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EBI News for April 15, 2021

EBI News for April 15, 2021- The following news section contains the latest stories in the environmental industry.

 

Terracon acquires Sport Environmental Services

Terracon (Olathe, Kansas) has acquired Sport Environmental Services LLC (Midland, Texas), a provider of environmental services and consulting in the Permian Basin. For more than a decade, Sport Environmental has delivered environmental site assessments, air permitting, water well testing, soil and water remediation, spill prevention, and litigation support to large oil and gas corporations and small, independent energy firms. Sport’s 12 employees will become part of Terracon and continue to operate locally as Sport Environmental Services LLC, A Terracon Company. Sport is Terracon’s second acquisition of 2021 following GET Solutions Inc. (Virginia Beach, Va.) in March, a geotechnical, environmental, and materials testing firm serving the mid-Atlantic region.

Stantec to acquire Engenium in Australia

Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) has signed a letter of intent to acquire Engenium (Perth, Australia), a project delivery consultancy in mining, resources, and industrial infrastructure. The acquisition follows Stantec’s recent addition of Australia-based transportation planning and engineering firm GTA Consultants. Founded in 2003, Engenium has multi-year framework agreements with many of the country’s major local mining houses and is involved in both brownfield and greenfield project developments. Most recently Engenium has helped large-scale partners transition to renewable energy, develop battery minerals projects, and achieve sustainability goals.

SLR boosts ESG practice with Corporate Citizenship

Environmental and advisory solutions company SLR (Aylesbury, UK) has acquired Corporate Citizenship (London, UK), an environmental, social and governance (ESG) advisory business. Corporate Citizenship is described as one of the largest and longest-standing specialist consulting firms focused exclusively on sustainability and ESG, with operations in the UK, Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific. “Over the last ten years ESG has become a strategic business discipline that drives value creation over the short, medium and long-term. Companies that proactively think and act on ESG risks and opportunities are already outperforming their peers,” said Esther Toth, global managing director at Corporate Citizenship.

Municipal water/wastewater takes “oversized” share of TOTEX

Over the last 50 years, spending on operating U.S. municipal water and wastewater infrastructure has escalated from 50% to 66% share of total utility expenditures (TOTEX) with few signs of slowing, according to a new report by Bluefield Research (Boston, Mass.). By deferring capital projects to rehabilitate and replace aging pipes and treatment facilities, utilities are increasingly forced to draw from operating budgets to tackle emergency repairs and events. Labor makes up $427.2 billion or 40% of the 10-year forecast total of utility operating expenditures; the remaining 60% is comprised of ongoing services (e.g., energy, sludge disposal) and supplies (e.g., chemicals). Software and digital technology still only account for 2.1% of total OPEX but is forecast to be the fastest growing budget category between 2021 and 2030. “Unforeseen events, such as COVID-19 and climate-related issues… are forcing utility planners into more reactive stances,” said Senior Analyst Mariel Marchand. “The result is that city planners and utility operators are increasingly distracted from much needed long-term strategic planning efforts.”

Sunflower pollen sponge could clean up marine oil spills

A team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore has created a reusable, biodegradable sponge that can soak up oil and other organic solvents from contaminated water. Made of sunflower pollen, the sponge is hydrophobic thanks to a coat of natural fatty acid. In the lab, the sponges have proven comparable to commercial oil absorbents, and the team believes when scaled up could offer an eco-friendly way of tackling marine oil spills. The study builds on NTU’s work on finding new uses for pollen, known as the diamond of the plant kingdom for its hard exterior, by transforming its tough shell into microgel particles. This soft, gel-like material is then used as a building block for a new category of environmentally sustainable materials.

Curbside recyclables see prices rise

Materials recovery facilities (MRFs) are seeing higher prices for scrap paper, plastic and metal bales, with notable increases for OCC, PET and HDPE, according to an article by RecyclingMarkets.net published in Resource Recycling. RecyclingMarkets’ Secondary Materials Pricing Index indicates:

  • The national average price for corrugated containers is up 10% in April and trading at an average of $90 per ton. By comparison, the OCC grade was trading for about $73 per ton one year ago.
  • The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars moved up 18% over the last month and is trading at 11.95 cents per pound. One year ago, the national average was 9.34 cents per pound.
  • Natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs now averages 81.88 cents per pound compared to 33.75 cents one year ago.

