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EBI News for June 28, 2023 – Jacobs completes work for ocean wave energy testing facility

EBI News for June 28, 2023 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Jacobs completes work for ocean wave energy testing facility, acquisitions, and more!

Tetra Tech wins $200M A/E services contract

Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) announced that it has been selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Great Lakes and Ohio River Division for a $200-million contract to provide architectural and engineering design services to modernize inland navigation and flood risk management infrastructure and to restore aquatic ecosystems. Under the five-year multiple-award contract funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Tetra Tech will design and provide technical support to upgrade locks, dams, levees, hydraulic systems, waterways, and enhance ecosystems.


3M agrees $12.5B settlement to resolve PFAS suits

3M Company (St. Paul, Minn.) has agreed to pay up to $12.5 billion in a nationwide class settlement with public water systems that detect PFAS chemicals in their drinking water supplies, according to law firm Baron & Budd. The lawsuits alleged that 3M and several other companies knowingly manufactured or sold products containing PFAS despite being aware of the risk posed to the environment and human health. Settlement funds will pay public water systems that have already detected PFAS in their water, the costs of testing for those that have not yet tested, and provide funds to those that find PFAS after testing. The agreement follows a $1.185 billion settlement with DuPont in the same PFAS litigation.


Jacobs completes work for ocean wave energy testing facility

Jacobs (Dallas) announced it has completed underground infrastructure engineering for the commercial-scale PacWave South ocean wave energy testing facility in Seal Rock, Ore. PacWave South will be the first pre-permitted, full-scale test facility for wave energy devices in the United States and was delivered for Oregon State University. Jacobs led engineering services for the project’s design-build contractor, HDD Company, to help evaluate and test new wave energy generation technologies. PacWave South allows up to 20 wave-energy converters of various designs to be tested in open-sea conditions seven miles off Oregon’s coast. “The engineering for this project was complex, requiring our team to overcome coastal geology challenges, working in the near-shore environment around sensitive coastal wetlands and meeting a tight schedule to obtain regulatory approval,” said Jacobs’ Senior Vice President for Global Business Units Koti Vadlamudi. 


Burns & McDonnell named engineer of record for wastewater treatment facility

Burns & McDonnell (Kansas City, Mo.) announced that it has been appointed engineer of record for a wastewater treatment project for the City of Perry, Georgia. The new plant, on a 46-acre green field site, will treat up to 2.5 million gallons per day, significantly increasing the city’s existing treatment facility capacity. The treatment process will remove organic loads, ammonia, phosphorus and nitrates from wastewater, making it available for potential reuse. The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority has committed approximately $50 million in low-interest financing for the new facility.


FRM Risk joins Terracon

Ferguson Risk Management (FRM Risk) has joined Terracon (Olathe, Kan.), an employee-owned engineering consulting services firm. For more than a decade, FRM Risk has served regional and national clients in the public and private sectors with environmental and occupational health and safety risk services. FRM Risk is now known as Terracon and will continue to operate nationally from its northeast Georgia location with support from Terracon’s existing locations in Athens and Atlanta, Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and more than 175 locations nationwide.


AECOM awarded water and wastewater infrastructure contract

AECOM (Dallas) announced being part of the winning team awarded a five-year, single-award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in protecting and securing the nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. As part of a project team led by General Dynamics Information Technology, AECOM will provide engineering expertise in technical, cyber, education and program management services to the EPA Water Infrastructure and Cyber Resilience Division. Assessing baseline resiliency and the impacts of natural and manmade threats across the water sector, AECOM will identify and deliver advanced hazard mitigation approaches for water systems nationwide.


Study demonstrates cost-effective method to desalinate industrial wastewater

Vanderbilt University researchers are part of a team that has developed a new method to make the removal of salt from hypersaline industrial wastewater more energy-efficient and cost-effective. In a paper published in the journal Nature Water, researchers describe a novel brine treatment technology called electrodialytic crystallization (EDC) that has the potential to reduce the energy consumption and cost of brine crystallization. The fundamental principle of EDC is like electrodialysis, a process that has been used in various industries for desalination and brine concentration. By configuring changes to the ED process, the new method keeps brine within the integrated system and uses an electric field to induce salt crystallization without using costly evaporation methods.


Sacyr to sell waste services business to Morgan Stanley fund

Sacyr (Madrid, Spain) has agreed to sell its waste management and recycling subsidiary Valoriza Servicios Medioambientales (VSM) to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners. The amount of the divestment assigns VSM a €734 million enterprise value (including debt and equity). The equity value of the transaction amounts to approximately €425 million, excluding the stake held by external minority shareholders. This divestment is part of Sacyr’s strategy to reduce debt and focus on infrastructure P3 projects as its core business. According to Reuters, Sacyr is also seeking a partner for its facility services unit and its water subsidiary.


Smart farming platform improves crop yields, minimizes pollution

A smart farming system aims to solve overuse of fertilizers and the resulting chemical runoff. According to the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, researchers have developed a system that uses a copper-based hydrogel to capture excess nitrate waste from fertilizer runoff and transform it into ammonia that can then be reused in fertilizer. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that the copper-based gel film also senses nitrogen levels in the soil, helping to determine the optimal time to drain nitrate from the soil. By simultaneously producing ammonia and monitoring nitrogen levels, this new technology improves crop growth by helping plants take in and use nitrogen more efficiently, UT News reported. 


Bowman acquisition of Infrastructure Engineers expands public sector focus

Bowman Consulting Group (Reston, Va.) announced the acquisition of Advanced Applied Engineering Inc., dba Infrastructure Engineers (Brea, Calif.), a provider of professional engineering, planning, environmental, geospatial, and municipal infrastructure services throughout Southern and Central California. Established in 1994, the firm’s 80 professionals will become Bowman employees. “The firm’s focus on public sector infrastructure design and its depth of experience in construction management consulting are extremely complementary to our long-term growth and diversification initiatives,” said Chairman and CEO Gary Bowman. The acquisition is anticipated to initially contribute approximately $10 million of annualized net service billing. For the three months ended March 31, 2023, Bowman reported gross revenue of $76.1 million, up 45% year-over-year, and organic gross revenue growth of 13% year-over-year. 


UTRS expands in northern New Jersey 

Universal Technical Resource Services Inc. (UTRS, Cherry Hill, N.J.), a provider of engineering services and information technology, announced the acquisition of Finelli Consulting Engineers (Washington Township, N.J.). Finelli will complement the RKR Hess division of UTRS that specializes in civil engineering, environmental engineering, surveying, and wetland services. The acquisition continues UTRS’s growth strategy by expanding its civil offerings from eastern Pennsylvania throughout northern New Jersey. 


SLR announces two ESG acquisitions

SLR Group (Aylesbury, UK) has agreed to acquire emerging market ESG advisory firm IBIS Consulting ((Johannesburg, South Africa). IBIS, which has a strong market focus in Africa and Asia, works predominantly with financial institutions and their underlying investments as they transition to more sustainable, impact-focused investment strategies. IBIS brings a 100-strong team of ESG and impact advisory professionals in South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, UK, and France. SLR also acquired Carnstone (London, UK), a provider of sustainability and ESG services to large companies and international institutions. Carnstone has a team of 45 with staff in UK, France, China, and Singapore. 

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