EBJ News for April 22, 2017

New Mountain to take TRC Companies private
Publicly traded TRC Companies Inc. (Lowell, Mass.) has entered into a definitive merger agreement with New Mountain Capital LLC to be acquired in an all cash transaction valued at $554.4 million. “TRC has shown the ability to grow both organically and through acquisitions, and New Mountain is excited to support management’s existing strategy and their goal of being the #1 North American engineering and construction management firm,” said Lars Johansson of New Mountain Capital. Matt Holt of New Mountain Capital added: “We believe it is a highly attractive industry with significant growth potential. We have been methodically studying the market for opportunities, and we selected TRC as the ideal platform to build a differentiated leader across the Power, Environmental, Energy and Transportation verticals.” New Mountain plans to run TRC as a standalone business operation with the current management team remaining in place.

T-O Engineers acquires Pharmer Engineering
T-O Engineers Inc. (Meridian, Idaho), a full service planning and engineering firm, has acquired Pharmer Engineering (Boise, Idaho), a specialist in water and wastewater treatment systems. Pharmer Engineering was founded in 2003 and provides treatment facilities for municipal, private, and industrial clients throughout the Treasure Valley in southwestern Idaho and across North America. The acquisition will “expand T-O’s municipal resume, provide efficiencies and increase service abilities,” said T-O Engineers President Bill Russell. The acquisition will bring the T-O Engineers staff to more than 80 employees and five total office locations across Treasure Valley, Coeur d’Alene, and Spokane, Wash. T-O Engineers provides aviation, transportation, land development, water, environmental and other services across the Pacific Northwest. In March, T-O announced it had been selected to team with Quadrant Consulting Inc. to provide waterway and land survey services for the City of Boise.

Montrose Environmental acquires Prism Analytical
Montrose Environmental Group Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) has acquired the field services and laboratory business assets of Prism Analytical Technologies Inc. (Mount Pleasant, Mich.). Prism was acquired via Montrose’s wholly owned subsidiaries Montrose Air Quality Services LLC and Enthalpy Analytical LLC. Prism will retain assets related to its chemical instrumentation business, which will operate as MAX Analytical Technologies. Terms were not disclosed. Prism offers Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) instrument integration and applications and is a consultative air testing laboratory; it also serves the residential market through its Home Air Check brand. Steven Eckard, senior vice president of Enthalpy, noted: “Prism has unique capabilities to measure pollutants at very low concentrations. As levels of concern become lower and lower over time these skills will be another reason that Enthalpy will be the leader for measuring pollutants in air.” Montrose Environmental has grown by acquisition to 46 offices and approximately 900 employees nationwide.

Hatch and Chester join up
Chester Engineers (Moon Township, Pa.), a company offering water, wastewater, environmental, and energy management solutions, has joined Hatch Ltd. (Mississauga, Ontario) to form Hatch Chester. Canada-based Hatch supplies engineering, project and construction, business consulting, and operational services to the mining, metallurgical, energy, and infrastructure industries. “Chester’s history in water and infrastructure spans over 100 years,” said Hatch’s CEO John Bianchini. “This, in combination with their established presence in various major American cities, aligns well with our long-term plans to expand in the U.S.” Chester Engineers lists 15 offices in the United States and three in Jamaica, Bahamas, and Nigeria. Hatch is an employee-owned firm with more than 9,000 staff in 150 countries.

Carollo Engineers leads historic water planning effort for Los Angeles
Carollo Engineers (Walnut Creek, Calif.) is partnering with the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to develop and implement the City’s One Water LA 2040 plan. The contract value to Carollo is $6.25 million. “Los Angeles is pivoting away from its traditional reliance on climate-sensitive imported water supplies to focus on expanding its local water sources, in particular recycled water, groundwater, and runoff capture,” said Tom West, Carollo’s project manager. Carollo will provide the framework and implementation strategy required to meet the region’s near- and long-term water supply challenges. As the City’s overall project manager for One Water LA, Carollo is developing wastewater and stormwater facilities’ master plans and city policies designed to govern on-site water conservation and reclamation.

