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EBI News for October 04, 2023 – Pace announces new PFAS test 

EBI News for October 04, 2023 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Pace announces new PFAS test, acquisitions, and more!


Kleinfelder acquired by private investment firm

The Kleinfelder Group Inc. (San Diego, Calif.) has been acquired by Lindsay Goldberg, a private equity firm that partners with families, founders, and management teams. Kleinfelder’s President and CEO Louis Armstrong and management team will remain with the company.  Founded in 1961, Kleinfelder employs more than 3,100 professionals and operates from over 105 offices in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Since 2019, the firm has made six strategic acquisitions in the transportation, water, power, and industrial markets. “Kleinfelder is a proven leader in the core engineering and professional services markets, and its business model and proven track record make it an exceptionally attractive partner that aligns well with our expertise in the infrastructure, power, and government services end markets,” said Krishna Agrawal, a Lindsay Goldberg partner.


Stantec selected as environmental consultant for Community Offshore Wind

Stantec (Edmonton, Alberta) has been selected as the primary environmental consultant for the Community Offshore Wind Project, a joint venture between RWE and National Grid Ventures. Community Offshore Wind holds the largest lease area in the New York Bight, with the potential to host more than 3 gigawatts of capacity, enough to power over 1 million homes in New York and New Jersey. Projects built in the lease area are expected to be in operation toward the end of the decade. Stantec’s work will include the development of a construction and operations plan for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, federal and state permitting, and other consultancy services. 


Helion and Nucor to deploy 500 MWe fusion power plant

Helion (Everett, Wash.), a fusion power company, and Nucor Corporation (Charlotte, N.C.), a steel producer and recycler, announced an agreement to develop a 500-MWe fusion power plant at a Nucor steel manufacturing facility in the United States. The collaboration, which includes an investment by Nucor in Helion, is aimed at accelerating production of clean energy in the industrial manufacturing sector. “Nucor is already a leader in decarbonizing the steel industry, and this project reinforces the company’s commitment to becoming the cleanest steel manufacturer globally. This is the first fusion energy agreement of this scale and is expected to pave the way for global decarbonization in industrial manufacturing,” Helion stated.


EA awarded Superfund GLAES contract

The U.S. EPA Region 5 and the Great Lakes National Program Office have awarded EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc. PBC (Hunt Valley, Md.) a contract for Superfund support and Great Lakes Architect-Engineering Services. Task orders will primarily focus on supporting Superfund, contaminated sediment, and habitat restoration sites throughout the Great Lakes region. The contract has a total value of $450 million to be executed amongst four awardees over a 5-year period. “EA has an 18-year history of providing technical support to EPA’s Superfund program where we have worked on over 400 task orders valued at over $680 million,” said Lou Barinka, EA vice president and EPA National Program Director.


Pace announces new PFAS test 

Pace Analytical Services (Minneapolis, Minn.) announced the availability of a new PFAS test: ASTM D8421/EPA 8327 for aqueous and solid material. The new method uses isotope dilution and LC-MS-MS (liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry) to analyze for up to 44 PFAS compounds and offers advantages over other PFAS test methods, Pace reported. These include faster, lower-cost results; only a 5 mL sample is required; isotope dilution calibration and quantification offer greater reliability; and method detection limits that meet the EPA’s proposed drinking water standards and regional screening levels.


Metal loving microbes have potential to refine rare earth

Cornell scientists have characterized the genome of Shewanella oneidensis – a metal-loving bacteria with an affinity for rare earth elements – to replace harsh chemical processing with benign biosorption, according to an article in the Cornell Chronicle. The microbe selectively adsorbs to rare earth elements, making it an ideal candidate to carry out an eco-friendly purification procedure. The microbe favors europium, but characterizing the S. oneidensis genome allows scientists to tweak its preference for processing other rare earth elements. Researchers anticipate creating a pilot-scale purification system by 2028. The research was published in Scientific Reports.


AECOM JV supports City of Norfolk in flood and coastal resilience

The City of Norfolk, Va. has selected AECOM’s (Dallas) joint venture with Moffatt & Nichol (Long Beach, Calif.) and Volkert (Mobile, Ala.) to provide program and project management services for the City’s $2.6 billion Coastal Storm Risk Management Program. AECOM will serve as managing partner of the Norfolk Resilience Partners JV. As an initiative of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Program aims to increase the City’s infrastructure resiliency, protecting it from coastal flooding and storm damage. Under the single-award contract, the joint venture will deliver services in program and project management, engineering and design, real estate, public engagement, utility coordination, environmental and cultural resources, and grant management.


Desal system could produce fresh water cheaper than tap water

Engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in China are aiming to turn seawater into drinking water with a passive device that “allows water to circulate in swirling eddies in a manner similar to the much larger ‘thermohaline’ circulation of the ocean.” According to an article on MIT’s Climate Portal, this circulation, combined with the sun’s heat, drives water to evaporate, leaving salt behind. Resulting water vapor can then be condensed and collected as drinkable water while leftover salt continues to circulate through and out of the device rather than clogging the system. The device has a higher water-production rate and a higher salt-rejection rate than other passive solar desalination concepts currently being tested, MIT reported. 


SLR to acquire Palmer Environmental

SLR (Aylesbury, UK) has agreed to acquire Palmer Environmental Consulting Group Inc. (Vancouver, B.C.), an environmental consultancy with approximately 100 team members in British Columbia and Ontario. Palmer’s services include fisheries, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, hydrogeology, water resources, geology, and geomorphology, which it provides together with geotechnical engineering to the mining, infrastructure, and land development markets across Canada. Neil Penhall, SLR’s CEO, described Palmer as “one of the leading ecological and environmental consultancies in Canada supporting the mining and built environment sectors…. Their expertise will build upon SLR’s existing environmental capabilities and will result in one of the largest environmental teams in Canada.”


Lithos Engineering joins GEI Consultants

Lithos Engineering (Fort Collins, Colo.), a 27-person engineering firm specializing in tunnel and trenchless design and construction technology, has joined GEI Consultants (Woburn, Mass.). Lithos provides geotechnical and geological engineering solutions to a diverse client base in Colorado and throughout the United States. “Lithos’ highly specialized services – particularly the team’s expertise in tunneling – are a perfect complement to GEI’s geotechnical engineering and tunneling capabilities,” said Ron Palmieri, president and CEO of GEI. “We have long sought additional expertise in this service area…  The Lithos team will immediately bring value to many of our water infrastructure projects.” With more than 1,400 staff and 55 offices in North America, GEI provides multidisciplinary engineering and environmental services. 


AECOM JV awarded USACE contract for water infrastructure resiliency

A joint venture between AECOM and Black & Veatch (AECOM-B&V Lakes and Rivers JV) has been selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide architectural and engineering services for infrastructure projects for the 17 states within the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division and nationwide. The program will focus on renovating and modernizing infrastructure, mitigating flood risks, and restoring ecosystems. Projects are expected to include sustainable design, renovation, and modernization of dams, locks, levees, flood walls, pump stations, bridges, roadways, and canals, as well as stand-alone buildings and ecosystem restoration. The multiple-award contract has a five-year term and is funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

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