Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Philadelphia, PA, local time, on December 21, 2016

Optional Pre-Proposal Meeting

Date: December 2, 2016
Time: 9AM – 11AM Location: 1515 Arch Street – 13th Floor 

The City of Philadelphia (“City”), Office of Sustainability (“OS”) seeks qualified applicants (“Applicant(s)”) to provide on call environmental consultant services as required to conduct sampling and evaluate environmental conditions at City sites. Locations may include all vacant and garden sites on properties owned by the City of Philadelphia. 

The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA), in partnership with the Office of Sustainability (OS), Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s FarmPhilly Program (PPR), and the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has received a 2015 EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant to investigate and identify the potential environmental and public health risks at various vacant City-owned properties intended for or currently used as community gardens/urban agriculture, and/or green stormwater infrastructure. This grant project arose from the goals and initiatives of the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC)’s Soil Safety Group.

As of 2014, more than 30,000 parcels of land sit vacant in Philadelphia, of which the City owns nearly 10,000. Philadelphians interested in growing food on City-owned vacant land face many challenges related to proper maintenance and safety. The environmental determinations of Phase 1 and 2 reports will assist and guide the City and gardeners to define these challenges. EPA offers guidelines for growing food safely in urban soils in its publication, Reusing Potentially Contaminated Landscapes: Growing Gardens in Urban Soils. This fact sheet provides guidelines for balanced soil nutrients, how to examine soil, common sources of contaminants, and techniques to plant safely in such soil. The consultant should also reference FPAC’s Soil Safety & Urban Gardening in Philadelphia report. Vacant lots also provide a key place to manage stormwater naturally. As part of the PWD’s Green City, Clean Waters program, the City uses green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) to manage stormwater using one or more source control processes including infiltration, evaporation, transpiration, decentralized storage, alternative stormwater routing, reuse, and others. EPA provides a guide, Implementing Stormwater Infiltration Practices at Vacant Parcels & Brownfield Sites (2013), which stresses the importance of investigating a site before designing and constructing GSI. The infiltration of stormwater at sites where there are contaminants in the soil may mobilize the contaminants and increase the potential for contamination of groundwater (push contaminants down into groundwater). To properly prepare for urban agriculture and the design and construction of GSI systems on land parcel projects, Phase 1 and 2 Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) are needed to better determine additional measures needed during construction due to the soil content. 

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