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EBI News February 4, 2021- A Record Number of Clean Energy GW Purchased by Corporations

EBI News for February 4, 2021- The following section contains the latest news stories in the environmental industry. Including acquisitions, new contracts, a record number of clean energy purchased, and a new PFAS lawsuit.



SEARCH announces $83M contract with USACE St. Louis

SEARCH Inc. (Orlando, Fla.) has been awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) St. Louis District for cultural resource services for the Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections. The Multiple Award Task Order Contract has a base period of five years and a total value of $83 million to be competed among four selected contractors. Under the contract, SEARCH will provide maritime and terrestrial archaeology, collections management, and laboratory services for projects undertaken by the USACE St. Louis District and in support of other USACE Districts and Federal government entities nationwide and globally.

TRC acquires clean energy consultancy EMI

TRC Companies (Windsor, Conn.) announced the acquisition of EMI Consulting (Seattle, Wash.), a company that consults on the strategic development of clean energy solutions including energy efficiency, demand management, decarbonization and customer engagement. The acquisition brings approximately 30 economists, statisticians and research methodologists to TRC. EMI has projects in over 20 states and supports some of the largest utilities and communities in the country, “complementing many of TRC’s key client relationships.”

Port Authority selects Locus Technologies for construction carbon calculations

Locus Technologies (Mountain View, Calif.) announced that The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has selected Locus Platform, a multi-tenant SaaS for EHS, to streamline embodied carbon calculations for construction projects. The Port Authority has been using Locus’ Waste Management application on the Platform since 2019. “A key factor for Port Authority was the out-of-the-box configurability of the Locus Platform,” Locus stated. The Port Authority announced a Clean Construction Program last September which will reduce carbon emissions throughout its design construction processes. According to Locus, it’s one of the most ambitious programs of its kind among U.S. transportation agencies.

Hepaco acquires field services division of Summit Environmental

Hepaco, LLC (Charlotte, N.C.), a provider of environmental and emergency response services across 45 offices in the Eastern United States, announced the acquisition of the Field Services Division of Summit Environmental Services LLC (Evansville, Ind.). Summit Field Services specializes in emergency response, industrial services, and waste management. Summit Environmental Services and Summit Civil Services are not included in the transaction. Hepaco is majority-owned by Gryphon Investors which purchased Hepaco in August 2016. It is Hepaco’s sixth acquisition since 2017 in the environmental and emergency response services sector.

Corporations mark clean energy procurement record

Corporations purchased a record 23.7GW of clean energy in 2020, up from 20.1GW in 2019 and 13.6GW in 2018, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF). The increase came despite the Covid-19 pandemic, global recession and uncertainty about U.S. energy policy ahead of the presidential election. BNEF reported in “1H 2021 Corporate Energy Market Outlook” that clean energy contracts were signed by more than 130 companies in sectors ranging from oil & gas to big tech. “To not only maintain, but grow, the clean energy procurement market under these conditions is a testament to how high sustainability is on many corporations’ agendas,” noted Kyle Harrison, BNEF senior associate and lead author.

Tetra Tech reports first quarter 2021 results

Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) announced net revenue in the first fiscal quarter 2021 ended December 27, 2020 of $605 million, up 3% sequentially for the second quarter in a row. First quarter results exceeded the company’s forecast for both net revenue and earnings, with results led by 11% net revenue growth in water and environmental programs for U.S. state and local government clients and a 70 basis point increase in operating margin. Work for U.S. federal clients was up 8% year-on-year in the quarter, while U.S. commercial net revenue was down 7%. Revenue in the first quarter 2021 totaled $765 million, down 4% from the pre-Covid first quarter 2020, impacted by economic conditions related to the pandemic and the company’s decision last year to dispose of its Canadian turnkey pipeline business. “The new U.S. administration’s priorities in climate change and infrastructure are well aligned with our market leading positions in water, environment, sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy,” Tetra Tech’s Chairman and CEO, Dan Batrack, said.

ERM acquires Engineering Safety Consultants

ERM (London, UK) has acquired Engineering Safety Consultants (ESC, London, UK), a global functional safety management and engineering consultancy. The acquisition enhances ERM’s capacity to address technical and functional safety challenges associated with high-hazard processes in chemicals, mining, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, utilities, and the automotive and manufacturing sectors. ESC’s experience also boosts ERM’s ability to support clients in the low carbon energy transition by applying functional and technical safety expertise to hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, offshore wind, hydro projects and flood defense.

PFAS settlement likely to drive need for compliance audits

DuPont and spinoff companies Chemours and Corteva announced a cost-sharing agreement worth $4 billion to settle lawsuits involving the historic use of PFAS. The agreement immediately establishes an escrow account worth upward of $1 billion to cover potential future legacy PFAS liabilities from before the spinoffs, the Environmental Working Group (Washington, D.C.) reported. The companies have agreed to share the costs of certain qualified expenses over a period no longer than 20 years or an amount over $4 billion. Separately, DuPont, Corteva and Chemours agreed to settle multidistrict PFOA litigation in Ohio for $83 million. According to an article in The National Law Review, the settlement “will likely increase the number of PFAS remediation lawsuits at an exponentially higher rate than previously seen, which could likewise lead to more diversified companies being brought into lawsuits.” Companies that utilize PFAS in some aspect of manufacturing or the end product should “properly plan now to avoid significant and costly PFAS product liability lawsuits.”

USGS gets politics out of climate forecasts

U.S. Geological Survey Director Jim Reilly wrote an OpEd for the Wall Street Journal in December highlighting the agency’s new approach to climate change forecasting: evaluating the full range of projected outcomes, making available data used in forecasts, describing the level of uncertainty in findings, and periodically assessing past expectations against actual performance. “These requirements may seem like common sense, but there has been wide latitude in how climate assessments have been used in the past. This new approach will improve scientific efficacy and provide a higher degree of confidence for policy makers responding to potential future climate change conditions because a full range of plausible outcomes will be considered,” Reilly wrote. “Science should never be political. We shouldn’t treat the most extreme forecasts as an inevitable future apocalypse. The full array of forecasts of climate models should be considered.”


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