The purpose of this Special Notice is to invite prospective offerors to participate in a Site Visit conducted by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) Plum Island Closure & Support (PICS) Program Management Office (PMO) regarding scientific, technical and engineering capabilities to support decontamination and closure of the major facility biocontainment buildings on Plum Island. The information exchanged during this Site Visit will help inform vendors who are interested in responding to the Government’s solicitation for this work.
The site visit is scheduled for Wednesday, June 29, 2022. In the event of inclement weather, the alternate date for the site visit will be Thursday, June 30, 2022, unless specified otherwise.
Since 1954, the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), located on Plum Island, New York, has been operated by the Federal Government for the purposes of agricultural research, training and diagnostics involving transboundary (foreign) animal diseases threatening United States agricultural production systems. In 2003, in accordance with the Homeland Security Act, ownership of PIADC was transferred from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to DHS, including the “assets and liabilities of the Center” (6USC190). The mission of PIADC will be transferred to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), which is currently under construction in Manhattan, Kansas.
Pursuant to the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriation Act of 2009, Congress directed DHS to sell Plum Island (through the GSA) given the decision to transition the scientific mission to the NBAF (P.L. 110-329 – Section 540). Ultimately, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which was enacted in December 2021, the prior sale requirement was repealed and revised to ensure that the Plum Island property “be disposed of as a single consolidated asset” by GSA (P.L. 116-260 – Division FF Title V Section 501).
To prepare the Island for cessation of Government activities, the PICS Program will ensure closure of the Plum Island property in a manner that reduces risks to an acceptable regulatory level for release to any public entity. The PICS Program defines requirements for the Island’s end-state to satisfy applicable related laws and regulations and will oversee the execution of the activities necessary for its closure and conveyance.
Due to the nature of scientific activities conducted at PIADC during its operation, it is necessary for the PICS Program to collaborate with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the USDA Division of Agricultural Select Agents and Toxins (DASAT) regarding the end-state determination of decontamination for the Facility and Island, prior to its conveyance by GSA.
The PICS Program involves a broad scope of activities; however, the purpose of this Site Visit is to help inform interested vendors in responding to a solicitation DHS will issue for services to support strategic and technical aspects of the biological decontamination process for the facility. As such, vendors interested in attending the Site Visit should have demonstrable, relevant expertise and experience to support various scientific, technical and engineering tasks related to initial through terminal biological decontamination of a large-scale biocontainment facility. The scope of the anticipated activity will entail conceptual and strategic planning spanning regulatory, scientific, engineering, and other disciplines. Specific tasks may include, but are not limited to:
• Planning/executing scientific activities for decontamination method to include analyses involving various technologies, sampling approaches, monitoring methods, among others;
• Translating results of method into plans for terminal facility decontamination;
• Delivery of engineering planning, engineering design, and logistics to support implementation of facility decontamination methods and/or independent third-party review of such developed products;
• Integration of scientific, engineering and other technical data in order to produce a comprehensive facility decontamination plan;
• Operation of an on-island mobile laboratory for provision of independent third-party verification/validation testing of biological and chemical indicators (SCBIs, spore strips, integrators); and
• Development of documentation of verification/validation results for review by regulatory bodies.
NOTE: The activities of the anticipated solicitation do not entail the performance of the primary operations and maintenance functions or physical execution of decontamination activities for the biocontainment buildings at Plum Island.
Each activity will be accomplished while working collaboratively with additional PICS federal and contracted personnel, both onsite and offsite. These will primarily include DHS personnel at PIADC and may include others at ONL headquarters, contractors performing the primary operations and maintenance function at the facility, and additional contracted personnel providing various additional technical services.
DHS is exclusively seeking Site Visit participation from entities that have engaged in strategic planning, execution, and oversight/quality assurance of the execution of biological decontamination and closure activities at the facility level.
As noted above, since 1954, PIADC has served as the nation’s premier defense against accidental or intentional introduction of transboundary animal diseases (a.k.a. foreign animal diseases) including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). PIADC is the only laboratory in the nation that can work on live FMD virus (FMDV). The lab and its staff of nearly 400 employees provide a host of high-impact, indispensable preparedness and response capabilities, including vaccine Research and Development (R&D), diagnostics, training, and bioforensics among others.
