COVID RESILIENCE Management Buyout
Ensero Solutions, Inc. (Fort Collins, CO) for quickly pivoting to working from home while continuing to deliver high quality outcomes for clients. Originally established as Alexco Environmental Group in 2006 to lead the restoration of the historic Keno Hill mining district in the Yukon Territories, Ensero Solutions is an innovative environmental consulting company that provides expertise in broad-based water treatment solutions and partners with clients on outcome-based remediation programs. In February 2020, management made an offer to purchase the business from Alexco Resource Corp., and Ensero was born. Now operating in seven locations in both Canada and the United States, Ensero is a place where everyone gets the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment and be part of a culture where people are engaged with interesting work to solve unique environmental challenges. Shortly after the buyout, COVID impacted business. But this didn’t stop Ensero from adding a world-class management team and, although separated, continuing to build its culture and even increasing employee engagement scores by 4%.
COVID RESILIENCE Risk Management Platform
Arcadis (Amsterdam, Netherlands) for launching COVID Operational Risk Management Platform. To respond to the challenges of COVID-19, Arcadis quickly created a digital operational risk management platform. This platform supported the agile enaction of new health & safety procedures, inventories of available field supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), a dynamic system for ensuring compliance with the constantly changing spectrum of federal, state, and municipal orders, a COVID self-assessment log, and an improved approach for identifying hospitals for a work-related medical emergency. Arcadis digital team members in India and North America created the digital apps that support the platform beta version in only a few days. Resulting applications seamlessly display the legal and safety requirements for thousands of projects, accessible 24/7 to leadership. The team continues to update and enhance this digitally enabled platform to ensure that staff are safe and activities are compliant. Arcadis’ safety leadership has been asked to present on this unique approach at industry events and has published examples of how it has supported the continuity of environmental construction projects in pandemic epicenters.
COVID RESILIENCE EHS Supply Chain & Cybersecurity
BSI Consulting (London, UK) for forming a unified response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Contributions included: Environmental Health Safety, Employees provided fit testing to health care workers/hospitals on the front line.; Ergonomic assessments for remote workers to make the transition to working from home more seamless.; Playbook guidance, checklists and training were developed to guide organizations how to return to work safely.; Business Continuity team also provided guidance to support organizational resilience.; Supply Chain. Through its proprietary SCREEN platform, BSI provided complimentary access to in-depth COVID-19 supply chain insights and intelligence. These insights included sharing with the global community information to anticipate, quickly respond to and avoid supply chain disruptions, and notification of false personal protective equipment and other counterfeits. Cybersecurity. To support and protect healthcare and education facilities during this critical time, a new initiative dubbed BSI Cares provided a no-cost cybersecurity review of the internet footprint of qualified schools and medical facilities for a high-level report on their vulnerabilities.
COVID RESILIENCE Integration & Growth
CHA Consulting, Inc. (Albany, NY) for weathering a public health crisis and transitioning its 1,300-person workforce to remote work overnight while also continuing to strategize for the future and invest in key areas. Initiatives included implementing new technology and quickly learning to use it to meet, design, talk and collaborate with clients and staff. The company also committed to completing the full integration of three 2019 acquisitions and a January 2020 acquisition, necessitating four separate information technology integrations and rebranding four companies to support a go-to-market strategy of one-company/one-brand. In July, CHA implemented a new corporate structure. At the same time, it was called upon by multiple clients to mobilize technical experts to support essential, pandemic-related projects – from evaluating facilities for overflow hospital space to establishing field hospitals in arenas and parking lots and assessing utility structures to facilitate expanded broadband capacity to support remote learning and work. The company also continued to hire, bringing more than 170 new employees onboard since March, providing home office technology and onboarding remotely. New employees included 27 interns who participated in a robust internship program with record low company employee turnover.
COVID RESILIENCE Light Disinfection
FAR UV Technologies (Kansas City, MO) for winning a Direct to Phase II SBIR project in July 2020 to install and demonstrate Krypton™ Disinfection Lighting in U.S. Air Force facilities and aircraft applications. Far UV Technologies is providing air and surface disinfection technology to better protect the Air Force and the rest of the defense community from COVID and other biological threats. Columbia University Irving Medical Center will also be providing independent safety testing and analysis, and in September started their first Air Force installation at the AF National Guard in Oklahoma. Far UV Technologies has been designing, developing, testing and demonstrating innovative Far UV solutions for several years, including under contract with NASA to prevent foodborne illness in space flight and winning awards from the U.S. Army for Warfighter disinfection. Krypton light disinfection (222nm wavelengths) provides a safe, practical and effective countermeasure for humans and animals against infectious disease and pathogens in occupied spaces. Krypton light autonomously and continuously disinfects viruses, bacteria and fungi in occupied spaces, which is essential for containing and mitigating coronavirus and similar outbreaks where potentially infected human carriers in occupied locations are often not distinguishable from non-carriers. Krypton light does not penetrate human or animal skin and eyes, whereas UV-C lamps commonly available today are carcinogenic, harmful to skin and eyes, and cannot sanitize human tissue or occupied spaces without causing adverse effects and long-term damage, according to the company.
COVID RESILIENCE Essential Services & Expansion
Rumpke Waste & Recycling: Rumpke’s (Cincinnati, OH) strategy changed because of the pandemic, but business never missed a beat: Rumpke operated 14 landfills, 21 transfer stations, and 12 recycling centers while providing uninterrupted service to 1.7 million customers. With 25% more waste curbside, Rumpke did not lay off but recruited employees, enrolling about 25 new drivers into its CDL program monthly. Rumpke also constructed nearly 40 acres of landfill while managing daily tonnage and compliance. Rumpke’s landfills receive more than 6 million tons annually. Additionally, Rumpke launched three landfill-gas-to-energy projects, completed innovations at its Medora Recycling facility, and opened facilities in Medina, Ohio and Covington, Ky. Rumpke also obtained a grant to add robotic sorting technology at its Cincinnati recycling facility, and worked internationally to launch software consolidating budgeting, procurement and maintenance. Throughout the year, Rumpke’s coronavirus response team provided timely communications and developed sanitation procedures, Pandemic Sick Leave and Remote Work and Return to Work Policies. Rumpke completed various acquisitions in 2020, was a named a 2020 U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal, earned two communications awards from Public Relations Society of America, and is expected to finish 2020 in line with total revenue and EBITDA targets.
