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EBI News for December 16, 2020- Environmental Industry Sees New Advancements

EBI News for December 16, 2020- The following section highlights the latest news in the environmental industry. Including a new study on how wastewater can detect COVID weeks before it appears, and the largest PFAS lawsuit filed to date.



WSP to acquire Golder Associates

WSP Global Inc. (Montreal, Quebec) is acquiring Golder Associates (Mississauga, Ontario) for an aggregate cash consideration of US$1.14 billion, representing 10.4 times Golder’s 2020 pre-IFRS 16 adjusted EBITDA. With this acquisition, earth sciences and environmental consulting services will represent around 25% or $2 billion of WSP’s total $8 billion pro forma net revenues, achieving a key milestone of WSP’s 2019-2021 Global Strategic Plan. Founded in 1960, Golder is an employee-owned global engineering and consulting firm with 155 offices and approximately 7,000 employees. The company has 60 years in the geo-sciences sector and provides engineering, remediation, regulatory and compliance, design and environmental services to the mining, manufacturing, oil & gas, power and infrastructure industries. Golder ranked No. 11 on Environmental Business Journal’s 2019 list of top U.S. environmental C&E firms by revenues, and WSP ranked No. 4. “Together we will create the leading global environmental consulting firm with approximately 14,000 of our 54,000 professionals dedicated to accelerating the world’s green transition,” said Alexandre L’Heureux, WSP president and CEO.

U.S. energy storage market sets quarterly record

According to the latest ?U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, 476 MW of storage were?deployed in Q3?2020, an increase of?240% over the previous high set in the prior quarter. “Energy storage deployments continue to grow despite the economic downturn and Covid-related slowdowns,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, the Energy Storage Assn.’s (ESA) CEO. “Signs are pointing toward an unprecedented increase in energy storage in the coming months, moving us closer toward achieving our 100 GW by 2030 vision.” The U.S. battery energy storage market is set to grow from 1.2 GW in 2020 to nearly 7.5 GW in 2025?driven primarily by large-scale utility procurements, and led by solar-paired storage.?The Monitor is published by Wood Mackenzie and ESA whose members work with energy storage technologies like lithium-ion, advanced lead-acid, flow batteries, zinc-air, liquid air, compressed air, and pumped hydro.

Damages could exceed $1 billion in water district PFAS lawsuit 

Eleven local water districts in Orange County, Calif. have filed a lawsuit alleging that PFAS manufacturers DuPont, 3M, Chemours and Corteva, and one consumer product manufacturer are responsible for the cost of cleanup and decontamination of PFAS in the districts’ water. According to an article in The National Law Review, the lawsuit is significant not only because it is one of the largest PFAS lawsuits filed to date by a water district, but also because it is one of the first times a consumer product manufacturer has been targeted. The Orange County Register reported that of the 195 wells in the 11 water districts more than three dozen have been closed, and the number contaminated could reach more than 70. In 2010, Minnesota brought the first PFAS pollution claim, against 3M, which resolved in 2018 for $850 million.

Tetra Tech wins $185M USACE environmental services contract

Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Kansas City District, has awarded the company a $185-million multiple-award contract. Under the five-year contract, Tetra Tech will leverage high-end technology and advanced analytics to provide innovative solutions for U.S. federal government environmental programs, including for civilian and military agencies. Tetra Tech will work on environmental restoration and pollution prevention, including implementation of groundwater treatment technologies, analysis and removal of contaminated sediments, and application of stormwater and erosion controls.

Stantec to acquire 300-person environmental engineering firm

Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) has agreed to buy Wenck (Maple Plain, Minn.), an environmental engineering firm with core expertise in air, water, waste, food processing, natural resources, and infrastructure. Founded in 1985, Wenck operates both nationally and internationally. The acquisition “will immediately add depth and breadth to Stantec’s environmental services team, especially in the U.S. Midwest,” Stantec stated. Wenck’s experience will strengthen Stantec’s ability to support clients in the industrial, infrastructure, energy, and real estate sectors. 

Stantec expands environmental services in The Netherlands

Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) has expanded its capabilities in The Netherlands with the acquisition of AGEL adviseurs, a 75-person multi-disciplinary engineering firm specializing in environmental services, spatial development, infrastructure, and GIS services. Founded in 1986, AGEL is strong in the southwest and central regions of the country. AGEL works for local municipalities and land developers, supporting the circular economy, climate adaptation, development, and “the energy transition.” The AGEL team’s expertise spans master planning, landscape design, roadway engineering, sustainable building design, environmental studies, and GIS analysis.

AECOM agrees to sell civil construction business to Oroco Capital

AECOM (Los Angeles, Calif.) is selling its civil construction business, which includes Shimmick Construction, to Oroco Capital. The sale, together with the sale of AECOM’s power construction business in October, marks a milestone in the company’s strategy to focus on higher-margin and lower-risk professional services businesses.

Joint renewable energy project powers up

Portland General Electric (PGE) Company has announced the start of commercial power generation at the Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility in Eastern Oregon. Wheatridge is a joint project of PGE and a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC. Wheatridge will be one of the first large-scale energy facilities in the United States to combine wind, solar, and battery storage resources at a single location. The 300-MW wind farm is now complete and delivering power to PGE customers. The 50-MW solar and 30-MW battery facilities will be complete by the end of 2021.

Further evidence wastewater predicts Covid-19 cases

A new study from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and the University of Queensland provides further evidence that wastewater (untreated sewage) testing can detect Covid-19 in communities weeks before people display symptoms, suggesting it could provide a targeted early detection system. Published in Science of the Total Environment, the study indicated that if sampling is both frequent and widespread enough, testing could detect the virus before people know they’re infected. The retrospective study looked back at wastewater samples collected in February and early March 2020 in Brisbane, and found the genetic fingerprint of the virus could be detected up to three weeks before the first Covid-19 cases were publicly reported. 


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