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District awards environmental remediation contract to support cleanup of Front Range Air Force bases

Published Aug. 13, 2020
Fe Warren Airbase

FE Warren Airbase

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Omaha District awarded an $8.5 million Optimized Remediation Contract in July that focuses on a large, joint environmental clean-up effort at six Air Force bases across four states in the Northwest also referred to as the Front Range group.

Project manager, Sarah Miller with the District’s Environmental Remediation Branch explains that  after 16 months of planning, success is due to the collaboration of many individuals on the district’s project delivery team  including: contracting, engineering, environmental project management, program analysts - in addition to members from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Environmental team in San Antonio.

According to Miller, one of the primary goals of this project was a substantial reduction of long-term environmental liabilities and life cycle costs through the optimization of environmental restoration practices - while complying with applicable federal, state, and local laws including base regulations and rules. 

“A lot of the time we work in smaller groups, but this has been a great experience to be able to work with another project manager and all of the people in contracting,” Miller said. “I really enjoyed all the camaraderie and working with all the different team members. Last year we worked a lot of weekends and I also got to travel to the different project sites. I learned a lot.”

This joint project between the U.S. Air Force and USACE - Omaha will provide environmental remediation support at the following locations: the Air Force Academy’s Environmental Restoration Program, Air Force Plant (PJKS) and Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado; F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming; Malmstrom AFB in Montana and Mountain Home AFB in Idaho.

Since Mountain Home AFB is within the Corps’ Seattle District area of responsibility, the Seattle team will help provide project oversight at this facility, said Miller.

“Right now we are in the work planning stage, and under the Environmental Restoration Program before actual site field work can begin, the planning needs to be finished for all six installations. This should begin happening now,” said Adam Plack, a co-project and contracting manager also with the District’s Environmental Remediation Branch.

“Looking at the scope of the project, on-going field work will continue over the next eight years. There are approximately 40 cleanup sites under this contract that are spread out across six Air Force bases which require some type of active remediation service,” Plack said. “We’ll be focusing primarily on soil and ground water, both of which require a lot of sampling and analysis. We look for an array of contaminants of concern resulting from past DoD activities.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some of these contaminants are likely human carcinogens and could cause other adverse health effects.

Typical ground water remediation technologies include pump and treat facilities and/or in-situ (on site) treatments that are injected into selected contaminated groundwater zones, both of which are highly effective at neutralizing contaminants, Plack said.

“Truly this was a team effort and we couldn’t have done this without every single person involved on the team and them bringing their A-game – everyone was involved to help bring this contract to award,” Plack added.  

Six regional Air Force program managers have been selected to provide on-site supervision of clean-up efforts and monitor landfills.  The USACE team will be in constant coordination with these individuals to ensure the successful execution of the contract activities. 

This is the second ORC the Omaha district has awarded and follows a model that was created by the Air Force.

The total value of this contract, including options, is $26.8 million with work continuing through fiscal year 2028.