COVID RESILIENCE Record Contract
Marine Taxonomic Services, Ltd. (San Marcos, CA) for remarkable success in 2020 despite challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for winning the firm’s largest contract in its 30-year history. The $3.5 million multi-year contract focuses on aquatic invasive weeds containment, eradication, and subsequent monitoring in Taylor and Tallac Marshes, and represents an expansion of MTS’ service area within the Lake Tahoe Basin. The firm is proud to continue to expand its impact in invasive species management and to be self-performing the entire contract, from procurement to implementation, ensuring its legacy of high-quality, client-centered environmental consulting remains consistent. MTS continues to experience year-over-year revenue growth, and will be hitting another huge milestone for a small business with continued year-over-year increase in gross revenue.
COVID RESILIENCE Record Sales & Key Initiatives
SWCA Environmental Consultants, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) for sustained growth in the face of a global crisis. Despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, SWCA experienced record sales across several business lines in 2020 and was on track to achieve the second highest earnings in company history with $140 million in year-to-date revenue. The company hired a national director of Disaster and Resilience and expanded its Climate-Driven Services capabilities. SWCA’s focus on safety allowed it to keep projects moving forward and showcased the company’s ability to stay agile amidst a global pandemic. SWCA also moved forward on some key initiatives, rolling out its 2020-2022 strategic plan and launching an innovative career development program, SWCA’s Career Landscape, to help foster a vibrant, rewarding, and fulfilling work environment for all employees. SWCA also formally outlined its commitment to inclusion and diversity, which included the creation of several Employee Resource Groups. SWCA’s commitment to giving back remained strong, with initiatives benefitting COVID-19 relief and disaster relief efforts nationwide.
COVID RESILIENCE Rebuilding During Pandemic
Brilliant Environmental Services: An award for COVID resilience? How about resilience, plain and simple? When COVID struck in March 2020, Brilliant Environmental Services LLC was in the midst of recovering from filing Chapter 11 Reorganization in May 2019, rebuilding business and business relationships. With no financial resources other than billing, reporting to court monthly, and limited vendors, Brilliant established all staff in remote home offices and continued field work for clients while preparing a Reorganization Plan due to the Court in April 2020. Owner Phil Brilliant, along with Office Manager Karen Markey, lobbied and relied on reputation to gain votes for passing the Plan, while maintaining business during the pandemic. The company succeeded in both, and bankruptcy was closed in December 2020. Brilliant Environmental used the personal touch, including videos, telephone calls and Zoom meetings to maintain vendors, grow clientele, and increase business from 2019 by 3%. Phil Brilliant summarized: “Good old fashioned hard work… We earned it. We survived. That’s Resiliency!”
COVID RESPONSE High Performance Buildings Covid Task Force
Tetra Tech Inc.’s (Pasadena, CA) High Performance Buildings Group for creating a COVID task force to conduct research into the role mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) design can play in mitigating the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 in interior spaces. The company’s multi-disciplinary team of experts in engineering, science, epidemiology, and immunology developed briefings that incorporated input from ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force. The team worked directly with clients to educate them about strategies to implement into existing building operations and systems to mitigate spread of the virus. Recommendations included advanced filtration, personal environment design, ultraviolet disinfection, and air flow modeling to develop methods to increase natural ventilation. Tetra Tech provided over 300 direct-to-client presentations and dozens of Healthy Building Readiness Assessments designed to review specific spaces and provide owners with recommendations. The company also facilitated development of specific COVID-19 infectious disease and preparedness plans for rapid design of emergency facilities. Tetra Tech sees a continuing role for its multi-disciplinary task force in advancing the science and practice of designing healthy buildings that optimize air, light, and temperature while reducing infection risk in shared spaces.
COVID RESPONSE Virtual Engagement
Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC, Brookline, MA) for moving from 100% in-person programming to 100% virtual programming in a matter of weeks, while maintaining quality and demonstrating the organization’s leadership in, and commitment to, the environmental and energy industries. EBC is a nonprofit organization established in 1990 by New England environmental and energy company executives who began meeting on a regular basis to exchange ideas and share experiences. From those humble beginnings EBC now develops and presents 100 programs and events each year to keep members and colleagues on the cutting edge of regulatory developments, management practices, and industry technologies. The onset of the global coronavirus pandemic presented an enormous challenge: how to provide impactful programming to the EBC membership, including incredibly important networking opportunities, in an all-virtual world. Immediately, EBC moved all programs to a virtual platform and began to formalize a webinar template that would engage the audience, provide meaningful interaction with presenters, and give all participants the opportunity to meet others virtually. Through trial runs with presenters, guidelines for the audience, and use of breakout rooms to facilitate networking, EBC achieved high production value and quality engagement in all virtual programs.
COVID RESPONSE New Communication Tools
TRANSEARCH (London/Chicago) recruits executives for environmental, renewable energy, and related firms. Pre-COVID, the company relied on in-person client meetings and interviews to conduct searches. The pandemic lockdown required TRANSEARCH to urgently adapt clients to virtual interviews. Subsequently, it successfully facilitated all interviews and meetings, in multiple cities and across three time zones, using video communication tools exclusively for environmental and renewable energy firms. New Project (Survey) Within the first 90 days of the lockdown, TRANSEARCH surveyed nearly 100 companies to assess their response to the pandemic and published findings. This provided organizations with pivotal data on leadership, digital transformation and more; it also launched a new management consulting service for TRANSEARCH, a major business achievement borne out of resilience. New Project (Thought Leadership) Throughout COVID, TRANSEARCH adapted to offer thought leadership and advisory communications. To that end, its leadership team researched and wrote several articles on timely topics for the environment sector and participated as keynote speakers at the Environmental Consulting Financial Group annual conference.
COVID RESPONSE EHS Services: Real Estate
AECOM In February 2020, AECOM’s (Los Angeles, CA) industrial hygiene team was engaged by a $30-billion-a-year real estate holding company that owns 4,000-plus properties to provide EHS services in response to the pandemic for their portfolio of hotels, senior housing, offices, warehouse and industrial facilities. AECOM provided real time updates to the client on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, training slides outlining the current situation and projections for the near future, and programmatic documents. The latter included SOPs for responses, including disinfection protocols, quarantine rationale and implementation dictums, and evaluations of workforce response actions. The body of work was predicated by ready implementation of the U.S. EPA Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and resultant regulations codified in 40 CFR 150-189 that define use of pesticides, which includes biocides. Methodologies were also based on past experience with SARS-1 biological risk and proved predictive of CDC guidelines and provided for quick responses to changing conditions and understanding of the virus. Innovative virtual communication was used to ascertain the risk level for facilities, review building schematics, determine via real-time analysis what worker protocols were in place, and scope decontamination and disinfection to lessen the viral loading in facilities.
