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EBI News for July 13, 2022 – Professor Develops Floating Wetlands to Protect Boston from Floods

EBI News for July 13, 2022 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, professor develops floating wetlands to protect Boston from floods, acquisitions, and more!

Shell partners with ExxonMobil on offshore CCS hub in China

Shell has signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission and ExxonMobil to explore the feasibility of developing a carbon capture and storage (CCS) hub in Guangdong Province, China. The four parties intend to explore the development of the CCS hub to capture up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 a year. It would be China’s first offshore large-scale CCS hub. “China has an ambitious decarbonisation path – from about 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions a year to net-zero within 30 years,” said Jason Wong, executive chairman of Shell Companies in China. “A shift to cleaner energy sources and energy efficiency will not be enough. China will also need to actively remove emissions. This makes CCS an essential part of the solution for China to achieve carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.”


Catalyst Environmental acquires remediation specialist 

Catalyst Environmental Solutions (Los Angeles, Calif.), an environmental consulting firm specializing in water resources, energy, infrastructure, and land development, has acquired AWR Environmental Corporation. With offices in Oakland, Calif. and Portland, Ore., AWR will provide Catalyst with a platform for growth in the Bay Area and strengthen its presence in the Pacific Northwest. AWR provides technical and strategic remediation services and supports the redevelopment of brownfield and distressed properties. Offerings include the design and installation of complex vapor intrusion mitigation systems.


Enercon expands its Environmental Services Group

Enercon Services Inc. (Kennesaw, Ga.), an engineering and environmental services firm focused on the energy sector, has acquired Ardent Environmental Group Inc. (Corona, Calif.), an environmental consulting firm serving the real estate industry. Terms were not disclosed. Ardent Environmental will join Enercon’s Environmental Services Group. Ardent represents Enercon’s first add-on acquisition since being acquired by AE Industrial Partners in 2021. Founded in 2007 Ardent has provided environmental site assessments, remediation, monitoring and other technical consulting services to clients throughout California and the Western United States. 


Tetra Tech expands digital water and energy practices

Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) has expanded its digital water practice with the acquisition of The Integration Group of Americas (TIGA, Houston), a process automation and systems integration company. TIGA’s software engineers, digital automation integrators and advanced data analytics consultants will join Tetra Tech. “The addition of TIGA enables us to further expand our high-end digital consulting and platform solutions across water, environmental, and energy sectors,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech chairman and CEO. TIGA joins Tetra Tech’s Government Services Group.


ERM acquires MarineSpace 

ERM (London, UK) has acquired MarineSpace (Southampton, UK), a marine planning and environmental consultancy, enabling ERM to offer consulting and services to marine developers globally. This includes the full offshore renewables project lifecycle from corporate strategy through to consent, operation and decommissioning. MarineSpace’s specialist capabilities include marine development planning and permitting, geological, geophysical and ecological services, marine data management and maritime engineering. ERM reported that the deal builds on its other recent acquisitions in the renewables space, including the Renewables Consulting Group and Arcus.


Climate deals surge amidst U.S. startup funding fallback

Reporting on investment in the new climate economy, Climate Tech VC pointed to a  “a swell of massive fundings” in the week ended July 10, 2022, topped by $1.1 billion for Northvolt, the Swedish Li-ion battery maker. This was followed by seven more $100-million-plus fundings, including solar developer Intersect Power (Beaverton, Ore.), which raised $750 million in growth equity funding; Electrify America (Reston, Va.), an EV charging network, which raised $450 million; and Xpansiv (San Francisco, Calif.), a market infrastructure platform for global carbon and environmental commodities, which raised a $400 million equity commitment. Climate Tech VC ranked more than 40 deals for the week. 


Stantec to serve as PMC for Vancouver wastewater plant

Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) has been selected as the program management consultant for the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (IIWWTP) Projects in Vancouver, British Columbia. The CAD$9.9 billion multi-year program includes construction of a new tertiary treatment facility and a range of ecological restoration and off-site works projects that will improve the connection between infrastructure, the community, and the environment. The IIWWTP Projects are the largest capital program ever undertaken by Metro Vancouver.


Carollo Engineers continues eastern expansion

Carollo Engineers (Walnut Creek, Calif.), an environmental engineering firm specializing in water and wastewater facilities, opened its 50th office location in the Metro Atlanta region at The Water Tower Innovation Center in Gwinnett County, Ga. The new Metro Atlanta office represents another step in Carollo’s Eastern U.S. expansion – adding to offices in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Tennessee, and multiple locations in Florida. In June, Carollo announced its first international office in Burnaby, British Columbia, to serve water and wastewater clients in the Metro Vancouver area.


