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EBI News for September 21, 2022 – Stantec Institute to develop framework for impact of PFAS on wastewater

EBI News for September 21, 2022 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Stantec Institute to develop framework for impact of PFAS on wastewater, acquisitions, and more!

Stantec Institute to develop framework for impact of PFAS on wastewater

The National Assn. of Clean Water Agencies has selected the Stantec Institute for Water Technology & Policy (Edmonton, Alberta) to develop a cost analysis for estimating the effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on wastewater and biosolids management across the United States. The project will demonstrate compliance costs and illustrate potential impacts on the clean water community and ratepayers. “As the ultimate PFAS collection point, WRRFs [water resource recovery facilities] have been left ‘holding the bag’ in terms of PFAS management. It is important that the industry has a clear understanding of the current cost implications of the situation,” said Stantec Vice President Joan Oppenheimer, who will serve as principal investigator. “Without validated treatment technologies to mitigate PFAS contamination in wastewater and sludge, the industry must focus on understanding the cost impacts of available options related to source control and pretreatment, along with acceptable biosolids management strategies.” Stantec established the Institute in March 2021. 


GEG Capital acquires Mabbett & Associates Ltd in the UK

Arthur N. Mabbett, chairman and CEO of Mabbett & Associates, Inc. (Stoneham, Mass.), has ended his 30-year period of entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom by selling his controlling stock interest in Mabbett & Associates Ltd (Mabbett Ltd, Glasgow, U.K.) to the GEG Capital companies. Founded by Arthur Mabbett in 1996, Mabbett Ltd has become an internationally recognized safety, environment and engineering firm and one of the largest privately held consulting and engineering firms in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the North of England. “The GEG companies bring significant depth and assets to Mabbett Ltd, and this will help Mabbett Ltd in its acquisition plans and further geographic expansion,” Mabbett commented. “For over thirty years, I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to establish and grow successful companies in Scotland and other regions of the United Kingdom…. I now plan to devote even more time and resources to the growth of Mabbett & Associates, Inc., a U.S. based firm.”


BCG strengthens climate and sustainability expertise with Quantis acquisition

Boston Consulting Group (BCG, Boston, Mass.) has announced a deal to acquire Quantis (Lausanne, Switzerland), an environmental sustainability consultancy. Quantis was founded in 2006 and has grown to more than 250 environmental experts and specialists primarily based in Europe and the United States. Quantis is recognized for innovative solutions to environmental challenges ranging from climate change and biodiversity loss to water scarcity, deforestation, and plastics pollution. Quantis will operate as a standalone business unit within BCG and will retain its brand and leadership team.


EA awarded remediation contract by USACE–Kansas City District 

EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC (EA, Hunt Valley, Md.) has been awarded an environmental remediation services contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)–Kansas City District valued at up to $60 million. EA will provide services including investigation and field studies, sampling and laboratory analyses, data analysis and modeling, environmental removal actions, remedial design and construction, long-term response actions, and long-term monitoring at hazardous waste and other contaminated sites. Through a variety of contract mechanisms with the Kansas City District over the past two decades, EA has executed more than $83 million of work at 23 sites. 


SWCA to assist with management plan for Bears National Monument

The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service have contracted SWCA Environmental Consultants (Phoenix, Ariz.) to assist with preparing a resource management plan and environmental impact statement that will ensure protection and restoration of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. The National Monument was established in 2016 by former President Barack Obama to protect the sacred landscape and unique cultural resources of the Bears Ears region. Former President Donald Trump’s executive order in 2017 reduced this protection by 1.1 million acres. In October 2021 an executive order restored the Monument’s boundaries to 1.36 million acres. SWCA will support the agencies’ evaluation of the increase in recreational demand, management of the cultural landscape, and whether special land designations are compatible with key management challenges including fuels management and recreation use management.


Halle Capital forms True Environmental

Halle Capital has partnered with environmental services executive Jim Stamatis to launch True Environmental, a platform to grow businesses in the environmental consulting, testing, inspection, and certification industry. An environmental engineer by training, Stamatis started at Louis Berger in 1985 and became CEO in 2015; during his tenure, he grew the company’s revenues by 65% to over $1 billion and led Louis Berger’s sale to WSP in 2018. “After many years of working in this industry, I am convinced we are still in the early innings for growth and consolidation. We see exciting opportunities to partner with owners to provide liquidity and succession solutions, growth capital to broaden their service offerings and assistance with other functions such as accounting, human resources and marketing,” Stamatis said.


DNV strengthens position in Australian and Asia Pacific renewables and power grids market 

Global risk management and?quality assurance company DNV (Oslo, Norway) is acquiring Clean Technology Partners Pty Ltd (CTP, Melbourne, Australia), a grid consulting company. CTP’s power grid, renewables and storage technology expertise will enable DNV to expand its market footprint in Australia and address projects connecting generation to the country’s grid. The addition of CTP’s multidisciplinary team enhances DNV’s existing renewables technical advisory services.


