Federal approach to contaminated sites: statements of work for historical review


This Statement of Work (SOW) covers methods to be used and deliverables to be submitted by a consultant when conducting a Historical Review (also known as a Phase 1: Environmental Site Assessment, as per the Canadian Standards Association) of a suspected contaminated site for the [name of organization].

Site information

This SOW applies to a Historical Review to be conducted at [location]. [This section is to be filled out by the contaminated site manager and should include general information pertaining to the sites being examined. For example, it should include information on known suspected areas of contamination, the types of contaminants that the contractor can be expected to find, key problem areas, etc. This information should be general and will vary in content depending on the number of sites.]


The Historical Review includes compilation and review of sufficient information to identify and evaluate:

  • the physical condition of the site and its geology, hydrogeology, facilities and surroundings;
  • past and present site processes, operations, waste disposal practices, etc.;
  • potential contaminant pathways and key ecological receptors;
  • health and safety considerations;
  • regulatory agency concerns;
  • proposed future land use and adjacent land uses;
  • potential problem areas and contaminants of concern; and
  • the approximate scope of required site investigations.


The following references are listed as guidance documents. This is not an all-inclusive list; therefore, the contractor shall ensure that all applicable references are used. Should more current versions become available during the life of the contract, they shall take precedence and be referred to in subsequent work/reports. With the exception of [federal department and section] policy documents and previous assessments completed for the property listed herein, copies of other references will not be made available.

  1. [Federal department and section] policy documents;
  2. [Previous assessment reports such as environmental audits, environmental site assessments, environmental baseline studies, well drilling and geotechnical reports]; and
  3. Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment, CAN/CSA Z768-94, April 1994.

Scope of work

To meet the objectives of this mandate, contractors will carry out the following work, subject to site-specific environmental issues or other factors:

  1. Compile and review all relevant information, including (but not restricted to) the following sources and types:
    • previous reports/documents completed for the property, such as environmental audits, environmental site assessments, environmental baseline studies, well drilling and geotechnical reports (including test pits and borehole logs) for the property;
    • geological, hydrogeological, soil and biological reports or surveys;
    • aerial photographs and fire insurance plans;
    • topographic maps and site drainage plans, including areas of fill or water course realignment;
    • water quality records for surface water and groundwater;
    • site climatological data (e.g. prevailing winds);
    • interviews with current and former employees, as well as individuals with knowledge of the site and surrounding areas;
    • facility plans, specifications and drawings;
    • drawings and inventories of raw materials, product and fuel storage areas, and transfer points;
    • details of waste storage, treatment and disposal areas, and operational and monitoring data;
    • departmental and regulatory agency compliance files documenting historical on-site spill events and any remedial activities;
    • rare/endangered species registry for the area;
    • historical fire plans;
    • asbestos and UFFI surveys;
    • diagrams of any underground utilities, structures, piping, workings, injection wells or storage tanks, and their operational history;
    • laboratory operational practices, chemicals used and waste handling and disposal methods;
    • operation and maintenance procedures for all components of the facility, and materials utilized;
    • information relating to past or existing equipment containing PCBs;
    • pest and weed control practices used on the site, including types of biocides used, application area and disposal practices; and
    • pertinent federal, provincial/territorial and municipal regulations.
  1. Conduct a site visit to determine any visible signs of contamination and characterize the general extent of contamination.
  2. The information gathered during the investigations in paragraph 1 of the present section shall be used by the contractor to determine the following:
    • all areas of potential environmental concern located within the current site under investigation;
    • the likely contaminants and the periods during which contaminant-producing activities likely occurred;
    • locations of all hazardous waste storage or disposal sites that may or may not be contaminated but formerly contained substances of environmental concern;
    • the locations of valued ecosystem components (VECs) including potential human and/or animal receptors; and
    • the locations of monitoring and drinking water wells including the results of water quality testing.
  1. Prepare a report describing the findings of the Historical Review activities. The report shall state whether no further investigation or an Initial Field Testing is warranted. Where the potential for site contamination is indicated by available site information, the report shall describe (a) the contaminant type and sources, and (b) the areas and media of concern that must be addressed by an Initial Field Testing.

