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EBI News for September 22, 2021- Smart Sewer Technology Satisfies EPA Consent Decree

EBI News for September 22, 2021- The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Smart sewer technology satisfies EPA consent decree, acquisitions, and more!

Smart sewer technology satisfies EPA consent decree, saves the city $400M

Global water technology provider Xylem (Rye Brook, N.Y.) announced it is delivering an advanced “smart sewer” system enabling the City of South Bend, Ind. to exceed the requirements of a wastewater consent decree for 60% less capital investment than originally planned. The EPA, Department of Justice, and the City of South Bend entered into a consent decree in 2012 in response to the City’s aging sewer infrastructure that frequently overflowed, discharging millions of gallons of sewage and stormwater into the St. Joseph River each year. The fix was set to cost South Bend ratepayers $713 million in capital improvements, but the revised plan using Xylem’s wastewater network optimization solution provides “better protection at lower cost,” according to the EPA. The revised plan involves a monitoring system of more than 165 sensors and software agents located throughout the City’s urban watershed. In addition to capital works savings, the City is benefiting from $1.5 million per year in reduced O&M costs.


San Jose picks team to implement a green stormwater plan

A local team “drawn” from Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Lotus Water, and Paradigm Environmental will implement The City of San Jose’s 2019 Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Plan under a master services agreement.  According to Brown and Caldwell, The Plan focuses on implementing GSI and sustainable drainage practices, transitioning from traditional “gray” infrastructure to an integrated approach incorporating resilient “green” infrastructure systems.  Potential projects described in the plan, treating approximately 2,400 acres of land, represent an estimated combined cost of $126 million, including design, construction, and, operations and maintenance. The first service order under the MSA was executed in late August. The next steps include evaluating the feasibility of near-term regional stormwater capture and green streets projects.


Telecom firms converge on $143 billion digital water opportunity

Telecommunications companies are keen to capitalize on the demand for digital solutions in the water utility and industrial water management sectors, according to a new report by Bluefield Research (Boston, Mass.). Connecting Water Infrastructure: Telecom Company Strategies in the Global Digital Water Market finds that digital water (the application of digital solutions and tools) has seen a 53% increase in project activity since 2016. Digital water spends in the top 10 key markets is forecast to grow from $8.7 billion to $20.2 billion by the end of the decade, with global growth at 10% per year led by the United States, Australia, the UK, and Northern Europe. AT&T, Vodafone, BT, Huawei, and others are carving out strategic positions in water; some are vertically integrating by offering implementation and integration services while others, like Telstra and Verizon, are going a step further by selling proprietary hardware and software directly to water utilities. These strategic pivots toward water are driving competition between established cellphone carriers, IoT network pure-plays, and water technology incumbents, Bluefield noted.


Univar and Novozymes to provide biological solutions for waste and wastewater treatment

Global chemical and ingredient distributor Univar Solutions Inc. (Downers Grove, Ill.) has announced a new agreement with Novozymes (Copenhagen, Denmark), expanding its relationship to include biological solutions for waste and wastewater treatment in the United States and Canada. The new agreement boosts Univar’s ability to service municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants, providing bioaugmentation, biogas, and sludge management enzymatic and microbial treatment solutions. “With biology and biotechnology increasingly recognized as catalysts for the next industrial revolution, this partnership will help kick-start a fundamental shift toward more sustainable, biological solutions,” said Brian Brazeau, Novozymes’ President for North America.


NACWA releases 2020 financial survey highlights

The National Assn. of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has released its 2020 Financial Survey, capturing responses from 109 public agencies serving over 74 million people. Regarding capital costs, the survey indicated that five-year capital improvement budgets increased by 24% from 2017 to 2020. Sixty-six (66) agencies that responded to both the 2017 and 2020 surveys increased their five-year CIP budgets from $25.6 to $31.8 billion from 2017 to 2020, while 93 agency respondents to the 2020 survey reported a combined total for five-year capital improvement budgets of $50.3 billion. Aging infrastructure and combined sewer overflows represent two-thirds of overall planned spending. Regarding operation and maintenance (O&M), the costs per million gallons treated have increased at an average rate of 5.5% per year since 1998. The survey found that the overall fiscal health of the clean water sector remains strong despite increasing capital needs and O&M costs. Executive highlights are available for download.


NOAA awards Tetra Tech $49M coastal geospatial contract

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) a five-year, $49 million multiple-award contract to support the Office for Coastal Management’s Digital Coast program. Tetra Tech will provide technical geospatial services to support NOAA’s mandate to manage the nation’s coastal resources, including the Great Lakes. Tetra Tech will use innovative geospatial data acquisition and specialized data analytics to address issues such as sea-level rise, coastal resiliency, sustainable land use, and marine planning. Data acquisition methods may include airborne and bathymetric LiDAR and satellite imagery to produce high-resolution maps and interpretative analysis for coastal managers.


Parsons announces new ISO guidance on mine closure and reclamation 

Parsons Corporation (Centreville, Va.) announced that a new International Standards Organization (ISO) Standard and Guidance Document for Mine Closure and Reclamation Management has been internationally approved. The guidance will be published in October. Michael Nahir, mine reclamation director for Parsons, served as the international project manager during the ISO guidance drafting and approval process. “This collaborative, five-year process gathered input from many companies and countries to deliver the first-ever comprehensive standards for mine closure best practices,” said Nahir. “This guidance will help improve closure and reclamation practices, to the benefit of mining communities around the world.”


