Guidance Manual for United States Non-governmental Operators Planning Expeditions to Antarctica


Synopsis

General Information

Document Type: Presolicitation Notice
Solicitation Number: RFQ-DC-06-00316
Posted Date: Jun 22, 2006
Original Response Date: Jul 13, 2006
Current Response Date: Jul 13, 2006
Original Archive Date: Aug 13, 2006
Current Archive Date: Aug 13, 2006
Classification Code: R -- Professional, administrative, and management support services Contracting Office Address

Environmental Protection Agency, Headquarters Procurement Operations Division, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, Nw, Washington, DC 20460

Description

NAICS Code: 541620

The United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance Division intends to award a sole source firm-fixed-price performance based purchase order using Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures to Poles Apart Limited of Cambridge, United Kingdom under the authority of FAR Part 6.302-1. Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest, and most isolated continent on Earth, unique in its physical and biological characteristics.

As a result, the continents climate limits the presence and activities of humans. However, following the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-58 as a result of the upsurge in Antarctic research activity, 12 countries with research and other interests in Antarctica devised arrangements for cooperation that culminated in the Antarctic Treaty in 1959. Shortly after, in 1969, the Antarctic Science, Tourism, and Conservation Act established requirements for non-governmental activities in Antarctica.

Following that Act, EPA promulgated regulations at 40 CFR Part 8, Environmental Impact Assessment of Non-Governmental Activities in Antarctica. It was determined under this regulation, when the Department of State determines that an expedition is a U.S.-based non-governmental expedition, it is the EPA's responsibility to implement the Act. Because of the inter-active responsibility between the EPA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of State, they work together to review the various documents submitted for any U.S.-based non-governmental expedition. The purpose of this acquisition is to develop a Guidance Manual for United States Non-governmental Operators Planning Expeditions to Antarctica.

The Guidance Manual will provide relevant information for these operators to prepare and submit documentation to EPA, NSF, and Department of State for planned expeditions to Antarctica that meet all applicable requirements. Poles Apart is a U.K.-based group specializing in the world's extreme environments with its origins lying in Antarctic field operations. The group has been working on Antarctic environmental impact assessment (EIA), Antarctic environmental permit application, Antarctic health and safety assessment, as well as international, national and local Antarctic legislation review since 1986. Poles Apart has prepared EIA documents for non-governmental operators planning expeditions to Antarctica, including U.S.-based operators. Poles Apart is highly experienced with the EIA process and documentation requirements for land-based and cruise expeditions, including those of the U.S.

The group also has an understanding of the current issues facing non-governmental operators in Antarctica as they spend significant time in Antarctica on airplanes and ships each year, and they are represented at the annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. In addition, EPA has conducted market research by searching the internet and contacting the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). EPA did not find any additional sources through the internet search. The Project Officer spoke to the Executive Director at IAATO who did not know of anyone else who could do this work.

IAATO is a member organization founded in 1991 to advocate, promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to Antarctica. IAATO submits a programmatic environmental impact assessment to EPA on behalf of its members, and its members are made up of the U.S. operators regulated by EPA, NSF, and the Department of State. The manual is intended to provide guidance to these U.S. operators, and therefore it would not be appropriate to have the regulated community or IAATO as a representative of the regulated community, prepare this document. In addition, IAATO does not have staff resources available for these types of services. EPA is not aware of anyone offering services that has experience in environmental impact assessment for both non-governmental land-based and cruise expeditions in Antarctica necessary to develop this guidance manual. Also, EPA is not aware of anyone offering services with experience and understanding of the U.S. government procedures for the environmental impact assessment of non-governmental activities in Antarctica necessary to develop this guidance manual.

Poles Apart has been writing environmental impact assessments for expeditions to Antarctica since before the Protocol was ratified in 1992. The company also has an understanding of the current issues facing non-governmental operators in Antarctica as they spend significant time in Antarctica on airplanes and ships each year, and they are represented at the annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. Therefore, it has been determined that Poles Apart Limited is the only viable source to meet the Government's requirements.

NO SOLICITATION OR REQUEST FOR QUOTE (RFQ) IS AVAILABLE. Notwithstanding, any firm who believes it is capable of meeting EPA's requirement as stated herein may submit a response, which if received within 10 calender days of the date of this announcement will be considered.

Responses to this posting must be in writing. A determination not to compete the proposed purchase order based upon the responses to this notice is solely within the discretion of the Government.

All questions should be directed to Rebecca Hindin via e-mail at hindin.rebecca@epa.gov.

Please note the link to the statement of work is as follows: http://www.epa.gov/oamhpod1/admin_placement/0600318/index.htm

Point of Contact

Point of Contact, Rebecca Hindin, Purchasing Agent, Phone (202) 564-1266

Email your questions to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at hindin.rebecca@epa.gov

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