Technical Advisor Update:

Dr. Dietrick McGinnis at the Elem Tribal Colony in Clearlake Oaks, CAThe Clear Lake Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Dietrick McGinnis, of McGinnis and Associates, LLC as the Community Technical Advisor for Operable Unit 1 at the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine Superfund Site in Clearlake Oaks, CA. 

Dr. McGinnis is an environmental engineer and the President of McGinnis and Associates LLC, an environmental consulting company based in Reno, NV. He has over 15 years of experience in environmental assessment and remediation at sites throughout the United States as well as in South America, Canada and India. His projects have included mines and Superfund Sites in California and Nevada and he has authored over 20 publications including peer-reviewed research. Over the last few years, Dr. McGinnis has worked with clients in Lake County including those affected by the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine. He looks forward to working with CLEAN to meet the goals of
an informed public and responsible remediation at the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine Superfund Site.

Photo: Dr. Dietrick McGinnis (left) working with members of the Elem Tribal Group in Clearlake Oaks, CA. Photo courtesy of Elem Tribal Colony. 

A: Background:

The Clear Lake Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) is soliciting proposals for a technical advisor to provide assistance in the review and analysis of remedial activities undertaken by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine Superfund Site (SBMM) in Clearlake Oaks, California. 

Members of CLEAN include affected Lake County residents, property owners and businesses, who are concerned with the associated site-related health hazards of mercury and other contaminants to local residents and wildlife, the resultant economic losses across Lake County and the ecological preservation of the entire lake. 

CLEAN has recently been awarded an EPA Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) to fund activities performed by the Technical Advisor.

The technical advisor will assist CLEAN members in interpreting technical documents generated throughout the Superfund remediation process at the SBMM site. The advisor will also help members review site data and clean-up proposals, which will ensure that CLEAN members are thoroughly informed about all aspects of cleanup activities and thus able to participate effectively in the EPA's decision-making process.

The SBMM Superfund Site Cleanup will be implemented by the EPA in two segments, Operable Unit 1 (OU1) and Operable Unit 2 (OU2). 

OU1 addresses sources of contamination associated with the land portion of the SBMM site - the Herman Impoundment, waste rock and tailings. The EPA is nearing completion of a Feasibility Study for OU1 and will shortly present a Proposed Plan to the community. The EPA will then proceed to design and construct the selected remedy. A portion of this Superfund Site is located within the boundaries of the Elem Pomo Indian Colony, and part of the cleanup will occur on tribal lands.

OU2 will focus on contaminant sources located in wetlands and the lake sediments and water column related to discharges from SBMM. The EPA has already performed significant work regarding characterizing the OU2 contaminant sources, and expects to continue to study these sources over the next several years. The OU2 remedial investigation will proceed in tandem with the design and construction efforts for OU1.

The scope of this work consists of technical assistance with OU1, and will require one or more technical advisors to perform various tasks during an initial 2 to 3 year contractual period, possibly longer. While a second RFP will be prepared for OU2, the technical advisor can be the same for both segments.


B: Technical Advisor Responsibilities

The technical advisor for OU1 is required to:

  • Review technical documents generated during the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study
    (RI/FS), Remedial Design (RD), and Remedial Action (RA). These documents may include: the RI Report; specific reports characterizing Groundwater, Surface Runoff and Waste Rock; Public Health and Ecological Risk Assessment (PHERA); Agency Review Draft FS and Public Comment FS; Record of Decision (ROD); Conceptual, Pre-final and Final Engineering Design, and Final Construction Report.
  • Upon completion of the major reports, the advisor will be expected to help CLEAN evaluate the results by preparing the following:
    a)  Complete a detailed analysis of the proposed remedies presented in the Feasibility Study, and then brief CLEAN on its contents. 
    b)  Prepare a written report to aid CLEAN in making public comments, specifically addressing the proposed cleanup measures. The advisor will be expected to analyze the health/risk assessments to ensure that public health is being adequately considered, then prepare a summary report. 
    c)  The advisor will also examine the Record of Decision (ROD) and prepare a memorandum on the chosen method of cleanup. Additionally, this report will describe how major comments by CLEAN and the general community were addressed by the EPA in the responsiveness summary.
    d)  Assist CLEAN in writing/reviewing the group's written comments to be submitted during the public comment period on the FS and proposed plan, ROD, PHERA.
    e)  Review and assist in technical content of newsletters/community outreach material prepared by CLEAN 
  • Attend meetings related to OU1 over the next 1-3 years, at the direction of CLEAN: 
    a)  Approximately 4 day-long EPA Technical Advisor Committee (TAC) meetings to be held by the EPA for review of issues related to OU1, 
    b)  Prepare and make presentations at Community Meetings organized by CLEAN to discuss EPA plans/reports as needed (approx. 3 to 4 per year). 
    c)  Special Public Comment Meetings held for residents by EPA staff
C: Technical Advisor Qualifications:

