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The National Academies

ACRP 02-101 [RFP]

Environmental Stewardship and Compliance Training for Airport Employees

Posted Date: 7/21/2022

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Contract Time: 18 months
(includes 1 month for ACRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for ACRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 1/25/2023 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Joseph D. Navarrete
   Phone: 202/334-1649
   Email: jnavarrete@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 9/7/2022
Fiscal Year: 2022

ATTENTION PROPOSERS: This is a second reposting of the ACRP Project 02-101 Request for Proposals.  The original RFP was posted on December 21, 2021.  A slightly revised version was posted on March 29, 2022.  For this third posting, revisions were made to both the Objective and the Special Notes.

BACKGROUND
 
Environmental stewardship and compliance can be complex for airports and their employees. To operate an airport in an environmentally responsible manner, and in compliance with relevant environmental legislation, employees must be informed about an airport's environmental compliance and sustainability programs. Research is needed to develop customizable training materials regarding environmental laws, regulations, and sustainability programs for airports.
 
OBJECTIVE
 
The objective of this research is to develop training materials, tools, guidelines, and other resources to inform airport employees about environmental laws, regulations, and sustainability programs and promote a culture of sustainability and compliance.  The resources should include: 
  • Materials to facilitate training that should include, at a minimum:
    • Customizable training templates (e.g., slides, handouts, story maps) for onboarding and recurring training; and
    • Graphics and imagery suitable for creating customizable physical (e.g., posters, stickers, handouts) and digital materials to support training activity.
  • Handbook that includes, at a minimum:
    • Primer that summarizes:
      • Federal and common state environmental regulations that apply to airports;
      • Common and emerging airport environmental stewardship and compliance goals and initiatives; and
      • The importance of employee training and engagement in environmental sustainability (e.g., risk management, compliance);
    • Guidelines to help airports:
      • Incorporate environmental training into their organizational structure and across functions (e.g., operations, finance, safety and security, administration/HR, facilities, planning and development);
      • Develop training materials to promote employee participation with and recognition of airport environmental compliance, goals, and initiatives, with the objective of integrating environmental stewardship in their daily job activities; and
      • Engage tenants and contractors to promote environmental practices among their employees.
         
  •  Supporting material, including at a minimum:
    • Examples of employee communication, engagement tools, and employee training handbooks about environmental stewardship; and
    • List of relevant external supplemental resources.
RESEARCH PLAN
 
The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are asked to provide a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. The work proposed must be divided into tasks and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.
 
The research plan should include, at a minimum, the following interim deliverables:
  • Working Paper 1 that includes a literature review;
  • Working Paper 2 that includes a description of recommended tools and rationale; and
  • Interim report documenting the research effort and results of the project to date, including an annotated handbook outline; initial mockup/framework for the tools and recommended delivery methods; and recommended next steps.
The research plan should include, at a minimum, the following checkpoints with the ACRP project panel: (1) kickoff web meeting to be held within 1 month of contract execution; (2) web meeting to review Working Paper 1; (3) web meeting to review Working Paper 2 and confirm recommended tools; and (4) interim meeting to review the results of the interim report and confirm remaining research approach.
 
The final deliverables will include:
  • Handbook, tools, and supporting materials;
  • Technical report documenting the entire research process and findings;
  • Summary of Key Findings (see Special Note O);
  • Further Recommended Research Memo (see Special Note P); and
  • Technical memo titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note Q).
Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, there should be 3 months for ACRP review and comments and for contractor preparation of the final deliverables. For budgeting purposes, proposers should assume that ACRP will provide access to web-enabled teleconference services. ACRP will pay panel members’ travel costs for the face-to-face interim meeting.  Proposers should assume that the meeting will be held in Washington, DC.
 
SPECIAL NOTES
 
A. For the purposes of this research, sustainability is defined as economic viability, operational efficiency, natural resources conservation, and social responsibility (EONS); this research focuses on the operational efficiency and natural resources conservation pillars (e.g., environmental compliance and voluntary environmental sustainability programs).

B. Proposers should assume that the list of tools in the research objective is not exhaustive; proposers should include in their proposal their initial thinking on tools that might be the most appropriate for employee environmental training.

