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EBI News for March 29, 2023 – B&V awarded grant for PFAS investigation

EBI News for March 29, 2023 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, B&V awarded grant for PFAS investigation, acquisitions, and more!

ERM report ranks ESG ratings agencies

ERM (London, UK) has published its latest assessment of the ESG ratings landscape. Rate the Raters, authored by ERM’s SustainAbility Institute, finds that while demand is surging, raters face rising concerns from corporates and investors around data accuracy and the overall quality and usefulness of ESG ratings. More than half of surveyed companies report that they engage with at least six ESG ratings providers. Corporate survey respondents ranked CDP as the best ESG rater for both quality and usefulness. Investors also rated CDP as the top ESG rating provider for usefulness but perceive ISS-ESG to be the leader on quality. In addition to CDP and ISS-ESG, other ESG ratings most frequently cited by corporates and investors for quality and usefulness are Sustainalytics, MSCI, EcoVadis, and Bloomberg.


EPA announces $170M loan to limit water shortages in San Diego County

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $170 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Poseidon Resources (San Diego, Calif.) to upgrade the Carlsbad Desalination Plant to address water shortages and protect critical marine habitats. Opened in 2015 as a public-private partnership, the desalination plant provides approximately 10% of San Diego County’s water supply and requires significant upgrades keep operating. The loan will also support the restoration of approximately 125 acres of coastal wetlands on the San Diego Bay to provide habitat for native plants and wildlife. The WIFIA loan is expected to save local ratepayers $54 million compared to other financing approaches.


Ramboll delivers strong organic growth

One year into its new strategy that goes “all in” on sustainability, Ramboll (Copenhagen, Denmark) announced its best organic growth in 14 years. Gross revenue increased by 12.6% to DKK 16 billion in 2022, and organic growth was 9.9%. Ramboll’s order book showed an increase of 8.8% compared to the end of 2021. Growth was particularly strong in Ramboll’s Energy, Water, Buildings and Management Consulting business units, which all achieved double-digit organic growth. The UK and Germany delivered more than 20% organic growth. “We see particularly high demand in the market for our services within renewable energy including offshore wind and Power-to-X solutions, water, climate adaptation, low-carbon buildings, and for helping establish sustainability strategies for clients,” said Group CEO Jens-Peter Saul.


B&V awarded grant for PFAS investigation

The Water Research Foundation has awarded Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kansas) a grant to investigate PFAS in biosolids that pose a potential risk for the agricultural industry, food supply, and human health. Utilities across the United States produce nutrient-rich biosolids for fertilizers in agriculture and other beneficial uses. In California alone, over 480,000 metric tons of biosolids are used annually on farms. Research will determine whether PFAS are removed, transformed or destroyed through thermal biosolids processes that can be used at WRRFs. Black & Veatch is collaborating with California State University at Bakersfield and Eurofins Environment Testing (USA).


Haley & Aldrich wins funding for three PFAS research projects 

Haley & Aldrich (Burlington, Mass.) announced that its Applied Research program has won nearly $2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Defense for three new research projects to investigate cost-effective methods for the treatment of soil and water containing PFAS. The projects focus on developing PFAS precursor transformation assessment tools and a PFAS removal and destruction treatment train, testing their viability and implementing them across military bases. The Applied Research group now has nine funded environmental research projects underway.


Tetra Tech awarded $105M EPA watershed contract

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water has awarded Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) a five-year, $105-million blanket purchase agreement to restore and protect watersheds and water bodies throughout the United States. Tetra Tech will evaluate surface water and coastal ecosystems to protect human health and aquatic environments from the impacts of pollution and the effects of climate change, including ocean acidification. This is Tetra Tech’s tenth consecutive EPA watershed management contract.


Dewberry JV selected for flood risk management and ecosystem restoration

Dewberry (Fairfax, Va.) announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) New York District has selected five firms for a Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC), including a joint venture between Dewberry and Gannett Fleming, Inc. The joint venture will provide services on civil works projects within the New York District and North Atlantic Division boundaries. The team will focus on riverine flood risk management, levee inspection, and ecosystem restoration. The five-year MATOC has a maximum value of $80 million shared among the teams.


Weston wins $470M task order for temporary power generation in Puerto Rico

Weston Solutions Inc. (West Chester, Pa.) has won a task order under its U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Omaha Rapid Disaster Infrastructure contract to supply temporary power generation at Palo Seco Power Plant in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This is part of an effort to stabilize the electrical grid on the island following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, as well as Hurricane Fiona in 2022. USACE has been tasked with adding 150 megawatts of power at Palo Seco to mitigate the threat to Puerto Rico’s power system. 


Apex Companies acquires Water Science Associates

Apex Companies LLC (Rockville, Md.), a national environmental consulting and engineering services firm, announced the acquisition of Water Science Associates (Fort Myers, Fla.), a regional provider in water resources and hydrogeology. Water Science Associates specializes in water resource planning and evaluation, water supply development, and wastewater management. Founded in 2013, the firm is known for its expertise in hydrogeology, including integrated surface and groundwater systems and supply and disposal well systems, as well as the regulations and issues that impact water resource management and development.


Parsons helps bring clean energy technology to market through DOE 

Parsons Corporation (Centreville, Va.) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) to accelerate clean energy technologies from the lab to market. The new $14-million ceiling-value task order contract was awarded under the National Nuclear Security Administration Enterprise Construction Management Services contract that the company was awarded in June 2022. The OCED portfolio includes programs like long-duration energy storage, advanced reactor demonstrations, regional clean hydrogen hubs, regional direct air-capture hubs, carbon capture demonstrations, and energy improvements in rural or remote areas.


UES acquires Faulkner Engineering in Florida

UES (Orlando, Fla.), a national engineering and consulting company, has acquired Faulkner Engineering Services (Tampa, Fla.), an environmental, geotechnical engineering, and construction materials testing firm. Founded in 2005, Faulkner Engineering serves Florida’s construction development industry, partnering with engineers, developers, design build and site contractors, FDOT, and government agencies. Faulkner joins the Florida Region of UES, with its leadership team continuing to operate the day-to-day business.


Aetos Capital acquires WestWater and announces water fund

Aetos Capital has acquired WestWater Research (Boise, Idaho), a consulting firm that provides water market research and advises on water entitlement valuation, trading, and M&A. WestWater has developed Waterlitix, a proprietary database of water right sales and leases and a comprehensive pricing source for water transactions. Aetos Capital also announced the launch of an investment fund focused on developing and financing water assets that provide reliable and sustainable supplies to the region. 


LG Energy to build battery complex in Arizona

LG Energy Solution (Seoul, South Korea) announced it would invest approximately $5.5 billion to construct a battery-manufacturing complex in Queen Creek, Ariz. The complex will consist of two manufacturing facilities – one for cylindrical batteries for electric vehicles (27GWh annual capacity) and another for lithium iron phosphate pouch-type batteries for energy storage systems (16GWh). Production is expected to start in 2025 and 2026, respectively. The company said it marks the largest single investment ever for a stand-alone battery manufacturing facility in North America. 

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