The Index also reported price rises for aluminum, fibers, paper, and other curbside recyclables.

Black & Veatch chosen as owner’s engineer for Vietnam wind farms

Dien Xanh Gia Lai Investment Energy Joint Stock Company, the developer of two wind farms in Vietnam, has engaged Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kansas) as owner’s engineer. Each Ia Pech wind farm project will have a capacity of 50 megawatts (MW). The wind farms will generate and sell power to Vietnam Electricity for 20 years. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021 and commercial operation estimated to start by fourth quarter 2021. Black & Veatch has supported over 56 GW of wind power globally.

Tetra Tech wins $49M USACE environmental contract

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Louisville District has awarded Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) a $49 million, multiple-award, architecture and engineering services contract to support facilities throughout the United States. Tetra Tech will provide services for the protection and restoration of the natural environment. Tetra Tech’s scientists and engineers will also address priority issues such as emerging contaminants, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Tetra Tech also announced a $12 million, single-award USAID sustainability contract to improve Kosovo’s energy sector and facilitate private sector investments in sustainable energy generation.

Solid waste brands consolidate under WIN Waste Innovations

Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. (Portsmouth, N.H.) announced the integration of 10 waste industry businesses into a single company under the WIN Waste Innovations brand. WIN is comprised of the former Wheelabrator Technologies, City Carting & Recycling, Tunnel Hill Partners, Charles George Waste Disposal & Recycling, United Material Management, Shipyard Waste Solutions, Bay State Disposal, County Waste Management Inc., Fiore Trucking Recycle & Disposal, and parts of Noonan Waste Service. The integrated company has 1,900 employees and covers from Maine to Florida and as far west as Ohio, operating 50 collection, transfer and disposal assets and 231 collection routes. Founded nearly 90 years ago, Wheelabrator is best known for waste-to-energy facilities and was acquired by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) in 2019. WIN has a projected $1 billion annual revenue run rate, Waste Dive reported.

WSP completes Golder acquisition

WSP Global Inc. (Montreal) has completed its acquisition of Enterra Holdings Ltd., the holding company of Golder Associates (Toronto) for US$1.14 billion (approximately C$1.4 billion) in cash. Golder is a global consulting firm operating in the earth sciences and environmental consulting and has approximately 7,000 employees. “We have reached a transformational milestone for WSP, Golder and our 54,000 employees around the world as we begin our journey together as the leading global environmental consulting firm,” said Alexandre L’Heureux, president and CEO of WSP.

Haley Ward boosts geoenvironmental business

S.W. Cole Engineering Inc. has sold its GeoEnvironmental division to Haley Ward Inc., formerly CES Inc. Both companies are headquartered in Bangor, Maine. The GeoEnvironmental Division will work from Haley Ward’s Bangor and Saco offices. Haley Ward is an employee-owned professional engineering, environmental and surveying consulting firm with approximately 120 employees in Maine, Massachusetts, and Florida. Established in 1979, S.W. Cole is an employee-owned geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, and inspection firm serving New England with about 110 engineers, technicians, and inspectors.

USGS study projects arsenic and uranium in Connecticut wells

A new U.S. Geological Survey study provides an updated statewide estimate of high levels of naturally occurring arsenic and uranium in private well water across Connecticut. The research, undertaken in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, projects that approximately 3.9% of private wells across the state contain water with arsenic at concentrations higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant level for public drinking-water supplies. The research also projects that 4.7% of private wells in the state have uranium concentrations higher than the EPA’s standards. An estimated 23% of Connecticut residents have private wells for their water supply.

Sebago Technics acquires Titcomb Associates

Sebago Technics (South Portland, Maine), a civil engineering, survey, transportation, landscape architecture and environmental services consulting firm, has acquired Titcomb Associates (TA, Falmouth and Bath, Maine). Founded in 1969, TA has provided surveying services throughout Maine and Northern New England for more than 50 years. With the combined acquisitions of Titcomb Associates and Sawyer Engineering and Surveying in December 2020, Sebago says it now has the largest surveying-geomatics staff in Maine and perhaps Northern New England.

 

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