COVID RESPONSE Wastewater Surveillance
Arcadis (Amsterdam, Netherlands) for developing a range of new services to support public and private clients with its pandemic response – from digital tracking of people movement to business continuity planning and contract solutions. One notable service commercialized early in the pandemic involved partnering Arcadis scientists and engineers with Syracuse University, Quadrant Biosciences, SUNY ESF and Upstate Medical University to pilot sampling and analysis of wastewater as an early warning system for SARS-CoV-2 infections. Work in wastewater surveillance has helped with early detection of viral load indicating the presence of asymptomatic or presymptomatic cases, allowing timely actions to prevent the spread. Following work in Syracuse and the UK (through other partners), Governor Cuomo of New York authorized a state-level pilot in August. Wastewater sampling may sound straightforward, but detecting virus levels in wastewater is a multi-faceted process requiring deep knowledge of collection systems, population activity, and more to determine the best locations to collect samples. It also requires detailed safety precautions, as well as access to the right meta data and partners to accelerate and validate analysis – all brought to bear by Arcadis.
COVID RESPONSE In Support of the Homeless
EBI Consulting At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, EBI Consulting (Burlington, MA) assisted DCAMM in getting an out-of-commission hospital up and running as quickly as possible to provide safe and functional spaces for Boston’s homeless population that might test positive for COVID-19 but not require full in-patient services. EBI assisted in a number of ways, including reviewing and approving cleaning protocols, providing recommendations for the decontamination process, and determining how the selected contractor should develop their work scope and plan, thus ensuring the safety of contractors and construction workers converting the space. EBI also provided post-decommissioning assessment services, on-site coordination and facilitation of cleaning services, mold assessment, and review of the post-cleaning verification sampling plan and report. DCAMM, EBI, and all parties collaborated to ensure the highest level of safety for everyone working, residing or involved in the new healthcare center. The project timeline was fast-tracked, efficient, and impressive, showcasing Boston’s support for its citizens in a new world.
COVID RESPONSE Testing Lab Transition
Geosyntec Consultants (Boca Raton, FL) for establishing a new business unit virtually overnight to provide high-impact value and generate revenue from new services to customers impacted by COVID-19. Geosyntec rapidly transformed its genetics testing lab, SiREM, from testing bacteria metabolizing environmental contaminants to testing virus RNA from SARS-CoV-2, and increasing U.S. lab staff by 300%. Staff swiftly shared knowledge of procedures across the firm using video conferencing, video training, and video marketing even through lockdowns. Geosyntec’s diagnostic methods monitor SARS-CoV-2 virus in the environment through wastewater, surface analysis, and pooled saliva testing. A leader in environmental molecular genetic testing, the company now offers Gene-Trac® SARS-CoV-2 virus testing using advanced reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) tests. Geosyntec reports the new business unit has been a stellar performer, helping municipalities, schools, senior living facilities, and manufacturers proactively manage pandemic response and infection control, reducing the need for costly and time-consuming individual clinical tests. Communities and businesses now integrate this technology into their safety and pandemic response management.
COVID RESPONSE Disinfection & PPE Disposal
Heritage Environmental Services (Indianapolis, IN) and its subsidiaries for providing business continuity services to help curb the spread of COVID-19, and completing over 1,400 disinfection projects across the country as of December 23, 2020. Services include both routine and emergency disinfection, in addition to regular hazardous, industrial and medical waste transportation and disposal. Teams fog and spray general areas, as well as hand-wipe high-touch areas. Heritage uses List N disinfectants, meeting EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19. Heritage also developed a program to ensure safe, secure transportation and disposal of PPE, diverting this wastestream from landfills to an energy recovery facility to be thermally destroyed. Supporting personnel and local communities during crises is part of the company’s culture. As Heritage was deemed an essential workplace and its permitted facilities remained open, the company thanked employees and supported local businesses by ordering in food daily from nearby restaurants closed to in-person dining. Food scarcity and concern for children no longer attending school turned into donations exceeding $5,000 to local food banks in 25 communities. Heritage also provided lunch to area hospitals and donated excess PPE.
COVID RESPONSE Worksite Contact Tracing
Jacobs (Dallas, TX) for supporting biopharmaceutical clients engaged in manufacturing vaccines and therapeutics through the innovative evolution of its ion© Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform to serve as a worksite contact tracing application. Having accurate information on person-to-person contact is critical in addressing the spread of COVID-19 in close working situations. Knowing the exact personnel an infected person has had contact with on a worksite can mean the difference between isolating a few people versus shutting down an entire location. ion© provides companies a proven, deployed, automated solution to track mission-essential personnel interactions, establish primary and secondary contacts, and generate reports of interactions to better inform health-related decision-making processes. Contact tracing is accomplished with wearables (badges or wrist bands), relay sensors, and gateways. Wearable sensors transmit information to relay sensors which in turn transmit the data to the gateways. Gateways transmit the data to the cloud for storage, and report generation is enabled through the Jacobs ion© interface using a compliant browser on computers, mobile phones, and tablets.
COVID RESPONSE Risk Mitigation & Business Continuity
SGS (Geneva, Switzerland) for a two-pronged response to COVID-19. Firstly, implementing proactive strategies to protect employees and the public. Risk mitigation procedures include physical distancing, barrier protections, the allocation of PPE, enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures, and assessment of HVAC systems to ensure filtered air is delivered in its facilities. Comprehensive PCR testing strategies have also been implemented to identify carriers and protect stakeholders. Secondly, to ensure business continuity for customers, the company has leveraged the latest technologies to create a comprehensive portfolio of COVID-19-safe solutions – including remote auditing and inspection applications and verification services to ensure work environments are safe. SGS has helped companies confirm the efficiency of HVAC systems, verified virucide technologies, implemented virus testing capabilities (RT-qPCR, antigen rapid test, etc.), and provided hygiene verification on 1,500-plus buildings around the world. These properties demonstrate performance with SGS Disinfection Monitoring labels. Finally, SGS has provided 24/7 emergency response to customers through dedicated platforms. Despite a challenging year for SGS, the dedication of more than 6,500 health and safety and life-science specialists has ensured operational continuity so customers can continue to benefit from a full range of services.