The successful candidate will have: 

  • Technical qualifications/expertise in health sciences, toxicology, hydrology, landfill gasses, institutional controls and engineering, or explain how they will obtain this expertise. This includes: Ability to evaluate human health and make ecological risk assessments; Familiarity with mining site remediation (cleanup of mine waste and acid rock drainage); Experience in evaluating groundwater and surface water hydrology and chemistry; Familiarity with the engineering aspects of remediation, the use of institutional controls and land use restrictions.
  • Experience with Native American tribal issues.
  • Experience with clients who do not possess extensive technical backgrounds. 
  • Adequate financial resources and accounting procedures in place to manage the tasks required and account for expenditures. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of CERCLA and other relevant statutes.
D: RFP Requirements:

Those wishing to be considered, should submit a proposal that includes:

  • A general description of the candidates' approach for conducting this work
  • A resume
  • Itemized Cost Estimate: For bidding purposes, assume you will be reviewing the documents and conducting the work outlined in the section above entitled B: Technical Advisor Responsibilities. Please provide an estimate of hours involved and hourly unit pricing for each item listed.
  • References and list of associated/relevant past work. 
  • The technical advisor must have verifiable credentials and must provide CLEAN with a list of previous clients and information on any past, current, or anticipated business or financial relationships with any potentially responsible party (PRP) at the site, its parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, subcontractors, and current clients.
E: RFP Selection Criteria

Each proposal received will be evaluated on the following criteria, which are weighted based on
CLEAN'S priorities:

  • 15% - Knowledge/understanding of the complexities, previous work carried out at the SBMM Superfund site.
  • 5% - Previous experience working with Native American groups and issues..
  • 5% - Knowledge of EPA procedures and reporting requirements.
  • 20% - Price
  • 15% - References from prior clients in associated/relevant work
  • 20% - Relevant expertise as stated in Section C: Technical Advisor Qualifications, both academic and demonstrated, either individually or in association with colleagues.
  • 20% - Ability to provide written, and oral translations of technical documents and data that are easily understandable for lay persons.

CLEAN will evaluate proposals by assigning a scaled score for each criterion. The weighted scores will be added, for a total score. The goal of the selection criteria is to obtain the best proposal at a reasonable cost.

F: Project Schedule

The group has the option to renew the contract after the initial three-year period for additional
one-to three-year contract periods as long as the cleanup continues. Contract renewal will be
based on satisfaction with the technical advisor's previous performance and availability of funds.
A total of approximately 225 hours of work is estimated for the technical advisor during the two to three year site cleanup period for OU1; the distribution of these hours is dependent upon the pace at which site cleanup proceeds.

One contract will be awarded to the best qualified applicant within a competitive price range. CLEAN will negotiate to obtain the best final offer. Candidates will be informed of CLEAN's decision to reject or accept a proposal. The deadline for submitting proposals to CLEAN is 5 p.m., April 9, 2004 (please note, this originally said 4/5, but the newspaper ad listed 4/9 - thus we will accept applications through 4/9). Those submitting proposals should be available for possible interviews during the weeks of 3/29/04 to 04/15/04. CLEAN expects to make a selection by 04/16/04.

Qualified firms or individuals are encouraged to respond to this solicitation. Women and minority owned businesses are encouraged to submit proposals. All submissions should be sent, faxed or emailed to:

Chuck Lamb, Chairman
Clear Lake Environmental Action Network
Box 926, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423
Phone Number: 707-998-0135
Fax number: 707-998-2180