The Christie Administration released the following statement regarding AshBrit’s contract with the State for the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy:
Taking Emergency and Long-Term Action To Assist Debris Removal
Competitively Bid Emergency Contract With AshBritt Allowed New Jersey Towns To Take Immediate Action In Addressing Debris Removal In An Efficient And Responsible Manner
AshBritt Had Extensive Experience And Unique Capabilities To Respond To Major Disasters:
AshBritt is a national, rapid-response natural disaster recovery company well tested in marshaling extensive resources quickly to remove massive amounts of debris from communities that have been impacted by natural disaster. AshBritt is currently overseeing and coordinating 83 subcontractors in New Jersey for cleanup work – 71 percent (59) of which are all New Jersey companies.
AshBritt’s experience includes recovery efforts from 30 federally declared major disasters across eleven states since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, including:
- Removing over 21 million cubic yards of debris along the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina;
- Responding to the 2011 Snowstorms in Massachusetts & Connecticut which left up to 27 inches of snow, downing trees and power lines;
- Serving as a primary contractor in Texas following Hurricanes Ike & Dolly; and
- In Florida, AshBritt has worked on the recovery efforts following Hurricanes Andrew, Ivan, Charley and Wilma.
Ashbritt’s Contract Was Competitively Bid:
AshBritt was retained by the State of New Jersey on October 31, 2013, via an existing competitively bid contract in Connecticut. It was made available as one option among others for municipalities — many of which chose other available contractors, chose to use municipal resources, or both.
Having AshBritt allowed New Jersey to make available as an option a previously procured, competitively bid contract for disaster management and debris removal services in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
- The underlying Connecticut contract was competitively bid on February 25, 2008, and AshBritt was awarded the primary contract on June 30, 2008.
- AshBritt was selected from among 10 bidders, which included 3 out of the 4 US Army Corp of Engineers contractors, by an interagency evaluation committee consisting of representatives from the departments of
- Administrative Services,
- Environmental Protection,
- Public Safety, and
- Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
- The AshBritt contract in New Jersey was intended as and served as an intermediate step, providing a short-term option until an RFP could be completed, which was promptly done in the aftermath of the storm.
New Jersey’s emergency debris removal contract with AshBritt was not a $100 million contract. Rather, that was the theoretical ceiling on the 2011 Connecticut contract adopted by New Jersey.
The Christie Administration has Moved to Follow Its Own Objective Bidding Process to Provide Other Competitively Bid Debris Removal Contractors Now and Into the Future:
- A Request for Quotations was issued by Treasury on November 30, 2012 for Disaster Debris Removal and Management Services.
- Of 10 Responding companies, 7 were deemed responsive to the RFQ.
- Four vendors ultimately were awarded those contracts on January 25, 2013, following an impartial and objective review by a panel in the Treasury Department’s Division of Purchase and Property.
- The four firms are: AshBritt, Ceres Environmental Services, Crowder Gulf, and T.F.R. Enterprises.
Throughout, the Christie Administration has Provided Municipalities with Resources and Options to Protect Taxpayers Through Auditing and Oversight:
New Jersey also selected contractors available to municipalities to use for debris removal contract monitoring – a requirement for FEMA reimbursement.
- Those firms include two hired under emergency circumstances in the immediate aftermath of the storm to provide monitoring services for emergency debris removal in accordance with FEMA specifications:
- The state subsequently expanded existing contracts with two additional firms to provide more choices for disaster debris removal monitoring services:
As a result, municipalities around the state can choose any one of these four firms, or any other contract of their choosing, to provide them with the monitoring services that FEMA requires.