COVID RESPONSE Workplace Reentry
Terracon (Olathe, KS) for giving owners assurance that their buildings are safe to enter. Terracon swiftly researched testing methods that could be conducted quickly to allow re-entry into buildings and identified quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) testing, enabling real time testing specifically for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The company purchased portable qPCR equipment that can analyze 20 samples per hour to partner with clients and provide real-time QA/QC testing following cleaning. Terracon partnered with the country club hosting the first “post-Covid shut-down” televised PGA golf tournament and conducted on-site qPCR sampling of 70 surfaces in areas planned for use by golf professionals and caddies following cleaning. Real time results showed the efficacy of the cleaning and provided real time data for re-cleaning, if necessary, before players arrived and allowing ample time to evaluate cleaning protocols and implement changes. This partnership allowed a PGA event to take place, with no recorded Covid transmissions.
COVID RESPONSE Keeping Communities Safe
TRC Companies, Inc. (Windsor, CT) for helping clients at all stages of the COVID-19 outbreak with real solutions – from industrial hygiene to air quality testing to digital solutions – to get back to business and prepare for the unknowns ahead. TRC is working to address the challenges presented by COVID-19 on a community and global level. Serving schools, college/universities, hospitals, leading utilities and transit authorities, TRC has developed solutions to keep communities safe. When stay-at-home orders began to subside, public transportation systems required additional extensive and consistent cleaning to keep riders safe and limit spread of COVID-19. TRC advised and worked with several metropolitan transit systems across the country, conducting cleaning verification on hundreds of buses, subway stations, and other transit assets. The company also worked with cleaning crews to revise procedures to comply with CDC guidelines and trained cleaning personnel on the new process and required PPE. Similarly, TRC consulted with universities and K-12 school leaders, administrators and school boards on reopening plans. Understanding the transmission of COVID-19, the efficacy of different cleaning methods, HVAC solutions, and best practices to reduce disease spread while avoiding wasteful spending is critical to reopening schools. Finally, TRC hosted webinars with other industry experts in transportation and school reopening.
COVID RESPONSE People First
SWCA Environmental Consultants, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) for taking a people-first approach to the pandemic, knowing that it wanted employees and clients to feel safe. The goal was to reduce the risk?of exposure to the coronavirus, be transparent about what safety measures were being taken, and instill confidence in employees and clients. SWCA immediately formed a COVID-19 taskforce to monitor developments, develop communication strategies for employees and clients, recommend policies, and advise senior leadership. SWCA’s human resources team implemented COVID-19 paid emergency leave, providing up to two weeks of paid leave for COVID-19 related needs. SWCA launched an internal COVID-19 communications site, which served as a hub for all COVID-19 related information from the company. SWCA was intentional about communicating the importance of mental health and well-being, providing employees access to a list of free home workout and wellness resources. SWCA supported Zoom for personal use, helping employees to stay in touch with family, friends, and loved ones. SWCA’s Senior Leadership Team also hosted quarterly company-wide Zoom meetings.
COVID RESPONSE Wastewater Monitoring
Trihydro Corporation (Laramie, WY) for offering COVID-19 wastewater monitoring services to municipalities, health care facilities, educational institutions, industrial clients, and private companies. While symptoms and positive individual COVID-19 test results may not appear for up to 14 days following exposure, the virus can appear in wastewater within three days of infection. Therefore, COVID-19 wastewater monitoring provides an early indication of COVID-19 prevalence in a population and assists in tracking infection trends. This information can complement other monitoring data to help leaders make decisions surrounding social distancing protocols, business or facility operations or additional individual testing requirements. Trihydro offers COVID-19 wastewater monitoring services to municipalities, health care facilities, educational institutions, industrial clients, and private companies. COVID-19 wastewater surveillance is a dynamic and rapidly evolving area of practice. Trihydro’s team follows COVID-19 wastewater sampling industry-standard protocols and is committed to staying at the forefront of training and research related to COVID-19 in wastewater.
COVID RESPONSE Decontamination Services
US Ecology (Boise, ID) for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by offering decontamination services to customers just four months after merging with NRC Group in November 2019. The merger strengthened US Ecology’s service offerings by integrating complementary solutions, including NRC’s 24/7 emergency response capabilities. This allowed the company to mobilize biohazardous response teams across the United States and Canada, deploying a Safe Operations Program to protect companies and their staff from the virus. From performing the country’s first decontamination response in Washington to thousands of others, the company has successfully executed vital decontamination and preventative cleaning services at a variety of sensitive, complex and high-profile sites, and continues to be a leading trusted partner for customers across industrial, retail, education, medical, health care and government industry segments. The merger also substantially grew company revenue and global footprint.
Information Technology: Digitalization
Trihydro Corporation for accelerating the digitalization of data collection with the introduction of FieldVision™, a customizable software platform to help companies collect, manage, and report environmental data. FieldVision’s scheduling and notification features support efficient workflows, while its cloud-based data storage allows for secure recordkeeping. FieldVision can be used for numerous regulatory programs, including Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure plans, tank inspections, stormwater plan inspections, groundwater monitoring, construction oversight, and BWON carbon canister inspections. With FieldVision, users are notified of required actions automatically, and when they then collect data using a mobile device/tablet with built-in form logic, the data is immediately uploaded. Users can view data in real-time on dashboards, perform data analysis, and generate reports. Project teams report a 60% reduction in hours over traditional paper data collection and reporting methods.
Cascade Environmental In a three-year period, Cascade Environmental (Bothell, WA) acquired 11 companies, each with its own technical infrastructure systems. Recognizing the lack of cohesion, the company hired its first Chief Information Officer, John Michael Gross. He built a team and set a technology systems strategy that has proven successful through growth in the business (17% CAGR over four years and consistent placement in Top 200 Environmental Firms ranking), large scale systems integration, and a new culture of collaboration across the organization. Implementing this strategy involved updating all applications, reporting, networks, security, storage, voice and collaboration nationwide to leverage the cloud to allow for faster response and streamlined collaboration. Aligning these tools has increased productivity immeasurably and decreased the technology costs nearly 40% versus the previous architecture. These efforts would have been important in any year, but in 2020 they were critical to keep employees working and the business running during the pandemic. The corporate services team began working remotely in the spring and, thanks to the Information Services team, this enabled the company to minimize the financial impact of the COVID-19 shutdowns and social distancing requirements.
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC (Hunt Valley, MD) for launching sEAmless, a Software as a Service (SaaS) environmental information management solution, to help organizations manage and report EHS&S data efficiently. With only months on the market, EA has completed a full implementation for a state transportation agency, and future prospects are robust as sEAmless continues to be recognized as a proven solution in the marketplace. Built on EA’s wealth of experience performing comprehensive EHS&S compliance services, deep understanding of regulatory commitments, and information technology expertise, sEAmless provides a cost effective, easy-to-use compliance portal that streamlines data management and reporting for EHS&S staff. With sEAmless’ out-of-the-box configurable components capability, users can manage and track equipment and build configurable inspection checklists to then schedule and perform inspections from any mobile device and track findings to closure using the task management module. sEAmless also provides the ability to store and track any type of document, record events, and track and maintain training records. sEAmless is offered as a subscription-based cloud solution, making it more economically accessible, as users only pay for the modules they need. Developed and managed by EA, sEAmless eliminates the client’s need to purchase and maintain software and hardware.
