Each year Environmental Business Journal recognizes outstanding business performance in the environmental industry with our EBJ Business Achievement Awards. Environmental Business Journal is proud to announce its 19th annual business achievement awards. Congratulations to the winners, thanks to all the companies that submitted nominations, and all are welcome to the official awards ceremony at Environmental Industry Summit XV in San Diego on March 22-24, 2017.
In October-December 2016, EBJ solicited the environmental industry via e-mail, website, social media, traditional media, referrals from industry advisors and word-of-mouth for nominations for the EBJ Business Achievement Awards. Nominations were accepted in 200-word essays in either specific or unspecified categories. Categories or size designations may have been adjusted depending on the volume of nominations or of the number of worthy recipients. Final awards were determined by a committee of EBJ staff and EBJ editorial advisory board members.
Disclaimer: company audits were not conducted to verify information or claims submitted with nominations.
Business Achievement: Large Firms
Gold Medal ? Tetra Tech (Pasadena, Calif.) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 and grew gross revenue more than 12% to $2.6 billion; backlog increased 25% to a record $2.4 billion. Performance was driven by broad-based contract wins, including growth in U.S. federal, state and local, and international development markets. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 alone, Tetra Tech added more than $1 billion in contract capacity with the U.S. Department of Energy, Army Corps of Engineers, Navy, and Agency for International Development, bringing the company’s total contract capacity to more than $14 billion. With the acquisition of Coffey in January 2016, Tetra Tech added the Australian and UK Aid agencies as first-time clients and greatly expanded its presence in Australia and Asia Pacific. In March 2016, Tetra Tech advanced its smart water strategy with the acquisition INDUS Corporation, a technology firm focused on water data analytics.
Silver Medal ? TRC Companies Inc. (Lowell, Mass.) for growing net revenues by 14% in fiscal year 2016 to $465.1 million from $408 million, and gross revenues to $621 million from $546 million. TRC’s Energy segment expanded 8% to $183 million and Infrastructure grew 19% to $83 million, making up for a 4% decline in Environmental to $290 million, which was hard hit by the downturn in oil & gas. In December 2015, TRC completed the largest acquisition in its history, the Professional Services business segment of Willbros Group, in a $130 million transaction. Through an integration process in early 2016, Willbros Professional Services became the its own Pipelines Services operating segment within the TRC portfolio and positioned TRC as a leading provider of end-to-end solutions in both the power and oil & gas markets. This “transformational acquisition” continues to have significant impact, driving revenue growth of over 20% in Q1 of the 2017 fiscal year compared to the same period a year prior.
Bronze Medal ? AECOM (Los Angeles, Calif.) for revenue of $4.28 billion for its environmental services practice in 2016, and total revenue of $17.4 billion in fiscal year 2016. AECOM grew its environmental practice significantly with the milestone acquisition of URS in late 2014 moving AECOM to the top of EBJ’s list of environmental consulting & engineering firms for the first time in 2015 and adding strength in hazardous waste and government nuclear markets, taking federal revenue from 9% in 2014 to 40% in 2016. AECOM ranks as one of the world’s largest engineering and construction firms with more than 87,000 employees and was #1 on ENR’s 2016 list of Top 200 Environmental Firms. AECOM holds a 4.1% share in global environmental consulting & engineering market as defined by EBJ, the #1 position in environmental C&E industry in the U.S. with 8.3% of the market, and #1 in remediation services practice globally with a 6.4% share.
Business Achievement: Mid-size Firms ($50-500 million)
Gold Medal ? NV5 Global Inc. (Hollywood, Fla.), a provider of professional and technical engineering and consulting solutions, for growing more than 45% to $160.9 million in revenues through the nine months ended September 30, 2016 compared with $112.3 million for the same period in 2015. Net revenues through the third quarter were $130.4 million, an increase of 47%. Increases were due to organic growth (5%) from NV5’s existing platform, in addition to contributions from acquisitions in 2015 and 2016. NV5 expected full-year 2016 gross revenues, including the impact of acquisitions closed through October 31, 2016, to range from $225 million to $235 million, which would represent an increase to 51% from 2015 gross revenues of $155.9 million. In January 2017, NV5 announced it had exceeded its goal to reach $300 million in annual revenues entering 2017 and set a new goal of $600 million by 2020.
Silver Medal ? North Wind Group (Idaho Falls, Idaho), a provider of engineering, construction, environmental and technical services, for game-changing growthmore than doubling over the last three years from 2014 revenues of $72 million to 2016 revenues of $150 million. In 2016 North Wind Group grew to 820 employees, up from 234 in 2013, and expanded geographically, opening offices in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Seattle. The firm also received industry recognition by moveding up 15 spots on the 2016 ENR Top 200 Environmental Firms list based on 2015 revenues. North Wind was founded in 1997 and since 2010 has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Cook Inlet Region Inc., an Alaska Native Corporation. North Wind operates from 20 office locations throughout the country. North Wind started 2017 with a bang with the January acquisition of Idaho-based neighbor and competitor, bringing headcount to 1,100.
Bronze Medal ? Terracon (Olathe, Kansas), an employee-owned engineering consulting firm, for growth of 10% to $582 million and making five acquisitions in 2016. In November 2016, Terracon announced the purchase of Geotechnical Consulting & Testing Inc. (GC&T), headquartered in Woodbridge, Va. with a laboratory in Dulles. Formed in 1990, GC&T provides geotechnical and materials testing services for transportation and infrastructure, commercial, industrial, retail, residential, office, medical, and hospitality projects throughout the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Terracon retained all 52 GC&T employees. Also during the year, Terracon acquired Building Exterior Solutions, Mayes Testing Engineers Inc., ROC Geotechnical Consulting Engineers, and CHJ Consultants, Inc. Terracon has more than 4,000 employees in more than 130 offices and provides environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services in all 50 states.
