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EBI News for August 10, 2022 – DOE funds prototype to destroy PFAS in wastewater

EBI News for August 10, 2022 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, DOE funds prototype to destroy PFAS in wastewater, acquisitions, and more!

WSP to acquire RPS 

WSP (Montreal, Canada) has reached an agreement with the board of RPS Group plc (Abingdon, UK) to acquire RPS, a leading UK-based environmental consulting firm with 5,000 employees globally generating approximately C$875 million in revenue. Founded in 1970 and recognized for having a strong sustainability agenda, RPS is a diversified global professional services firm that provides specialist services to government and private sector clients with a focus on front-end consulting. The announcement follows WSP’s purchase of Golder in 2021 and the pending acquisitions of the Environmental & Infrastructure business of John Wood Group and Capita Real Estate & Infrastructure Ltd. “When completed, WPS’s recently announced transactions will bring our workforce to approximately 70,000, with approximately 23,000 environmental experts across the globe. We are proud that we are building a strong ESG leader with significant capabilities in water and energy and contributing significantly towards the transition to a greener and low-carbon world,” said Alexandre L’Heureux, president and CEO of WSP.


EPA approves Pace’s method for detecting dioxins and dibenzofurans 

Pace Analytical Services (Minneapolis, Minn.) announced that the EPA has approved its method for detecting dioxins and dibenzofurans using state-of-the-art gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS); the method will be recommended for inclusion in the approved method list under the Clean Water Act. In the interim, approval to use this method in wastewater may be sought from regional authorities on a facility-by-facility basis. “This news marks one of the first commercially available offerings of GC-MS/MS technology in the United States,” said Pace Vice President Judy Morgan. “As GC-MS/MS analysis is applied to new compounds and methods, the spread of this technology will enable industry-wide efficiency improvements.”


Tetra Tech wins USACE contract for international remediation services

Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) has been selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Ala. to provide comprehensive environmental remediation services to the Department of Defense outside the continental United States (OCONUS). The value of the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, multiple-award International Remediation and Environmental Services contract is $500 million. Tetra Tech will work with the Huntsville Center to identify, recover, and remediate hazardous, toxic, and radiological waste at OCONUS sites.


Burns & McDonnell names new principals amid record growth

Burns & McDonnell (Kansas City, Mo.) announced the promotion of 35 employee-owners across the United States to its Principal Group for their contribution to record sales and growth in 2021 Last year, the 100% employee-owned engineering, construction and architecture firm supported 17,000 projects, grew by nearly 650 employees, and reached a $5.7 billion in sales. Burns & McDonnell is predicting another 13% increase in overall growth for 2022 


WSP to acquire two UK-based businesses from Capita plc

Capita plc (London, UK) has agreed to sell two real estate and infrastructure consultancy businesses to WSP (Montreal, Canada) for £60 million on a cash-free, debt-free basis. Capita Real Estate and Infrastructure (REI) provides specialist advisory, design, engineering, environmental and project management services for land, building and infrastructure owners. GL Hearn (GLH) is a real estate consultancy. Reported revenue and profit before tax of the two businesses combined in 2021 were £88.6 million and £5.1 million, respectively. Senior managers and employees of REI and GLH will remain with their businesses as they transfer to WSP ownership. The two businesses will add around 1,000 UK-based employees to WSP’s workforce.


EA launches sEAmless website

EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc., PBC (Hunt Valley, Md.) announced a new website highlighting its sEAmless Configurable Compliance Portal. The software as a service (SaaS) was developed to provide the building blocks for effective environmental, health, safety, and sustainability (EHS&S) management systems. “Clients across the United States have implemented sEAmless to manage and increase operational efficiency in their EHS&S programs,” said Brian Lesinski, senior VP and director of EA’s EHS&S Management and Assurance Practice. “This portal website is part of a larger outbound marketing strategy to introduce EA and the software to a wider geographic market sector base.” sEAmless streamlines challenging compliance-driven data management and reporting needs.


AECOM reports third quarter fiscal 2022 results

AECOM (Dallas) reported revenue decreased 5% to $3.2 billion in the third quarter fiscal 2022 while operating income increased 14% to $183 million, operating margin increased 90 basis points to 5.6%, and net income increased 282% to $107 million. Net service revenue growth accelerated to 6%, with growth across the business. Performance “was underpinned by strong client budgets, a continued record high win rate and a record backlog in the company’s design business,” the company stated. Total backlog of $41.1 billion included 10% growth in the design business, while contracted backlog increased by 17%. “When combined with our record design backlog, we are positioned better than ever to capitalize on record infrastructure funding. The three long-term mega-trends of a global infrastructure renaissance, ESG investments, and client investments to adapt to a post-pandemic world are fully intact, which underpins our confidence in the future,” said Troy Rudd, AECOM’s chief executive officer. 