Geosyntec Consultants (Boca Raton, FL) for empowering data-driven decision-making through its information management program in support of COVID-19 management and response planning. Geosyntec works closely with clients to collect, analyze, and present sampling, testing, surveillance and monitoring data in an easily consumable fashion to support decisions that save lives and provide health officials with accurate and timely information to make decisions with confidence. Keene State College and the City of Keene, N.H. partnered with Geosyntec to conduct wastewater monitoring to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in their community and campus. In addition to laboratory testing, Geosyntec developed a custom data management system facilitating data reporting from the sewage sampling program. The custom system efficiently loads laboratory analysis data into a cloud Azure SQL database. An online dashboard was connected to the cloud database providing instant access to new sampling data in the form of time trend charts, summary indicators, and downloadable data tables. The dashboard at the end of the reporting pipeline has increased visibility and accessibility of results, allowing stakeholders to make data-driven decisions on demand and react quickly when viral concentrations increase.
ICF (Fairfax, VA) for completing the first phase of development on a project web portal (https://otay.azurewebsites.net) for the Otay River Restoration Project in Southern California. This 300-acre project aims to restore hydrology and fluvial processes to the river valley through a low flow channel and floodplain terrace, seasonal ponds, invasive species removal, and enhancement of a large upland buffer. Public facing content provides information about the project and endangered species in an accessible platform and includes an interactive map, aerial video footage, and wildlife camera photos showcasing species returning to the restoration area. Project partners can access various tools after logging in, including detailed survey data and summaries for self-service needs, and a unique photo viewing tool that compiles images over time.
Early in 2020, ICF established an aerial drone monitoring program for the project to capture routine images multiple times a year over the course of the five-year monitoring contract. Photo stations were set up using drone software to programmatically capture images at the same direction and angle on each flight, regardless of operator. The photo viewing tool can be used to select a photo station and direction and compare these images over time to quickly assess site progression.
Locus Technologies (Mountain View, CA) for continuing to grow and innovate in 2020, and for becoming the partner of choice for organizations seeking credibility in ESG, EHS compliance, and sustainability reporting. In 2020 Locus noted several achievements in its core business model as a leading provider of multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS) for EHS compliance and sustainability. Locus provided vital solutions to essential organizations during the earliest stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Locus provided fully digital waste tracking and the tools needed for groundbreaking work in embedded carbon relating to construction projects for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a potentially industry-transforming innovation. In 2020 Locus cemented its role as a key software provider, assisting many water utilities with necessary digital transformation. Water utilities used Locus software to deliver over 150 billion gallons of clean water to tap, the equivalent of 235,000 Olympic-size swimming pools, for over five million consumers. Utilities also benefited from newly released Locus tools such as the direct XML export to the EPA. Locus continued its work as a third-party verifier in Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Greenhouse Gas verifications, providing verification services for over 60 facilities totaling no less than 3.2 million barrels of crude oil, 2.6 million barrels of natural gas liquids, and 88 million bottles of wine. In 2020 Locus’ software became a platform of choice for ESG-based (environmental, social and governance) investing for companies wanting a credible system of record for sustainability and environmental compliance. Locus also expanded its partnerships with Aspect Consulting and Huco Consulting.
ehsAI (Vancouver, BC) for a game-changing year for its ehsAI platform, including global teaming agreements, industry recognition, and being acquired by Intelex, a subsidiary of Fortive. The company’s ehsAI platform in the cloud is revolutionizing the way EHS compliance is managed. ehsAI’s algorithms allow EHS professionals to deconstruct any EHS compliance document, no matter how messy and complex, into succinct compliance requirements in minutes. For example, an NPDS permit can be processed in the cloud in seconds and the compliance requirements, including event dates, can be downloaded into Excel or via APIs sent to any EHS software system for tracking. The company notes that ehsAI can save hours to weeks of work for just one permit, and the result is more cost effective, more accurate and more consistent in interpretation. ehsAI has four patents pending.
North Wind Services, LLC (Idaho Falls, ID) for completing the transition of the 435-person Supplemental Labor Contract at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in August 2020. During transition, North Wind’s IT department developed a new electronic software application to replace a paper-based process with a fully digital web-based system requisition and recruitment of supplemental labor in the Applicant Routing & Recruiting System (ARRS). The ARRS was designed and developed in-house based upon requirements received from customer interview sessions during transition. The system provides full traceability of all requisitions as they move through the approval processes from posting to interviewing and hiring, and produces data and metrics for the Project Dashboard. In addition to ARRS, North Wind also developed an automated business data integration system which interfaces with LLNL’s Oracle and Peoplesoft systems called the Livermore Integration and File Transfer (LIFT) system. This allows for Oracle to Cost Point integration enabling paperless collection, approval, and three-day invoicing of time and expenses for the 435 employees. Since August, North Wind has processed over 108,000 hours and over five million data records, including processing dozens of interfaces between North Wind and LLNL weekly.
Terracon Consultants, Inc. (Olathe, KS) for introducing Stage1, a new and innovative way to help clients make better-informed site selection decisions. Utilizing historical data, Terracon’s Stage1 disrupts how owners, design teams, and contractors develop preliminary designs, budgets, and timelines. By identifying areas of concern earlier, this technology leads to a better understanding of financial and scheduling risks and improved development planning. Stage1 is a “pre-diligence” platform that considers three elements important to any development site selection process: geotechnical, subsurface environmental, and environmental planning (including cultural resources and historic places, wetlands and waters of the U.S, and protected species). To provide key insights on these elements, Stage1 mines Terracon’s project data, compiled over its 50-year history, combines it with over 750 curated environmental and geologic data layers from public and private sources, and provides the opinion of local professionals practicing from over 150 Terracon offices nationwide. Stage1 results are provided for client access through a web-based, interactive Client Portal. Users can begin by preliminarily researching sites at no cost, but within five days of ordering the Stage1 report receive a deeper understanding of potentially significant issues that may affect development, a site rating of constructability, and recommendations for the next steps included in a Smart Work Plan. All is provided without the significant cost, time, and risk of intrusive exploration and investigations, which can be deal-team concerns during the site selection phase of the project lifecycle.