Business Achievement: Small Firms ($15-50 million)
Gold Medal ? PBS Engineering and Environmental (Portland, Ore.) for achieving significant growth and profitability milestones in 2016, marking the best year in its 34-year history. Combined gross revenues increased more than 60% from $17.5 million in FY 2015 to $27.5 million in FY 2016. Gross revenue has nearly doubled since 2012, and backlog heading into 2017 is at historically high levels. Management and staff achieved these milestones at a time of significant change, including acquisition, organic growth and a new office location. In April 2016, PBS acquired the regional engineering firm HDJ Design Group, growing the PBS employee count from 120 to 185; and 20 more staff were added through the end of 2016. In October 2016, PBS opened its 10th office (and second in Puget Sound), bringing all of PBS services to the Seattle market.
Silver Medal ? Rincon Consultants, a multidisciplinary environmental consulting firm with 10 offices in California, for growing revenues 106% from $13.8 million in 2014 to $28.4 million in 2017. Staff expanded from 95 to 180 professionals in 2015-2016. Growth has been fueled by an improving California economy and ongoing success in the transportation, water, and energy/utilities market sectors, as well as an expansion of its cultural and natural resources capabilities and contract planning services. In 2016, a Marine Resources group was launched and a 10th office, in Redlands, Calif., was opened. Founded in 1994, Rincon has offices in Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Carlsbad, Los Angeles, Monterey, Oakland, Fresno, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, and Redlands.
Bronze Medal ? Abscope Environmental Inc. (Canastota N.Y.) for increasing revenues to $25 million, a YOY increase of 8% and an increase of 26% since expanding into the Mid-Atlantic market with the addition of its office in Elkridge, Md. Profitability has remained consistently strong, and Abscope has increased its market share in both asbestos abatement and soil remediation, primarily serving Fortune 500 corporations and national and international engineering firms specializing in environmental design. Abscope has steadily expanded operations to include the northeast and southeast United States, with outliers west of the Mississippi River. In 2016, Abscope entered the deep soil mixing market by performing an in-situ stabilization project for an international power generation company. Abscope also entered the federal arena in 2016 by winning a multi-year, multi-million dollar PCB removal project at a government facility in Washington D.C.
Business Achievement: Small Firms (less than $15 million)
Gold Medal ? Herndon Solutions Group (HSG), an SBA 8(a) woman-owned business, for increasing annual receipts in 2016 by 1600%. Founded in 2008 to provide environmental services, emergency response planning, and sustainability management, HSG has steadily expanded its core services to include industrial hygiene, occupational medicine, fitness and rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs. HSG also serves as the majority owner and managing member of an SBA Joint Venture—Integrated Mission Support Services LLC—thatwhich in October 2015 was awarded a $101 million, five-year NASA Kennedy Space Center Environmental and Medical Contract (KEMCON), making HSG a prime cContractor for the nation’s premier Multi-User Spaceport. In the first 11 months of the contract, HSG has already served a critical role in NASA’s meeting complex challenges such as EPA Title V permit modifications and RICE/NESHAP requirements, detailed legacy asbestos liability survey and assessment, recycling and sustainable acquisition policies, and re-starting the aerospace medicine ground and emergency support programs for NASA’s return to manned space launch.
Silver Medal ? Sundance Consulting Inc. (Pocatello, Idaho) for 2016 revenues of $11 million, marking an increase of $10 million or 770% since 2011. During this five-year period, Sundance opened seven satellite offices and hired 50 employees, increasing its workforce by 350%. With a backlog of more than 18 months, the company has raised its 2017 year-end revenue target to $14 million, up 22% from the previous forecast. Instrumental in propelling growth has been the firm’s contract—Formerly Used Defense Site Information Improvement Plan Support—with the USACE-Albuquerque District, valued at $4 million, and in providing environmental services at Fort Wingate Depot Activity under multiple contract vehicles. Equally critical has been the establishment of an SBA Mentor Protégé Agreement with EA Engineering, Science, and Technology in June 2014. The two firms have collaborated on more than a dozen projects valued at nearly $1 million; most recently, the Sundance-EA Associates joint venture was awarded a NAVFAC-Pacific contract for nNatural rResource mManagement, with a pool of five contractors and a total value of $49 million.
Bronze Medal ? Mabbett & Associates Inc. (Bedford, Mass.) for a major strategy change leading to exceptional 2016 results in the Federal sector in terms of new clientele, proposal capture and project backlog. Mabbett currently has an approved Federal project backlog of more than $18.5 million and annual sales in 2016 of $7 million. In 2015, Mabbett addressed certain U.S. Federal government procurement strategies that were negatively impacting growth. Namely, Mabbett decided not to pursue lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) procurements but to focus instead on opportunities under the Brooks Act and other best value procurements where decisions are based on technical competency, qualifications and experience. Highlights of Mabbett’s 2016 Federal successes include a $15 million+ five year IDIQ contract for comprehensive imbedded environmental, health and safety services on a worldwide basis for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency; and a $3 million one-year contract with the U.S. Army, Center for Public Health to provide industrial hygiene survey services at 15 U.S. Army installations.
Bronze Medal ? Marine Taxonomic Services Ltd. (MTS, San Marcos, Calif.) for record-breaking performance in 2016. From 2009-2016, gross revenues increased an average of 30% year over year, a 572% increase in the last seven years from historical averages, pushing MTS well over the $1 million mark, a huge milestone for this small business. The company was established in 1990 and historically earned revenues of $150,000 per year until 2009 when Seth Jones replaced his father Howard Jones as President and CEO and expanded the company’s capabilities. To support the firm’s growth trajectory, MTS hired statistician and senior biologist Dr. Robert Mooney in 2012. With a focused approach on expanding project management, field services and dive services, in addition to growing laboratory capabilities, MTS fills a unique niche in the environmental consulting industry with design, field sampling, sample processing, invertebrate sorting, taxonomy, statistical data analysis and interpretation and reporting. MTS works worldwide and has extensive experience in the Eastern Pacific from the Arctic to Baja California, in addition to the Atlantic, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Business Achievement: Resiliency
Golder Associates (Edmonton, Alberta) for resiliency in the face of significant market challenges, particularly the downturn in the natural resources market. A strong global firm with a long history of industry-leading growth, Golder’s performance peaked in 2012 with >$1.4B in revenue. However, Golder’s fortunes reversed in 2014 and 2015. Impacted by the decline in the mining and oil & gas sectors the firm experienced a significant reduction in revenue and reported its first ever operating loss. In 2015, Golder took an unprecedented step in appointing its first external CEO, Dr. Hisham Mahmoud—previously president of infrastructure at SNC-Lavalin and president of global environment and infrastructure at AMEC—who restructured and revitalized the firm’s leadership and strategy. Only 18 months later, as a testament to Golder’s resiliency and the dedication of its employee owners, Golder concluded 2016 with a return to strong profitability and backlog growth. One of the few remaining large employee-owned firms with $1 billion or more in annual revenue, Golder is focused on continuing to be a best place to work, technical excellence and great client service.