EPA publishes the first validated lab method to test for PFAS in wastewater, surface water, groundwater, soils

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), has published a draft of the first EPA-validated laboratory analytical method to test for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in eight different environmental media. A partnership between EPA and the DOD’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program has produced draft Method 1633, a single-laboratory validated method to test for 40 PFAS compounds in wastewater, surface water, groundwater, soil, biosolids, sediment, landfill leachate, and fish tissue. Until now, regulated entities and environmental laboratories relied upon modified EPA methods or in-house laboratory standard operating procedures to analyze PFAS in these settings. “This illustrates the progress we can make when working with federal partners in an all of government approach,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.


Valicor acquires EnviroSolids, boosts waste recycling in Midwest

Valicor Environmental Services (Monroe, Ohio), one of North America’s largest providers of non-hazardous wastewater treatment services, has acquired EnviroSolids LLC (Dearborn, Mich.), a company that offers disposal of non-hazardous waste material focused on landfill diversion and beneficial reuse. EnviroSolids operates a centralized waste treatment (CWT) plant and Part 115 licensed solid waste processing plant and has specialized capabilities in waste-to-energy, wastewater treatment, solidification and used oil recycling. Valicor’s acquisition strategy focuses on acquiring CWT facilities and other providers of environmental services, including solidification, waste-to-energy, product destruction and related services. Valicor is part of the Pritzker Private Capital family of companies.


SWCA to support BLM revision for renewable energy and transmission lines

SWCA Environmental Consultants (Phoenix, Ariz.) has been selected by the Bureau of Land Management to support regulatory revisions related to renewable energy permitting and linear rights-of-way on public lands. The rulemaking supports requirements in the Energy Act of 2020 and Executive Order 14008 which prioritize the Department of the Interior’s need to improve all permitting activities and processes to facilitate increased renewable energy production on public lands.


Stanley Consultants and GoAigua deliver digital water solutions

Stanley Consultants (Muscatine, Iowa) and water technology company GoAigua (New York, N.Y.) announced a strategic partnership to help water utilities leverage technology for renewing aging infrastructure and increasing resiliency and efficiency. “Our strategic partnership combines Stanley Consultants’ infrastructure expertise with GoAigua’s utility-derived data analytics solutions to optimize assets and operations, saving money for our customers,” said Stanley Consultants CEO Kate Harris. GoAigua recently introduced its smart water platform to the U.S. market. GoAigua was started by Global Omnium, a European water utility based in Spain. 


Jacobs wins project management award for Abu Dhabi wastewater lab

Jacobs (Dallas) has been awarded a two-year contract from the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy for project management of a wastewater laboratory that will screen for and detect Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. Slated to be operational by 2022, the Wastewater Monitoring Laboratory will be the first of its kind aimed at developing a world-class facility for improving the health of the residents of a major city, Jacobs reported. The lab is classified as a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory, which has strict control and containment measures as well as automation in its design. Jacobs will oversee project execution and supervise the design, engineering, procurement, and construction of the lab.


Ramboll reports satisfying half-year results

Ramboll (Copenhagen, Denmark) achieved gross revenue of DKK 7.1 billion in the first half-year of 2021, 1.4% higher than the same period in 2020. “We are back to revenue growth and we are seeing considerably greater momentum than last year despite a very strong first quarter in 2020,” said Group CEO Jens-Peter Saul. “The satisfying half-year result reflects solid performances in the Nordics, with especially strong growth in Norway…. In the rest of the world, we delivered strong growth particularly in the U.S., UK, Germany, Central Europe, and Africa, except in the Middle East where we are downscaling our operations and shutting down our Oil & Gas business.” The company’s project pipeline is 13% larger than year-end 2020. During the first half, Ramboll won several key projects for sustainable development. In the United States, the California Department of Water Resources selected a team led by Ramboll to conduct airborne electro-magnetic surveys in California’s groundwater basins to support the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.


Haley Ward acquires Whitman & Bingham

Haley Ward Inc. (Bangor, Maine), formerly CES Inc., has acquired Whitman & Bingham Associates LLC (WBA, Leominster and Chelmsford, Mass.), a surveying and civil engineering firm serving clients throughout New England. This is the second Massachusetts acquisition for Haley Ward. WBA employs 10 staff and is experienced in permitting, residential, industrial, and commercial projects, stormwater management, and environmental permitting. Haley Ward is an employee-owned professional engineering, environmental and surveying consulting firm with approximately 130 employees in Maine, Massachusetts, and Florida.


Jupiter announces strategic investment from ESG-focused MPower 

Jupiter (San Mateo, Calif.), a provider of predictive data and analytics for climate risk and resilience, announced a major expansion in Japan adding venture investor MPower Partners, Japan’s first ESG-focused global venture capital firm and the country’s first female-led VC firm. Jupiter also plans to open a regional office and recruit a Japan Country Manager to serve enterprise customers in Asia. “Japan is among the most advanced nations in the world in understanding and adapting to climate change,” said Rich Sorkin, CEO of Jupiter. “Our growing work and partnerships in Japan are central to our strategy.” Clearvision Ventures and MPower are co-leading a funding to be announced soon.


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