TRC Companies, Inc. (Windsor, CT) for combining capabilities around data capture, data management, analytics and visualization into a cohesive platform of data solutions called Connected EnviroView. By aligning services around a central digital platform, TRC can provide customers with faster decision making and insights. Environmental projects often require extensive field work that must be recorded and merged into a project workflow or database. These projects can also involve urgent safety concerns requiring accurate, complete data for a timely response. For example, TRC provided lead-based paint (LBP) inspection for the largest public housing authority in the U.S., NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) in more than 20,000 apartment units, which involved collecting more than 11,000 paint chips and conducting around 32 inspections daily. The project needed a high level of accuracy and coordination to methodically sample, test and analyze these paint samples. Connected EnviroView helped seamlessly analyze data, generate reports and work summaries, and communicate findings directly to NYCHA project staff. This allows NYCHA to monitor progress on all properties with daily statistics that include details like the number of inspections completed or paint chips collected, as well as “next day” schedules. A customized dashboard allows the NYCHA program team to check the status of any site at any time, without picking up the phone or writing an email.
NEW PRACTICE AREAS Turnkey Remediation Initiative
AECOM (Los Angeles, CA) for its Turnkey Remediation Initiative integrating consulting, engineering, sustainability, and construction services and uniting practitioners who were traditionally siloed. The new practice improves organizational efficiency, allowing owners to procure a single-source consultant/contractor with a laser-like focus on implementing final sustainable remedial solutions. Federal performance-based contracting, CCR site closures, PFAS liability management, mega-project closure, and sediment/waterway remediation/restoration all benefit from this optimized approach. AECOM is executing three large cost-to-closure NA Oil & Gas portfolios; completed a large, turnkey landfill closure utilizing synthetic cover; and is completing one of the largest turnkey PFAS treatment system installations. AECOM also continued work on a multi-year turnkey CCR closure-by-removal project worth more than $100 million. 2020 wins: more than $250 million in U.S. Federal and Oil & Gas alternative delivery/contracting work.
NEW PRACTICE AREAS RaaS for EHS Staffing
Antea Group (Heerenveen, Netherlands) for Resources-as-a-Service (RaaS), a fully scalable new solution to temporary environment, health, safety and sustainability staffing. EHS departments face staffing challenges: Some jobs are temporary and don’t require the addition of full-time staff; sometimes it’s difficult to fill a role that requires a high level of experience. Antea provides a flexible, custom solution – whether embedding staff onsite, partnering remotely or a combination of both. RaaS engagements start with a dedicated account leader who works with clients to understand their EHS needs and develop a resource plan. Antea’s model means clients benefit from engaged resources that fit their culture and specific technical needs, get access to a pool of EHS subject matter experts locally and globally, and enjoy ongoing communication, support and resource performance management with minimal effort required on their part for resource onboarding, transition and termination.
NEW PRACTICE AREAS Enterprise GIS
ddms, inc. (St. Paul, MN) for formally launching a new service area in January 2020 to include enterprise geographic information systems (GIS). ddms recognized clients’ needs for geospatial services, the trend towards enterprise operations, and the perpetual need for value-driven solutions. Enterprise GIS has increased in visibility as organizations leverage the power of location-based information for executive decision-making and operational efficiency. ddms took the opportunity to combine long-standing geospatial service offerings with a key veteran GIS hire, Elizabeth Ziemer, to create a specialty group to address the enterprise landscape. “Enhancing our GIS services by offering clients a strategic enterprise approach allows us to offer value and sustainability along with our environmental data management solutions,” said Ziemer. Strong partnerships with Esri and AWS complement the team’s experience supporting enterprise GIS. Since 2006, ddms has offered geostatistical analysis, 3D visualization, LiDAR data processing, robust GIS server-side application development and hosting services. The new team will continue to enable key enterprise integrations such as GIS and environmental data systems with the focus on leveraging clients’ existing technology investments.
NEW PRACTICE AREAS Earth Movement Monitoring
Groundwater & Environmental Services (GES, Wall Township, NJ) for Pipeline ROW Earth Movement Monitoring and Prediction. GES recently developed an interdisciplinary approach to examining earth movements (e.g., excessive erosion and slope failure, including slumps and slides) along steep slopes in pipeline right-of-ways (ROW). This approach integrates conventional hydrogeological principles, geographic information system (GIS) analysis, and small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS)/drone technology. The sUAS technology supports the evaluation by providing data not available through other resources. Drones are used to collect conventional photography/videos for visual inspection; thermal imagery for springs and seeps identification, and analysis; and nadir imagery for photogrammetric development of current surface elevation contours. Combining conventional hydrogeological data (e.g., groundwater elevation data) with sUAS information and subsequently analyzing these data with GIS technology has allowed GES to identify the precise locations where groundwater potentiometric surfaces intercept steep slopes and are believed to have compromised soil stability that resulted in earth movements. GES believes integrated data modeling provides important predictive information critical to developing mitigation of current or potential earth movements, evaluating potential issues at currently unaffected existing pipeline ROWs, and for better planning of future pipeline ROW developments.
NEW PRACTICE AREAS Battery Recycling
Heritage Environmental Services (Indianapolis, IN) for adding battery recycling to its processing options and positioning itself on the cutting edge of electronic vehicle battery reuse and recycling as industries consider electrification of their fleets. A leader in materials management, reuse and recycling, Heritage Environmental has made a strategic investment with Romeo Power, an energy technology company focused on designing and manufacturing lithium-ion battery modules and packs for commercial electric vehicles. The Heritage Group, through its corporate venture arm, HG Ventures, was an early investor in Romeo Power. Now, in addition to the initial investment, Heritage Environmental is supporting co-development of a battery reuse and recycle facility for Romeo Power’s batteries near or at end-of-life. Heritage has also committed to a pilot program next year to convert a portion of the company’s fleet to electronic vehicles, powered by Romeo.
NEW PRACTICE AREAS Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS)
ICF (Fairfax, VA) for completing the Yolo Regional Conservation Investment Strategy in October 2020, the second ever RCIS approved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. ICF also prepared the first RCIS – the Santa Clara RCIS, approved by CDFW in December 2019 – and is currently preparing an additional four RCISs. CDFW’s RCIS Program was created by California State Assembly Bill 2087 and signed by the Governor in September 2016. The RCISs that ICF is leading were created to demonstrate proof of concept of the new RCIS Program and to assist advance mitigation and conservation planning to benefit transportation infrastructure, renewable energy development, sustainable groundwater management, flood control infrastructure, and conservation and mitigation on working lands. The RCIS Program facilitates infrastructure development by incentivizing advance mitigation through regional conservation planning and provides streamlined mechanisms for local communities to develop conservation blueprints to encourage conservation by facilitating more efficient local mitigation programs. ICF is growing capabilities in RCIS development, and early success of the recently approved RCISs has encouraged other public agencies around the state to develop RCISs, including in the Kaweah Subbasin (Tulare and Kings Counties), Monterey County, and Santa Cruz County.
