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$38 million contract award for repairs and improvements to Building 174

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) welcomed today’s announcement that the U.S. Navy has contracted with Environmental Chemical Corp., a Massachusetts-based firm, for additional modernization work at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY).  The $38 million contract will allow for energy and building renovation to the West End Waterfront Support Facility, Building 174.  Today’s contract award is in addition to a previous contract award for energy and structural repairs at Building 178.

Senators Collins, Shaheen, and Ayotte, all members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, along with Senator Snowe, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, have strongly urged the Navy to develop a plan to fund infrastructure maintenance and  improvements at PNSY and the nation’s three other public shipyards.  The final version of the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act included a provision authored by Maine’s and New Hampshire’s Senators that requires the Navy to submit a plan to Congress no later than September 1, 2012.

“We have strongly advocated for the Navy to address critical infrastructure and modernization needs at the shipyard, and we’re pleased that this important work is now moving forward,” said the Senators in a joint statement.  “The two projects announced this month will make a significant dent in the facility modernization backlog and help improve safety and efficiency at Portsmouth, whose workers set the standard for maintaining our nation’s nuclear submarine fleet.  We are pleased that the Navy has continued to recognize and correct the critical need for investments at Portsmouth.”

In November 2010, the Government Accountability Office issued a report, requested by Senators Collins and Shaheen, that found that the Navy's modernization requirements at our nation's four public shipyards were underestimated, even though the Navy has stated that the backlog of facility improvements at PNSY is $513 million.  In March 2011, the Navy announced plans to invest approximately $100 million in facility upgrades and modernization at PNSY in Fiscal Year 2012.  The funding, provided through the Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (SRM) budget, is to be used for energy conservation and repairs to submarine enclosures, building renovations, repair to the waterfront support facility and structural repair and consolidation of the yard's workshops.

According to the Navy, work at Building 174 will include demolishing the interior of the facility, in a phased approach, that will leave the structural elements, exterior walls, and roof in place, while replacing all other elements.  Work is expected to be completed by December 2014