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EBI News for June 29, 2022 – EPA announces new drinking water health advisories for PFAS chemicals

EBI News for June 29, 2022 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, EPA announces new drinking water health advisories for PFAS chemicals, acquisitions, and more!

Charterhouse agrees to sell SLR Consulting to Ares Management

Ares Management Corporation is acquiring global environmental and sustainability firm SLR Consulting (London, UK) from Charterhouse Capital Partners. Charterhouse took a majority stake in SLR Consulting in 2018. Under Charterhouse’s ownership, SLR grew from a pure-play environmental consultancy into a leading provider of ESG and sustainability services with over 2,300 employees across more than 100 offices worldwide. During this time, SLR has expanded through organic growth initiatives generating double-digit growth, combined with targeted M&A activity; EBITDA increased by over 100%, underpinned by 15 add-on acquisitions completed in this period. Notable acquisitions included Corporate Citizenship (ESG advisory, reporting, and carbon and climate services) and Vectos, which enhanced SLR’s advisory services in infrastructure and the built environment. SLR also strengthened its global footprint during the period, expanding its existing presence in key regions such as the United States, mainland Europe and Asia-Pacific.


Port of Seattle selects Locus Technologies for environmental software

Locus Technologies (Mountain View, Calif.) announced that The Port of Seattle has selected Locus’s multitenant Software as a Service (SaaS) for its environmental data management and compliance software. The Port oversees the seaport and airport of Seattle; its portfolio ranges from parks and waterfront real estate to one of the largest airports and container terminals on the West Coast. With Locus’s software, The Port will streamline its environmental management across its properties. The contract has a 10-year term and a value of over $1 million. Locus’s cloud software will replace several existing systems that no longer meet the Port’s requirements.


EPA announces new drinking water health advisories for PFAS chemicals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released four drinking water health advisories for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the latest action under President Biden’s plan to deliver clean water and Administrator Regan’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap. This action establishes new health advisories for PFBS, HFPO and GenX chemicals and lowers health advisories for PFOA and PFOS. EPA also announced that it is inviting states and territories to apply for $1 billion – the first of $5 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grant funding – to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants in drinking water, specifically in small or disadvantaged communities. Responding to the advisories, The American Water Works Assn. stated, “The PFOA and PFOS advisory levels are extremely low and do not reflect the draft recommendations of EPA’s own expert Science Advisory Board review. The health advisory levels at parts per quadrillion, [are] undetectable by modern laboratory methods…. AWWA’s members are working diligently to manage the risk posed by PFAS in drinking water. At the low levels set in the health advisories, protecting source water from PFAS contamination is critical.” EPA is expected to propose a PFAS National Drinking Water Regulation in fall 2022; interim health advisories provide guidance prior to the regulation going into effect.


Canada bans harmful single-use plastics

The Government of Canada published final regulations in June to prohibit single-use plastics, including checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws. The ban on the manufacture and import of these single-use plastics, barring a few exceptions, will take effect in December 2022. To provide businesses in Canada with time to deplete existing stocks, the sale of these items will be prohibited as of December 2023. The Government will also prohibit the export of plastics in the six categories by the end of 2025, “making Canada the first among peer jurisdictions to do so internationally.”


1PointFive and Carbon Engineering announce turnkey solution to direct air capture 

1PointFive, a subsidiary of Occidental’s (Houston) Low Carbon Ventures business, and Carbon Engineering Ltd. (Squamish, BC), have announced a direct air capture (DAC) plant deployment approach to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help execute large numbers of DAC projects around the world. The approach standardizes the plant design to help deliver operationally ready DAC facilities to local partners. Components and equipment will be modularized, mass manufactured and assembled on-site using an established supply chain. Carbon Engineering will provide the DAC technology, and 1PointFive will build and deploy the DAC plants. 1PointFive announced a scenario of deploying 70 DAC facilities by 2035, each with an expected CO2 removal capacity of up to 1 million tonnes per year. The first facility is expected to be operational in late 2024 in Texas.


Accenture, Microsoft and Avanade expand partnership to help organizations tackle sustainability challenges

Accenture (New York, N.Y.) and Microsoft (Redmond, Wash.), together with their joint venture Avanade, are joining forces to tackle climate change. While the immediate emphasis is on helping organizations transform operations, products, services and value chains to accelerate the transition to net zero, the three companies will expand their focus to broader ESG challenges in the future. The companies will collaborate across four areas: Digital Manufacturing Transition, Low Carbon Energy Transition, Sustainable IT with Microsoft Azure and Green Software Engineering, and ESG Measurement, Analytics and Performance with Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability.