PIADC operates Biosafety Level (BSL) 2, BSL-3 Enhanced, Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL-3) and Biosafety Level 3 Agriculture (BSL-3Ag) laboratory and animal research facilities. PIADC utilizes well-established, contemporary biosafety and biosecurity practices and procedures to ensure the safety and security of personnel, the facility and materials including the animal disease-causing organisms under study. These measures help prevent laboratory-acquired infections, cross contamination within the facility and the release or escape of these organisms into the environment. The stringent and rigorously observed safety and security measures for the biocontainment facility include:
- Restricted access for only authorized and trained employees and approved visitors.
- Trained security professionals and various surveillance systems.
- Biocontainment laboratory facility such as vivarium and effluent decontamination systems operating under strict biosafety and biosecurity requirements including meeting or exceeding those required by the federal select agent program.
- A skilled operations and maintenance staff monitor laboratory air handling systems in real-time to help maintain biocontainment. The laboratory spaces on Plum Island are isolated from non-biocontainment areas using a system that draws fresh air in and filters the air before being exhausted from the facility. In addition, the inside of the biocontainment laboratory is kept at a lower air pressure than the ambient air outside. This helps ensure air inside the biocontainment laboratory does not leave the facility without first being adequately filtered.
- Employees are required to take special precautions while working in a biocontainment laboratory to ensure they do not contaminate themselves or inadvertently carry disease-causing agents outside the laboratory. To accomplish this critical biosafety objective, PIADC utilizes a combination of specialized containment equipment, facility design, trained staff and established procedures and practices. For example, personnel are required to change clothes prior to entering the biocontainment laboratory and to remove laboratory-provided clothing and shower before leaving specific areas within the biocontainment facility, and again when leaving the biocontainment facility at the end of the work period.
- Prior to gaining access to the biocontainment facility, all employees and visitors must agree to observe a Personal Recognizant Quarantine for a defined time period which precludes these individuals from having contact with animal species that are susceptible to the disease-causing organisms under study at the facility.
- All biocontainment waste which leaves the facility must undergo biological decontamination process. These include chemical (liquid and gaseous) and physical (heat and incineration) methods.
Located a mile and a half off of the eastern tip of Long Island, New York, Plum Island is accessible only by Government chartered ferries. Transportation for this Site Visit will be from Orient Point, New York, only.
The North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code corresponding to this effort is 541620, “Environmental Consulting Services.”
As stated above, the Site Visit will be conducted on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
During the Site Visit, the Government will provide an overview of facility operations and other information relevant to the planned solicitation. A tour of the facility’s biosafety level III laboratory and other related areas will be provided. Only one (1) representative from each vendor will be permitted on the biocontainment laboratory tour. Vendor representatives not entering biocontainment will have access to a Reading Room to view facility-related operating manuals, procedures and other documents relevant to the anticipated work. Lunch will be provided by the on-site cafeteria and with cash payment of $10.00 will be required from each participant.
Note that due to COVID mitigation and other facility limitations, the Site Visit is open to companies planning to serve as the Prime Contractor on an eventual response to solicitation only, and no more than three (3) representatives per vendor will be permitted. Only one (1) representative per vendor will be permitted on the biocontainment laboratory tour.
The following information for each representative from interested vendors who plan to participate in the Site Visit must be submitted via e-mail to Contract Specialist Mr. Robert Marosz at Robert.Marosz@hq.dhs.gov on or before Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) using the response templates accompanying this announcement (note that pre-populated information on the Visitor Questionnaire shall NOT be edited). Additional visitor information is provided, as a courtesy:
- Full name;
- Citizenship (Note: U.S. Citizenship is not mandatory for this site visit);
- Country of origin (Note: If other than U.S., submit copy of passport);
- Company name and address; and
- Work telephone number(s) and e-mail address.
For vendor representatives planning to enter the biocontainment laboratory, please also provide the following information, per the above instructions:
- Full name;
- Lab clothing sizes (scrubs, sneakers and undergarments will be provided by PIADC):
- Top (S, M, L, XL, etc.)
- Pants (S, M, L, XL, etc.)
- Sneaker (shoe size – round up)
Biosafety training and a brief written examination will be required/provided by DHS prior to laboratory entry. See “BACKGROUND” above for additional information regarding entering/exiting a biocontainment laboratory.
