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EBI News for October 20, 2021- Brown and Caldwell picked for pioneering wastewater acid digestion project

EBI News for October 20, 2021- The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Brown and Caldwell picked for pioneering wastewater acid digestion project, acquisitions, and more!


TRC announces growth investment from Warburg Pincus; New Mountain Capital exits

TRC (Windsor, Conn.) announced a significant growth investment from Warburg Pincus. Terms were not disclosed. As part of the transaction, New Mountain Capital “has successfully exited its investment in TRC after supporting a period of significant business building and growth investments to transform the company.” While serving a diversified client base, TRC has focused on building a differentiated position in the power and utility market, from design and commissioning of traditional electric grid assets to advising on emerging trends in energy efficiency, renewable transition, and grid digitization. “The growth trajectory for the utilities and environmental services market is unparalleled. TRC’s proven performance, commitment to environmentally focused solutions for its customers as well as its ability to further scale makes this an exciting opportunity,” said Stephanie Geveda, managing director at Warburg Pincus. New Mountain Capital took TRC private in 2017.


Dudek moves to 100% ESOP ownership

Dudek (Encinitas, Calif.), a multidisciplinary environmental and engineering consulting firm, has transitioned from being partially to wholly owned by its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). The move comes on the heels of Dudek’s highest earnings in its 41-year history. Dudek established its ESOP in 2003 so the firm could effectively transfer its ownership internally: “As the firm has grown and evolved, the ESOP has become a powerful tool in driving employee engagement by promoting an ownership culture, enhancing employee retirement planning, and bolstering employee retention,” Dudek stated in a news release. A study by Rutgers University in 2020 showed that majority employee-owned companies with ESOPs were outperforming non-employee owned companies during the COVID-19 pandemic in job retention, pay, benefits, and workplace health safety. Majority ESOP firms also retained jobs by a 4-to-1 rate compared to other firms.


Brown and Caldwell picked for pioneering wastewater acid digestion project

The City of Columbus has engaged a team led by Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.) to deliver professional design services for a new acid phase digestion system at its Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant, one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country. The project will rehabilitate acid phase digesters and other aging equipment and is considered a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to evaluate innovative digester processes, including Acid+ digestion, a cutting-edge project with the Water Research Foundation. According to Brown and Caldwell, Acid+ has the potential to revolutionize wastewater treatment by reducing operations and maintenance expenses, yielding higher quality biosolids (Class A) and biogas products, and achieving cost-effective nutrient recovery with simple retrofits to existing equipment. Also part of the project is a study looking at recovery of high-quality, low-phosphorus biosolids for agricultural use; and investigation into a fats, oils, and greases receiving station and feasibility analysis of co-digestion to supercharge biogas production and create an alternative revenue stream.


EcoAnalysts awarded EPA NARS 3 technical support contract

EcoAnalysts (Moscow, Idaho) is one of three firms awarded a contract to provide technical support for the EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) program. Under this program, the EPA’s Office of Water evaluates the condition of our nation’s rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands, and coasts on a five-year rotation. Each year physical, chemical, and biological data are collected at approximately 1,000 sites in partnership with states, tribes, and others, and a final report is submitted to U.S. Congress annually. EcoAnalysts will engage in ecological field sampling, taxonomic identification services, harmful algae bloom analyses, ecotoxicity testing, and a variety of related services. The contract has a combined maximum value of $34.9 million over the five-year period.


USACE selects contractors to compete for $1.14B munitions response 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Huntsville, Ala.) has awarded a munitions response contract to Tetra Tech EC, EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Weston Solutions, AECOM Technical Services, Arcadis U.S., Environmental Chemical, HydroGeoLogic, Jacobs USAE JV, Parsons Government Services; GSI MMRP JV, and APTIM Federal Services. The companies will compete for each order of the $1.14 billion hybrid (cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price) contract to provide services under the Military Munitions Response Program, including environmental compliance and remediation. Works have an estimated completion date of October 14, 2031.