NEW PRACTICE AREAS Positive Performance
Jacobs & Biomimicry 3.8: Jacobs (Dallas, TX) for developing a unique collaboration and strategic partnership with Biomimicry 3.8 – a global consulting and innovation firm specializing in nature-based solutions and nature-inspired designs – to offer Positive Performance. The new practice area combines B3.8’s assessment and innovation methodology with the domain expertise of Jacobs’ engineers, architects, landscape architects and planners to offer clients regenerative design solutions that optimize system performance while benefiting people and the planet. Positive Performance yields plans and designs that emulate and facilitate ecosystem services, the multi-faceted benefits that natural ecosystems provide to humanity (such as air quality, carbon sequestration, water cycle management, aesthetics, and renewable energy) in order to deliver health and wellness benefits. The concept is based on biomimicry – emulation of nature’s innovation into design – and provides a unique platform for the development of sustainable and regenerative solutions. Advancing earlier collaborative studies, Jacobs and B3.8 are now engaged in a project with Ford Motor Company to use the methodology to create a global corporate sustainability strategy that will transform Ford’s approach to planning and delivering global campus and facilities design, leveraging design strategies developed for three pilot projects, including Ford’s Research & Development hub in Dearborn, Mich.
NEW PRACTICE AREAS Air Pollutant Emission-Cap Regulation
Korea Environment Corporation (Keco) The Air Pollutant Emission-Cap Regulation for Businesses is a representative system created through painstaking efforts by central government ministries (Ministry of Environment and Han River Basin Environmental Office), local government, Korea Environment Corporation, and businesses to promote the fine dust reduction policy and policy compliance. The Corporation is the exclusive institution that implements emission volume control, the trading systems for total volume control and emission rights, and provides technical support for the installation of prevention facilities to facilitate the stable establishment of the Air Pollutant Emission-Cap Regulation. In particular, the Corporation played a key role in the expansion of the Dust-Emission-Cap Regulation (the first in the world, 2018) and the national scale implementation of the system (the first in the world, 2020).
NEW PRACTICE AREAS Coastal Restoration
Sovereign Consulting Inc. (Robbinsville, NJ) for establishment and development of a Coastal Restoration Program (CRP) with the focus of designing and constructing living shorelines along the Atlantic Coast. In a short time, the living shoreline program has grown from $100,000 in revenue to nearly $1 million in 2020. Continued growth of more than 30% is expected into 2021. Clients and project stakeholders include federal, state, and municipal agencies, National Estuary Programs (NEPs), and NGOs. Sovereign’s service area is turnkey, including initial project evaluations, concept development, project design, permitting, implementation, monitoring, and funding acquisition. One of Sovereign’s living shoreline projects, located along the New Jersey Delaware Bayshore, was one of three in the nation to receive the 2020 Best Restored Shore Award by the American Shore & Beach Preservation Assn. Sovereign was applauded for innovative project design and implementation. Part of Sovereigns success is outreach involving subject matter presentations at conferences and forums, sitting on State and NEP committees, and instructing at workshops.
NEW PRACTICE AREAS
Wastewater Testing for SARS-CoV-2
Pace Analytical (Minneapolis, MN) for becoming the first commercial laboratory to test and monitor wastewater treatment systems for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Pace Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with Pace Life Sciences, leveraged combined strengths to quickly develop a process for monitoring wastewater for changes in the level of RNA from the SARS-CoV-2 virus over time. Wastewater testing falls into the surveillance testing category in that it doesn’t detect an infection in a specific individual, but it can help determine if additional testing or precautionary measures are needed. Wastewater testing also has several advantages over other testing programs. It is less intrusive at the individual level, accounts for the presence of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, and allows for spot testing, as long as an isolated wastewater stream is available. By monitoring quantitative data over time, versus ubiquitous wastewater pass/fail tests, Pace has helped municipalities, universities, correctional facilities, businesses, and more with actionable data they can monitor and use to anticipate and prepare for outbreaks and make efforts to contain spreading.
PROJECT MERIT Sediment Remediation
AECOM (Los Angeles, CA) for developing new machine learning (ML) models as part of a flexible Enhanced Adaptive Management framework for sediment remediation on Virginia’s South River, significantly advancing ML as a tool to model and simulate complex environmental processes. Based on deep learning/gradient boosting algorithms, the ML-based models predict sediment, surface water, and fish tissue mercury concentrations significantly more accurately than traditional statistical models. Based on simulations of system response to remedial action, these models set expectations of mercury concentration declines in these media following remediation. The models simulated the outcomes of decreasing bank mercury loading on sediment and surface water concentrations, which were then carried forward to simulate decreases in fish tissue mercury. Simulations showed the highest decrease in fish tissue mercury will occur directly downstream of bank remediation areas down to background mercury levels which would achieve remedial action objectives. A business-as-usual climate scenario also showed climate change (warming) will not negate remediation-based improvements in fish tissue mercury, which is an important consideration for green and sustainable remediation projects. These efficient, highly-flexible ML-based models are proven, critical tools in project remedial decisions and easily adapted for use in other large environmental sites.
PROJECT MERIT Innovative Mine Rehabilitation
Arcadis (Amsterdam, Netherlands) for helping a confidential IOC to modernize environmental management at a former coal mine in central Pennsylvania. One major activity planned by the client was hydraulic dredging of AMD neutralization sludges that had accumulated in a settling pond for over 36 years. The conventional plan the client had received involved putting staff on the water to operate the dredge with dewatering and off-site disposal of the sludges. Instead, Arcadis developed an innovative approach involving: Remote operated dredge that didn’t require staff to be on the water; Air and water drones with micro-chip sonar to track bathymetry and dredging progress; Remote expert technology to allow the client remote access to the work environment; Repurposing sludges by sending them into the mine instead of to a landfill. This helps improve mine water quality without sludge dewatering, heavy truck hauling or landfilling. This delivered a CO2 reduction of nearly 50 tons. The client awarded the project team both a safety award (more than 7,000 field hours with zero losses) and a cost savings award (saved greater than 80% of conventional estimate).
