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EBI News January 21, 2021- Energy Conservation, Environmental Contracts, and More Acquisitions

EBI News for January 21, 2021- The following section contains the latest news stories in the environmental industry. Including acquisitions, habitat restoration, energy conservation methods, and millions awarded for greenhouse gas emission reduction.

Terracon welcomes Burleson Consulting

Terracon (Olathe, Kan.) has acquired Burleson Consulting Inc. (Folsom, Calif.), a provider of environmental compliance and engineering services throughout California. Burleson offers environmental compliance, site assessment and remediation, biological habitat restoration, and water resources services to government and private-sector clients. Burleson, which has 14 employees, follows other Terracon acquisitions on the West Coast in the past five years, notably Norcal Geophysical Consultants, Mayes Testing Engineers, Argus Pacific, and CHJ Consultants. “The addition of Burleson further strengthens our existing environmental practice in California and the Western U.S.,” said Gayle Packer, Terracon president and CEO.

State habitat restoration ends years of inaction at Salton Sea

The California Salton Sea Management Program began construction in January to restore bird and fish habitat. The Species Conservation Habitat Project will reduce wind-borne dust pollution on nearly 4,000 acres while also creating habitat for birds and serving as a water-management pond. The Salton Sea is by far California’s largest lake, as well as a vital stop for migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway. Threatened by contaminated runoff and reduced inflow, Salton Sea has been degrading rapidly, exposing airborne dust from the dry lakebed and endangering the health of 650,000 locals. “We are simply out of time – if we allow the Sea to continue to decline, the health impacts on surrounding communities and the effect on the millions of migratory birds from Alaska to the Amazon will be catastrophic,” said Frank Ruiz, director of Audubon California’s Salton Sea Program.

RSK Group acquires radioactive waste consultancy

RSK Group (Helsby, UK) announced the acquisition of three new businesses in January: Amphos 21 (Barcelona, Spain) and two UK businesses from the Pharos Group that specialize in standby power. Amphos 21 was established in 1994 as a specialist scientific radioactive waste management consultancy. Today the group has diversified into scientific and strategic environmental consulting in the nuclear, mining, water resources, sustainability and oil and gas sectors; it serves clients in over 20 countries and has more than 180 employees. In Spain, Amphos 21 works largely in the nuclear sector. Amphos also has operations in Chile and Peru where it is primarily involved in water management for mining operations. Amphos 21 joins RSK’s European division.

Environmental Intelligence wins $25 million contract with SCE

Southern California Edison (SCE, Rosemead, Calif.) has awarded Environmental Intelligence LLC (EI, Laguna Beach, Calif.) a $25-million environmental project and environmental clearance contract. The on-call contract establishes EI as a prime contractor for the next four-year contract with an optional fifth year. Work will focus on maximizing the safety and efficiency of transmission and distribution infrastructure while minimizing adverse effects on natural resources. EI will partner with SCE on vegetation management, grid hardening and hazardous tree removal programs that reduce risk of wildfire, in addition to compliance programs associated with National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other public lands throughout SCE’s service area. EI has worked with SCE for over a decade.

Desalination breakthrough could lead to cheaper water filtration

Uniform density at the nanoscale is the key to increasing how much clean water desalination membranes can produce, according to research at Penn State and the University of Texas at Austin. The National Science Foundation (NSF) reported that the research team, in partnership with DuPont Water Solutions, determined that desalination membranes are inconsistent in density and mass distribution, and this can hold back performance. Researchers developed 3D reconstructions of a nanoscale membrane structure using electron microscopes at the Materials Characterization Lab at Penn State. The scientists modeled the path water takes through these membranes to predict how efficiently water could be cleaned based on structure. The research paper, published in Science, documents an increase in efficiency in the membranes tested by 30%-40%, meaning they can clean more water while using significantly less energy, NSF reported.

RTC expands national environmental platform

Round Table Capital Partners (RTC) has added two new companies to its national platform to provide comprehensive environmental, energy, water, and civil infrastructure capabilities: Duffield Associates, LLC (Wilmington, Del.) and HSW Consulting, LLC (Tampa, Fla.). RTC launched the platform in July 2020 with an investment in Hull & Associates, LLC (Dublin, Ohio). Duffield specializes in civil and environmental engineering projects serving Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. HSW Consulting is an environmental science and engineering company. Hull & Associates serves the environment, energy, and infrastructure markets. The leaders of Hull, Duffield and HSW remain with the company as senior leaders within the new organization. “We are very bullish on the AEC industry, given the strong tailwinds driving demand for environmental services and sustainable infrastructure development…. We are confident we have the foundation to build a true market leader over the coming years,” said Tony Brindisi, co-founder and managing partner at RTC.