IDA cites explosive growth in demand for unconventional water resources 

Demand for water reuse and desalination technologies is accelerating as cities come to terms with the vulnerability of their water supply due to the effects of climate change, according to the International Desalination Assn. (IDA). Total contracted capacity for unconventional water production facilities will reach 321 million m3/d by the end of 2021—more than twice the volume of water discharged to the sea by the river Nile every day. Citing GWI DesalData, IDA reported that water reuse is growing fastest with orders for new water reuse plants expected to top 20.9 million m3/d of capacity in 2021 compared with 15.6 million m3/d in 2020 and 11.8 million m3/d in 2019. Orders for new seawater and brackish water desalination plants are expected to increase 8% on the previous year. The emergence of low cost solar power has dramatically cut the cost of desalinated water in recent years. “Looking at the pipeline for the desalination projects, 2022 could well be the best year ever. Beyond that, the challenge for the industry will be to replicate the low costs and small carbon footprints achieved in the GCC region in the rest of the world,” said Christopher Gasson, publisher of GWI DesalData. 


EWG study finds almost 42,000 sources of toxic ‘forever’ chemicals 

A study by Environmental Working Group (EWG) scientists found almost 42,000 potential sources of PFAS that could be polluting surface water or drinking water in communities across the United States. EWG researchers analyzed potential sources of PFAS contamination in drinking water supplies nationwide, using public data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online database. Facilities that appeared most often as possible sources were solid waste landfills, wastewater treatment plants, electroplaters and metal finishers, and petroleum refiners.


Tetra Tech wins $19.5M USAID water and energy for food contract

Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) announced a four-year, $19.5 million single-award contract from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement the Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub in collaboration with Open Capital Advisors and the International Water Management Institute. WE4F focuses on scaling water-energy-food innovations to enhance sustainable food production; increase income for marginalized populations; and promote biodiversity, climate, and environmental resilience.


SWCA acquires Onsite Environmental

SWCA Environmental Consultants (Phoenix, Ariz.) has acquired Onsite Environmental Consulting (OEC, Jacksonville, Fla.), boosting services in Florida and the Southeast. Founded in 2004, OEC’s environmental services include renewable energy siting and permitting, wetland delineation, gopher tortoise services, dune restoration and living shoreline design, habitat restoration and mitigation, water quality monitoring, land development studies and stakeholder engagement. The company works with clients in the energy and power, land development, mining, and municipal sectors. “I’m thrilled to have OEC join the SWCA team,” said SWCA CEO Joseph J. Fluder, III. “Their experience with listed species, wetlands, environmental permitting, and living shoreline services is well recognized throughout Florida and the Southeast.” Founded in 1981 SWCA is a national environmental consulting firm.


Montrose Environmental acquires Gulf Coast lab

Montrose Environmental Group Inc. (Little Rock, Ark.) has acquired Environmental Chemistry Inc. (ECI, Houston), a full-service environmental laboratory serving the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast region. ECI will be integrated into Montrose’s Measurement and Analysis Segment and operate as part of Enthalpy Analytical LLC, a subsidiary of Montrose. Terms were not disclosed.


Ardurra acquires FMA

Ardurra Group Inc. (Tampa, Fla.) has acquired and merged with Fulghum, MacIndoe & Associates Inc. (FMA, Knoxville, Tenn.), a water/civil engineering and construction management firm. With the addition of FMA, Ardurra further expands its presence in the Southeast by adding Tennessee to its locations. FMA will operate as FMA, an Ardurra Group Company. Ardurra operates as a portfolio company of RTC Partners.


Carlson Environmental joins Nova Group

Nova Group GBC (St. Louis Park, Minn.), a commercial real estate due diligence advisory firm, announced the acquisition of environmental consulting firm Carlson Environmental Inc. (Chicago, Ill.). The acquisition reflects Nova’s commitment to providing quality turnkey services to its global commercial real estate client base while continuing to support the Chicagoland area. Carlson Environmental was founded in 1988 by Dr. Richard J. Carlson following his seven years as director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and also has offices in Florida and Michigan. Nova is an international, multidisciplinary advisory firm providing environmental, engineering, and energy services.


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