EBJ News for April 3, 2020- Market Growth and Corona Virus Impact

EBJ® News for April 3, 2020- The following section highlights the latest stories in the Environmental Industry. Including highlights of Market Growth and Corona Virus Impact

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Jacobs wins large wastewater operations contract

Jacobs (Dallas) was recently selected to partner with the City of Wilmington, Delaware to operate and manage its wastewater treatment plant, combined sewer overflow facilities, and renewable energy biosolids facility (REBF). The wastewater operation serves more than 400,000 residents. The agreement, which combines the operations and maintenance of all facilities under Jacobs’ management, has provisions for additional engineering studies and design-build projects to renew structures and develop value-added projects. The City estimates the base contract is valued at $20 million per year for an initial 20-year term, with extension options for another four years. “This program builds on our current portfolio of more than 300 long-term O&M contracts supporting critical water and wastewater needs around the world,” said Jacobs President and COO Bob Pragada.

Stantec leads design for water filtration project in Portland

Stantec (Edmonton, Alberta), in association with Carollo Engineers (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and local firms, has been selected by the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) for on-site design services for the Bull Run Filtration Project to improve water quality, reliability, and system resiliency. When the facility comes online in 2027, it will be Portland’s first filtration system. The $51 million, five-year design contract includes on-site design, geotechnical site investigation, design quality management, assistance during construction and commissioning, operations support, and project management for the filtration design. Carollo is an environmental consulting firm with a focus on water and wastewater.

EA provides remediation and environmental services to DelDOT

EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc. PBC (Hunt Valley, Md.) has been awarded a contract for hazardous materials remediation and environmental services by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT). This on-call contract has a three-year term with two potential one-year extensions. EA will test, remove, and remediate contaminated materials from State project sites, rights-of-way, and State-owned lands, in addition to providing environmental compliance reviews, employee training, and general industrial hygiene services. EA is an employee-owned public benefit corporation employing more than 500 professionals across 25 U.S. offices.

EHS software market to reach $2 billion in 2025

The global market for EHS software will grow from $1.35 billion in 2020 to $2.2 billion in 2025, according to research firm Verdantix (London, UK). The forecast CAGR of 10% will be driven by private equity and customer demand for innovation. EHS software players such as Enablon, Intelex, Isometrix and Sphera will benefit from this growth, as will private equity funds, Verdantix reported. “The market has seen an influx of private equity firms injecting new money into EHS software vendors, which is fuelling product development,” said Verdantix Senior Analyst Bill Pennington. “With EHS functions increasingly focusing on innovation, such as the continued shift from on-premise to SaaS deployment and an increased presence of dedicated IoT safety platforms, this is driving the appetite for spending on EHS technologies.” North America will contribute over half (51%) of overall global spend on EHS software at $691 million in 2020.

B&V launches accelerator to combat coronavirus

The 2020 Black & Veatch IgniteX COVID-19 Response Accelerator is seeking emerging companies and entrepreneurs that have ideas to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak but need help commercializing, rapidly deploying and scaling. B&V will consider a range of solutions from testing, screening and disinfection technologies to emergency medical facilities, autonomous delivery networks, biotech-related services, distance learning and training, and disease-tracking software. Housed under B&V’s Growth Accelerator incubator, the Covid-19 initiative is committing at least $250,000 in grants or in-kind services. “With our reach and intellectual capital, we stand ready to support innovators looking to make a difference now,” said Ryan Pletka, vice president of innovation and strategy.

Wastewater could provide early warning for Covid-19

With a rapid response grant from the National Science Foundation, a research team from the University of Michigan (U-M) and Stanford University is exploring whether wastewater could offer an early warning of the spread of Covid-19. Testing wastewater could provide a clearer picture of how broadly the disease is spreading and reduce testing burdens on the health care system, according to U-M’s news service. Sewage surveillance is already used in Israel to monitor poliovirus circulation. Researchers will also investigate how the virus responds to ultraviolet and solar light and under what conditions the virus transfers between fingers and inanimate objects. “The project aims to close some critical gaps in our knowledge of enveloped viruses, and environmental engineers are uniquely suited for the job,” U-M reported. “While virologists typically focus on how viral pathogens behave in the body, environmental engineers explore their fate and detection in the environment.”

Call for environmental engineers to focus on coronavirus control

Environmental engineers have a role to play in discovering measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to a news blog by Drexel University that cites Charles Haas, a professor of environmental engineering and a specialist in microbial risk assessment techniques. “Using environmental engineering models commonly used to calculate the risk of contaminants spreading in various environments and situations, from accidental chemical releases to lead or algal blooms affecting water supplies, researchers can begin to understand how long Covid-19 could exist in the environment,” Drexel reported. Insight provided by environmental engineering could guide mitigation efforts at home, in public spaces and health care settings, Haas suggested. Haas was interviewed in Environmental Engineering Science, the journal of the Assn. of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors.

DOD identifies more sites for PFAS assessments

The number installations where the Department of Defense is performing an assessment of PFAS use or potential release increased from 401 to 651 as of the end of FY 2019, according to DOD’s PFAS Task Force Progress Report released in March 2020. DOD’s initial focus was on installations with potentially significant historic use of firefighting foam; the added locations are where PFAS may have been used or released and further investigations are being conducted. Most of the increase represents smaller installations across the Army and Army National Guard. In addition to PFAS cleanup standards and performance initiatives, the Task Force has focused on environmental considerations such as PFAS requirements in stormwater discharge permits. It is also evaluating whether to develop guidance for PFAS-related soil disposal methods; discharge management; and wastewater biosolids and sludge handling. The DOD is investing over $49 million through FY 2025 in R&D to identify firefighting alternatives. Currently no fluorine-free foam, including foam that does not contain PFAS, meets required firefighting standards, the report noted.

Fluorogel overcomes limitations in PFAS removal from water

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have demonstrated ionic fluorogels as effective adsorbents for the removal of 21 legacy and emerging PFAS. According to an abstract published by the American Chemical Society in ACS Central Science in February, the authors reported a platform approach for the development of ionic fluorogel resins that effectively remove a chemically diverse mixture of PFAS from water. A resin was identified that demonstrated rapid removal of PFAS with high affinity and selectivity in the presence of nonfluorous contaminants commonly found in groundwater. Moreover, the material can be regenerated and reused. Researchers were motivated by the limitations in selectivity and performance of current PFAS removal technologies. Work was done at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant in Wilmington, N.C.

PWGC acquires SEQRA-focused firm

P.W. Grosser Consulting Inc. (PWGC, Bohemia, N.Y.) has acquired KGO Consulting Inc. (Uniondale, N.Y.), an environmental and land consulting services provider led by Kim Gennaro-Oancea, who will become vice president of PWGC’s new SEQRA division. She joins a rapidly growing PWGC team to meet the evolving environmental demands of the New York Metropolitan region, PWGC stated. Established in 2014, KGO Consulting specializes in environmental assessments, impact statements, determinations of significance and related analyses, permitting and compliance services, land use and zoning assessments, and expert testimony and public presentations.

RSK announces two more acquisitions

British engineering and environmental consultancy RSK (Helsby, UK) has announced the acquisitions of construction company Morrison Falklands Ltd. (Stanley, Falkland Islands) and consulting engineering firm Nicholas O’Dwyer (Dublin, Ireland). “Our acquisition strategy aims to diversify the business and in particular we want to invest in market segments that are less likely to be negatively affected by Covid-19 than others,” said RSK’s CEO and founder Alan Ryder. Nicholas O’Dwyer provides water engineering, environmental engineering and civil and structural engineering services to clients including Irish Water, Dublin Airport Authority, Veolia and Severn Trent Water. One of Ireland’s largest independently owned engineering consultancies the firm employs more than 200 staff across Ireland, the UK, and Africa. These are RSK’s tenth and eleventh acquisitions of the 2019/2020 financial year.

SWCA expands presence in Southern California

SWCA Environmental Consultants (Phoenix, Ariz.) has opened an office in San Diego, expanding SWCA’s presence in Southern California. The San Diego office has natural and cultural resource professionals, habitat restoration experts, and environmental planning and permitting specialists, in addition to in-depth knowledge of the regulatory complexities and unique resources of the San Diego region. Founded in 1981, SWCA has 37 offices nationally and established a presence in Southern California in 2001; it now employs nearly 200 staff throughout the state providing environmental services focused on planning, natural and cultural resource management, permitting, regulatory compliance, water resources, and ecological restoration. Southern California Natural Resources Director Robert MacAller leads the new office.

Eagle Environmental merges with Press Rentals

Eagle Environmental Services LLC (St. George, S.C.), an environmental and materials handling company, announced a merger with Press Rentals LLC (Evans, Ga.) in March to form Eagle Dynamic Solutions LLC (EDS). Press Rentals is an innovative hydraulic dredging and dewatering company that operates nationally. The strategic transaction brings together two complementary organizations to create a platform for growth.

ERM acquires M.J. Bradley

ERM (London, UK) has completed the acquisition of M.J. Bradley & Associates LLC (MJB&A, Concord, Mass.), a specialist energy, climate change and sustainability advisory company that provides strategic policy and regulatory advice on the low carbon energy transition to the electricity and natural gas sectors along with a focus on advanced transportation initiatives in North America. Founded in 1994, MJB&A offers energy and climate policy analysis, corporate sustainability and climate strategy, transportation and electric vehicle technologies, and natural gas strategy. The acquisition “will facilitate a step change in the services that we are able to offer to our power and energy sector clients as they strive to transform their business to thrive in a low carbon economy,” said ERM Group Chief Executive Keryn James.


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