Under our contract at the former Vieques Naval Training Range (VNTR), we processed over 16,000,000 lbs of range and munitions related scrap through the Central Processing Center (CPC).
Two-thirds of Vieques Island are owned by the U.S. Navy and, for the past several decades, have been used as the VNTR for an array of training including live ordnance delivery by air and amphibious assault landings by the Marine Corps. Based on years of training activities on Vieques Island, a wide variety of clean-ups by several contractors (including PIKA) resulted in extensive amounts of Munitions Debris (MD), Range Related Debris (RRD), and MPPEH.
While we were initially brought to Vieques on a subcontract to perform vegetation clearance in the high-MEC areas under the Title II Services Contract, we were awarded follow-on contracts to perform MEC clearance and training for the Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic Division (LANTDIV), as well as an additional contract to develop, design, and implement a centralized MD/RRD/scrap management and MPPEH processing system.
Originally, the objective of this project was to conduct a pilot program to determine the feasibility and cost effectiveness of operating a CPC for management of MD/RRD removed from the former VNTR. Upon our successful completion of the Pilot Program, we commenced activities as the consolidated range scrap management contractor by establishing the CPC. Rather than having each removal contractor responsible for processing of removed MD/RRD from their assigned work areas, we were the sole processor of the range scrap. To process MD/RRD at the CPC, we used the crushing method using a Hammermill, shearing, waterjet cutting, Petrogen torch cutting, and a flashing furnace. We designed, built, and implemented an innovative pulverizing and mutilation machine at this site to process much of the scrap rendering it safe for handling and recycling.
Our past program experience has shown us that by communicating with the regulators early on in project implementation, we are able to develop plans that meet the needs of both our client and the stakeholders. For VNTR, we contacted the local Naval and Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (PREQB) representatives to discuss aspects of the pilot program and included them in formation of the work plans, safety and health plans, and permitting required for pre-construction and construction activities. Our team also oversaw the evaluation of air emission sources and provided this information to the Navy and regulatory authorities, the PREQB and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).
Another interesting project given to us by NAVFAC LANTDIV was the training of local residents as UXO Technicians. Understanding the importance of the training to the locals and their community, we partnered with our client and committed to making the Vieques UXO Technician Training a success for this and future projects at this base. Through our connection with Texas Engineering Extension School (TEEX), our personnel were able to mobilize the appropriately trained and qualified personnel to provide this service on the island of Vieques. Because of this training, we were able to hire workers from Vieques and Puerto Rico to the maximum extent, while ensuring contract requirements are met.
This project was completed on time, within budget, and to the customer’s extreme satisfaction. Our performance in this arena resulted in several follow-on contract with NAVFAC including various MEC support activities (MEC Avoidance and Construction Support), MEC Identification, and Digital Geophysical Mapping Avoidance Support.
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