Report forecasts costs of algal bloom on municipal water resources systems
Toxic algae blooms are placing greater financial burdens on municipal water resources systems and threatening the safety of drinking water supplies, according to a new report by Bluefield Research, which forecasts more than half of U.S. lakes and reservoirs will be affected by 2022. Around 140 million people are served by surface-water in the United States, and the long-term opportunity for advanced solutions providers could reach $78 million annually for monitoring alone, Bluefield said. In recent news the Oregon Health Authority mandated approximately 200 drinking water providers sourcing from lakes and rivers to test for toxins from cyanobacteria responsible for harmful algal blooms, becoming the next state after market-leading Ohio to proactively address risks to public health, Bluefield said. The report includes market forecasts for monitoring and treatment.
China steps up bans on solid waste imports
China’s imports of solid waste slumped in the first half of 2018 as the government stepped up enforcement of a ban on solid waste imports, according to Xinhuanet, the state media agency. Imports of plastic, paper, and metal waste totaled 9.98 million tonnes in the first half of the year, down 56% from the same period last year. In January the Chinese government banned imports of 24 types of waste, and in April announced that an additional 16 types of solid waste would be banned from December 31, 2018, including compressed car scraps and scrapped ships. In June the Bureau of International Recycling said that a translation of a Chinese government announcement revealed the country’s intention to reduce solid waste imports to zero by 2020. China began importing solid waste as a source of raw materials in the 1980s, becoming the world’s largest importer. The crackdown is intended to reduce pollution and build domestic recycling in China but is causing major disruption to the waste recycling industry in the United States.
LA County awards multimillion environmental services contract to ICF
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has selected ICF (Fairfax, Va.) to provide on-call environmental compliance, mitigation and community outreach services for a broad range of water resources infrastructure projects. The contract has a multimillion-dollar ceiling value and a term of four years. ICF will provide water resources support for projects and facilities in the Los Angeles River and surrounding waterways and watersheds in southern California. Tasks will include environmental, biological, and cultural services for county projects addressing water resources, watershed management, water quality, supply, conservation, flood control and related improvements.
Sites Project to receive $816 million in state funding
The California Water Commission (CWC) has voted to award the Sites Project $816 million of state funding to provide environmental benefits for refuge water supplies, Delta smelt, recreational opportunities, and localized flood control. The funds were the most given to any of the eight projects across California as part of the $2.7 billion Proposition 1 water bond measure passed in 2014. The Sites Project will add up to 500,000 acre-feet of usable water resources per year to the state’s water system, representing two-thirds of the total amount of annual storage being created through Proposition 1 funding. In addition, the CWC agreed to provide $40.8 million in early funding to assist in completing environmental analyses and obtaining permits. “The Sites Project offers the unique benefit of improving water quality and habitat conditions in the Sacramento River and Delta when and where it’s needed most,” said General Manager Jim Watson. “The project will not block fish migration, does not dam a large river or stream, and will only be filled by storm events, when excess water is available in the Sacramento River and after all existing environmental requirements have been met.” According the Sacramento Bee, the award is about half of what backers originally had sought for the Sites Project.
Gradiant Corp. unveils Asia-Pacific headquarters
Gradiant Corp. (Boston, Mass.) has established a new research and development center in Singapore, which will also serve as the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. The headquarters, supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board, will position Gradiant to expedite the development of solutions for industrial desalination, brine minimization, and water resources reuse. Initially Gradiant’s facility in Singapore will employ 10 senior water scientists and engineers, with plans to double the size of the team by year’s end.
Land Management joins Davey Resource Group
Davey Resource Group Inc. (DRG, Kent, Ohio), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Davey Tree Expert Company, has acquired 15-person Land Management Group Inc. (Wilmington, N.C), an environmental consulting firm providing services in wetlands science, geology, soil science, environmental permitting, marine biology, and other facets of environmental management. DRG provides natural resource and utility consulting services. “Operating in the southeast U.S. with an emphasis on coastal systems and regulations, the partnership provides Davey Resource Group with an expanded set of services, new geography, strong leadership, and a talented team of scientists,” said Karen Wise, division manager for DRG. The Davey Tree Expert Company provides diversified tree services, grounds maintenance, and environmental services and has more than 9,000 employees in North America.
