The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky

Second protest of North Wind Paducah cleanup contract filed

By Joe Walker

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Two more bidders have filed protests this week with the General Accounting Office in the awarding of cleanup contracts at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant and its closed sister plant in Piketon, Ohio.

PM Tech-CDM Paducah Project is protesting the awarding of a $303 million contract to North Wind Paducah Cleanup Co. on Jan. 10 to work at the Paducah plant through Sept. 30, 2009.

Previously, bidder Wastren Inc. of Grand Junction, Colo., filed a similar protest against North Wind, which is replacing Bechtel Jacobs as the plant's lead environmental contractor.

"We believe our team provided the best overall-value proposal," said Joe Tarantino, Paducah site manager for CDM Federal Programs. "Beyond that, it's not appropriate to elaborate on the details of the pending legal process."

The S.M. Stoller Corp. is protesting the new $141 million contract of LATA-Parallax Portsmouth for cleanup at the Piketon plant, replacing Bechtel Jacobs. Last week, the GAO dismissed a protest by Paducah-based bidder ELR Consultants.

CDM Federal, a division of Cambridge, Mass.-based engineering firm Camp Dresser & McKee, is a subcontractor of Bechtel Jacobs at Paducah. PM Tech is a Denver firm that has done cleanup at other U.S. Department of Energy sites.

PM Tech and CDM Federal formed a joint venture to bid for the lead contract work.

Jeff Miles, press secretary for U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, said Wednesday that another bidder — a joint venture of Portage, Duratek and Shaw environmental firms — was expected to file a protest in the North Wind contract. Other bidders have through Monday to do the same.

Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville, is the new chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over DOE.

He is watching the protests out of ongoing concerns about cost increases and delays in Paducah plant cleanup.

Last Friday, the Energy Department extended Bechtel Jacobs´ Paducah cleanup contract another 60 days until June 1 amid the GAO protest review, which could take up to 100 days.

Bechtel Jacobs employs 160 people and oversees another 390 subcontract workers. North Wind pledged to hire most of those workers.