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EBI News for December 13, 2023 – Scientists gain powerful tool to examine weather patterns

EBI News for December 13, 2023 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Scientists gain powerful tool to examine weather patterns, acquisitions, and more!

Trinity Consultants acquires Westland Resources

2020 Environmental Group announced that Trinity Consultants (Dallas) has acquired employee-owned WestLand Resources (Tucson, Ariz.), an engineering and environmental consultancy with offices in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. WestLand Resources joins Trinity’s Water & Ecology team built on the previous acquisitions of Minnow Aquatic Environmental Services, ECOSA, Vision Environmental, Ecofish Research, and Soundview Consultants. Founded in 1997, WestLand has more than 240 team members; services include environmental planning and permitting, cultural resources management, water resources engineering, habitat restoration and natural resource management, facility compliance, and geographic information services. 2020 Environmental advised WestLand on its sale. Trinity Consultants also announced that Soundview Consultants LLC (Gig Harbor, Wash.), an environmental consulting firm, has joined its Water & Ecology business unit.


UES expands environmental capabilities

UES (Orlando, Fla.), a national engineering and consulting company, has acquired InControl Technologies, an environmental consulting firm located in Houston, Texas, with an additional office in Dallas. Founded in 1997, InControl Technologies expands UES’s focus on environmental services, adding expertise in environmental site assessments, remediation management, and site closures. InControl Technologies joins the Texas region of UES, and its leadership team will continue to operate the day-to-day business. The announcement follows UES’s acquisition of Biome Consulting Group in September, an ecological consulting firm in the Central Gulf Coast region of Florida. “As we plan for the future of UES, we’re proud to grow our capabilities to meet the demand for environmentally sustainable development,” said UES CEO Dave Witsken. 


Global Thermostat unveils design for scalable DAC system 

Global Thermostat (Commerce City, Colo.) has unveiled a design for direct air capture (DAC) machines that it says can be grouped to capture over 1 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere. This represents the completion of two years of Department of Energy funded work with engineering firm Sargent & Lundy and others to scale the technology. Global Thermostat has been operating its kilotonne-scale K-Series plant – one of the largest in the world – at its headquarters near Denver since 2022. According to CEO Paul Nahi, the new M-Series “enables large additional economies of scale while leveraging our proven technology and maintaining modular constructability, which translates into significantly lower cost per tonne of CO2 for our customer.” The company said it is engaging with potential customers to deploy the M-Series.


Stantec announces 2024-2026 Strategic Plan

Stantec Inc. (Edmonton, Canada) is aiming for net revenue of C$7.5 billion by the end of 2026 in line with the firm’s new 2024-2026 Strategic Plan. According to recently released highlights, Stantec is aiming for a three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of greater than 7% for organic net revenue, and adjusted EBITDA margin in the range of 17% to 18%. Stantec is focusing its organic growth plans on three broad strategic initiatives: Climate Solutions, Communities and Infrastructure of the Future, and Future Technology. In addition, Stantec said it remains committed to a disciplined approach to growth through strategic, accretive acquisitions. Stantec expects that net revenue will increase between 7% and 12% in 2024, with organic net revenue growth in the mid to high single digits.


Scientists gain powerful tool to examine weather patterns

A new dataset of high-resolution weather simulations spanning more than four decades over the continental United States is now available to the earth system science community, according to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). The resource—which required almost a year’s worth of supercomputing time to create and is nearly one petabyte in size—provides opportunities to view how weather patterns may have already shifted as the climate warms, among other applications. Scientists are already using data to develop new techniques for improving long-range forecasting, planning for water resource allocation, and to understand the causes and impacts of extreme weather events. Known as CONUS404, the dataset is the result of collaboration between NCAR and the U.S. Geological Survey.


Arkansas selects Black & Veatch for major water project

Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kansas) has been selected by Beaver Water District in northwest Arkansas to begin the design for its Water Treatment Facilities Expansion Program with an anticipated capital cost of $540 million. The expansion is in direct response to significant regional population growth and increases in water demand. The program will expand capacity of supply and treatment from 140 million gallons per day (MGD) to 220 MGD, rehabilitate aging infrastructure, and expand water storage, pump stations, power generation, pipelines, and dewatering facilities by 2032.


China predicted to be first in battery circularity

Researchers from the University of Münster in Germany have concluded that China will be the first country to become independent of the need to mine the raw materials essential for batteries. Results published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling indicate that China is expected to be able to rely on recycling to meet its own demand for primary lithium for electric vehicles from 2059 onwards, but in Europe and the United States this will not happen until after 2070. Cobalt recycling is expected to meet China’s needs after 2045 at the earliest; in Europe this will happen in 2052 and in the United States not until 2056. China will probably meet nickel demand through recycling by 2046 at the earliest, with Europe following in 2058 and the United States from 2064 onwards.


Report captures water and sewer charges for 50 cities

The combined water and sewer bill for a typical U.S. household has increased by 56% since 2012, or 4.2% annually, according to a new Bluefield Research report. Across 50 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, average monthly household water bills increased to $50.61 and monthly sewer bills reached $71.16 based on average household water consumption. Monthly water bills ranged from a low of $19.51 in San Antonio, Texas to a high of $121.68 in Portland, Ore. Two cities demonstrating the largest rate increases from 2022-2023 were El Paso, Texas (up 17%) to secure future water supplies; and San Jose (up 11%) due to rising costs for purchased water, drought conditions, and planned infrastructure projects. Among the 50 cities analyzed, eight reported rate declines in 2023. Rates increases in many cities have been in response to rising costs (i.e., inflation, labor), ongoing system operations and maintenance, and large capital investments to address aging infrastructure.

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