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EBI News for March 03, 2022- Pharmaceutical Pollution in the World’s Rivers

EBI News for March 03, 2022 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, pharmaceutical pollution in the world’s rivers, acquisitions, and more!

Stantec’s Environmental Services unit achieves record backlog

Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) announced that momentum from acquisitions, strong performance in the Global region and Canada, improving market conditions in the United States, and shifts in project mix helped drive net revenue and project margin growth in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2021. Progress was also reported on Stantec’s 2023 Real Estate Strategy, which is on track to reduce its real estate footprint by 30% relative to 2019. Full-year net revenue was C$3.6 billion, a 2.6% increase on a constant currency basis compared with the prior year, driven by acquisition growth of 3.9%. Contract backlog stood at a record C$5.1 billion—a 17.3% increase from December 31, 2020—representing approximately 13 months of work. Year over year, backlog grew 11.9% through acquisitions and 6.7% organically. Of particular note, U.S. backlog achieved 10.2% organic growth, with U.S. Environmental Services recording over 50% organic growth. Environmental Services backlog across all of Stantec stood at over $1 billion, a new record for the operating unit.


Climate Finance Advisors expands WSP’s sustainability services

WSP (New York, N.Y.) has acquired Climate Finance Advisors (Washington, D.C.), a climate and finance consultancy. Founded in 2015, Climate Finance Advisors helps to integrate climate considerations into clients’ finance strategies, investment decisions and policies. The acquisition strengthens WSP USA’s market capabilities in climate finance and environmental services as more corporations, investors, government agencies and other organizations address climate-related financial and operational risks and opportunities. CFA will join WSP USA’s Climate, Resilience and Sustainability (CRS) team.


Terracon acquires Wang Engineering

Terracon (Olathe, Kansas) has acquired Wang Engineering Inc. (Lombard, Ill), a specialist in geotechnical engineering, construction inspection, and materials testing. Over the past 39 years, Wang has provided geotechnical services to a wide range of clients throughout the United States; the company has extensive experience working with the City of Chicago, the Illinois and Indiana departments of transportation, and on a range of public transportation projects. Wang’s 25 employees will become part of Terracon, and the firm will continue to operate locally as Wang Engineering Inc., A Terracon Company. The transaction was brokered by Environmental Financial Consulting Group.


ICF reports year-end results

ICF (Fairfax, Va.) reported 2021 total revenue of $1.55 billion, an increase of 3.1% from $1.51 billion in 2020. Service revenue increased 6.4% year-over-year to $1.11 billion. “Our fourth quarter operating results were in line with our expectations, capping a year of strong performance,” said John Wasson, chairman and chief executive officer. “In the fourth quarter, we continued to benefit from our expanded capabilities in key growth areas, namely IT modernization/digital transformation, public health, disaster management and utility consulting, as well as climate, environment and infrastructure. Together, annual revenues from these markets increased over 10% and accounted for approximately 65% of our full year 2021 service revenue.”


TRC acquires ESS Group

TRC Companies (Windsor, Conn.) announced the expansion of its power and renewable energy and coastal engineering capabilities with the acquisition of ESS Group (ESS, Waltham, Mass.). “The acquisition of ESS further expands and strengthens TRC’s ability to support our client’s ESG and Climate programs,” said Chris Vincze, CEO of TRC. “In particular, ESS enhances TRC’s Renewables Strategy by offering specialized capabilities such as coastal resiliency, flood hazard vulnerability studies, stream and lake consulting, as well as offshore wind energy and transmission support.”


Waste Management JV to scale Continuus upcycling facilities

WM Organic Growth, a wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc. (Houston), and Tailwater Capital LLC announced a joint venture to help Continuus Materials scale up production facilities in the waste-to-product industry. Continuus Materials develops and operates manufacturing facilities that upcycle plastic and fiber materials from municipal solid waste into Everboard, a proprietary composite roof cover board. The joint venture enables Continuus Materials to develop additional facilities at WM sites and launch its first full-scale municipal solid waste-to-Everboard production plant.


MOU reached for 100% renewable energy desalination 

The Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) and Poseidon Water (Carlsbad, Calif.) have agreed to work together to make the Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Facility the first desalination plant in the western hemisphere to be powered entirely by renewable energy. Poseidon’s proposed desalination project requires an average steady load of approximately 25 megawatts, which would make it one of the larger energy users in Orange County. While the project is already guaranteed to have a zero carbon footprint through the state’s carbon offset program, being powered completely by renewable energy would enhance the facility’s environmental sustainability. 


Global study reveals pharmaceutical pollution in the world’s rivers

A new study looking at the presence of pharmaceuticals in the world’s rivers found concentrations at potentially toxic levels in more than a quarter of the locations studied, according to the University of York in the UK. The study looked at 258 rivers, including the Thames and the Amazon, to measure the presence of 61 pharmaceuticals. Researchers studied rivers in over half of the world’s countries – with rivers in 36 of these countries having never previously been monitored for pharmaceuticals. Water sample analysis was conducted at the University’s Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry. The University, which leads the Global Monitoring of Pharmaceuticals Project, said it is “the first truly global-scale investigation of medicinal contamination in the environment.”


Researchers find U.S. flood damage risk is underestimated 

A study by North Carolina State University researchers suggests that recent flood maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) do not capture the full extent of flood risk. Using artificial intelligence to predict where flood damage is likely to happen, the study found a high probability of flood damage for more than a million square miles of land across the United States across a 14-year period. This is more than 790,000 square miles greater than flood risk zones identified by FEMA’s maps. Louisiana, Missouri, the District of Columbia, Florida and Mississippi had the highest risk of any U.S. state or district in the continental United States. The study was published online in Environmental Research Letters (Feb. 21, 2022).


Walsh and Brown and Caldwell to help Santa Monica achieve water self-sufficiency

Walsh Construction (Chicago, Ill.) and design-build partner Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.) have embarked on a project to expand the City of Santa Monica’s Arcadia Water Treatment Plant and restore the Olympic Well Field. Works will expand the City’s Arcadia Water Treatment Plant from 10 MGD to 13 MGD, including new high recovery reverse osmosis (RO), granular activated carbon systems, and ultraviolet disinfection with AOP. The flow reversal RO technology will be the first municipal installation of its kind in the United States. Restoring the City’s Olympic Well Field will include construction of a new Olympic Advanced Water Treatment Facility to remove industrial contaminants and return the basin to full production capacity. “The $72 million project is an immediate solution to developing sustainable and drought-resilient water supplies and expanding groundwater production,” Walsh stated.


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