Special requirements

  1. Final reports shall be submitted in hard copy number of copies to be specified by Project Manager and/or electronic form (WordPerfect and/or Microsoft Word format), including electronic data copies of all tables and other data as specified by the Project Manager. Information is given in this format with the understanding that it will be used as a basis for subsequent work. Documents may be made available to other firms involved with subsequent proposal calls/tenders at the site.
  2. Refer any queries about the project from the public, news media or others to the Project Manager.
  3. The Project Manager shall be notified immediately of conditions that pose an imminent threat to human health and the environment.
  4. There may be a special requirement for a qualitative preliminary risk assessment, which could be carried out during the course of the Historical Review. [Name of organization] reserves the right to include the requirement for this parallel qualitative risk assessment in the project Scope of Work. Specific requirements for this qualitative risk assessment will be determined by the Project Manager in consultation with the contractor.

General requirements

  1. The Project Manager shall be a person from [name of organization] or a designated alternate.
  2. Work

    The contractor is responsible for providing the people and resources to fulfil the terms of this SOW, including the necessary qualified personnel, office space, reference documents, data-processing supplies, computers and equipment to interpret the data and produce the final report. [At the discretion of the Project Manager, space may be offered at the site location to compile information. Provide details here.]

  3. Site Visits

    The contractor is responsible for conducting a site visit of each potential contaminated site to identify immediate hazards, discrepancies in drawings, or surface contamination (e.g. new structures, areas with dead vegetation, or visual contamination).

  4. Liabilities
    1. The contractor shall assume responsibility for any accident or damage caused by its employees or equipment to [name of organization] property or personnel.
    2. The contractor shall assume responsibility for the security of its equipment and materials during and after working hours. [name of organization] shall not be liable for any vandalism, theft or loss.
  5. Notifications/Permits

    The contractor shall be responsible for making whatever representations are necessary to the pertinent organizations in order to obtain the maps, engineering reports, aerial photographs and other documents required to fulfil the terms of this SOW. The costs incurred in obtaining these documents shall be borne by the contractor.

  6. Progress Reporting and Meetings
    1. Progress Reports. Written progress reports [specify page length] shall be provided to the Project Manager as determined by the Project Manager. The progress reports shall include a synopsis of work completed during the latest report period and the projected work plan for the following period. The contractor shall be prepared to meet with the Project Manager and discuss any matter concerning the progress and findings of the site investigation.
    2. Meetings. The contractor shall attend meetings as requested by the Project Manager. Personnel in attendance shall include the contractor's project manager and representative(s) familiar with all technical aspects of the project. The contractor shall prepare minutes of the meetings and send the draft minutes to the [Name of organization] Project Manager for review and approval prior to their dissemination for action. At the discretion of the Project Manager, the contractor may be required to maintain an action item list.
  7. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

    The contractor is expected to identify and adhere to acceptable quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) procedures throughout the project. QA/QC measures shall be explicitly identified in the contractor's work plans and project reports.

  8. Health and Safety Program

    A detailed health and safety plan (HASP) shall be maintained on site at all times. Adherence to the health and safety measures specified in that plan shall be mandatory for all on-site personnel and all site visitors.

  9. Responsibilities and Communication

    All formal communication (e.g. letters of direction, approvals, etc.) will be between the Project Manager and the contractor.

Bidders' conference and proposals

  1. Bidders' Conference A bidders' conference will be held at [location] on [date, time] to communicate the requirements of the contract and address any concerns of the interested contractors. At the conference, contractors will be given access to the following information:
    1. [name of organization] policy documents;
    2. available site drawings; and
    3. previous environmental reports such as
    Environmental Baseline Studies (EBS)/compliance audits. [Where possible, the Project Manager will make hard copies of the relevant information or provide the contractors with the information on computer disc. For information that will not be copied (i.e. environmental baseline studies), a schedule will be developed to permit contractors to view these documents.]
  2. Letter of Interest

    Contractors wishing to bid on the work shall submit a Letter of Interest to the Project Manager at [location] on or before [date - a minimum of 2 weeks should be given to the contractors to review the pertinent information]. The letter is to provide a condensed version of the technical and management information requested in the full proposal (next section) and an overall cost estimate. The letter shall not be more than six (6) pages in length (3 leaves, double-sided) on 8½" x 11" paper, and the text shall be written in 12 point font. Only the first six pages will be reviewed and scored. The letter will be used to evaluate and select the contractor to carry out the work. If additional information is required prior to making a selection, the four (4) contractors with the highest score will be invited to submit full proposals.