E & E to support HydroGeoLogic in EPA-wide small business contract
Ecology and Environment Inc. (E & E, Lancaster, N.Y.) has been notified that HydroGeoLogic Inc. (HGL) was selected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a Remedial Acquisition Framework (RAF) Design and Engineering Services (DES) Small Business Contract to provide professional services in all 10 EPA regions. E & E will support HGL on assignments nationwide. The notification follows EPA’s selection of the joint venture between Black & Veatch and E & E for a large business nationwide contract. “Having the opportunity to participate in both the large and small business components of this program nationwide is especially exciting,” said E & E president and CEO Gerard A. Gallagher III. The EPA RAF DES Program has a total contracting capacity of $1.205 billion to be shared by multiple large and small business awardees over a 10-year period. Awardees will provide services at Superfund sites.

EA Engineering to provide environmental services to the City of Baltimore
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc., PBC (Hunt Valley, Md.) has been awarded a contract to perform on-call environmental services for hazardous waste handling for the City of Baltimore’s Department of Public Works. The maximum value of the contract is $1 million with a base period of performance of 3 years and options for up to a total of 5 years. Projects may include health and environmental hazards associated with water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure and facilities and underground storage tank sites. EA is a 100% ESOP-owned public benefit corporation that provides environmental, compliance, natural resources, and infrastructure engineering and management solutions.

United Utilities awards wastewater treatment contract to CH2M-VolkerStevin joint venture
United Utilities (Warrington, UK) recently awarded C2V+, a joint venture between CH2M (Englewood, Colo.) and VolkerStevin (Preston, UK), a £52.5 million contract for major improvements to its wastewater treatment system and facilities at Morecambe Bay in the United Kingdom. The upgrade is required to comply with tighter regulatory standards set by the UK Environment Agency. C2V+ will complete major works at the main pumping station, in addition to major works at the Morecambe Wastewater Treatment Works near the village of Middleton. The project started in March 2017 with completion scheduled for 2020.

Over-pumping reduces water storage in California
Over-pumping groundwater has drastically and permanently reduced the water storage capabilities of land in the San Joaquin Valley, one of California’s most important farming areas, according to an article by Ker Than of The Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. Research published by Stanford scientists in the journal Water Resources Research reveals that land in the San Joaquin Valley (roughly the southern half of the Central Valley) sank nearly three feet during due to over-pumping, resulting in a permanent loss of natural water storage capacity of between 336,000 and 606,000 acre-feet. (For comparison, the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir that supplies water to San Francisco has a capacity of about 360,000 acre-feet.). Findings came just as the state was experiencing its wettest season in years following an extended drought. “California is getting all of this rain, but in the Central Valley, there has been a loss of space to store it,” said study co-author Rosemary Knight, who is the George L. Harrington Professor at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. Knight and her colleagues used data acquired with a satellite technology called Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar, or InSAR, to measure centimeter-scale changes in elevation in the San Joaquin Valley between 2007 and 2010. One way the region could alleviate the problem is to pump water from sand and gravel layers, which are more easily recharged rather than clay. Knight’s group is testing a novel geophysical electromagnetic method that involves flying a helicopter equipped with instruments capable of imaging the subsurface from the air to create a three-dimensional map of clay, sand, and gravel deposits.

USGS provides a long-term look at nation’s rivers and streams
A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) interactive map provides a comprehensive, long-term look at changes in the quality of the nation’s rivers and streams over the last four decades. Monitoring data collected by the USGS and 73 other organizations at almost 1,400 sites have been combined to view changes in the quality of rivers and streams between the 1972 passage of the Clean Water Act and 2012. The interactive map can be used to see whether 51 water-quality constituents, like nutrients and pesticides, and 38 aquatic-life metrics, like the types and numbers of fish, macroinvertebrates, and algae, have increased, decreased, or remained the same. Over the next several years the USGS will assess whether and where billions in investments in pollution control have been effective, identify major causes of trends in U.S. stream quality, provide details on which chemicals are increasing or decreasing, and highlight whether any drinking water sources or aquatic ecosystems are at increased risk.

