup and restoration project. Photo courtesy of NWG.

Asbestos Remediation at North Ridge Estates Superfund Site
Client: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Years active: 2016-2018
Location: Klamath Falls, Ore.
Project description: North Wind Inc. recently completed a three-year hazardous residential cleanup project near Klamath Falls, Ore. Over three construction seasons, the crew removed 360,000 cubic yards of asbestos-contaminated materials and soils across approximately 40 properties in the 125-acre North Ridge Estates residential subdivision. The cleanup returned the site to productive use as a residential neighborhood, protecting current and future residents from harmful asbestos contamination.

Luckey Site Contaminated Soils Remediation Project
Client: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Years active: 2017-2022 (mobilization activities began 2016)
Location: Luckey, Ohio
Project description: As part of the Corps’ Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program, North Wind/ Portage provides environmental service activities – including cleanup of soils and debris contaminated with beryllium, lead and radiological waste – near the community of Luckey, 22 miles southeast of Toledo. As of June, 336 truckloads of waste had safely traveled 24,360 miles to the disposal facility.

Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project
Client: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Years active: 2011-2021. Original contract: 2011-2016. Five-year extension awarded in 2016 for work through 2021.
Location: Moab, Utah, just south of Arches National Park
Project description: An environmental cleanup project that includes excavating, conditioning, packaging and transporting uranium mill tailings and debris, the project site encompasses 435 acres, of which approximately 130 acres was covered by 16 million tons of uranium mill tailings up to 60 feet thick. To date, the project has removed and disposed of 9 million tons of tailings. Additionally, the project recently received certification of its Quality Assurance System to the International Organization for Standardization 9001:2015 standard. Organizations use the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.

2018 Awards and Honors

  • For its work at the Transuranic Waste Processing Center project in Oak Ridge, Tenn., NWG recently received the VPP “Superior Star” award. Photo courtesy of NWG.

    For excellence in safety and health systems that protect employees and promote superior corporate citizenship, NWG subsidiary Silver Mountain Construction was selected for the Alaska Governor’s Safety Award of Excellence.

  • At the Bechtel Supply Chain Recognition awards, North Wind Construction Services was recognized for outstanding work in support of Bechtel Corp.’s work in nuclear power, environmental cleanup, defense, and nuclear security and operations projects.
  • For its work at the Transuranic Waste Processing Center project in Oak Ridge, Tenn., NWG received the DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) “Superior Star.”
  • Led by NWG, the Portsmouth Mission Alliance (PMA) team received the VPP “Legacy of Stars” award, which is given to sites that have achieved the Star of Excellence rating for three consecutive years. The PMA team also received an Environmental Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior for superior accomplishments in promoting and sustaining the department’s environmental stewardship mission at the Yellow Aster Descarga Dam near Randsburg, Calif.
  • NWG moved up 19 spots to No. 55 on the Engineering News-Record (ENR) “Top 200 Environmental Firms” list. ENR annually ranks the top environmental services firms based on the percentage of gross revenue for environmental services. Leichtweis was quoted in the cover story of the August ENR as saying, “There is predictable growth in this market and I don’t think it will change anytime soon… We anticipate an uptick in our military cleanups in the Pacific Rim and continuing our strong organic growth.”
  • NWG was ranked No. 2 on Book of Lists in the Knoxville-Area Environmental Engineering and Consulting Firms category and No. 30 in Idaho’s Top 100 privately owned businesses.

“The employees of North Wind are to be commended for their innovation, efforts and determination to make this a great place to work and to provide the best value to CIRI,” Leichtweis said. “Everyone has collaborated to make this year a huge success, and I am beyond delighted be a part of this amazing team.”