6100 Southport Road

Portage, Indiana 46368

(219) 763-6060


October 21, 2019 – November 4, 2019

RFQ 19-06: USEPA Brownfields Grant Environmental Consultant Services

Q1: Are you able to provide us with a copy of the EPA approved Workplan for this EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant?

A1: See ATTACHMENT A – Excerpt From the EPA-Approved Work Plan for the Brownfield Coalition Assessment Grant – Hazardous Substances and Petroleum.

Q2: Are you able to provide us with a copy of your FY19 grant application used to procure this EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant?

A2: NIRPC is in receipt of a federally funded grant from the USEPA in the amount of $600,000 ($452,750 for hazardous substances and $147,250 for petroleum) for this project.

Q3: After reviewing the RFQ packet, it’s understood that the Cooperative Agreement (CA) funds will be used to identify existing brownfield sites/properties within Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties of Indiana. Does the Greater Northwest Indiana Brownfield Coalition (the Coalition) already have an inventory of properties or selected sites they would like to assess as part of this grant? If not, is there plan on how the list of potential sites will be obtained?

A3: NIRPC has provided a copy of the EPA-Approved Work Plan – See ATTACHMENT

A. Page 3 and 4 of this document lists the targeted areas for which sites are already identified. Page 6 discusses prioritization factors influencing other sites for assessment. NIRPC has a comprehensive inventory in the target areas described in the

attached workplan. Non-priority sites throughout the three-county region will be added to the inventory throughout the performance period.

Q4: Would NIRPC consider veteran-owned businesses as a DBE subcontractor?

A4: The only way a veteran-owned business could be considered in the RFQ is they also qualify as a MBE/WBE or have been certified by INDOT as a DBE. This would cover all areas of the recognized business enterprises for both the state and federal programs.

It is very important the potential DBE, MBE, and WBE be certified before the project begins. Otherwise they would not qualify once the project begins. The timespan for DBE certification by the state of Indiana is 6 weeks on the quick time track.

Q5: Can you provide more detail on what is needed in responses for “Fee schedule” and “Fee structure?” Is NIRPC looking only for hourly labor rates and in-house expenses in the Fee Schedule included in the response? Or is NIRPC also asking for cost estimates for various tasks listed under the Scope of Services (pg. 9 of the RFQ)? Since no

specific scope of work is available in the RFQ, can the cost estimates for the tasks be provided as cost ranges if they required in the response?

A5: For this RFQ the fee structure is not a consideration under the criteria factors. The statement of qualifications that NIRPC seeks are for determining the firm’s qualifications to perform the Phase 1 and Phase 2 work. The fee structure will come into play when NIRPC seeks Request for Proposals to perform the actual Phase 1 and Phase 2 work.


Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission Excerpt From the EPA-Approved

Work Plan for the Brownfield Coalition Assessment Grant – Hazardous Substances and Petroleum

Greater Northwest Indiana Brownfield Coalition


This project supports EPA Strategic Plan Goal 1 – Core Mission, Objective 3 – Revitalize Land and Prevent Contamination. Specifically, the recipient will inventory, characterize, assess, plan reuse of brownfields properties and conduct planning and community involvement activities to encourage revitalization and reuse of brownfields sites. Project Period is 3 years.


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has awarded the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) a Coalition Brownfields Assessment grant for the assessment of sites contaminated by hazardous substances and petroleum products. NIRPC, the Regional Development Authority (RDA), and the Northwest Indiana Forum Foundation (NWIFF) have formed a coalition (the Coalition) to advance brownfield redevelopment within the Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties of Indiana. Funds will be used to: conduct Phase II Assessments and clean up planning on sites that were previously prioritized through US EPA Brownfield grant BF-00E01366 in the targeted cities of Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago; conduct Phase I Environmental Assessments and Phase II Assessments of additional underutilized or blighted properties in the targeted cities and other communities within Northwest Indiana; inventory through GIS mapping tools high priority areas for brownfield assessment and redevelopment, and develop liability management and remedial strategies for the safe and viable redevelopment/reuse of assessed properties, work with local economic development officials to appropriately market brownfield sites.

The Coalition’s objective is to focus grant funds on addressing brownfields in three TAs: The Gary TA (Census Tract (CT) 102.01) is home to numerous vacant brownfields sites and impoverished residents living in mobile home parks. The Hammond TA (CT 201) was formerly marshland that has been filled in with unknown fill materials, which in Lake County frequently included steel foundry wastes (slag and sands) that often contain heavy metals (lead, arsenic,

cadmium, chromium). The East Chicago TA (CT 302) began to experience the effects of depopulation in the 1960s and as a result, many buildings were demolished and became vacant land or parking lots. It is home to the most impoverished residents of East Chicago.

The long-term goal of this Greater Northwest Indiana Brownfield Coalition is to enable previously productive sites with existing infrastructure to become competitive with greenfield development. Ultimately these successful brownfield redevelopments will enhance the local economy, create local jobs, increase market value and affordable housing stock, and increase tax revenues for under resourced communities.

Management and Coordination:

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission will direct the Brownfield Assessment Grant Project. Ms. Kathy Luther, NIRPC Chief of Staff and Director of Environmental Programs will serve as the Project Manager and contact person. Ms. Talaya Jones, NIRPC Chief Accountant and will be responsible for financial reporting, drawdowns, and financial management of the grant and contractor payments. Ms. Lisa Todd, NIRPC Procurement Coordinator will oversee the contractor procurement process. NIRPC will enter into a joint Memorandum of Agreement with the RDA and the Northwest Indiana Forum Foundation.

Ms. Jillian Huber, Grants Manager at the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority one of the Coalition Members will serve as assistant project manager with primary responsibility for coordinating communication between coalition members and ensuring updates of the region’s brownfield website.

Work to be Performed:

NIRPC and the Coalition members have identified 4 Tasks to be conducted for this project. The schedule detailed in this Work Plan assumes that a CA with the USEPA will be executed by October 1, 2019.

Task 1 – Programmatic and Outreach:

    1. Program Management

    2. Community Outreach Task 2 – Inventory

Task 3 – Site Assessment Task 4 – Clean Up Planning

Task 1 – Programmatic and Outreach:

    1. Programmatic: NIRPC, with be primarily responsible for overall program management, compliance and reporting. The RDA (Coalition Member) will be assist with Coalition coordination and communication throughout the project.

      The following activities will be completed:

      • The Work Plan will be prepared within one month of receiving grant award notification.

      • Qualified Environmental Professional(s) (QEP) will be retained in compliance with applicable federal procurement regulations within three months of award.

      • Quarterly reports and other grant documentation, including, but not limited to, annual reports and MBE/WBE Utilization reports, will be submitted to the U.S. EPA per the requirements of the Cooperative Agreement.

      • Assessment, Cleanup, and Redevelopment Exchange System (ACRES) will be updated as sites are assessed. ACRES will subsequently be updated with cleanup and/or redevelopment information as appropriate during and/or after the 3-year performance period.

      • Final project closeout documentation will be submitted as required once the performance period ends.

      • NIRPC staff will attend US EPA brownfield grant management training as necessary during the grant period.

      • At least one member of each coalition organization staff will attend at least one national brownfield conference during the grant period.

    2. Outreach: NIRPC will be the lead and work with other Coalition Members and the QEP to

coordinate and conduct community and stakeholder meetings and other community outreach activities (press releases, postings on Coalition Members and community websites and social media, additional meetings in target areas). The following activities will be completed: