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EBI News for August 12, 2020- Minor Revenue Setbacks Despite COVID

EBI News for August 12, 2020- The following news section highlights the latest stories in the Environmental Industry. Including minor revenue setbacks within the environmental industry, USDA & EPA projects, and acquisitions.


AECOM reports backlog near record levels; Covid-19 disruption minimized by “essential or critical work” 

AECOM (Los Angeles, Calif.) announced revenue in the third quarter 2020 was $3.2 billion, down 5% year over year, and net service revenue as unchanged compared to the prior year on an organic basis. In the Americas division, revenue in the third quarter was $2.5 billion, a 4% decrease from the prior year period; net service revenue was $923 million, a 2% increase on a constant-currency organic basis, highlighted by double-digit growth in the Construction Management business. International segment revenue in the third quarter was $718 million, a decrease of 10% from the prior year; net service revenue was $590 million, a 3% decrease on a constant-currency organic basis, reflecting a return to growth in the Asia-Pacific region offset by a decline in the EMEA region as the business experienced headwinds associated with Covid-19. Total backlog increased by 16% over the prior year to $41.5 billion. The company transitioned to a greater than 90% remote workforce during lockdown, and while stay-at-home orders have eased in many of the company’s larger markets, the majority of employees continue to work remotely, and utilization across the business “remains above pre-COVID levels.”

Advanced analytics for water and environment propel growth for Tetra Tech’s Government Services Group

Tetra Tech, Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) announced backlog at the end of the third quarter ended June 28, 2020 of $3.07 billion, up 8% year-over-year driven by demand for advanced data analytics associated with the company’s high-end consulting services. Revenue in the third quarter was $710 million, a decline of 14% from the prior year period. Tetra Tech’s Government Services Group segment was up 3% year over year driven by government consulting services and advanced analytics for water and environmental programs. In an earnings call, Chairman and CEO Dan Batrack noted the company saw a 10% growth in work for the Department of Defense and 5% growth for civilian agencies during the third quarter, while travel restrictions due to the pandemic impacted some international development projects. State and local revenues grew 5% (excluding last year’s Disaster Response contribution) with no project delays or cancellations, while U.S. commercial revenues were down 7% year on year. Regarding office versus remote working, Batrack said, “We are clearly going to move to a hybrid model” with maybe 20% to 30% less office space. “It will take roughly three years for that to fully bake in. But we think we have $20 million or $30 million of contribution to the bottom line from reduced office space.”

WSP USA leads stormwater capture project in Los Angeles

WSP USA (Ephrata, Pa.) has been chosen as lead designer for the Alondra Park Multi-Benefit Stormwater Capture project in Los Angeles. The project value is $2 million and was awarded to WSP as a task order via its $60 million on-call contract with the County of LA Department of Public Works. The project will revitalize the park with new stormwater infrastructure and soccer and baseball fields, and will entail capturing and treating dry-weather and stormwater runoff from a 4,495-acre drainage area by retaining runoff in a subsurface storage system. Solutions include planting native and drought-tolerant vegetation and trees, bio-swales and permeable pavements, which will improve stormwater quality by preventing stormwater pollutants from discharging into the Dominguez Channel. Los Angeles County recently passed a significant stormwater bond measure that is generating $300 million annually for stormwater capture projects throughout the county.

Stantec confident in resilient business model despite pandemic disruption 

Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) reported net revenue decreased 0.3% to $951 million (Canadian dollars) for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020 mainly due to an organic retraction of 2.1% partially offset by the strong U.S. dollar. Stantec achieved organic growth in its Energy & Resources and Water businesses and in its U.S. operations. However, project slowdowns and deferrals as a result of Covid-19 contributed to organic retractions in other businesses and geographies. Gross margin decreased 5.4% primarily due to the impact of Covid disruptions, as well as project mix. Phased office remobilization has begun with Stantec’s offices in China, Taiwan, Italy, Australia (except Melbourne) and New Zealand reopening in August; 104 offices in Canada and the United States have reopened or are in the early phases. “Although net revenues retracted nominally as anticipated, our commitment to excellence drove healthy adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income margins of 15% and 6.1%, respectively,” said Gord Johnston, president and CEO. “While the world remains in uncharted territory with respect to the global pandemic, we are confident in the resilience of our business model.” 

Parsons delivers strong operating earnings and cash flow in face of Covid headwinds

Parsons (Centreville, Va.) reported record second-quarter profitability and strong cash flow results as it faced ongoing Covid-19 headwinds in Q2 2020. Total revenue for the second quarter 2020 decreased 1% from the prior year period to $979 million, due to approximately $67 million of contract work delayed by the pandemic. In the company’s Federal Solutions segment, second quarter 2020 revenue increased by 1% driven by $28 million of increased volume and $8 million from acquisitions offset by approximately $32 million of contract work delayed by Covid-19; discounting the pandemic, organic revenue growth in the quarter would have been 6%. In Parsons’ Critical Infrastructure segment, second quarter 2020 revenue decreased 3% compared to the prior year period, driven by approximately $35 million of delayed contract work as a result of the virus, partially offset by an increase in business volume; excluding the Covid-19 impact, revenue growth would have been 4%. During the second quarter, Parsons introduced three new public safety technologies: DetectWise to monitor real-time health in public places, a diamond electrode biosensor for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2, and Grid Armor to help utilities prevent wildfires and major power outages.

EPA Region 7 assesses PFAS contamination

The U.S. EPA Region 7 is helping Kansas and Nebraska environmental agencies to assess the extent of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination as part of a nationwide initiative to help states, tribes, and local communities target PFAS reductions and protect public health. In July EPA said it made “significant progress implementing the PFAS Action Plan – the most comprehensive cross-agency plan ever to address an emerging chemical of concern.” Staff from all Region 7 programs are collaborating with state partners to tackle PFAS contamination jointly at industrial, military and Superfund sites in Kansas and Nebraska. 

Civil & Environmental Consultants acquires SITEC

Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.) has acquired multi-disciplinary civil engineering and land survey firm SITEC, Inc. (Dartmouth, Mass.), a company co-founded in 1989 by its President Steven Gioiosa. The acquisition strengthens CEC’s support for clients in southern Massachusetts and throughout New England. SITEC has provided design and engineering for the development of residential and commercial subdivisions, shopping centers, marinas, and office and industrial buildings. The firm’s solar energy experience includes more than 20 large-scale projects for local and national solar power companies. Gioiosa joins CEC as a vice president in the Civil Engineering practice. CEC has more than 1,000 team members and 26 offices nationwide.

TGC Engineering joins Davey Resource Group

Davey Resource Group, Inc. (Kent, Ohio), a subsidiary of The Davey Tree Expert Company, has acquired TGC Engineering, LLC (Sharon Center, Ohio). Founded in 2001, TGC offers civil, municipal and environmental engineering services. The two firms had a longtime partnership and worked together on multiple projects spanning nearly a decade. As part of DRG’s Environmental Consulting services division, TGC will continue providing civil site engineering, water resource engineering, construction surveying and topographic services in Ohio and surrounding states. The firm employs 24 employees, all of who will continue with the company.

CleanBay Renewables partners with Kiewit on anaerobic digestion plant

CleanBay Renewables Inc. (Annapolis, Md.), an enviro-tech company focused on the production of greenhouse gas credits, organic fertilizer and renewable energy, announced a partnership with Kiewit Corporation (Omaha, Neb.). Kiewit will design, engineer and build CleanBay’s Westover bio-refinery, which, using anaerobic digestion, will recycle more than 150,000 tons of chicken litter annually and convert it into renewable natural gas, electricity and a nutrient-rich fertilizer product. The partnership will bring the “first utility-scale anaerobic digestion plant focused on agricultural feedstock to Maryland,” said Brad Kaufman, senior vice president, Kiewit. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year at the Westover facility, which will include more than $200 million of capital investment by CleanBay.

USDA invests in rural water and wastewater infrastructure

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $462 million to modernize critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across rural America. USDA is funding 161 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. The investments will benefit 467,000 residents. “Upgrading the infrastructure that delivers safe drinking water and modern wastewater management facilities will improve public health and drive economic development in our small towns and cities,” Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand said.


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