In addition and separate from the submission above, representatives from interested vendors planning to participate in the site visit must be able to pass a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) background check. Please follow the instructions below:
- Complete NCIC Form (see MS Excel attachment entitled “04. NCIC Form FINAL 050316.xlsx”). All individuals planning on participating in the site visit must pass an NCIC background check. All information must be entered onto the NCIC Form. One form can be filled out for all personnel from one company. (Note: The NCIC process requires Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
- E-mail the completed form back to PlumIslandSecurity@st.dhs.gov ONLY on or before 11:00 a.m. ET on Monday, June 13, 2022. DO NOT address or copy this PII information to Robert Marosz or anyone else on any distribution.
As stated above, no more than three (3) participants, pending individual security/background checks, per interested vendor will be allowed.
NOTICE TO PROSPECTIVE SITE VISIT PARTICIPANTS
Please note that this site visit is NOT a request for quotes or proposals.
This Special Notice is subject to the provisions of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.215-3, Request for Information or Solicitation for Planning Purposes (Oct 1997), and is issued solely for information/planning purposes. This Special Notice does not constitute a solicitation for proposals, a commitment to issue a solicitation for proposals, or the authority to enter into negotiations to award a contract. This Special Notice shall not be considered as an obligation by the Government to acquire any products or services. The Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this Special Notice. There is no entitlement to payment of direct or indirect costs or charges by the Government as a result of a Contractor submission of responses to this Special Notice or the Government’s use of such information. The Government reserves the right to reject, in whole or in part, any vendor’s/contractor’s input submitted in response to the Special Notice. Responses to this Special Notice will not be returned. The Government recognizes that proprietary information and data may be part of this effort and, if so included, such data should be clearly marked.
The Government reserves the right to contact some or none of the responders to this announcement. All material received will be kept by DHS and will not be returned. No information received will be shared by DHS to contractor support or competitors. No fees will be paid for submission to this announcement.
Participation in this Site Visit is voluntary and no travel, lodging, or incidental expenses, etc. associated with this Site Visit will be reimbursed to any vendor by the Government.
If you have any initial and/or logistics questions and/or comments, please submit them in writing to Robert Marosz at the e-mail addresses above, on or before 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Thank you and we are looking forward to your responses.
ACCESS TO DHS PIADC
DHS PIADC is a secure United States Government facility located on Plum Island, New York, approximately 1.5 miles from the eastern end of Long Island’s North Fork. Thank you, in advance, for submitting your personal information for the NCIC background check. Please remember to bring a valid photo ID, such as a state-issued driving license, a United States passport, a Department of Defense (DoD) Common Access Card (CAC) or Uniformed Services ID Card. Such up-to-date photo identification is required for you to be allowed on the Government’s ferry at the Orient Point, New York, harbor. DHS PIADC, at its own discretion, reserves the right to deny access to and, if necessary, escort from Plum Island any individual.
DEPARTURE TIME AND SUGGESTED DIRECTIONS TO PLUM ISLAND
Arrival at the DHS PIADC Orient Point facility, located at 40550 Route 25, Orient Point, NY, 11957, on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, no later than 7:15 a.m. Eastern Time. Ferry departure from the DHS PIADC facility and harbor at 40550 Route 25 in Orient Point, New York, will be at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Travel time by ferry takes approximately 15 minutes. There is no charge for this transportation.
To get to the DHS PIADC harbor at Orient Point: Take the Long Island Expressway (LIE) Eastbound to the end which is Exit 73 toward Greenport/Orient; Continue through Riverhead; Go through Riverhead Circle, continuing straight on the same road which is CR58 (you will drive past a Hess gas station on left); Take a left onto Northville Turnpike which is CR43; Continue to the end of CR43; At the stop sign, take a right on Sound Avenue which is CR48; Continue East to the end of Sound Avenue, which changes from CR48 to CR25; Continue on CR25, which also will be known as Main Road; Continue up to the Orient Point State Park; Pass the PIADC Employee Entrance (do not go into the Employee Entrance) and proceed to and enter at the Visitor Gate which is the East Gate of DHS PIADC ferry parking lot where you will park and walk to the ferry. Please allow for potential delays due to slow-moving farm equipment on Sound Avenue when estimating driving time. Note that the DHS PIADC ferry will depart promptly at 8:00 a.m. ET.
The return ferry trip from Plum Island to Orient Point will be at approximately 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.