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EBI News for January 03, 2024 – USFS selects ICF to modernize wildfire management portal

EBI News for January 03, 2024 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, USFS selects ICF to modernize wildfire management portal, acquisitions, and more!

Stantec selected for $8.5 million habitat enhancement 

Stantec (Edmonton, Alberta) has been awarded a six-year master services agreement worth $8.5 million with the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC), Illinois. The contract provides for habitat restoration throughout the 70,000-acre forest preserve, including vegetation management, prescription burning, ecological assessment, hydrological consultation, and nursery services. The contract builds on a 10-year relationship between Stantec and FPCC, one of the oldest and largest forest-preserve districts in the United States.


USFS selects ICF to modernize wildfire management portal

ICF (Reston, Va.) announced a new $78-million task order by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to modernize wildfire management applications and services. The task order has a term of seven years including a one-year base and six 12-month option periods. ICF will leverage its expertise in disaster management and climate solutions, cloud-native geospatial technology and advanced analytics to modernize USFS’ Fire and Aviation Management Enterprise Geospatial Portal (EGP) which offers standardized geospatial information on wildfire activities. EGP Next Gen “will empower the wildland fire community to swiftly make data-driven decisions in a mission-critical environment,” ICF reported.


AECOM welcomes EMPSi 

AECOM (Dallas) has added Environmental Management and Planning Solutions Inc. (EMPSi, Boulder, Colo.) to its U.S. West Environment business. Founded in 2006, the EMPSi team of more than 50 professionals brings expertise in environmental analysis, assessments and permitting, particularly for U.S. federal clients. When combined with AECOM’s existing environment practice in the United States, the collective team has more than doubled its environmental permitting capabilities in the federal sector. “We are thrilled to join AECOM, which allows [us] to accelerate our growth plans at an ideal time when funding across our core clients has never been greater,” said David Batts and John King, EMPSi’s co-founders. Appropriations under the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation are all projected to increase significantly over the coming years, creating a strong growth opportunity for the collective team, according to AECOM.


Alliance expands environmental services with two strategic acquisitions

Alliance Technical Group (Decatur, Ala.), an environmental testing company, announced the acquisitions of Chemtech Consulting Group Inc. (Mountainside, N.J.) and the Air Source Testing Group of Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. (CEC, Pittsburgh, Pa.). Catering to clients in the Northeast, Chemtech specializes in organic and inorganic analyses related to soil, wastewater, groundwater, hazardous waste, and air; it is a participant in the U.S. EPA Contract Laboratory Program. The air testing operations of CEC represent a strategic carve-out that boosts resources in key areas of Alliance’s national service network, adding locations in St. Louis, Mo., Charlotte, N.C., and Knoxville, Tenn. Alliance made seven strategic acquisitions in 2023.


RMA acquires Rone Engineering

RMA Companies (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) has added Rone Engineering (Dallas) to its family of companies as it builds a national platform for geotechnical engineering, environmental consulting, construction materials testing, inspection, and certification services for critical infrastructure. Founded in 1972, Rone is a geotechnical engineering, materials testing, and environmental services firm with offices and laboratories across four locations in Texas and one location in Kansas City. “The addition of Rone to the RMA family marks our seventh acquisition of 2023, which has been a monumental year of growth,” said Ed Lyon, CEO of RMA. “Rone operates offices in the critical Texas Triangle that is poised to receive over $17 billion in IIJA funding over the next five years.” RMA is a portfolio company of OceanSound Partners.


Raba Kistner expands engineering services in the Gulf Coast

Raba Kistner Inc. (San Antonio, Texas), a provider of engineering and environmental consulting and construction services, recently acquired six offices in the Gulf Coast from Braun Intertec (Minneapolis, Minn.), advancing its growth strategy in the region and the energy sector. Nearly 60 employees have joined Raba Kistner with the asset acquisition of the construction materials engineering and testing (CoMET), geotechnical engineering, and drilling/CPT operations of three Braun Intertec locations in Texas and three in Louisiana. Outside of the acquisition area, Braun Intertec will continue to offer its clients these services throughout the remainder of Texas through its other offices in the state. The acquisition does not impact the operations of Braun Intertec’s other service divisions. Raba Kistner has more than 750 employees operating across the United States and in Mexico.


California adopts regulations for direct potable reuse

The California State Water Resources Control Board has approved regulations that will allow water systems to develop treatment protocols for converting wastewater into high quality drinking water. This legal and regulatory framework for “direct potable reuse” gives California the most advanced standards in the nation for treating wastewater to exceed current drinking water standards. Direct potable reuse relies on immediate, multi-barrier treatment that can recycle wastewater to drinking water standards in hours. It contrasts with indirect potable reuse, which improves treated wastewater over time through groundwater recharge or dilution with surface water. “Today heralds a new era of water reuse, making it possible for more communities across California to benefit from an abundant, safe, resilient, and local water supply and serving as an example to other states,” said Patricia Sinicropi, executive director of the WateReuse Assn.


Jacobs to deliver water infrastructure upgrades in Queensland

Jacobs (Dallas), as part of the Prosperity Joint Venture with AECOM (Dallas), has been appointed Engineering and Professional Services Partner by Sunwater Limited, a bulk water service provider in Queensland, Australia. The appointment is for an initial five-year period with possible extension for another five years. Jacobs will deliver engineering consulting services to support Sunwater’s water infrastructure upgrade projects, including civil, hydraulic, geotechnical, electrical, mechanical and asset management. A significant component of the contract is upgrading six dams by 2035.


HDR to lead environmental review for green hydrogen 

HDR (Omaha, Nebraska) has been selected to support the Washington State Department of Ecology in developing a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) to prepare for development of green hydrogen energy projects in the state. The PEIS will help evaluate potential significant environmental impacts and assess which areas are suitable for green hydrogen energy, considering the types of hydrogen projects that could be built. “This is an enormous opportunity for Washington to become a global leader in green hydrogen development,” said Rona Spellecacy, environmental director for HDR’s power sector. HDR is also advising on communications and outreach. 


Canada Growth Fund announces strategic investment in Entropy

Canada Growth Fund Inc. has entered into a $200-million strategic investment agreement with Entropy Inc. (Calgary, Alberta), a developer of advanced carbon capture and sequestration projects. The investment is coupled with a fixed-price carbon credit purchase agreement (Carbon Credit Offtake Commitment or CCO) of up to one million tonnes per annum. According to Entropy investor Brookfield, the features of the CCO—notably its large scale and long-term fixed-price—represent a global first in compliance markets and will help to de-risk and accelerate private CCS investment by establishing carbon price certainty for Canadian projects. In March 2022, Entropy announced a strategic $300 million investment agreement with Brookfield to scale up the deployment of its CCS technology globally. 


NREL quantifies losses from cardboard, paper waste

Cardboard and paper in America’s landfills represent $4 billion in lost economic value, according to analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The analysis, which relied on 2019 figures, is NREL’s latest effort to focus attention on what is clogging the country’s landfills. Of the estimated 110 million metric tons of paper and cardboard waste tossed out across the United States in 2019, approximately 56% was landfilled, 38% was recycled and the rest was burned (constituting about a quarter of municipal solid waste). The Southeastern United States had the highest percentage of landfilled paper and cardboard waste at about 25%. Through geospatial analysis, the report illustrates ‘hot spots’ or areas with substantial opportunities to divert paper and cardboard waste from disposal facilities and stimulate investment in recovering technical and economic value.

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