C. CRP’s WebResources may be considered as an option for the tools and other final deliverables developed under this project. CRP's WebResources multi-site is hosted within an open-source content management system called WordPress in Amazon Web Services using an Ubuntu operating system. CRP manages two instances of WebResources: (1) UAT is used for development and review and (2) PROD is CRP’s live production site.  A list of approved WordPress plug-ins can be found here: https://crp.trb.org/approved-plugins/. WordPress plug-ins not listed in the approved list can be evaluated, but may not be approved.  The contractor is responsible for lifetime subscription (if available) costs of the new plug-ins, and must transfer the license to CRP to ensure that the functionality from the plug-ins will continue to operate correctly in the future.  The selected contractor will be working within the UAT site for all updates.

D. The research team identified in the proposal should include team members with the following expertise: environmental management, sustainability, and organizational development/training in an airport setting.

E. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were revised in May 2022. Please take note of the new and revised text which is highlighted in yellow.

F. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected. For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions.

G. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs have been modified to include a revised policy and instructions for disclosing Investigator Conflict of Interest. For more information, refer to chapter IV of the instructions. A detailed definition and examples can be found in the CRP Conflict of Interest Policy for Contractors. The proposer recommended by the project panel will be required to submit an Investigator Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Form as a prerequisite for contract negotiations.

H. Proposals will be rejected if any of the proposed research team members work for organizations represented on the project panel. The panel roster for this project can be found at https://www.mytrb.org/OnlineDirectory/Committee/Details/6640. Proposers may not contact panel members directly; this roster is provided solely for the purpose of avoiding potential conflicts of interest.

I. Proprietary Products - If any proprietary products are to be used or tested in the project, please refer to Item 6 in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals.

J. Proposals are evaluated by the ACRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively knowledgeable in the problem area. The project panel will recommend their first choice proposal considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities. A recommendation by the project panel is not a guarantee of a contract. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS - the contracting authority for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) will conduct an internal due diligence review and risk assessment of the panel’s recommended proposal before contract negotiations continue.

Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 11 of the proposal.

K. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academy of Sciences. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academy of Sciences. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.

L. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals. Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.

M. If the team proposes a Principal Investigator who is not an employee of the Prime Contractor, or if the Prime Contractor is proposed to conduct less than 50% of the total effort (by time or budget), then section five of the proposal should include: (1) a justification of why this approach is appropriate, and (2) a description of how the Prime Contractor will ensure adequate communication and coordination with their Subcontractors throughout the project.

N. All budget information should be suitable for printing on 8½″ x 11″ paper. If a budget page cannot fit on a single 8½″ x 11″ page, it should be split over multiple pages. Proposers must use the Excel templates provided in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board's Cooperative Research Programs.

O. The Summary of Key Findings will be a stand-alone document. It should: (a) convey the most pertinent and applicable results of the project’s research; (b) be geared toward the airport industry practitioner while minimizing technical language; (c) present results using text and graphics as appropriate; and (d) encourage readers to explore the primary project deliverables. The Summary of Key Findings should be limited to no more than 4 pages.

P. The Further Recommended Research Memo will be a stand-alone document. It should: (a) identify logical follow-on research that would benefit the industry yet was beyond the original scope and budget of the project; (b) describe how the proposed follow-on research relates to ACRP’s research roadmaps, if applicable; and (c) for the highest priority research needs, include research ideas and/or problem statements to be added to ACRP’s IdeaHub, the program’s online repository of research needs.

Q. The technical memorandum titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” should provide: (a) recommended tactics to facilitate implementation; (b) possible institutions/partners and their potential implementation role; (c) potential impediments to successful implementation; (d) metrics to measure extent of product use and benefit; (e) related FAA guidance; and (f) appendices as needed. An annotated template for the memorandum is found here: https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/acrp/ACRP_Implementation_TechMemo_Template_2019.pdf.

R. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," in each proposal must include an Implementation Plan that describes activities to promote application of the product of this research. It is expected that the implementation plan will evolve during the project; however, proposals must describe, as a minimum, the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in applying the research product, (e) the activities necessary for successful implementation, and (f) the criteria for judging the progress and consequences of implementation.


Proposals must be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/aLMI2TEhzn5HaktRezl7
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 9/7/2022.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.


General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals". Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).


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