Montrose Environmental acquires TriAD

Montrose Environmental Group Inc.  (Little Rock, Ark.) has acquired TriAD Environmental Consultants Inc. (Nashville, Tenn.), a firm with a client base throughout the Southeast. TriAD’s leadership team will join Montrose’s Assessment, Permitting & Response segment. Founded in 1996, TriAD’s expertise includes solid waste permitting and compliance, environmental regulatory compliance, environmental engineering and monitoring, site assessments and remediation, stormwater management, corrective action programs, and air permitting services. Montrose has more than 2,500 employees across 75-plus locations around the world.


Jacobs reports robust year-over-year revenue growth across all lines

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (Dallas) announced revenue of $3.8 billion up 7% year-over-year for the fiscal third quarter ended July 1, 2022; net revenue increased 7.7% year-over-year (11% in constant currency). Jacobs’ Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou commented, “We are creating a more resilient portfolio including substantial recurring revenue that is complemented by accelerating growth in the areas of Climate Response, Consulting & Advisory and Data Solutions. Our strong base business combined with an early ramp from our accelerators drove 13% constant currency backlog growth in the third quarter, providing significant revenue visibility.”


CDR Maguire secures continued growth in Pennsylvania 

CDR Maguire Inc. (Warrendale, Pa.), a full-service infrastructure consulting firm, has acquired McTish, Kunkel and Associates (Allentown, Pa.), an engineering, environmental, survey, and construction inspection services firm operating in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. The transaction combines CDR Maguire Engineering’s presence in Western Pennsylvania with McTish’s presence in Northcentral and Eastern, Pennsylvania. “As we considered this acquisition, there was clear alignment in both client service and a ‘big project’ focus,” said H. Daniel Cessna, president of CDR Maguire Engineering. “While we also serve our clients’ small project needs, both firms are strategic about winning and delivering big projects—these projects provide the greatest challenges to our employees and help to attract and retain top talent.” Founded in 1938, CDR Maguire is a full-service infrastructure consulting firm.  


Tetra Tech reports record third quarter results

Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) announced record results in revenue, net revenue, operating income, and EPS for the third quarter ended July 3, 2022. Revenue in the third quarter totaled $890 million and net revenue was $720 million, up 11% and 13% year-over-year, respectively; backlog increased to $3.51 billion, up 8%. “This collective performance is really a direct result of our successful long-term strategy to provide high-end Leading with Science services in the water and environmental markets,” said Chairman and CEO Dan Batrack in an earnings call. Tetra Tech’s digital water practice launched in 2019 has grown to $150 million in annual revenue and is expected to double again in the next three years, according to Batrack, who attributed growth to attracting top talent in automation, systems integration and data analytics and growing demand from municipal clients for innovative, scalable technology solutions.


Acquisition expands Vertex’s construction consulting services 

Vertex (Weymouth, Mass.), a portfolio company of Wind Point Partners, has acquired Fulcrum LLC (Scottsdale, Ariz.), a construction-management consulting firm serving clients across North America. “The addition of Fulcrum to our team will not only enhance our project advisory practice, but also expand our resources in key markets,” said Bill McConnell, CEO of Vertex. “This partnership was a fit from the start based on the alignment of our respective cultures. Moreover, Fulcrum’s staff members will have an opportunity for further growth by adding expert support for our surety work and other service areas where we have regional staffing gaps.” Fulcrum is Vertex’s second acquisition since partnering with Wind Point in August 2021. EFCG served as the financial advisor to Vertex on this recent acquisition. Vertex provides forensic consulting in addition to traditional AEC services.


DOE funds prototype to destroy PFAS in wastewater

Engineers at the University of Illinois Chicago have been awarded $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Alliance for Water Innovation to build a system that removes and destroys poly- and perfluorinated substances (PFAS) from industrial and municipal wastewaters. The engineering team will develop a system prototype and at the end of the three-year funding deploy it for pilot testing in California’s Orange County Water District.  The system uses reactive electrochemical membrane filtration. The team will develop electrocatalysts to destroy PFAS at high levels with low energy consumption—aiming for under two minutes of contact time and a conversion rate of less than 10 kilowatt-hours per cubic meter, “an order of magnitude lower than other destructive technologies.”


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