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EBI News for July 07, 2021- Oregon to Commit to 100% Clean Electricity

EBI News for July 07, 2021- The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, news on Oregon to commit to 100% clean electricity, acquisitions, and more!

Oregon to Commit to 100% Clean Electricity


The Nature Conservancy and partners begin oyster reef construction

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and partners have started construction on the Pensacola East Bay Oyster Habitat Restoration Project. Jacobs (Dallas) is managing the design, permitting and construction; coastal construction firm CrowderGulf (Mobile, Ala.) is installing the reefs; and WSP (Montreal, Canada) is conducting science-based monitoring. The project is the largest scale estuarine habitat restoration undertaken by TNC in Florida—33 oyster reefs will be placed along approximately 6.5 miles of shoreline. The project is funded by a $15 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund through funding from the criminal proceeding settlement of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


Report tracks U.S. EV sales and charging stations

In May 2021, electric vehicle (EV) sales reached 53,779, a 19.2% increase from April, according to a monthly report published in June by Zpryme (Austin, Texas). On an annual basis, this represents a 329% increase compared to May 2020 EV sales. Through May, Tesla models have accounted for 54% of EV sales in 2021. Zpryme also tracks charging station installations, reporting that in May 2021 a total of 609 charging stations and 1,736 charging outlets were added in the country, the large majority of which were done by ChargePoint. States adding the most charging stations in the month were California, Massachusetts, and New York. Through May 2021, the United States had 46,104 EV charging stations and 117,674 charging outlets.


Oregon to become eighth U.S. state committed to 100% clean electricity

A bill committing electricity providers to deliver 100% clean power to Oregon customers by 2040 has passed both the House and Senate of the Oregon State Legislative Assembly. If signed into law, Oregon will become the eighth state in the United States committed to 100% clean or renewable electricity, joining Hawaii, California, Washington, New Mexico, New York, Maine and Virginia, according to Environment America. Oregon would also boast the fastest timeline in the country to reach this goal; the legislation includes requirements for 80% emissions reductions in the sector by 2030, 90% by 2035 and 100% by 2040.


Stantec and Tetra Tech JV awarded $60M contract for dam and levee safety 

Stantec (Edmonton, Alb.) and Tetra Tech (Pasadena, Calif.), through a joint venture partnership, have been awarded a $60 million, five-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) multiple award task order contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Louisville District. The team will support the Risk Management Center on Dam and Levee Safety Projects, providing dam and levee safety engineering and design services, including geotechnical, hydraulic, mechanical, electrical, structural, civil/site engineering, hydrology, geology, geophysics, seismology, and construction cost estimating. 


Willow trees filter wastewater while producing renewable bioenergy and green chemicals

Researchers at the University of Montreal have found a way to filter wastewater through the roots of willow trees. Experimenting with a plantation in Quebec, the scientists estimate that over 30 million liters of primary wastewater per hectare can be treated using ‘bio-refinery’ annually. Willow trees are naturally tolerant of contamination and their roots filter out the high nitrogen in sewage, tripling the biomass produced, which can then be harvested for renewable lignocellulosic biofuels. Researchers also identified new extractable ‘green’ chemicals produced by the trees and enriched through the sewage filtration. Results were published June 14 in the journal Science of the Total Environment.


Oxygen levels in freshwater lakes declining faster than in oceans

Oxygen levels in the world’s temperate freshwater lakes are declining faster than in the oceans—a trend driven largely by climate change that threatens freshwater biodiversity and drinking water quality. U.S. National Science Foundation-funded research published in Nature found that oxygen levels in surveyed lakes across the temperate zone have declined 5.5% at the surface and 18.6% in deep waters since 1980. “Lakes are losing oxygen 2.75-9.3 times faster than the oceans, a decline that will have impacts throughout the ecosystem,” said Kevin Rose of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a paper co-author. Although lakes make up only about 3% of Earth’s land surface, they contain a disproportionate concentration of the planet’s biodiversity.


NASA selects environmental services contractor

NASA has selected Bluestone Environmental Group (Malvern, Pa.) to provide environmental services for the Environmental Management Program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, Md.). The total value of the core portion of the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, including options, is $13.6 million. The maximum value of the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract portion is $16 million. The period of performance includes one base year with four one-year options. Bluestone will establish, perform and maintain common processes and procedures to ensure that NASA facilities are operating in compliance with environmental regulations. 


