City Council votes to approve contract with Maul Foster Alongi to oversee grant-funded program

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - The St. Helens City Council voted to award a contract to Portland-based environmental consulting agency Maul Foster Alongi to oversee a brownfield identification project. Maul Foster Alongi was one of three companies to submit applications in late 2017.St. Helens will continue its working relationship with a Portland-based consulting company to conduct site studies of potential brownfields in the city.

The St. Helens City Council voted Wednesday, Jan. 3, to approve a contract with Maul Foster Alongi, placing the environmental engineering and consulting company in charge of project management for brownfield site identification.

In May the city received $300,000 in grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct brownfield assessments throughout the city. Brownfields are site that have been contaminated by potentially hazardous substances or pollutants left behind by previous development on the land.

The city approved a work plan in July that outlined the project scope to perform the brownfield assessments. The main purpose of the EPA-funded project will be to identify key areas that are limited in their ability to be redeveloped due to a brownfield designation. The goal will be to conduct six environmental site assessments in phase one, six assessments in phase two, convene a brownfield advisory committee and host two public meetings to determine site prioritization and reuse planning.

Approval of the plan was the first step, however, and the city recently put out a request for proposals to seek an applicant to oversee implementation of the plan. The city issued a request for qualifications in November and recently reviewed the applications it received.

City Administrator John Walsh explained that brownfield site identification is a specialized field, and the city received only three proposals from companies interested in taking on the project management role.

The city has worked with Maul Foster Alongi on previous projects, including the development of the waterfront framework plan that outlines development possibilities for waterfront land the city owns.

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