Spurred by global demographic trends and natural events, environmental cleanup is on the rise. According to the most recent numbers released by Environmental Business International (EBI), a publishing and research company that generates market intelligence on the environmental industry, the industry grew 3.5 percent in 2015 and generated $363 billion in revenues. EBI forecasts continued growth in the 2017-2019 time frame, with an average annual increase of 3-4 percent.
Ready, willing and able to take on environmental challenges ranging from small site assessments to large-scale remediation projects is CIRI’s North Wind Group, an Idaho Falls, Idaho-based company that grew to more than 850 employees last year.
As previously announced, North Wind recently acquired Portage Inc., which, like North Wind, is an Idaho-based leading small business in the federal environmental services market. The acquisition brings important new contracts to North Wind.
Portage’s well-known brand and proven track record of successful past performance for clients that include the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. military will serve to enhance North Wind’s qualifications as it bids for new work with these and other customers. In government contracting, when you buy a company, you also “buy” its past project performance, and are therefore able to claim its successful performance as your own.
Portage’s recent past and current contracts of note include:
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 (FUSRAP), Portage provides environmental services activities – including cleanup of soils and debris contaminated with beryllium, lead and radiological waste – near the community of Luckey, 22 miles southeast of Toledo.
MOAB URANIUM MILL TAILINGS REMEDIAL ACTION (UMTRA) PROJECT
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: Environmental cleanup work to include excavation, conditioning and packaging of uranium mill tailings and debris at the project site in Moab, and transporting the waste via rail twice per week 30 miles north to a disposal site in Crescent Junction, Utah, also operated by Portage. 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 approximately half the tailings pile. In addition, Portage is responsible for the excavation, size reduction and disposal of debris from the mill buildings and associated structures buried in the tailings pile, and for remediation of vicinity properties, which are properties in the local community where contamination from past mill activities has been identified.
WASTE ISOLATION PLANT (WIPP) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CONTRACTOR
Years active: 2010 – 2021. Original contract: 2010-2015. Five-year extension awarded in 2016 for work through 2021.
Location: Carlsbad, New Mexico
Project description: At the nation’s only underground repository for the safe disposal of transuranic radioactive waste, Portage is providing quality assurance, technical oversight and administrative operations support. The WIPP repository is located approximately 2,150 feet below ground in a thick deposit of bedded salt. More specifically, Portage’s support to the DOE includes: transuranic waste certification and transportation, emergency safety and worker health, environmental compliance, nuclear and mining facility engineering and operations, international waste repository and scientific programs, and WIPP repository recovery.
IDAHO NATIONAL LABORATORY (INL) TECHNICAL SUPPORT CONTRACT
Client: Battelle Energy Alliance
Years active: 2005-2015
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Project description: Provided technical support in radioactive material, fuel and waste retrieval; waste management planning; cost estimating; waste storage/treatment and program management; permitting; engineering and project management; material inventory development, tracking and control; nuclear component engineering design, manufacturing and testing; facility design and construction procurement/oversight; chemical inventory management; and Superfund response at every facility at the INL.
ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP WORK AT LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY (LANL)
Client: Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the management and operations contractor for DOE at LANL
Years active: 2007-2012
Location: Los Alamos, New Mexico
Project description: Provided environmental cleanup services, including excavation/packaging of soils and debris in waste trenches contaminated with uranium, heavy metals, plutonium and other fission products, asbestos and volatile organic compounds. This six-acre site, known as Material Disposal Area (MDA) B, housed a former landfill utilized in the 1940s for disposal of WWII-era research and production operations, which consisted of 10 trenches up to 35 feet deep. The cleanup goal was to achieve residential soil screening levels for hazardous constituents and residential screening action levels for radionuclides in accordance with the MDA B Investigation/Remediation Work Plan approved by the New Mexico Environment Department. This cleanup was the highest-profile and most complex remediation project undertaken in the history of the laboratory and part of a broader DOE initiative to transfer the area to the City of Los Alamos.