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EBI News for April 26, 2023 – Construction costs impacted by net-zero and inflation 

EBI News for April 26, 2023 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, construction costs impacted by net-zero and inflation, acquisitions, and more!

AECOM-led joint venture supports Pure Water Southern California

AECOM (Dallas) announced that its AECOM-BC Team joint venture with Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.) has been selected by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to provide management support for the Pure Water Southern California program. An initiative of Metropolitan and the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, the program will create a sustainable new water supply for Southern California by recycling and purifying wastewater currently discharged into the ocean. With potential for water delivery as early as 2028, the program is expected to produce up to 150 million gallons of water daily, enough for 500,000 homes. The joint venture is supported by 20 local, small, and minority firms.


Recover and SCS Engineers collaborate on drilling waste

Working with SCS Engineers (Long Beach, Calif.), Recover Inc. (Calgary, Alberta) has secured a facility permit to expand its patented drilling waste recycling solution into the Permian basin. According to SCS, the average oil or gas well produces about 500 tons of oil-based mud drilling waste; less than 1% is recycled and the rest typically gets landfilled. The first of the two recyclable products from the Recover process is Recover Dry for reuse as stabilization material at industrial landfills or as road base. The second product is low sulfur diesel, suitable for reuse as a drilling fluid, low sulfur fuel oil or refinery feedstock for diesel production. Generators pay no processing fees as Recover’s revenue comes from recovering and selling its diesel fuel. SCS designed Recover’s stormwater and spill control plans and provided preliminary land contour and groundwater investigative work.


Atlas Technical Consultants acquired by GI Partners

Atlas Technical Consultants (Austin, Texas), an infrastructure and environmental solutions provider, announced the completion of its acquisition by GI Partners in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.05 billion, including outstanding debt. “We are excited to enter this new chapter for Atlas. Under private ownership and in partnership with GI Partners, we will accelerate growth and drive greater value to our customers while providing continued opportunities for our employees,” said CEO L. Joe Boyer. Atlas became a public company in February 2020 upon the merger with Boxwood Merger Corp. With more than 3,500 employees nationwide, Atlas has four primary disciplines: Environmental; Testing, Inspection and Certification; Engineering & Design; and Program Management/Construction Management and Quality Management.


Construction costs impacted by net-zero and inflation 

Global inflation and net-zero compliance are accelerating construction costs in cities around the world, according to the Arcadis 2023 International Construction Costs report. Geneva, London and New York top the company’s rankings as most expensive cities in which to build. Rankings account for changes to specification, with low carbon design having an impact on construction pricing. Short term cost uplifts associated with upgraded specifications in both the UK and Europe range from 5-7% for new homes and 7-10% for commercial buildings, according to the report. However, in light of more stringent carbon reduction targets, sustainable buildings in prime locations are increasingly in high demand resulting in a ‘green premium’ when it comes to valuation.


ERM and Persefoni forge decarbonization alliance

ERM (London, UK) announced a new partnership with Persefoni (Tempe, Ariz.), a climate accounting software company, to help organizations meet Paris Agreement and net zero goals. ERM will provide decarbonization advisory and delivery services to complement Persefoni’s Climate Management & Accounting Platform (CMAP), which helps enterprises and financial institutions measure, report and manage carbon emissions. Persefoni’s software-as-a-service platform provides a single source of carbon information across organizations, enabling them to manage carbon transactions and inventory and meet climate disclosure requirements.


Texas state flood planning moves nearer to completion

The Texas Water Development Board is close to completing the first state flood plan for Texas. Regional plans were delivered in January followed by public comment on ranking the recommended flood mitigation projects. Freese and Nichols (Fort Worth, Texas) is providing feedback on ranking criteria. “Because Freese and Nichols has been involved in the development of so many regional flood plans, we have a good working knowledge of the studies and projects being ranked and the data behind them,” said Freese and Nichols Stormwater Program Manager Morgan White. Freese and Nichols is one of a handful of technical consultants in the state involved in the flood planning process, serving as a prime or sub-consultant on 12 of the state’s 15 planning regions or 87% of the state’s population.


LA County awards ICF $18M environmental services contract

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has awarded ICF (Reston, Va.) a contract to provide environmental compliance services. The re-compete contract has a ceiling value of $18 million and a term of five years.

ICF will apply its environmental expertise and advanced technology and analytics capabilities to help Metro transform mobility in Los Angeles County. According to ICF, its streamlined environmental review process will help ensure the agency’s transportation projects are managed efficiently throughout their lifecycle—from planning and permitting through construction—and comply with local, state and federal environmental requirements. ICF has engaged over 20 local disadvantaged business enterprise subcontractors to help deliver this work.


I Squared to acquire Enva

I Squared Capital is acquiring waste and environmental services company Enva (Dublin, Ireland) from Exponent. Enva conducts waste collection, processing, and resource recovery at 34 facilities across the UK and Ireland, serving more than 20,000 industrial, energy, automotive, and other customers. Revenues in FY22 were £294 million. The acquisition by I Squared supports the firm’s environmental infrastructure strategy, which aims to build a diverse portfolio of waste processing and recycling, industrial waste-to-energy, and wastewater treatment assets in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. I Squared acquired U.S.-based VLS Environmental Solutions in 2022 and Australia-based Soilco in 2021, in addition to an industrial waste-to-energy plant in Taiwan and wastewater treatment facilities in China. 


SOCOTEC strengthens energy and sustainability consulting business

SOCOTEC Consulting Inc. (New York, N.Y.), part of SOCOTEC USA, a provider of testing, inspection, and certification, consulting, and advisory services to the building and infrastructure sectors, has acquired Spinnaker Group (West Palm Beach, Fla.). Established in 2003, Spinnaker is an energy-efficiency and sustainability-consulting firm that has completed more than 150 LEED Certified projects. Spinnaker also offers energy modeling, building commissioning, neighborhood planning, operations and maintenance consulting, indoor air quality testing, and life-cycle analyses. The global SOCOTEC Group, headquartered in France, had revenues of €1.2 billion in 2022.


Olsson closes deal to acquire Enginuity

Olsson Engineering (Denver, Colo.) has acquired Enginuity Engineering Solutions (Littleton, Colo.), a full-service water resources engineering firm. Founded in 2008, Enginuity serves clients in the public and private sectors. Project highlights include citywide stormwater master planning for the City and County of Denver and program management of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program in conjunction with the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Enginuity has become Olsson Enginuity and after a six-month transition will take on the Olsson name. Enginuity’s staff, including its principals, will remain with the company. 


NatureMetrics and Dartmouth Ocean Technologies scale new approach to measuring biodiversity

NatureMetrics (Guildford, UK), an environmental DNA (eDNA) company, and Canadian firm Dartmouth Ocean Technologies (DOT, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia), a manufacturer of oceanographic instruments, announced a partnership to revolutionize how marine industries assess ecosystems. NatureMetrics detects aquatic species by analyzing DNA in soil and water. “By combining our conventional manual eDNA sampling methods with autonomous sampling in collaboration with DOT, we can offer new opportunities to collect data in locations that was previously not feasible whilst reducing the need for extensive man hours, improving ROI for marine clients whilst generating robust datasets on biodiversity,” said Dr. Samuel Stanton, head of marine at NatureMetrics. “This collaboration has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach marine biodiversity management.”

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