Legence announces new brand and two acquisitions

Legence (San Jose, Calif.), formerly Therma Holdings, LLC, has announced agreements for two acquisitions to expand its presence in energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and cost-saving services. The acquisitions of Provident Energy Consulting (Media, Pa.) and McCracken & Woodman (Lafayette, Calif.) will solidify Legence’s position in the procurement of renewable energy and add to the company’s design and implementation offerings for energy efficiency and decarbonization projects in the built environment. As an Energy Transition Accelerator, Legence “presents a new vision for the future of buildings and energy by compressing the time it takes to reach desired sustainability outcomes,” CEO Jeff Sprau said.


Entech Engineering acquires water treatment firm

Water and wastewater engineering and consulting company Entech Engineering Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.) has acquired Stehle Consulting LLC (Valencia, Pa.). Founded by Thomas Stehle, an environmental chemist and certified water operator, Stehle provides water treatment and consulting services throughout western Pennsylvania. The acquisition enhances Entech’s plant operation services with the addition of jar testing to fine-tune chemical dosing during the water treatment process and filter media analysis. “Stehle’s services, like plant operations consulting and operator training, were already a focus for us, so it was a natural fit. With many utilities being understaffed or struggling to stay current with regulatory requirements, we recognized what these additional services could do for the water industry, and we are ready to help,” said Western PA Regional Director Robert Horvat.


Cost–cutting and sustainability help drive EAM software growth

Cost-saving programs and a focus on improving operational sustainability are helping drive growth in the enterprise asset management (EAM) software market to an expected $5.4 billion by 2026, up from last year’s $3.6 billion, according to research, and advisory firm Verdantix (London, UK). EAM software, which focuses on maintaining assets throughout their lifecycle and is primarily deployed in heavy industry, is attracting growing interest with a number of mergers and acquisitions in the industry as well as increased private equity investment. Accruent, Brightly Software, IBM, HxGN EAM, Pragma, SAP and Ultimo currently lead the EAM market but face pressure from new entrants as the market continues to expand rapidly, with around a quarter (26%) of maintenance executives questioned reporting either that they were testing EAM software or had made limited use of it.


New federal-state partnership to grow offshore wind supply chain

The White House announced it is joining with 11 governors on the East Coast to launch a new Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership to accelerate the growing offshore wind industry. As a first step, the White House and governors are announcing commitments to collaborate on expanding key elements of the offshore wind supply chain, from manufacturing facilities to port capabilities and workforce development. The Administration is also announcing steps to advance a National Offshore Wind Supply Chain Roadmap and designating offshore wind vessels as Vessels of National Interest to facilitate more offshore wind construction. President Biden has set a goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes, support 77,000 jobs, and spur $12 billion per year in private investment in offshore wind projects.


AECOM to complete design of new North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant

AECOM (Dallas) has been selected by Metro Vancouver to design the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant, a new tertiary treatment facility that will replace the existing Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant and serve approximately 250,000 residents. The plant is being constructed to LEED Gold and Envision Gold certification standards. AECOM will provide design completion and construction management services to assist in the transition of the project to the new construction contractor. “As Vancouver’s North Shore continues to grow, this new wastewater treatment plant is a vital necessity to continue protecting the human and marine health of the area and will play an imperative role in educating the public on key sustainability initiatives,” said Marc Devlin, chief executive of AECOM’s Canada region.


NV5 acquires GEO1, expands geospatial services for utilities

NV5 Global Inc. (Hollywood, Fla.), a provider of compliance, technology, engineering, and environmental consulting solutions, has acquired GEO1 (Hawthorne, Calif.) through an asset purchase of Aerial Filmworks LLC. GEO1 provides geospatial lidar, aerial imagery, and data analytics to utilities, government agencies, and the environmental sector. GEO1, which has 25 employees, expands NV5’s offerings in utility and utility asset inspection, vegetation encroachment, and wildfire risk mitigation.


Microvi awarded Arizona’s first commercial biological nitrate treatment plant 

Microvi (Hayward, Calif.) has been awarded a contract by the City of Goodyear, Ariz. for a commercial groundwater nitrate treatment plant—Microvi’s first installation in the state. The plant will use Microvi’s novel MicroNiche Engineering (MNE) technology. Unlike conventional nitrate treatment processes such as reverse osmosis and ion exchange, Microvi’s MNE treatment technology degrades nitrate in water without producing a significant waste stream, thereby reducing the need for secondary treatment and disposal. The single-pass MNE system also requires minimal operator time and features reduced maintenance requirements compared to conventional technologies. Microvi is partnering with Felix Construction and NCS Engineering Inc.


AIP invests in Waste Eliminator

Allied Industrial Partners LLC, an industrial-focused private equity firm, has made a strategic investment in Waste Eliminator LLC (Atlanta, Ga.), a regional provider of solid waste hauling, disposal and recycling services for commercial and industrial waste generators throughout Metro-Atlanta. Members of the management team will be investing alongside AIP. Together, AIP and management have committed more than $150 million in capital to grow the platform. 


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