NYC partners with Arcadis on resiliency 

Arcadis (Amsterdam, Netherlands) announced a partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to launch a $53 million program designed to engage property owners across the city with resiliency measures that improve local and regional environmental health. Targeting properties over 50,000 square feet, the program will seek out private properties with large, impervious areas and offer funding, guidance and installation of green infrastructure practices. With more than 70% of the city covered in impervious surfaces, installing green infrastructure citywide will significantly reduce stormwater runoff and in turn, improve the health of surrounding rivers and harbors, according to Arcadis.


Jacobs to develop three smart city masterplans in India

Jacobs (Dallas) has been selected by India’s National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation to deliver master planning and preliminary engineering design services for three greenfield industrial developments in South India. The projects aim to reimagine industrial cities in India and create new global manufacturing and investment destinations with world-class road, rail, water, power and social infrastructure. By combining information and communication technologies with the digital delivery and modelling tools, Jacobs said it would deliver data-driven generative designs, advanced visualization techniques and smarter integration of city infrastructure.


NAWC releases report on contract operations market 

The National Assn. of Water Companies (NAWC) has released the 2020 edition of its Contract Operations Report produced in partnership with Mazars USA. The report compiles survey data on the contract operations of water and wastewater utilities, with the goal of measuring industry growth and the performance of the private sector involved in these operations. The companies surveyed managed nearly 7.4 billion gallons per day and served 40.8 million people in 2020 compared to 38.8 million in 2019. The contract operations segment of public private partnerships in the water industry grew from servicing 1,903 contracted clients in 2019 to 1,937 in 2020. According to the report, a full contract operations and maintenance (O&M) model continues to be the prevailing form of public private partnership, rather than the design-build-operate or concession models, while a high overall customer retention rate (99.7%) indicates excellent customer satisfaction. Over the past three years, revenues reflect industrywide annualized growth of 6.4% on average.


Versar completes acquisition of environmental services business unit from B&V

Versar Inc. (Springfield, Va.) has completed the acquisition of the environmental services business unit of Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.) focused on federal government customers. The business unit provides remediation, investigation, assessment, and design for the EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal agencies. The acquisition is consistent with Versar’s strategy of growing its Environmental Services Group by enhancing environmental remediation and site restoration capabilities. Founded in 1969, Versar was acquired by Kingswood Capital Management in 2017.


Montrose acquires Vista Analytical 

Montrose Environmental Group Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) has acquired Vista Analytical Laboratory (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), an environmental laboratory for testing and analysis of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), dioxins and other persistent organic pollutants. Vista’s leadership team will join Montrose, and the business will be integrated into Montrose’s Measurement and Analysis Segment to operate as part of Enthalpy Analytical LLC, a Montrose subsidiary.


Alliance Technical Group expands West Coast presence

Alliance Technical Group LLC (Decatur, Ala.) has completed its twelfth add-on acquisition with the purchase of Horizon Air Measurement Services Inc. (Camarillo, Calif.), a provider of stack testing throughout California and the Western United States. Together, Alliance and Horizon have a national footprint and more than 750 employees. “Adding resources to our rapidly expanding West Coast operations was imperative, and Horizon delivers on both strategic and geographic fit,” noted Alliance CEO Chris LeMay. “As Alliance continues to expand, we look to partner with high quality, customer-focused companies across all of our services lines.”


FreshWater Engineering  joins Anchor QEA

FreshWater Engineering (Madison, Wis.) has merged with environmental consulting firm Anchor QEA (Seattle, Wash.) to expand water resources engineering services nationwide. Founded in 2014, FreshWater Engineering is a woman-owned business specializing in water resources engineering, waterway restoration, sustainable stormwater management, and coastal engineering. Anchor QEA specializes in aquatic, shoreline, and water resource projects, including coastal and flood resiliency. The merger will enable Anchor QEA to expand its work into the Great Lakes and Midwest regions while providing access to FreshWater Engineering’s capabilities in hydrodynamic modeling, coastal erosion assessments, fluvial geomorphology, and hydrographic surveying. FreshWater Engineering will operate as Anchor QEA LLC.


USDA seeks new partnerships to safeguard wetland ecosystems

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing up to $17 million for conservation partners to help protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP). Restored wetlands help to improve water quality downstream, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce impacts from flooding and provide recreational benefits. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is prioritizing proposals that focus on historically underserved producers conserving wetlands. Proposals are due August 15, 2021.

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