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EBI News for July 12, 2023 – USGS estimates at least 45% of tap water contains PFAS

EBI News for July 12, 2023 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, USGS estimates at least 45% of tap water contains PFAS, acquisitions, and more!

Terracon acquires PMI of Arkansas

Terracon (Olathe, Kan.) has acquired Pollution Management Inc. (PMI), an engineering and environmental services firm with locations in Little Rock and Fayetteville, Ark. Founded in 1988, PMI’s team is comprised of professional engineers and geologists, environmental scientists, and construction and remediation specialists who provide turnkey projects throughout Arkansas and surrounding states; its 37 employees will immediately become part of Terracon. Terracon is a 100% employee-owned consulting engineering firm with more than 175 offices, specializing in environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services. PMI is Terracon’s second acquisition of 2023 and its 19th since the beginning of 2017. Ferguson Risk Management (FRM Risk) joined Terracon in June.


USGS estimates at least 45% of tap water contains PFAS

At least 45% of the nation’s tap water is estimated to have one or more types of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey. There are more than 12,000 types of PFAS, not all of which can be detected with current tests; the USGS study tested for 32 PFAS compounds from 716 locations using a method developed by the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory. The most frequently detected compounds were PFBS, PFHxS and PFOA. Interim health advisories released by EPA in 2022 for PFOS and PFOA were exceeded in every sample in which they were detected. USGS scientists estimate that the probability of PFAS not being observed in tap water is about 75% in rural areas and around 25% in urban areas.


Fluor and Carbfix collaborate on CCS for hard-to-abate sectors

Fluor Corporation (Irving, Texas) announced a memorandum of understanding with Carbfix (Reykjavík, Iceland), a CO2 mineral storage operator, to pursue integrated carbon capture and storage solutions. The companies will seek to decarbonize industries with high greenhouse gas emissions such as steel, aluminum and cement. Fluor will provide its proprietary Econamine FG Plus carbon capture technology and engineering and construction expertise. Carbfix will contribute its mineralization technology, which dissolves CO2 in water and injects it into porous basaltic rock formations, where natural processes cause the CO2 to form stable carbonate minerals within two years. Carbfix currently captures and mineralizes one-third of the CO2 emissions from Iceland’s largest geothermal power plant with the goal of increasing this to 95% by 2025. 


Carlyle to acquire majority stake in Anthesis

Carlyle is acquiring a majority stake in Anthesis (London, UK), a global pure play sustainability advisory firm, strengthening Carlyle’s ESG strategy and decarbonization initiatives. Carlyle will invest alongside Anthesis’ employee shareholders, with existing shareholder, Palatine Private Equity, reinvesting for a minority stake. Palatine acquired a minority stake in Anthesis in 2021. Over the last decade, Anthesis has made 18 add-on acquisitions in sustainability, ESG, and net zero. The firm currently consists of 1,250 specialists across 39 offices in 22 countries; core clients are blue chip corporates and financial and governmental institutions. Investment will be used for international expansion and to continue Anthesis’ M&A program. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. 


Assessing climate change mitigation potential from food waste composting

A study published in Scientific Reports (May 2023) suggests that food waste composting can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and Humboldt State University examined CH4 (methane) emissions reduction through a commercial-scale study of food waste composting and discovered that this method resulted in 39-84% lower emissions than landfilling. According to EPA data cited in study, the most important food loss and waste management pathways in the country are landfilling (56%), controlled combustion (12%), co-digestion/anaerobic digestion (8%), and sewer/water treatment (6%), with composting representing only about 4.1%. The experiment was conducted at the West Marin Composting Facility in Nicasio, Calif.


