Department of Energy awards $4.7B SRS Liquid Waste Mission to new contractor, AECOM files protest

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – The Liquid Waste Mission at Savannah River Site could change management, but not without a fight from the current contractor.

In October, the Department of Energy granted the $4.7 billion dollar mission to Savannah River EcoManagement.

S.R.E. is compromised of BWXT Technical Services Group, Bechtel National and Honeywell International.

The incumbent corporation, AECOM, is protesting that decision.

The engineering company’s office space houses the community theater, an investment that could be in jeopardy.

“With them not winning the contract, will we see that workforce potentially shrink in the Downtown area?” President and CEO of Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization Rick McLeod said.

AECOM leads the Savannah River Site Remediation.

However, it was recently underbid for the project by Savannah River EcoManagement.

Now that’s raising a lot of questions about how S.R.E can manage the carbon steel tanks at the site effectively.

“How does the new company plan on reaching that newer dollar figure?” McLeod told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “The largest expenditures at the site is labor so, are we looking at workforce transition or losing some workers to get down to that number? Is there a decrease in the work scope or are there new technologies that they have found, or they plan on implement to make it more efficient?”

While the Department of Energy reviews AECOM’s petition, locally city leaders are considering the impacts of losing the employer whose ties to the community extend far beyond its work at S.R.S.

“The City of Aiken has enjoyed a long relationship with the contractor of the site for many years,” said Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon. “AECOM has been a great partner for the city, a community partner. They certainly have given a lot. I think, like a lot of people in the community, we were surprised to see that award change hands.”

No word on when a decision on AECOM’S protest could come down from the Department of Energy.

If there is a change of contractor, the Department of Energy has included a 90-day transition period as part of the new 7 year contract, with a possible 3 year extension.

The Department of Energy also required each bidder to include a Community Commitment Plan as part of their proposal, but that can’t be released until after the protest is resolved.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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