Business Achievement: New Investment
Clean Harbors Inc. (Norwell, Mass.) for completing construction of the first commercial waste incinerator to come on line in the past 20 years. The unit highlights a four-year, $120 million expansion at Clean Harbors’ El Dorado, Ark. fFacility and is the most technologically advanced incinerator of its kind ever built in North America. It is also Clean Harbors’ largest investment in a facility in its 36-year history and brings 120 jobs to the area. New equipment nearly doubles the facility’s capacity from 90,000 tons of material annually to approximately 160,000 tons; it employs world-class air emissions control technologies and is engineered to dispose safely of the most dangerous and toxic byproducts of manufacturing across a range of industries. Destruction in high-temperature incinerators has been determined by the EPA to be the Best Demonstrated Available Technology for safely destroying hazardous waste, and the company says the emissions from the air pollution controlled stack will be equivalent to two vehicles idling in a parking lot.
Business Achievement: Mergers & Acquisitions
TestAmerica (Canton, Ohio), the largest environmental testing firm in the United States at $220 million in revenues, for merging with JSTI Group (Nanjing, China), a global transportation systems design and environmental monitoring firm with $400 million in sales. TestAmerica was acquired by H.I.G. Capital in 2003 when the firm ranked as the #3 U.S. environmental lab firm at $40 million in revenues and in late 2006 it acquired the # 1 company Severn Trent Laboratories to consolidate the top spot. In February 2010 American Capital Asset Strategies acquired 49% of TestAmerica and owners were reported to be pleased with the value of the transaction. Executives of both firms described the merger as a synergistic combination of diversified testing and environmental solutions leaders resulting in the first ever unified east-west response to the world’s growing environmental stewardship testing challenges. “A huge environmental services market is forming in Asia. JSTI and TestAmerica will be leaders in helping to provide environmental measurement solutions in this and other international markets,” said JSTI CEO Junhua Wang. “The deal represented a very encouraging sign not only for TestAmerica but also for the broader industry in that a major international and strategic industry buyer has stepped up to help guide the country’s largest testing firm into the future,” said Steve Maxwell, managing director of TechKNOWLEDGEy Strategic Group.
BSI (British Standards Institution, London, UK) and its BSI EHS Services and Solutions business, originally acquired as EORM in California, for broadening the its geographical footprint on the East Coast with three strategic acquisitions: In August 2016, BSI acquired Atrium Environmental Health and Safety Services LLC (Reston, Va.), a 25-employee firm providing on-site and project-based occupational safety, industrial hygiene and environmental compliance services in the National Capital region (Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC). In September 2016, Creative Environment Solutions (CES) Corp., one of New York City’s most respected environmental and safety consulting firms, joined BSI, adding more than 100 employees and bolstering services in the Northeast. In December 2016, BSI acquired EHS consulting firm Quantum Management Group Inc. (Clifton, N.J.). Quantum grew from Eastman Kodak’s divestiture of its pharmaceutical subsidiary, Sterling Winthrop Inc., adding corporate environmental liability management consulting and project management expertise and strengthening BSI’s EHS services to the pharmaceutical, petrochemical and manufacturing sectors.
Ramboll (Copenhagen) for the August 2016 acquisition of acquires two German onshore wind energy consulting firms. Ramboll acquired BBB Umwelttechnik GmbH and CUBE Engineering GmbH. With more than 65% of all offshore wind turbines on foundations designed by Ramboll, the Danish company is already the leading global consulting firm in offshore wind. With BBB and CUBE’s 85 employees working from five offices in Germany and a small office in Brazil, Ramboll has established a knowledge base of close to 350 experts providing consultancy services on offshore and onshore wind energy. The acquisitions also fit well with Ramboll’s strategy for growth in Germany. Ramboll has grown significantly in recent years in Germany, and now provides a presence within energy, transport, planning & urban design, water, environment & health, and management consulting with about 450 staff in total in Germany. Ramboll employs 13,000 people in almost 300 offices in 35 countries, emphasizing local experience combined with a global knowledge-base.
RWL Water (New York, N.Y.), a global water, wastewater, and waste-to-energy firm, for reaching an agreement to acquire Acquavit (Jundiai, São Paulo, Brazil), a water and wastewater treatment company serving municipal and industrial clients. Acquavit, which will be renamed RWL Water Brasil, reinforces RWL Water’s expansion strategy in South America’s largest market. “Brazil is facing significant water scarcity issues, rising electricity prices, and wastewater problems; thus, our global experience stemming from other RWL Water sister companies in desalination, reuse, and waste-to-energy solutions are of particular relevance,” said RWL Water President and CEO Henry Charrabé. Founded in 2010, RWL Water was established to become a leading global water, wastewater, and reuse solutions provider in the middle market.
