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This list merely captures information from vendors who have expressed interest in working on recovery efforts for Hurricane Katrina. Inclusion in these lists does not constitute endorsement of any listed vendor. EPA does not guarantee the vendors’ qualifications, responsibility, socio-economic status, technical or past performance, or the validity of any technical claims. We have not evaluated, pre-qualified or certified these vendors in any way.
If you have a technology or service you want EPA to know about, contact Ron Bell (202-564-4501) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 14, 2005
SUBJECT: Procedures for Handling Hurricane Vendor Inquiries
FROM: Thomas P. Dunne /s/
Acting Assistant Administrator
TO: Assistant Administrators
OSWER Office Directors
The purpose of this memorandum is to announce a coordinated procedure for (1) accepting unsolicited technology offers from vendors to work with EPA on Hurricane Katrina related response; and, (2) providing a technology assessment and review function to support EPA Regional, State, Tribal and other partner needs.
Whenever a nationally significant environmental incident occurs, EPA receives numerous unsolicited contacts from vendors offering products and services for EPA’s response efforts. These contacts from vendors come into the Agency through numerous avenues (e.g., calls to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Regional Response Centers (RRCs), referrals from political representatives, referrals from other agencies, and direct contact with EPA officials). Often unaware of EPA’s specific response mission, offers from vendors and service providers span a wide spectrum. They range from routine sometimes non-environmental products or services to highly technical and specific innovative environmental tools. Some of those tools may already be known to, and regulated by, different EPA media programs. Moreover, many of the vendors are unaware that EPA maintains a number of existing emergency response support contracts (Emergency and Rapid Response Support [ERRS], Superfund Technical Assessment Response Team [START], Research Engineering Analytical Contract [REAC], etc.). These contracts, awarded through a competitive process in accordance with Federal procurement laws and regulations, not only provide most of the capabilities necessary for the Agency to conduct environmental response, but also incorporate lessons learned from the Agency’s past experience in responding to natural and man-made disasters. Therefore, EPA does not generally procure services or technologies for response in the midst of these incidents, unless the exigencies of the situation demand previously unforeseen, unique, or unusual capabilities. Capabilities not resident within the prime contractors’ organizations are usually acquired by subcontracting.
Numerous vendor inquiries to the EOC and the RRCs can create a substantial burden on the Agency’s response activities. In an effort to reduce that burden to the front line responders and consolidate vendor referrals from across the Agency, the EPA Environmental Technology Council (ETC), in collaboration with the Office of Acquisition Management (OAM), has established a set of procedures to handle incoming hurricane response vendor inquiries and utilize the network of media offices and the Office of Research and Development (ORD) to assess vendor technology capabilities. The ETC is co-chaired by ORD, OSWER, and Region I and has representation from all of the media offices, OAM, and all ten Regions. The ETC has offered to act as the intermediary to ensure that, when warranted, vendors and their technologies are routed to the appropriate technology review contacts in the appropriate media office(s). In essence, the ETC is functioning as a broker to direct incoming vendor requests to the appropriate media office as expeditiously as possible. Equally important, the system outlined below serves as a directory for use by Regional, State, Tribal and other partners to (1) request evaluations of technologies of interest, or (2) request technology assessments for environmental problems for which solutions are too costly, cumbersome, or time-consuming.
Initial Receipt of Inquiry
Figure 1 is a schematic that depicts the ETC system to handle all incoming requests from vendors. This plan will enable the EOCs and RRCs to expeditiously refer vendors to the appropriate vendor response entity. It will also assist the media offices and the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations (OCIR) to appropriately direct all inquires from the Hill.
The plan proposes that all vendors be initially referred to the contact (Ron Bell) in the OAM. This office will record information on the vendor and its offered technology into a database, including vendor contact and capability information. Vendors will be advised that their basic information is being made available to frontline Federal, State, and Tribal response contacts. OAM will release an updated vendor listing on a monthly basis (or more frequently as dictated by the volume of new vendors entered into the database). Electronic group mailings will include the Emergency Operations Center, Region IV Response Center, Region VI Response Center, and field units. The listings will be shared with the START, ERRS and other Federal prime contractors and with the affected State/Tribal response entities. The vendor listing may also be accessed above.
When a vendor requests a meeting with EPA to discuss its product or technology, OAM will consult with the ETC liaison to identify the appropriate contact(s) in the media offices and ORD. OAM will forward all vendor or technology information provided by the vendor to the cognizant media office or ORD contact on the flow chart. The media office, or the media office in conjunction with ORD, will then review or evaluate vendor-provided materials, follow up and obtain from the vendor any additional information, if necessary. The ETC liaison will follow up with media office and ORD on the results of any review or evaluation conducted. The reviewing office will provide a copy of evaluation reports to the ETC liaison and to OAM.
Vendor Referrals for Routine Debris Management
All vendors wishing to provide routine services for debris management (e.g., heavy equipment operators, hauling, municipal solid waste landfill services) should be directed to the State contacts and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) identified in Figure 2. A majority of debris management and recycling work is being directed by the emergency response organizations in the five affected states and the USACE. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has given the USACE a mission assignment to conduct debris removal and management in a majority of the hurricane-stricken area. There are several locations (e.g., some counties in Mississippi) that are handling debris management directly. Figure 2 identifies websites and phone numbers for the State contracting offices and appropriate acquisition centers in the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and the USACE.
Technology Assessments for Federal/State/Tribal Field Personnel
The ETC has also set up this network to assist the Federal/State/Tribal front line responders, should they need assistance identifying and evaluating technology capabilities or options for a specific situation. If Federal field personnel or their State/Tribal counterparts need assistance confirming claims of a particular technology vendor or the existence of commercially available capabilities for an environmental problem, they may contact the appropriate media/program office on Figure 1. The media subject matter contact will identify resources within the Agency, including especially ORD, to support the request. When this analysis is complete, the media office will respond directly to the Federal/State/Tribal requestor and copy OAM and the ETC liaison with the results.
In addition to providing a unified approach for vendor inquiries, the system set forth above will allow EPA staff to easily check if the vendor has already contacted the EPA and made its capabilities known to the Agency. The Agency can then assure vendors that their information has been captured, thereby eliminating multiple contacts or follow ups with the Agency, and avoid duplicative efforts.
If you have any questions regarding this procedure, contact Paul Shapiro, the ETC liaison identified in Figure 1 at (202) 343-9801.
If you have specific questions regarding the vendor listing, contact Ron Bell or Celia Vaughn at (202 564-1047).