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EBI News for January 17, 2024 – Global renewable energy capacity grows dramatically in 2023

EBI News for January 17, 2024 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Global renewable energy capacity grows dramatically in 2023, acquisitions, and more!

Global renewable energy capacity grows dramatically in 2023

The amount of renewable energy capacity added to energy systems worldwide grew by 50% in 2023, reaching almost 510 gigawatts (GW), with solar PV accounting for three-quarters of additions, according to Renewables 2023, IEA’s annual market report on the sector. The largest growth took place in China, which commissioned as much solar PV in 2023 as the entire world did in 2022, while China’s wind power additions rose by 66% year-on-year. Increases in renewable energy capacity in Europe, the United States and Brazil also hit all-time highs. Under existing policies and market conditions, global renewable power capacity is now expected to grow to 7,300 GW over the 2023-28 period. Solar PV and wind account for 95% of the expansion, with renewables overtaking coal to become the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025. Despite the recent unprecedented growth, the world needs to go further to meet the COP28 goal of tripling capacity by 2030, IEA concluded. 


Crystal Clean acquires Envirosafe 

Heritage-Crystal Clean (Hoffman Estates, Ill.), a waste management, treatment and recovery company, has acquired Envirosafe Services of Ohio. The acquisition enhances Crystal Clean’s hazardous waste infrastructure and processing capabilities. Envirosafe operates a fully permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility, providing stabilization and landfilling of environmentally sensitive waste. The company has both federal and state RCRA permits, allowing it to accept nearly 600 different U.S. EPA waste codes. Envirosafe is Crystal Clean’s first acquisition since being acquired by J.F. Lehman & Company in October 2023.


EA awarded environmental contract by Maryland DOT

EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc. PBC (Hunt Valley, Md.) has been awarded an on-call contract for environmental engineering and compliance services statewide by the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (SHA). Work will be performed for SHA’s Environmental Compliance Division. EA was the highest ranked firm among four awardees for these 5-year contracts, each of which has a capacity of $3.5 million. The EA team includes six Maryland DOT-certified Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Enterprises: Aria Environmental, Batta Environmental, Chesapeake Environmental Management, Dhillon Engineering, Findling, and The SEMCAS Group. In separate news, EA announced a second consecutive contract to provide coastal engineering and hazards support to the National Park Service.


Americans throw 76% of recyclables in the trash

Identifying significant but fixable gaps in the U.S. residential recycling system, a report from The Recycling Partnership found that only 21% of residential recyclables are being recycled. The report shows how extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies and proactive industry investment can close these gaps. Every material type is “under-recycled”: seven out of 10 cardboard boxes, three out of four milk jugs, four out of five steel cans, three out of four tons of mixed paper, and seven out of 10 glass, aluminum cans, and PET bottles are lost to trash in homes. Research indicates that not enough households have recycling services and of those that do, communication about how to recycle is insufficient. Five states (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Nebraska) have residential recycling rates below 10%. Only four states (California, Connecticut, New York and Oregon) have residential recycling rates at 30% or above; the report estimates that EPR policies would raise recycling rates above 60% for these states. California, Colorado, Maine, and Oregon are in the process of implementing EPR.


Aegion rounds out year with Culy

Aegion Corporation (Chesterfield, Mo.), a global provider of technology and rehabilitation solutions for wastewater, stormwater, and potable water pipelines, announced the acquisition of Culy Inc. (Winchester, Ind.) in December, a company that delivers services for water and wastewater pipelines across the Midwest and Southeast. Aegion announced several other acquisitions in 2023, including AP Civil Solutions, a full-service water and wastewater maintenance company in central Florida, in addition to firms specializing in trenchless water/wastewater pipeline rehab: 11 Enviro Group in the New York metropolitan area, C&L Water Solutions in Colorado, and Infraspec Services in Quebec, Canada. Insituform, Aegion’s founding pipeline renewal brand, was established in 1971. In 2021, New Mountain Capital took Aegion private in a transaction valued at approximately $963 million.