NSF awards $20M grant to protect coral reef and mangrove ecosystems

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $20 million grant to a team of researchers led by the University of South Florida (USF) to develop a standardized engineering approach to protect and replenish coral reef and mangrove ecosystems and help make coastlines more resilient. The team includes USF experts in environmental engineering, anthropology and marine science, as well as collaborators from six academic institutions. Research will focus on the Biscayne Bay region in Miami, one of the areas most susceptible to climate and weather disasters, as well as the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Complex in Belize and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 


Arcadis to acquire Giftge Consult

Arcadis (Amsterdam, Netherlands) has agreed to acquire Giftge Consult GmbH (Hildesheim, Germany), a consulting and engineering company for energy transition solutions. This acquisition will strengthen Arcadis’ position in the high-growth energy transition sector, complementing services in its global resilience business. With 40 years in the market, Giftge Consult has 60 employees and long-standing client relationships with key German transport infrastructure and energy transmission system operators.


U.S. solar market ready for rebound after tumultuous first half

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will help the U.S. solar market grow 40% over baseline projections through 2027, equal to 62 gigawatts (GW) of additional solar capacity, according to forecasts by the Solar Energy Industries Assn. (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie. The U.S. Solar Market Insight Q3 2022 reports that the utility-scale sector will lead growth over the next five years with 162 GW of new capacity. Cumulative solar installations across all market segments will nearly triple, growing to 336 GW by 2027. “The Inflation Reduction Act has given the solar industry the most long-term certainty it has ever had,” said Michelle Davis, principal analyst at Wood Mackenzie. “Ten years of investment tax credits stand in stark contrast to the one-, two-, or five-year extensions that the industry has experienced in the last decade. It’s not an overstatement to say that the IRA will lead to a new era for the U.S. solar industry.” Despite a rosy outlook for the next five years, solar installation forecasts for 2022 have dropped due primarily to a Commerce Department tariff investigation. 


WM adds plastic film recycling capabilities with Avangard Innovative

Waste Management (WM, Houston) has agreed to acquire a controlling interest in the U.S. business of Avangard Innovative (Houston), which will operate as Natura PCR, an independent company expected to scale and grow recycling capacity to produce an estimated 400 million pounds per year of post-consumer resin (PCR) in five years. Through Natura PCR, WM expects to deliver new recycling capabilities for customers and provide circular solutions for films and clear plastic wrap used commercially such as plastic stretch wrap, furniture film, grocery bags and potentially shrink wrap for food and beverage containers. Natura PCR will focus on the mechanical recycling of film and flexible plastics, which comprise almost a quarter of today’s plastic generation, but only about 5% is recycled today.


Utilities and partners unite for PFAS study 

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has partnered with a multidisciplinary research team to study the effectiveness of destroying per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) using pyrolysis followed by thermal oxidation to support the beneficial reuse of biosolids. With contributions from utilities and technology providers, the $500,000 study will be led by principal investigators from Brown and Caldwell, Western University, and North Carolina State University.  “It is vital for economic and environmental sustainability that communities across the country are able to use biosolids for their many benefits and that this valuable resource is not just sent to fill up landfills,” said WEF Executive Director Walt Marlowe. 


IDE Technologies announces success of water treatment demo facility 

IDE Technologies (Carlsbad, Calif.), a desalination and water treatment solutions company, announced the success of its demo facility in Texas. The facility tested IDE’s proprietary MAXH2O Pulse Flow Reverse Osmosis (PFRO) technology for treating concentrated RO brine discharge, thus maximizing the recovery of high-quality water to achieve overall recovery of 96%. The demo facility is located at the Hargesheimer Water Treatment Plant, which supplies water to the City of Abilene, Texas. “MAXH2O PFRO is a game-changer for water recovery in water treatment plants, with results showing a decrease in the volume of brine to be discharged, and a significant increase in efficiency,” the company stated.


Advanced membrane technology attracts $33M Series A

ZwitterCo Inc. (Boston, Mass.) announced a $33 million Series A funding round led by DCVC to further develop its zwitterionic membrane technology. ZwitterCo’s first product, a superfiltration membrane, targets challenging industrial wastewaters for treatment and reuse. “ZwitterCo has unlocked the true potential of zwitterions for water treatment, resulting in a leap in membrane performance,” said Chris Drover, co-founder, and CTO of ZwitterCo. “The mechanisms behind fouling and degradation that plague traditional membranes do not apply to our products.” A zwitterion is a special class of molecule that is “hydrophilic” or highly attractive to water molecules. The company’s patented zwitterionic copolymers “self-assemble into hydrophilic channels, acting like flumes at a water park, ushering through H2O molecules, and repelling everything unable to flow through its narrow pores, including organic compounds such as oils, fats, greases, or proteins.”

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