Savage purchases environmental reclamation and fuel supply businesses
Savage (Salt Lake City, Utah), a supply-chain solutions and industrial services company, has announced the purchase of Gobco LLC (Abingdon, Va.) and Power Fuels LLC. Gobco specializes in the removal of waste coal piles from abandoned mines and subsequent restoration of land. Waste coal, known as “gob,” is separated from rock and transported to the Power Fuels terminal in St. Paul, Va., where it is blended with run-of-mine coal and used to generate electricity at Dominion’s state-of-the-art Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center. The acquisition marks Savage’s second investment in an environmental services company in 2017, following its February purchase of Sunpro, a Midwest-based industrial and environmental field services company. Savage has more than 3,500 team members in over 240 operating locations throughout North America and internationally.

New Jersey American Water breaks ground on $65 million flood protection project
New Jersey American Water (Voorhees, N.J.) broke ground in April on a significant, long-term flood protection project at its Raritan-Millstone Water Treatment Plant. The $65 million investment will help protect against the increased risk of flooding during extreme weather events, and maintain a sustainable water supply for more than 1 million people in Central New Jersey. The Raritan-Millstone Water Treatment Plant produces an average of 155 million gallons a day (MGD) and is considered “Critical Infrastructure” by the federal Department of Homeland Security. The area experiences severe flooding during significant storms. New Jersey American Water has contracted with AECOM and Gannett-Fleming for design engineering and KC Construction and Allied Construction Group to help complete the project, to be concluded by December 2018.

Tetra Tech participates in $240 million contract for U.S. Navy remediation
Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) has announced that its consulting, engineering, and remediation subsidiary Tetra Tech EC is one of six firms selected for a $240 million multiple-award contract for environmental remediation of radiological contaminants (RADMAC II) at Navy and Marine Corps installations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and other locations. Tetra Tech EC will conduct radiological investigations, surveys, and sampling analysis, pilot and treatability studies, operations and maintenance, remediation, and related activities associated with returning sites to safe use. “Tetra Tech has supported the U.S. Navy for over four decades, and specifically NAVFAC Southwest, in remediation of radiological contaminants for more than 12 years,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech’s Chairman and CEO. “We are pleased to continue this longstanding partnership with the U.S. Navy to support its critical environmental restoration efforts.”

Report forecasts increase in outsourcing municipal water and wastewater services
Intensifying environmental regulations, need for infrastructure investment, and lack of capital are steering the North American municipal water and wastewater market toward outsourcing, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan. North American Municipal Water and Wastewater Outsourcing Market, Forecast to 2021, finds that increasing private sector penetration in Canada and the United States will support a compound annual growth rate of 2.3% from 2015 and 2022, pushing revenues to $6.08 billion. “The municipal water market is becoming increasingly sophisticated in its approach to business models and partners. The broader regional trend toward centralization and larger treatment plants stresses the need for investment and private organization involvement in managing complex process expansion,” said Frost & Sullivan Energy & Environment Industry Analyst Seth Cutler. Larger outsourcing partners stand to reap significant benefits from handling challenging projects that address multiple needs. Emerging players will do better in targeting select areas and providing superior quality services, the report said. “Offering a competitive price is a key factor for many outsourced contractors in this market. Contracting abilities, access to technology, finance, experience in the sectors and support capabilities are other competitive factors players use to differentiate their offerings,” Cutler said.

Voter-approved infrastructure projects stimulate growth in contract leads
According to Onvia’s latest quarterly report analyzing state, local, and education procurement trends for Q1 2017, there was a notable increase (4.9% year-over-year) in the volume of bidding opportunities, driven in part by more than $200 billion in recent voter-approved infrastructure projects. A provider of market intelligence for business to government (B2G), Onvia (Seattle, Wash.) also introduced a regional growth tracker that measures bid and RFP growth rates by state. Over the last six months (Q1 2017 versus Q4 2016) the following four industries saw the highest growth rates: Transportation, up 13%; Environmental Services, up 12.1%; Water & Energy, up 9.7%; and Healthcare, up 5.4%. After several quarters of flat or negligible growth, “Voters in 25 states approved measures to boost investments in infrastructure concentrated mostly around transportation, water and education-related initiatives,” said B2G Market Analyst Paul Irby.

 

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