SGS SA (Geneva, Switzerland) for acquiring Accutest Laboratories (Dayton, N.J.) and AXYS Analytical Services Ltd. (Sidney, BC) in 2016. Accutest had revenues of $65 million in 2015; in combination with SGS’s existing operations, the acquisition created one of the leading environmental testing laboratory businesses in the United States. AXYS Analytical is a specialist in ultra trace analysis of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), contaminants of emerging concern, and metabolomics (the study of small biomolecules or metabolites endogenous to a biological system). AXYS anticipated 2016 revenues in excess of C$12 million. SGS is a global inspection, verification, testing and certification company with more than 80,000 employees and a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories worldwide.
Cascade Environmental (Woodinville, Wash.), a provider of environmental drilling, high resolution site characterization, and in situ remediation, for three acquisitions: In January 2016, Cascade acquired the Field Services Division of Stone Environmental Inc., followed in August by the remediation technology provider Panther Technologies Inc. (Medford, N.J.), including the assets and proprietary technologies of GeoSierra Environmental Inc. In October, Cascade announced the acquisition of Alliance Maintenance & Services (Houston), serving the consulting and oil & gas communities throughout the Gulf Region. Also in 2016, the 25th anniversary year of the original Cascade Drilling LP, Cascade announced a new brand identity of Cascade Environmental supported by a new operating structure to better serve the environmental and engineering consulting community including Cascade Drilling, Cascade Technical Services, Aquifer Drilling and Testing, and TerraTherm.
Business Achievement: Information Technology
Compliance software provider Enablon (Chicago, Ill.) for being acquired by Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory (Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands) in a €250 million deal, setting the bar for valuations in environmental information. Enablon is a leading global provider of environmental, health, safety and sustainability and operational risk management software and SaaS solutions. The company generated software and services revenues of approximately €45 million in 2015, and revenues were expected to grow organically to approximately €55 million in 2016. Publicly traded Wolters Kluwer NV is a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. Wolters Kluwer reported 2015 annual revenues of €4.2 billion.
St.Germain Collins (Westbrook, Maine), an environmental management and land development services firm, for developing Sentry EHS, a cloud-based program that allows users to keep in compliance with EHS regulations wherever they work – at a desk, on a production line, or in an excavator. Sentry EHS is a task management system with an extensive database of EHS tasks researched and summarized by the firm’s compliance experts. Sentry EHS is customizable, scalable and personalized for individual businesses and provides clients with the tools to see that everyone is completing tasks on time and submitting key documents at one facility or across 100 facilities. The program is used at more than 400 locations in 19 states.
EarthSoft Inc. (Pensacola, Fla.) for a successful 2016 with major new clients, product releases and the addition of 15 new staff in 2016, including senior developers and senior project management staff. EarthSoft won a 5-year contract from Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for EQuIS hosted on Microsoft Azure, with services to implement the complete workflow for field data collection, lab data deliverables, and EQuIS Enterprise including EarthSoft’s web GIS tools. EarthSoft was particularly successful in two client niches: federal governments and large regulated utilities. EarthSoft’s federal business grew with new business from the Canadian Nuclear Labs, the Department of Defense headquarters, and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.
3E Company (Carlsbad, Calif.) for adding new tools to its portfolio of intelligent compliance solutions including: Base Chemical Classification Library, a collection of continually updated regulatory classifications for chemical substances, which can be easily imported into hazard communication authoring systems and helps improve the accuracy of chemical hazard data, streamline authoring processes and increase workplace safety; Label Generator, which enables customers to produce shipping and storage labels for regulated substances quickly and easily; OSHA incident notification and reporting services, through which 3E’s EH&S call center in Carlsbad can provide live, multilingual support whenever an incident occurs; and Expanded 3ESC Supply Chain Solutions.
Locus Technologies (Mountain View, Calif.), a multi-tenant SaaS provider of EHS software, for introduction of LP-X, a basic platform foundation from which customers can self-design, build, and manage their own applications. San Jose Water Company piloted LP-X and developed multiple custom applications without needing programming resources. Locus also continued to grow off-the-shelf products with a full GHG module for supporting GHG reporting requirements, as well as a waste management module to track, manage and report various waste streams including hazardous waste, mixed and radioactive.
Black & Veatch (B&V, Overland Park, Kan.) for publishing the 2016 Strategic Directions: Water Industry Report, the firm’s fifth annual report offering insight into key issues facing water service providers across the United States and international markets. The report, by B&V’s Insights Group, covers communicating with customers; alternative financing schemes and the rise of public-private partnerships; and applying lessons learned by the industry’sits electric and natural gas counterparts to address cost and aging infrastructure challenges. Drawing on responses from more than 350 industry participants and the insights of B&V’s global team of water industry experts, the report captures both the angst and opportunity confronting water leaders in 2016. Also in 2016, B&V published Strategic Directions: Electric Industry Report and Strategic Directions: U.S. Smart City/Smart Utility Report.
Arcadis (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) for publishing its first Sustainable Cities Water Index that measures 50 global cities across a broad spectrum of sustainability issues impacting water resiliency, efficiency and quality. The study highlights the importance of water as a critical urban asset that is imperative to long-term success, economic development and overall sustainability. The Sustainable Cities Water Index showed that North American cities, threatened by both water scarcity and natural disasters, are among the most at risk in the developed world with no U.S. cities placing in the top 10 of the global rankings. Toronto, ranked 6th globally, Washington D.C. (13th) and New York (14th) as North America’s most sustainable water cities.
Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.) for the publication of BC Water News, a free service providing timely water and wastewater news, and for eclipsing 35,000 subscribers in 2016. BC Water News’ loyal following includes environmental professionals, employees of water agencies or utilities, elected officials, public service employees, students and journalists. Produced by water professionals for water professionals, the publication’s six regional editions deliver water-related headlines from sources around the country. Subscribers also have access to interviews with industry leaders, special coverage of hot topics, and access to BC Water Jobs, a network of industry job opportunities. An employee-owned company, Brown and Caldwell is the largest engineering and construction firm solely focused on the U.S. environmental sector with 1,500 employees across 45 national offices.