    It is recognized that industry spends a great deal of time, effort and money to develop proposals. By taking this approach, [Name of organization] assures technical credibility and cost effectiveness without asking every contractor to expend time, money and resources to produce full proposals.

  3. Full Proposal [if required]

    [Time period - 3 weeks is suggested] following the bidders' conference, four (4) contractors will be notified of their eligibility to submit their full proposals to [specified address] on or before [date/time]. The proposal is to be submitted in [three] copies outlining the approach to the Historical Review, a proposed work schedule, a detailed cost estimate for the work and the contractor's relevant experience in carrying out similar work. The proposal should display a logical, structured approach and include the necessary information to address the evaluation criteria.

Evaluation criteria

  1. General

    Both the Letter of Interest and full proposal will be evaluated and scored in accordance with the following criteria. Contractors must cover each criterion. Proposals should expand on the requirements stated in the SOW and describe how the contractor plans on meeting the work requirements.

Item Criteria Weight
1. Understanding of Scope, Objectives and Possible Problems 15
2. Approach and Methodology 35
3. Level of Effort 20
4. Managerial Experience 30
Total Blank 100
  1. Technical Proposal
    1. Understanding of Scope, Objectives and Possible Problems. The bidder should demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the project's scope and objectives. As well, the contractor must demonstrate that direct and peripheral problems have been anticipated. Proposed solutions to anticipated problems must be presented.
    2. Approach and Methodology. The proposed approach and methodology should follow an efficient and logical sequence that will fulfil the requirements of the Statement of Work. The proposal should describe the general approach to the historical review and the reference documents that will be used. The contractor should demonstrate its ability to competently evaluate the results and provide meaningful recommendations. A work schedule should show that the project milestones and objectives, both technical and administrative, will be met.
    3. Level of Effort. The contractor should show that a sufficient level of effort will be applied to address the technical requirements of the project in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Proposals will be evaluated on their value-for-money, where value is interpreted as the quality and quantity of work to be done in direct support of the project. Full proposals shall include a breakdown of anticipated work by task and quantity, including:
      • management and supervision;
      • research; and
      • disbursements.
  2. Management Proposal

    Managerial Experience. The contractor should demonstrate that its organization, including partners and subcontractors, has the necessary technical and managerial background and experience. Include the background, experience, geographic proximity to the project site and level of involvement by task for each key individual. The contractor should also demonstrate technical background and experience by citing projects of comparable scope and nature that show successful and timely completion (include client references and their points of contact). Indicate other tasks the key individuals may have during the project. The backup for key personnel should be named.

  3. Contractor Selection

    Selection. Selection of the contractor may take place based on the information provided in the Letter of Interest, or, depending on the complexity of the project, it may be necessary to ask contractors to submit their full proposals.

    Letter of Interest (LOI). The bidder selected for contract award or invited to submit a full proposal will be the contractor that:

    1. addresses each evaluation criterion in sufficient depth to allow proper evaluation;
    2. obtains a proposal evaluation score of 75% or higher in each category;
    3. meets all the mandatory requirements set out in the Request for Proposal; and
    4. obtains the highest final score on 100, which includes both the technical proposal and cost. The technical proposal score obtained following the evaluation will be recalculated in relation to a maximum of 90. The lowest budgetary price will get a score of 10, with the next lowest getting 8, 6, 4, 2 and 0. Contractors should be prepared to commit to the budgetary price.

    Full Proposal. If full proposals are requested, the four (4) highest scoring bidders will be asked to submit Full Proposals. Where more than four (4) LOIs score above 75% and where the scores are tightly grouped, up to six (6) bidders will be invited to submit full proposals. The successful contractor will be the one meeting the technical requirements specified in the previous paragraph and obtaining the highest score on 100, including both the technical proposal score and the cost score within the proper budget ceiling of $ [insert average budget price].

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