Air Force officials award cleanup contract for former Mather Air Force Base

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Air Force Real Property Agency officials announced July 1 the award of a multi-year performance-based contract to URS Group, Inc. to perform environmental restoration activities at the former Mather Air Force Base in Rancho Cordova, Calif. 

The $8.57 million contract runs through 2015 and saves the Air Force approximately $16.01 million, officials said.

Mather closed in 1993, but Air Force cleanup has been ongoing at the base since the 1980s. While all major cleanup decisions have been made regarding the installation's restoration program sites, some remaining activities require long-term operation and maintenance.

Performance-based contracts are relatively new within the Air Force environmental cleanup program. In 2006, AFRPA officials revised their approach from a task-specific cleanup approach to a long-term objective-based approach. This encourages the implementation of new or innovative approaches and technologies.

The savings are realized by allowing private companies to compete on a large comprehensive cleanup project over a five and a half year timeframe, rather than bidding on specific cleanup tasks on an annual basis. The contract objectives focus on work results, such as site closure, rather than specified methods or technologies to be employed. The multi-year contract also results in additional cost savings through streamlined contracting actions and lower overhead for the Air Force.

"This is another great example of how we are leveraging the best of what private industry has to offer to complete cleanup as quickly and cost-effectively as possible," said Sig Csicsery of the Air Force Real Property Agency.

Although URS now has the contract to clean up the sites at Mather, the Air Force remains responsible for the execution of the cleanup program and all cleanup decisions, as specified in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. All technologies and remedies that URS applies to this cleanup must be approved by appropriate Air Force officials, as well as federal and state regulatory agencies, and coordinated with the community.

This competitive performance-based contract was awarded by logisticians at the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment, who jointly manage and implement the former base cleanup programs with AFRPA.

Stanley Pehl, AFCEE program manager, said URS was selected because of their experience, proposed technical approach, and cost, which presented the best value to the Air Force. Their approach includes aggressive site closures and innovative optimization techniques that are compatible with the existing cleanup objectives.