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc. PBC (EA, Hunt Valley, MD) for issuing its inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report/Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) Statement. EA’s 4th biennial report (formerly the Corporate Sustainability Report), covering calendar years 2014 and 2015, reflects two significant changes: becoming 100% employee-owned and registering as a PBC. The report reflects EA’s continued success in achieving fiscal goals while remaining mindful of its broader impact on society and the environment. This new operating paradigm positions EA to meet the evolving needs of clients while achieving public benefits per its company charter. Report highlights include appointing EA’s first Director of CSR and first Small Business Liaison Officer; establishing a PBC Committee reporting to EA’s Board of Directors; continued commitment to public disclosure of its CSR efforts based on Global Reporting Initiative guidelines; formalizing a strategic partnership with Water For People; developing a new supplier portal to enhance opportunities for small and disadvantaged business, as well as include sustainability considerations in EA’s supply chain; and introducing a Paid Volunteer Time program.
Foth (Green Bay, Wisc.) and its Foth Infrastructure and Environment division for continuing its leadership in sediments management and remediation. Foth received the Bentley Award for delivering innovative solutions for the Lower Fox River Superfund Project where an optimized remedy shortened project implementation time by five years and hastened ecosystem recovery, resulting in a cost savings of $50 million from the original all-dredge remedy. Bentley is a software provider whose 3D modeling combined with field monitoring are ensuring that the sediment caps are intact. Other high-profile sediment projects include work for Xcel Energy, Army Corps of Engineers, Tecumseh Products, Wisconsin DOT, U.S. Coast Guard and others. Foth has more than 600 employees in 21 locations mostly in the Midwest, and sent eight experts to Battelle’s recent conference on sediments, presenting four papers.
New Practice Areas
vironmental investigation, characterization and remediation services. Launched in 2016, Cascade Technical Services (CTS) works closely with the consulting community, providing innovative solutions to meet remediation objectives. Cascade’s team of environmental experts uses sophisticated data acquisition technologies for site investigation and characterization as well as a broad range of in situ and ex situ remediation technologies. CTS specializes in complex sites where remediation objectives are not expected to be achieved within a reasonable time frame and often require extensive resources. In its first year, Cascade secured over $14.5 million in complex site projects demonstrating strong market demand for an innovative approach to complex sites.
AECOM (Los Angeles, Calif.) for expanding its Technical Practice Network to include a CCR Groundwater Remediation Technical Practice Group (CCR GR TPG) following the implementation of the USEPA Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Rule. The USEPA estimates groundwater remediation costs for coal fired power plant operators under this program at $690 million. The CCR Rule requires monitoring well networks and background groundwater data collection evaluation by October 2017, and many CCR sites will potentially need Corrective Action. AECOM’s CCR GR TPG is comprised of over 350 internal experts and a variety of external experts to establish a broad-based and solution-focused foundation. Efforts have included evaluation of laboratory techniques and protocols, statistical tools evaluations, data visualization and coordination with vendors in the development of innovative remedial additives for permanent groundwater solutions.
Groundwater & Environmental Services Inc. (GES, Wall Township, N.J.) for a new ecological services practice that augments the firm’s capabilities for its core oil & gas and energy market sectors. The practice was jump-started through the acquisition of KBA Enviroscience Ltd., (Lewisville, Texas). The transaction adds to GES’s capabilities in natural resources, NEPA, and related permitting and compliance services, including ecological risk assessments, protected species surveys, biological assessments, cultural resources, and environmental protection plans. GES can now self-perform a wide range of wetland delineation, permitting, and construction support services along with ecological restoration and mitigation bank plans. The company is building its practice in strategic geographies to support its clients’ plans for pipeline construction and infrastructure improvements.
CH2M (Denver, Colo.) for developing a new Valuing Nature (VN) practice, a global initiative in which a broad range of A&E, consulting and design services are viewed through a natural resources lens to deliver financial benefits, greater environmental stewardship, and reduced operational risk to clients. Valuing Nature identifies opportunities to reduce resource use, avoid environmental impacts, protect and enhance ecosystems, sustain access to resources, harness nature’s power, and strengthen stakeholder relations across a wide range of projects. To optimize return on investment, multi-disciplinary, synergistic teams of engineers, scientists and economists apply a “sized for the job” approach using a toolkit that includes screening protocols, cost-benefit analysis, opportunity checklists, and optimization software. To accelerate internal integration and external adoption, CH2M has established a relationship with the Wildlife Habitat Council, a non-profit conservation organization with a membership of Fortune 500 companies.
Technology Merit: Information
ICF (Fairfax, Va.) for leveraging the power of the web and open source libraries to develop a suite of innovative natural resource management tools. The Environmental Data Viewer, built for and in partnership with the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), went live in 2016 providing a powerful online tool for evaluating potential transmission line corridors and formulating alternatives that minimize adverse impacts and optimize mitigation costs. This interactive planning and analysis platform allows a user to draw a hypothetical transmission line corridor directly onto a map and tabulates the sensitive environmental resources within the corridor footprint. The Environmental Data Viewer is a tool to improve transmission corridor planning that assesses environmental risk within the hypothetical corridor using a composite risk class layer and generates capital construction and environmental mitigation costs estimates from integrated economic data.
Technology Merit: Remediation
WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff (Montreal, Quebec) for successfully treating dissolved chlorinated solvents in fractured bedrock groundwater using an innovative in situ approach at a site in Pennsylvania and achieving promising initial results at two more bedrock treated sites in Missouri and Arkansas. The technology enables groundwater cleanup where historic mitigation alternatives were limited to plume management using technologies such as pump and treat. The technology stimulates both abiotic biogeochemical transformation via biogenic formation of iron sulfides and biotic reductive dehalogenation using a single application of a completely soluble multi-component multi-functional amendment formulation. The amendment formulation works synergistically to minimize inhibitions along either degradation pathway and is a significant improvement over traditional colloidal based formulations (e.g., zero valent iron) that can clog bedrock fractures and divert groundwater flow to unaffected areas and more soluble formulations with a limited in situ longevity.