CREtelligent enhances due diligence platform

CREtelligent (Gold River, Calif.), a commercial real estate due diligence platform, has acquired Applied Engineering, Inc. (Wayzata, Minn.), an environmental consulting and engineering firm that serves banks, lenders, government, technology, and commercial real estate companies. The acquisition is part of the CREtelligent’s strategy to expand its geographic footprint, enhance capabilities, and increase its customer base in the lender and corporate real estate markets. Applied Engineering was founded in 1989.

California Tribes awarded $2 million for climate and clean energy projects

Ten California Native American Tribes taking action on climate change are getting a boost from a new state program. Awards of nearly $2 million through the Tribal Government Challenge Planning Grant Program will support projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve clean energy access, and advance climate resiliency on tribal lands and in tribal communities.  Funded by the California Energy Commission and administered in partnership with the California Strategic Growth Council, the program focuses on the valuable role Tribes play in helping the state achieve climate goals.

Trinity acquires Sespe Consulting

Trinity Consultants (Dallas) announced the acquisition of Sespe Consulting (Ventura, Calif.), an environmental, engineering, and planning firm. The transaction enhances Trinity’s capabilities in land use planning for major projects and represents new operational locations in Ventura, San Diego and Oregon. Sespe serves clients throughout California and Oregon, specializing in land-use planning, environmental permitting and compliance, and worker safety. Client sectors include mining and construction materials, oil and gas, general manufacturing, agriculture, real estate development, and municipalities. Founded in 2009, Sespe has more than 20 professionals, and the founders will remain in place.

Tighe & Bond expands waterfront engineering services

Tighe & Bond (Westfield, Mass.), an employee owned engineering, design, and environmental consulting firm, has acquired RT Group, Inc. (North Kingstown, R.I.) with expertise in waterfront engineering, dam safety, and geotechnical services. The transaction brings the total number of Tighe & Bond offices to 12 across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Maine. “As our industry continues to address issues of coastal resiliency, expanding our waterfront and marine capabilities has been a clear objective,” said Tighe & Bond President and CEO Bob Belitz.

ERM acquires renewable energy firm Arcus

ERM  (London, UK) has acquired Arcus Consultancy Services Ltd. (York, UK), a renewable energy consultancy focused on environmental, planning and engineering support. Founded in 2006, Arcus specializes in high profile renewable energy projects, including significant renewable energy schemes in Europe and Africa. Other acquisitions that have strengthened ERM’s Low Carbon Economy Transition capabilities are M.J. Bradley & Associates and Critical Resource.

Bolton & Menk acquires DDC Engineers

Bolton & Menk, Inc. (Mankato, Minn.) is extending its reach to the Southeast United States with the acquisition of DDC Engineers, Inc. (Myrtle Beach, S.C.). Founded in 1986, DDC Engineers is one of the Grand Strand’s largest professional design firms. The firm specializes in civil engineering, land surveying, land planning, landscape architecture and environmental consulting. Bolton & Menk was founded in 1949 as a company dedicated to the needs of local towns and municipalities unable to afford their own full-time engineer and has since grown into one of the Midwest’s largest engineering firms.

MSE Group joins Montrose Environmental

Montrose Environmental Group, Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) announced the acquisition of MSE Group (Orlando, Fla.), a provider of environmental assessment, compliance, engineering, and design services primarily to the U.S. federal government.  The transaction expands Montrose’s environmental services geographic presence in the Southeast and its capacity to deal with the U.S. federal government. MSE’s leadership team will join Montrose, and the business will be integrated with the Montrose’s Remediation and Reuse Segment. MSE has over 100 employees spanning offices in Orlando, Tampa, Wilmington, and San Antonio, as well as satellite locations nationwide.

Correction: RSK was founded in 1989, not 2016 as noted in EBJ News, January 6, 2021.  RSK has acquired 39 businesses since 2016.


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