Gradiant acquires WaterPark

Gradiant (Boston, Mass.), a developer of cleantech water projects, has acquired WaterPark Environment Corp., a design and construction firm based in Taiwan and focused on water technologies for advanced manufacturing in the semiconductor and microelectronics industries. “Taiwan leads the world in regulating industrial water reuse and wastewater discharge,” Gradient stated. The acquisition will strengthen Gradiant’s portfolio of proprietary technologies and applications expertise in industrial water, specifically high-rate biological wastewater, advanced oxidation, and ultrapure water. Gradiant’s technologies will be made accessible to advanced manufacturing clients served by WaterPark.


Professor develops floating wetlands to protect Boston from floods

Boston is famous for its Emerald Necklace parks system. A Northeastern University professor hopes the city will also soon be known for the “Emerald Tutu,” a system of interconnected circular mats of floating vegetation designed to protect urban coasts from sea level rise and storms. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing and recreational, the Emerald Tutu would help ameliorate flooding. The circular mesh mats are about seven feet in diameter and designed to have marsh grasses growing on top and seaweed below. The mats act like sponges, absorbing wave energy. Assistant professor Julia Hopkins, who specializes in civil and environmental engineering, is lead scientist for the Emerald Tutu startup.


$500M program to transform mines into clean energy hubs

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a $500 million effort to turn mines into clean energy hubs. Funded by the bipartisan infrastructure package and operated through DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, the program will fund projects such as geothermal energy on mine land. A recent EPA analysis found approximately 17,750 mine land sites located across 1.5 million acres in the United States. If all of these current or former U.S. mine lands were redeveloped with clean energy projects, up to 89 gigawatts of clean electricity could be deployed, enough to power millions of American homes, according to DOE. 


AECOM awarded contract for first municipal PFAS treatment facility in Wisconsin

AECOM (Dallas) has been awarded a contract by the Water Utility of the City of Madison to provide per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) solutions for municipal drinking water treatment facilities. AECOM will deliver engineering design for the installation of PFAS treatment systems and upgrade well equipment and building architecture. The final design will become Wisconsin’s first municipal PFAS treatment facility. The treatment system will return a municipal well to service, employing granular activated carbon filtration technology to remove PFAS that were first detected in 2017. AECOM will deliver bench scale testing for PFAS removal using rapid small-scale column testing (RSSCT) and design for renovation of well facilities to incorporate PFAS treatment and upgrade controls, structural elements, HVAC systems, and electrical components. 


OGCI invests in first CCS project in Pennsylvania

OGCI Climate Investments, a decarbonization investor, has invested in KeyState Natural Gas Synthesis (Clinton County, Pa.), a project company developing the first carbon capture and storage project in Pennsylvania. The project will integrate natural gas extraction, ammonia and automotive grade urea production, and CCS on a single 7,000-acre site. The KeyState project could deliver significant near-term emissions reduction by storing CO2, as well as avoiding methane and CO2 emissions thanks to onsite natural gas production and vertical integration, and reduced transportation distance of products. Once operational, the site will enable CO2 cluster development to permanently store over 300,000 tons of industrial CO2 per year.


BDY Environmental joins Davey in Tennessee

Davey Resource Group, Inc. (DRG, Kent, Ohio), a subsidiary of The Davey Tree Expert Company, has acquired BDY Environmental (Nashville, Tenn.). For over 25 years, natural resources firm BDY has provided services and consulting for wetlands, streams and surface and groundwater, in addition to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), endangered species; and groundwater assessment and remedial site services. BDY’s 10 professionals will join DRG.


Circularix and Macquarie to build PET recycling plants across U.S.

HPC Industries LLC (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Macquarie Group’s (Sydney, Australia) Commodities and Global Markets group have formed a joint venture to produce recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). Under the name Circularix, plans include building and operating five recycling facilities across the United States with a total annual production capacity of more than 275 million pounds of rPET resin. The first facility, in Hatfield, Pa., is expected to be operational by December 2022.


One Concern and Veolia join forces

One Concern (Menlo Park, Calif.), a climate analytics company, and global water and waste management and energy services company Veolia (Paris, France) have announced a three-year partnership agreement establishing One Concern in Japan as a primary supplier of resilience and climate risk analytics. “Japan needs resilient water systems; we’re excited to provide Veolia climate risk assessment insights to further analyze water and wastewater systems’ resilience and risk exposure,” said Ahmad Wani, co-founder and CEO of One Concern. One Concern Domino is a digital twin simulation platform for adverse weather and climate conditions.


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