Technology Merit: Water
Tetra Tech (Pasadena, Calif.) for designing an innovative stormwater capture project for Lakewood, Calif. (just north of Long Beach) using smart systems to improve water quality and meet irrigation needs in the drought-stricken region. Stormwater runoff will be redirected through a pre-treatment system to remove trash, debris, and sediment. Following treatment, the water will be conveyed into a storage and infiltration facility and used to irrigate the city’s Bolivar Park. This system will satisfy 100% of the park’s annual 9.5-million-gallon irrigation requirements for landscaped areas, which are currently met with potable water. Tetra Tech used real-time controls to improve the stormwater capture system’s capacity, including sensors in the underground storage facility and the infiltration chamber. The facility connects to National Weather Service data through a cloud-based system, and if rain is expected the system evaluates whether it has the capacity to avoid flooding. If the system does not have enough storage capacity, it will evaluate other options such as reducing the diversion rate, increasing irrigation, evaluating the infiltration rates for groundwater recharge, or discharging filtered stormwater back into the channel.
AECOM (Los Angeles, Calif.) for designing and building a granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment system to remove perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from a public water facility in Wood County, W.V. and for accelerating the project timeline due to a potable water ban on the city’s drinking water. AECOM prepared a design and permit package in six weeks and activated an operational system six weeks later. The project involved well water evaluation, verification of a water distribution model, treatment process design, permitting, construction, start-up, and O&M of the GAC systems. AECOM worked with multiple stakeholders to achieve significant milestones, lifting the drinking water ban prior to a regulatory deadline.
Aquatech International (Canonsburg, Pa.) for attracting a minority equity investment from Ecolab Inc. (St. Paul, Minn., parent of Nalco Water), a $13.5-billion global industrial water treatment leader. Aquatech employs about 600 people worldwide specializes in minimal liquid discharge (MLD) and zero liquid discharge (ZLD) technologies for industrial and municipal water management, the design and engineering of complex water treatment solutions to improve water quality and reduce net water usage, and in providing a suite of technologies for water reuse and recycling. Devesh Sharma, Aquatech’s managing director, said: “There is no better sales network and partner than Ecolab/Nalco, in terms of breadth and depth… The goal is to use our respective capabilities to provide total water management.”
Technology Merit: Monitoring
AECOM (Los Angeles, Calif.) for leading the first-known exterior and interior inspection of a 250-foot industrial stack using an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The inspection, conducted through AECOM’s subsidiary UCOR, culminated two years of research, test, and coordination across multiple agencies. Traditional inspections involve shutting off stack operation for 2-3 weeks, erecting scaffolding, and positioning a crane to lower a HAZMAT-trained inspector into the stack. A team of AECOM UAS experts, UCOR facility experts, and AECOM’s partner, Guided Systems Technologies (GST), employed a specialized UAS equipped with a high definition camera to image the exterior of the stack and a specialized, lighted camera connected to an automated winch lowered into the stack for internal imaging. Images were transmitted directly to a monitor for inspectors to see and record imaging real-time. This innovative solution safely accomplished both exterior and interior imaging in less than two hours, allowing stack use to resume in less than half a day from shutdown to restart.
Project Merit: Natural Resources Management
AECOM (Los Angeles, Calif.) for enhancing remediation of an historically impacted coastal property and providing extensive environmental services to design and implement a “living shoreline” pilot project at a former Connecticut shooting range owned by a subsidiary of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. The pilot project served as a “proof-of-concept” to demonstrate the potential for living shorelines to restore wildlife habitat, decrease shoreline/dune erosion, and reduce exposure to contaminants by promoting natural sediment accretion to cover and bury residual lead shot. In 2016, AECOM designed, permitted, funded, and provided construction oversight to expand the pilot project and protect an additional 750 linear feet of shoreline. The expanded project consists of an artificial reef, constructed using concrete “reef balls,” and a smooth cordgrass marsh. To date, the project has received approximately $455,000 in funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation.
Project Merit: Water Quality
PBS Engineering and Environmental (Portland, Ore.) for collecting and analyzing nearly 55,000 water samples for schools, universities and hospitals in the Pacific Northwest in the wake of the Flint, Mich. drinking water contamination crisis. Several states, including Oregon and Washington, quickly disseminated guidance programs, and in some cases, funded testing in schools. Districts scrambled to have testing done before kids returned to school in September. Most of the sample collection was done over a very short time (about three months). In addition to coordinating and managing the collection of so many samples, PBS worked closely with Verdant Web Technologies Inc. and its labs to quickly develop a new web application to efficiently upload results directly from the labs and to provide a secure platform for the data so it could be stored, searched, cataloged, and easily accessed by facility staff and interested parties. PBS continues to partner with Verdant to deliver solutions and data management systems to help multi-facility organizations to best manage their environmental risks and evolve their EH&S programs.
Project Merit: Waste Information
Korea Environment Corporation (KECO) for a decade of successful operation and evolution of a medical waste management system using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for safe disposal of medical wastes with high infection risk. The systemIt manages the discharge, transport, and disposal of eight8 types of medical wastes in real time using RFID technology to tag and track all waste from patients, doctors, clinics or hospitals to secure disposal. The system has hit its stride in 2014-2016 with almost 64,000 sites or businesses in the system, an average of 20 million tags per year,s and statistical data on 178,000 tons of medical waste discharged, transported and disposed of last year.
