The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced that it is searching for a contractor to incinerate marijuana at the rate of 1,000 pounds an hour. The burning will take place from now until September 30.
The DEA in Houston made the notice public on the DEA’s website.
The Quartz reports that the contractors would be burning “16,000 ounces of buds every 60 minutes, which is 32,000 half ounces; 64,000 quarters; 128,000 eighths; or the equivalent of about 896,000 half-gram joints.”
The DEA will be transporting the marijuana from 12 cities in Texas and it will be burned in an incinerator in Tucson.
Most of the transported marijuana will be shipped in tightly compressed bales or bricks, which weigh between 40 and 60 pounds. The bales and bricks will be packaged in several different ways including aluminum foil, cardboard, duct, scotch and packing tape, plastic evidence bags, Saran Wrap and wrapping paper.
The destruction of marijuana must be completed so that the destroyed materials cannot be retrieved or redirected. The marijuana must be destroyed “to a point where there are no detectable levels, as measured by standard analytical methods, of byproduct from the destruction process. DEA shall inspect the incinerator to ensure no drug residue remains.”
The DEA notice reads as follows: “The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) intends to issue a single, Firm Fixed Price Purchase Order in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 13. This is anticipated to be a sole source award to Tucson Iron & Metal. The award will be for destruction by incineration of evidence located in the following cities in the state of Texas – McAllen, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Eagle Pass. Research has shown there is only one vendor in close proximity to the district and resident offices of McAllen, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Eagle Pass capable of providing the services necessary for this requirement. The applicable North American Industry Classification System Code (NAICS) is 562213, “Solid Waste Combustors and Incinerators” and the Small Business Size Standard is $38,500,000.00. A Justification for Other Than Full and Open Competition has been approved and will be posted at the time of award. Interested parties may identify their interest and capabilities to respond to the requirement. Capabilities Statements shall be submitted electronically to [email protected] no later than the closing date of March 25, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. EST. A determination by the Government not to open the requirement to competition based on responses to this notice is solely within the discretion of the Government. This notice of intent is not a request for competitive quotation. A Request for Quotation (RFQ) will not be made available. Late submissions will not be accepted.”
A representative of the DEA will be present at each burn, and the burn will be watched and recorded through closed-circuit cameras. The DEA specifies that it reserves the right to “access the video feed as necessary to ensure the proper destruction of its drugs and safety of its representatives.”
The DEA also specifies that they require a location that has a fence tall enough to prevent onlookers from observing the incineration process. All employees of the contractor must pass both background and drug tests.
After the job was posted the DEA received several phone calls from individuals interested in the job,
“Although we appreciate local citizens’ willingness to offer their help, this is a complicated, large-scale government contract we’re required by law to bid every few years, and there are usually only a handful of companies with the necessary facilities and resources to help us dispose of this material.” an agency spokesperson said in a statement.
“While it makes for an interesting headline, the truth is far more prosaic – our agents working across the Houston Division make a huge number of great cases, and as a result, we seize a tremendous amount of illegal drugs. Arranging for the save and effective destruction of these drugs is just part of the job,” the spokesperson added.
The DEA advertised for a contractor because all jobs need to be publicly posted, but reportedly they already have a contractor in mind. It is expected that the job will be contracted out to Tucson Iron & Metal, which the DEA says is the only contractor in close enough proximity to the following Texas towns: McAllen, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Eagle Pass, where it is believed the confiscated marijuana is presently being stored.
The Atlanta field office of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is also looking for an incinerator that is capable of burning between 1,500 and 5,000 pounds of drugs at a time, eight to 12 times a year. Unlike Texas, its menu is a bit more varied. Contractors in Atlanta will be burning cocaine, hashish, heroin, khat, methamphetamines, opiates, and steroids.
Reportedly Cocaine, heroin, and meth must be burned at a temperature of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered fully destroyed. The other drugs on the list must be burned at a temperature of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the DEA is looking for a contractor in Houston, they will also be needing contractors in Galveston, Beaumont, McAllen, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Laredo, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, San Antonio, Austin, and Waco soon.