Resource Management Associates joins GEI Consultants

GEI Consultants (Woburn, Mass.), a planning, design, and construction management firm, has expanded its water resources practice through a merger with California-based Resource Management Associates Inc. (RMA). RMA is a 30-person water resources consulting and technology firm that specializes in numerical modeling and engineering software solutions to address complex environmental and water-related challenges. “RMA’s highly specialized modeling and technology services are a significant addition to GEI’s water resources practice,” said Ron Palmieri, president and CEO of GEI. “Their expertise complements GEI’s current data and technology capabilities to create novel solutions for water quality, flood, drought, and ecological-related challenges.” GEI has 1,400 staff and 56 offices in North America.


Grette Associates joins Farallon Consulting

Environmental and engineering consulting firm Farallon Consulting (Issaquah, Wash.) announced the acquisition of Grette Associates (Gig Harbor, Wash.), a firm that provides natural resources and strategic permitting support in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 2002, Grette has built a reputation for resolving federal, state, and local issues on projects ranging from major public port developments and sediment remediation actions to aquatic permitting for individual landowners. Grette specializes in aquatic and shoreline permitting; wetlands and critical areas; habitat mitigation and restoration; construction monitoring and permit compliance; and habitat surveys.


Verdantas announces two acquisitions

Verdantas (Dublin, Ohio), a private-equity-backed environmental consulting firm launched in 2020, announced the acquisition of Flatwoods Consulting Group Inc. (Tampa, Fla.), aligning with Verdantas’ strategy to establish regional natural resource and environmental planning hubs. Flatwoods brings expertise in special status species surveys and conservation, natural resource management, environmental compliance monitoring, geospatial analysis, and aquatic, wetland, and water resource services. Also in January, Verdantas announced the acquisition of Peterson Brustad Inc. (PBI, Folsom, Calif.), boosting its services in the water market and with public agencies specifically. PBI adds skills in water supply and storage, distribution and conveyance, pump stations, water and wastewater master planning, flood control, storm drainage and water treatment. PBI has a strong presence in Northern California and is expected to be a valuable addition to the Verdantas West team, which currently includes over 200 staff based in Southern California.


Tighe & Bond acquires Coastal Engineering

Tighe & Bond (Westfield, Mass.), a Northeast engineering, design, and environmental consulting firm, has acquired Cape Cod based Coastal Engineering Co. Inc., a civil, structural, and waterfront and marine engineering firm that specializes in projects in environmentally sensitive areas. Tighe & Bond’s offices are now augmented by Coastal Engineering’s eastern Massachusetts offices, further strengthening the firm’s presence across Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Maine.


Stantec to acquire Morrison Hershfield

Stantec (Edmonton, Alberta) has agreed to acquire Morrison Hershfield (Markham, Ontario), a 1,150-person engineering and management firm. Founded in 1946, employee-owned Morrison Hershfield is known for its work in transportation, buildings, and environmental services. The company has offices in 22 cities in Canada and the United States and one in India. Morrison Hershfield will increase Stantec’s Canadian workforce by approximately 10%. The company’s Environmental Services business is expected to bolster Stantec’s infrastructure and energy transition work by providing additional capacity in environmental impact assessment, ecological services, and geosciences. Morrison Hershfield also has a team dedicated to climate change risk, resilience and adaptation.


AECOM-led JV wins LA Metro study

AECOM (Dallas) announced that the Los Angeles County Transportation Authority (LA Metro) has awarded the Vermont Transit Corridor Planning and Environmental Study to the Vermont Corridor Partners (VCP), an AECOM-led joint venture with minority owned small businesses Terry A. Hayes Associates Inc. and RAW International Inc. The study calls for a comprehensive bus rapid transit and rail improvement strategy along Vermont Avenue, the second busiest transit corridor in LA Metro’s bus portfolio stretching from Hollywood Boulevard to 120th Street.

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