Project Merit: Environmental Impact
Consulting for Health, Air, Nature & a Greener Environment, LLC (CHANGE) for its comprehensive report evaluating the impacts of a proposed Silica Sand Transfer Station for the natural gas industry in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. CHANGE was contracted by the Wyoming County Commissioners to evaluate the impacts, assess and characterize potential air quality and soil impacts on nearby residences, commercial areas and sports complex. The final report guided the County’s final decision to cancel the project as results of weather analysis and air modeling clearly indicated that operations of the transfer station would exceed National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
Project Merit: Environmental Impact Assessment
HDR Inc. (Omaha, Neb.) for conducting a trans-boundary environmental impact assessment on behalf of the Government of Viet Nam to assess overall impacts of a planned hydropower cascade on the natural, social, and economic systems of the delta and floodplains in Vietnam and Cambodia. The assessment used state-of-the-art hydrological, hydraulic, sediment transport, morphological, and water quality modeling to simulate impacts associated with the major changes collectively caused by all mainstream hydropower projects combined. This project was reviewed and critiqued by a panel of international experts assembled by USAID and World Bank. This trans-boundary project and its associated politics required a high level of international scrutiny and approval for the results to be effective in supporting sound environmental stewardship in the region. The assessment results indicate that the planned mainstream hydropower cascade would cause high to very high adverse effects on some of the key sectors and environmental resources in Cambodia and Viet Nam if implemented without mitigations. The gGovernments of Viet Nam and Cambodia have received in excess of $25-million credit from the World Bank to follow up on the recommendations of the impact assessment study.
Project Merit: Energy Efficiency
Cleantech San Diego’s Regional Schools Collaborative for reaching the three-year milestone of best practice sharing among the 44 school districts across the SDG&E service territory. The goal was to maximize energy savings, demand reduction and GHG reduction through Proposition 39 projects approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC). As the CEC’s recognized statewide best practice in Proposition 39 implementation, the collaborative has achieved: 88 energy expenditure plans approved; $64.6 million in project grant allocations for 314 schools; Energy savings = 27,414,710/year; Cost savings = $5,985,131/yr; Demand reduction = 7.9 MW; and GHG reduction = 17,106,779 lbs. The key strategic program milestone achieved in 2016 was the launch of two SDG&E/CPUC Zero Net Energy pilots, which will establish a replicable roadmap for all 44 school districts to pursue the state’s goal of 50% of existing buildings retrofitted to ZNE by 2030.
Project Merit: Water
Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew) and CH2M (Englewood, Colo.) for the Nutrient Management Facility (NMF), which recently earned the first Envision Platinum certification from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure in the Washington DC/Virginia region. An 18-million-gallon storage facility topped with a public athletic field, the NMF stores wastewater during nutrient peaks to balance the amount of nitrogen that goes into biological treatment processes. The NMF is the largest project under AlexRenew’s $160-million State-of-the-Art Nitrogen Upgrade Program, the utility’s response to regulations limiting the amount of nutrients water resource recovery facilities can release into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The NMF’s dual-purpose nature, improving the health of local waterways while engaging the community with beneficial greenspace, was crucial in achieving Platinum certification. Other sustainability efforts included using local and recycled materials, recycling construction waste, recovering a brownfield site, expanding stream buffers, using sustainable stormwater practices, and employing energy and water monitoring systems.
Project Merit: Water Data
Aquatic Informatics Inc. (Vancouver, BC), a water data management software company, for the successful adoption of its flagship AQUARIUS Time-Series platform by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). When the USGS decided to retire its legacy Automated Data Processing System (ADAPS) system, the agency chose AQUARIUS Time-Series for its 3,000 hydrologists, water quality specialists, and scientists to manage continuous environmental data for optimal consistency and reliability nationwide. The first of 50 states to migrate successfully migrate was Alabama. Using AQUARIUS Time-Series, the USGS is providing reliable, real-time information about surface and ground water, water quality, and meteorological conditions to citizens and local, state, tribal, and federal partners. The data is automatically corrected and flows from “gauge to page” (i.e., published on their NWIS portal) within one minute. Aquatic Informatics invested three years of R&D in a collaborative process with the USGS, to build its next generation platform. AQUARIUS Time-Series is now live on Amazon Virtual Private Cloud – the agency’s first large cloud deployment to take advantage of performance and cost improvements.
Project Merit: Natural Resources Management
Marstel-Day LLC (Fredericksburg, Va.) for providing management, support, and coordination for a campaign marking the centennial of the 1916 Migratory Bird Treaty between Canada and the United States. During the year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) ran a national awareness and public education campaign to galvanize efforts to protect migratory birds. Marstel-Day provided creative public outreach, print/radio coverage, and social media strategies to engage nations, agencies, NGOs, businesses, and citizens to take action for birds, in addition to tracking the impact of the campaign. Campaign successes included: continued international cooperation and commitment highlighted at meetings among President Obama, Prime Minister Trudeau, and President Pen?a Nieto; an Embassy event in Washington DC launched the next 100 years of bird conservation across the western hemisphere; over more than 300 activities and 60 partnering organizations reached over 1.5 million people about the importance of migratory bird conservation; and a one-week social media campaign reached 702,000 people, with 1,500 people pledging to take action for birds.
Project Merit: Air Quality
TRC Solutions (Lowell, Mass.) for air permitting services for Panda Hummel Station, one of the largest coal-to-natural gas power conversion projects in the country. When the new Hummel Station comes on line in early 2018, the combined-cycle gas-fired plant will supply enough power for 1 million homes in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. The new plant will produce 180% more power than the 65-year-old coal plant it replaces but with 90% lower overall emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides; it will also use 97% less water for cooling than the retired plant. The project is creating roughly 900 jobs during construction. Hummel Station was developed by Panda Power Funds and Sunbury Generation LP and was financed in October 2015. In 2016, TRC contributed to securing regulators’ approval of the critical pre-construction Air Plan Approval by preparing the air emissions calculations and air permit application and participating in regulatory outreach with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Project Merit: Clean Power
Tetra Tech (Pasadena, Calif.) for supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Power Africa Transactions and Reform Program (PATRP), which provides technical assistance, capacity building, and financial transaction support services to help accomplish Power Africa’s goals of adding more than 30,000 megawatts (MW) of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation in all of sub-Saharan Africa. Through the end of 2016, PATRP facilitated bringing more than 1,500 MW of power generation projects to financial close in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania. PATRP has also helped develop a pipeline of more than 140 active Power Africa transactions at various stages of development, representing nearly 20,000 MW of potential generation capacity. Tetra Tech developed an innovative mobile app and web-based Power Africa Tracking Tool that provides real-time tracking of power transactions.
