The Office of Environmental Management at the Department of Energy's contractor for the Los Alamos field office, Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos (N3B), recently awarded subcontracts to three small environmental firms.

The businesses will help investigate and, if necessary, remediate potentially contaminated sites from historical Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) operations in several canyons around Los Alamos.

In addition to being well-seasoned in environmental remediation, the companies align with the federal government’s goal to encourage greater economic opportunity for socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs.

North Wind Services, headquartered in Idaho Falls, Idaho and purchased in 2010 by Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI), is part of a corporation that benefits Alaska Native people with ties to the Cook Inlet region and beyond. CIRI formed as a result of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. North Wind will assist N3B in its work in Twomile and North Ancho canyons, investigating 67 sites associated with historical operations.

Stampede Ventures, headquartered in the historically underutilized business zone of Nome, Alaska, is part of the federal HUBZone program that supports small business growth in rural areas. Stampede Ventures will focus on Starmer/Upper Pajarito Canyon, investigating 67 sites associated with historical operations.

Banda Group International (BGI), headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, is a service-disabled and veteran-owned small business that has worked with N3B since May 2020. BGI crews will work primarily in Threemile Canyon, investigating six sites associated with historical operations.

“The three companies selected for these subcontracts are extremely well-suited based on their expertise, as well as the federal government’s small business-related criteria,” says Leslie Martinez, N3B’s director of acquisitions. “They’ll be working side by side with other small, local contractors who have been supporting remediation activity at the LANL site for many years.”

Martinez added that N3B is continually enhancing its subcontractor base so qualified small businesses can participate in meaningful contract opportunities with the environmental cleanup mission at LANL.

“N3B’s unique contracting process created a cooperative environment and a level of comfort that was conducive to open-ended, honest conversation that drove us toward a common goal,” says Jacob Gum, general manager of Stampede Ventures.

BGI President and CEO Zef Banda added that BGI is “thrilled to receive this master services agreement to support N3B’s critical cleanup initiatives at Los Alamos.”

“We are well-positioned to deliver high-quality services to this mission-critical effort,” Banda says.

A total of $120 million was awarded to the subcontractors to assist N3B and EM-LA in their cleanup work.

N3B investigates legacy sites from LANL’s Manhattan Project and Cold War operations and addresses environmental impacts resulting from these operations.