Gibson Energy divests environmental services division to private equity firm
Gibson U.S. Environmental Services, a division of Gibson Energy Inc. (Houston), has been acquired by One Equity Partners and will be renamed OMNI Environmental Solutions (Carencro, La.). OMNI provides oilfield waste management and environmental services to exploration and production operators and oilfield services companies, focusing on waste- and water-related environmental, logistics and rental services. The company operates across multiple U.S. energy basins, including in the Anadarko, Bakken, Eagle Ford, Gulf Coast, Haynesville and Rockies regions. BlackArch Partners advised Gibson Energy on the divestiture.
CEC acquires solid waste engineering firm
Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. (CEC, Pittsburgh, Pa.) announced the acquisition of civil and solid waste engineering firm Shepherd Engineering Design Company Inc. (Oklahoma City), expanding CEC’s presence in the South and Midwest. The acquisition adds to CEC’s portfolio solid waste services such as engineering, design and permitting for transfer stations and landfills. In March 2018, CEC made its largest acquisition to date with engineering firm KBGE, establishing CEC’s presence in the Oklahoma market where CEC has grown its focus to include real estate development, professional land surveying, and now waste management.
USACE awards remediation projects
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE, Baltimore, Md.) has awarded AECOM Technical Services Inc. (Los Angeles, Calif.) a $27 million firm-fixed-price contract for architect-engineer remediation for hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste, and military munitions. The DOD received 14 bids. The estimated completion date for works is July 2023. Cape Environmental Management Inc. (Norcross, Ga.) won a $9.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for an environmental remediation project at the Sharon Steel Farrell Works Superfund Site in Mercer County, Pa. Work is being done on behalf of USACE in Pittsburgh, Pa.
WCS Group acquires Kingfisher Environmental in UK
WCS Group (Cromhall, UK), the water treatment division of Marlowe plc’s critical services group, has acquired Kingfisher Environmental Services Ltd. (Ware, UK). Founded in 1999 and employing approximately 40 staff, Kingfisher operates nationally in the UK and provides water treatment and hygiene services with a strong focus on the leisure and hospitality sectors. For the year to September 30, 2017, Kingfisher generated unaudited revenues of £2.8 million, most of which were from recurring testing and maintenance contracts. WCS Group now delivers water treatment, testing, hygiene, regulatory compliance, and training to over 3,300 customers and generates £26 million in annualized revenue.
HDR selected to upgrade coastal highway in Australia
HDR (Omaha, Neb.) has been selected to design the upgrade for nearly 14km of flood-prone coastal corridor as part of a joint venture between HDR and Arup (London, UK). The project is part of the 10-year Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, an $8.5 billion program to improve safety, flood resilience and capacity along the highway from Brisbane to Cairns. HDR’s scope of work includes modeling complex floodplains, designing three bridge upgrades, and developing an integrated roadway design that combines hydraulics and structural and geotechnical elements while accounting for wetland impacts and biodiversity requirements.
HGA acquires Sustainable Engineering Group
HGA (Minneapolis, Minn.) has acquired Sustainable Engineering Group (SEG, Madison, Wis.), a 12-person engineering firm focused on energy optimization and sustainable design. SEG “brings technical insights into emerging energy technologies and renewable resources that build on our existing strengths in high-performance energy systems, commissioning, retro-commissioning, energy auditing, and central energy plants,” said Rick Hombsch, vice president and HGA’s Energy & Infrastructure market leader. SEG was founded in 2004 and has developed a specialized focus on geothermal systems, renewable energy systems, and carbon reduction and net-zero campus planning.
USGS publishes flood maps from Hurricane Harvey
Nineteen inundation maps and detailed flood information from Hurricane Harvey are now available from the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Hurricane Harvey was the most significant rainfall event in U.S. history, both in scope and peak rainfall amounts, since records began in the 1880s. The USGS produced 19 maps for six heavily flooded river basins, to include the Lower Brazos, Lower Neches, Pine Island Bayou, Sabine, San Jacinto and San Bernard, as well as the coastal areas of Corpus Christi, Port Aransas and Matagorda Bay.