Project Merit: Redevelopment
SCS Engineers (Long Beach, Calif.) for a phased investigation and design program at COMM22, an award-winning mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development developed by Bridge Housing in San Diego, Calif. SCS addressed the change in use from a former maintenance facility for buses to multi-family residential with below grade parking. Issues included leaking underground storage tanks (USTs) and fill soils containing toxic metals, including lead. Groundwater and soil to were delineated and SCS successfully closed the UST case with the Department of Environmental Health, allowing the start of site redevelopment. Additional pre-construction characterization and three dimension data analysis resulted in time and budget savings. Careful soil profiling allowed for direct loading of impacted soil and reclassification of soil types leading to a reduction in hazardous waste disposal costs. SCS used its regulatory knowledge to characterize segregated soils as “inert” and therefore reduced soil disposal costs by approximately $500,000. Under its CA contractor’s license, SCS conducted both site mass grading and monitoring and segregation of excavated fill soils and waste profiling for its proper transport off site. Careful soil management also resulted in the prevention of 151.52 tons of CO2 emissions.
Project Merit: Water Infrastructure
CH2M (Englewood, Colo.) for its role in the $1 billion Thames Water Lee Tunnel, the first section of the London Tideway Tunnels program to be built and the biggest upgrade to London’s sewerage system since Victorian times. The Lee Tunnel was commissioned in January 2016 – on time and within budget—bringing the UK into legal compliance with the European Community’s wastewater directives for rivers. Managed by CH2M since 2008, the project entailed designing, constructing and commissioning a 4.25-mile long, 23.5-foot internal diameter storage and conveyance tunnel for combined stormwater and sewage effluent. It also included intake, pump-out and overflow shafts, culverts and pumping and control equipment. By eliminating discharges from the Abbey Mills combined sewer overflow (CSO) to the River Lee, the Lee Tunnel alone will reduce the total wastewater discharges from all London’s CSOs to the River Thames by 40%.
Project Merit: Sustainability
The Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics for developing a comprehensive program to help the state’s 74 general aviation airports enhance their long-term viability by providing them with innovative tools that allow them to incorporate sustainability into their planning and operations. Airports now have access to an easy-to-use, free online sustainability tool kit to create their own customized Airport Sustainability Plans. The tool kit walks the user through each step of the planning process, from adding relevant baseline inventory data, to identifying specific focus areas that are most important to the airport (e.g., energy, revenue generation, community relations, operations and maintenance, etc.). Airports select unique sustainability goals and initiatives and assign responsibility for plan implementation. Most importantly, the tool kit provides a means for tracking and reporting progress.
Project Merit: Water Reuse
CDM Smith (Boston, Mass.) for a process water treatment and return plant (PWTRP) designed and built for JR Simplot, one of the world’s largest producers of potato products. CDM Smith’s innovative treatment system included primary clarification, anaerobic fermentation, enhanced biological nutrient removal for nitrogen and phosphorus, and activated sludge with membrane bioreactors followed by reverse osmosis (RO) and chlorine disinfection. All RO brine is evaporated on site in an enhanced evaporation system. The plant, in Caldwell, Idaho, treats an average of 2.3 million gallons per day (mgd) of high-strength potato processing wastewater. Approximately 1.7 mgd of water, equivalent to drinking water standards, is reclaimed for reuse. The technology ALSO won the WateReuse Assn.’s 2016 Industrial Project of the Year award.
Tamilnadu Water Investment Company Limited (Chennai, India), a developer of water/wastewater projects, for a zero liquid discharge (ZLD) common effluent treatment plant (CETP) project with a combined capacity of 53 millions of liters per day (MLD). The plant services a textile dyeing cluster in the district of Tirupur, Tamilnadu, India. Tirupur was the first industrial cluster to implement ZLD in the country. This project recovers 98% of water and over 70% of sodium sulphate salt for reuse in the dyeing units, and is being replicated in other districts with large concentrations of dyeing units. The technology uses membrane distillation instead of thermal multiple effect evaporators and features integration of membrane distillation coupled with a solar thermal system, helping to ensure that the carbon footprint is lower than conventional treat-and-discharge systems. A detailed project report was prepared in 2016, technically evaluated by IIT, Madras, and approved for a grant by the State of Tamilnadu, in addition to passing the first stage of approval for a grant from the federal government.
Marstel-Day LLC CEO Rebecca Rubin – spurred by the global rise of threatened and endangered species being killed each year – for creating the Stand with Wildlife campaign to shine a light on major wildlife conservation issues and present ways individuals and businesses can help. The campaign included monthly talks by national and global conservationists. Marstel-Day partnered with organizations like the National Conservation Leadership Institute; One More Generation; Soul River; the Jane Goodall Institute; Expedition Plastic; and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to focus on identifying and developing strategies to protect, restore and enhance the world’s diverse wildlife and their habitats. This level of partnership and the implementation of such an awareness campaign has become a new model for a for-profit consulting firm, Marstel-Day said.
Arthur N. Mabbett, Chairman, CEO and founder of Mabbett & Associates Inc. (Bedford, Mass.), for working tirelessly towards passage of a specific provision contained in The Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016, signed into law in December. The law includes a new provision in Title V, Small Business and Employment Matters, Section 50l, (a), (C), (ii), which allows a surviving spouse of a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at less than 100% disabling who does not die as a result of a service-connected disability, a period of three (3) years after the veteran’s death to retain the company’s Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) classification. Previously, such an SDVOSB lost its small business classification immediately upon the death of the veteran, thus likely jeopardizing the viability of the company. Arthur N. Mabbett was the originator of the proposed transition legislation. In 2011, he submitted a resolution to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), which was unanimously adopted at the DAV’s 2011 National Convention and became part of its legislative platform submitted to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as part of the 2012 Independent Budget. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS and Paralyzed Veterans of America all endorsed the proposed legislation, and Art worked for over four years on Capitol Hill to help ensure its passage by the U.S. House and Senate and eventual approval by the President.