Ørsted gets approval for New Jersey offshore wind farm

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has approved construction and operation of the Ocean Wind 1 project, located about 13 nautical miles southeast of Atlantic City, N.J. The Record of Decision approves Ocean Wind LLC’s plan to construct up to 98 wind turbines and up to three offshore substations. The project is being developed by Danish energy company Ørsted, which said in a release that the approval keeps the company on track to start onshore construction this fall, offshore construction in 2024, and commercial operations in 2025. Ocean Wind 1 has an estimated capacity of 1,100 megawatts capable of powering over 380,000 homes and will be the state’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm.  


EcoOnline acquires Ecometrica in climate metrics and ESG software

The EHS and ESG software provider EcoOnline (Oslo, Norway) is acquiring Ecometrica (London, UK), a global ESG and sustainability software company. This strategic acquisition solidifies EcoOnline’s presence in the ESG market across Europe, the UK, and North America. The deal follows EcoOnline’s acquisition of Alcumus’s EHS software division in January 2023 and more than 10 prior acquisitions in the last four years. According to research and advisory firm Verdantix, demand for ESG software is set to surge from $1.4 billion in 2023 to $4.3 billion globally in 2027. EcoOnline has more than 900 employees and is backed by Apax Partners.


EA to develop PFAS toolkit for utilities 

EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc., PBC (Hunt Valley, Md.) has been awarded nearly $150,000 in funding from The Water Research Foundation for a project entitled, “State of the Science and Regulatory Acceptability for PFAS Residual Management Options.” The total research investment, including cost share and in-kind contributions, equates to just over $215,000. This 18-month study will identify currently available residual management options for PFAS, evaluate their suitability under various operational and regulatory circumstances, provide an overview of guidelines and regulations, and result in a newly developed PFAS toolkit to help utilities evaluate residual management options.


Hazen to lead WRF research project on microplastics in biosolids

Hazen & Sawyer (New York, N.Y.) has been selected to lead a Water Research Foundation project examining the impact of solid stream treatment on microplastics in biosolids. The vast majority of microplastics from wastewater are diverted into the solid stream for biosolid production. This “first-of-its-kind” project is expected to improve the understanding of microplastics in the solid stream and develop guidance for decision-making. The project will investigate microplastic abundance, transport, and transformation across the solid stream process to determine impacts and associated risks on land-applied biosolids.


ERM named a leader in climate change consulting

Global sustainability consultancy ERM (London, UK) announced that it has been named a climate-change consulting leader in new research by Verdantix. The Verdantix Green Quadrant: Climate Change Consulting 2023 report provides a benchmark of climate change consulting providers. Amongst those featured in the Leaders’ Quadrant, six firms – Deloitte, ERM, EY, KPMG, PWC and WSP – demonstrated the most comprehensive climate change consulting capabilities. ERM was commended for having particular expertise in carbon data management and accounting, financed emissions management, and climate risk quantification and scenario analysis. According to Verdantix, in 2022 the net zero consulting market alone reached $3.5 billion and is forecast to hit $15.8 billion by 2028.  


Westwood acquires Texas-based Peloton Land Solutions

Westwood Professional Services (Minneapolis, Minn.), a national multidisciplinary engineering firm, has acquired Peloton Land Solutions, supporting Westwood’s long-term expansion strategy. Peloton has approximately 200 team members in five offices in Texas (Fort Worth, Frisco, Austin, and Dallas) and Las Vegas, Nev. Peloton provides engineering, surveying, landscape architecture, hydraulics, hydrology, and environmental services for public infrastructure, private development, and energy projects. Founded in 1972, Westwood specializes in wind and solar energy, energy storage, power delivery, EV infrastructure, and private and public infrastructure. 


Divert reaches food waste milestone

Divert Inc. (West Concord, Mass.) announced the company has processed more than one billion pounds of wasted food since 2021, mitigating approximately 80,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. As one of the largest processors of waste food in the United States, the company says it currently manages approximately 0.5% of all wasted food nationwide. In the next eight years, Divert plans to expand to 30 facilities within 100 miles of 80% of the U.S. population capable of processing 5% of wasted food in the United States. The company works with five Fortune 100 companies and nearly 5,400 retail stores across the country.

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