PROJECT MERIT Municipal Landfill Redevelopment
Ayres Associates, Inc. (Green Bay, WI) for environmental engineering expertise that guided the City of Glendale, WI, during a five-year redevelopment of the City’s former municipal solid waste landfill site into a vibrant community park and collegiate-level baseball complex. Ayres designed complex modifications to the landfill cover, gas control system, and gas and groundwater monitoring networks to maintain function of existing landfill components while providing an adequate barrier to reduce infiltration and limit direct human contact. The firm coordinated permitting with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to confirm regulation compliance and developed modifications that serve as the foundation for recreational use at this 15-acre site. The long-standing blighted landfill site now serves the Glendale community as the Richard E. Maslowski Community Park, featuring a synthetic turf baseball field completed in 2020. The crown jewel of the park, the baseball field is played on by Milwaukee School of Engineering and regional college teams. The park also offers an outdoor stage and amphitheater, playground, concession stand, locker rooms, restrooms, storage areas, veterans memorial, and community center.
PROJECT MERIT Drilling and Testing
Cascade Environmental Aquifer Drilling & Testing (ADT, Mineola, NY), a Cascade Company, for successfully partnering with Arup to core, sample and test four sites along the proposed path of an underground tunnel in New York City. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection is in the early stages of designing a deep rock tunnel 27 feet in diameter and approximately 400 feet below ground to transport water from the Kensico reservoir to the Catskill-Delaware Ultraviolet Light Disinfection Facility. Engineering such projects requires a vast amount of data about the subsurface. ADT’s ability to provide the specialty equipment and qualified personnel to obtain soil samples and bedrock cores, do hydraulic conductivity testing, inclination testing and orientation testing made them a highly qualified subcontractor. To expedite the project, ADT selected and managed vendors to survey all locations, remove untreated water and landscape laydown areas; they then provided streamlined project reporting to Arup. After the project commenced, ADT discovered a vertical fracture in the bedrock in one of the sites. The crew opened the hole further with a roller bit, grouted it, and re-drilled. Results from orientation testing indicate additional boring sites will face similar challenges. Four locations have been successfully drilled, and an additional seven are slated for 2021.
PROJECT MERIT CVOCs Removal
TerraTherm (Gardner, MA), a Cascade Company, for successfully partnering with a Fortune 500 engineering firm to remove more than 200,000 lbs of chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs) from a former manufacturing facility. The engineering firm was contracted to address tetrachloride contamination at the site. After extensive site characterization, they brought in TerraTherm to remove the estimated 60,000 lbs of contaminant using electrical resistance heating (ERH). Based on the high resolution site characterization (HRSC) data made available, TerraTherm designed and implemented the thermal remediation system.Once heating began, issues not identified during site characterization became apparent. The site’s electrical properties were much more conductive than anticipated, and stormwater flooding made it difficult to achieve and maintain necessary temperatures. Even still, TerraTherm was removing contaminant mass at a high rate—indicating there was likely more than originally estimated. TerraTherm and its client determined that despite these problems, the existing treatment system could still achieve site goals with minor modification. They broke the site into two operational phases, making it easier to heat the ground and to have pipe capacity for removing the CVOC. Although the remediation process took longer than anticipated, it saved the client enormous cost overruns by utilizing the existing remediation system.
PROJECT MERIT Risk Assessment: Novel Firefighting Foams
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC (Hunt Valley, MD) for being awarded a major Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) grant to perform research into the ecological and environmental risks associated with novel fluorine-free firefighting foams, making 2020 a milestone year for EA’s innovative partnership with Towson University (TU). The goal of this latest research is to develop ecotoxicology data for several ecological receptors and assess the biodegradation potential of multiple fluorine-free firefighting foams. This research will fill data gaps to better assess the environmental impacts of alternative firefighting foams and will be used by the Department of Defense in prioritizing use as it implements the congressionally mandated update to military specifications. This SERDP award significantly broadens the scope of research being undertaken by EA in its strategic alliance with TU, which was established in 2017 to position EA as a research entity specializing in emerging contaminants by leveraging the capabilities of the company’s dynamic ecotoxicology laboratory. Key to the partnership’s success has been the adoption of a durable cooperative model that benefits from common interests in research on ecological effects of emerging contaminants and the advancement of potentially safer firefighting alternatives. This is EA’s third SERDP grant in partnership with TU.
PROJECT MERIT Fish Hatchery Waters
EMPSi (Boulder, CO) for work on the The Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery fish passage project. The hatchery, located in Washington, mitigates anadromous fish losses above the Grand Coulee Dam by rearing approximately 1.2 million spring Chinook salmon annually. The current diversion and water delivery system on Icicle Creek is approaching the end of its operational life and does not comply with the National Marine Fisheries Service criteria for anadromous salmonids. EMPSi, working with the Bureau of Reclamation, recently released an Environmental Impact Statement that analyzes various opportunities to modernize the Hatchery’s surface water intake and delivery system while improving fish passage and sediment control and ensuring safe, efficient, and reliable delivery of the Hatchery’s full surface water rights from Icicle Creek.
PROJECT MERIT Wetlands
Great Ecology (San Diego, CA) for designing a constructed treatment wetland system (along with team lead Fuscoe Engineering) completed at the world famous Del Mar Fairgrounds in summer 2020. Located in the Fairground’s horse racing track, the system tackles the challenge of treating surface water runoff to meet Regional Board discharge requirements prior to entering the San Dieguito Lagoon and Pacific Ocean. The full stormwater treatment facility includes backstretch conveyance infrastructure, lift stations, a settling pond, a constructed wetland, and a wastewater treatment facility. Great Ecology’s designers, led by Jill McGrady, Ph.D., utilized the existing East and West Ponds on site within the design, transforming them from purely aesthetic features into effective water treatment systems that efficiently remove nutrients from effluent before it enters the existing wastewater treatment facility by promoting different nutrient cycling processes in an optimal sequence. The design team understood that different removal processes are optimized in different types of constructed wetlands in a certain order. The constructed wetlands system therefore promotes phosphorus removal and one part of the nitrogen cycle in a vertical flow wetland, then continuation of the nitrogen cycle and nutrient uptake in soils and vegetation in a free-water surface wetland. Effluent can be reintroduced into the system if needed to maximize nutrient removal to help meet the regulatory limits. The system is estimated to remove between 50% and 75% of nutrients from effluent and will be run at a significant cost savings to the Fairgrounds compared to non-ecologically based systems. The constructed wetlands system is also visually appealing, which is important given its prominent location at the track.
PROJECT MERIT Feedback & Grievance Redress
Marstel-Day Environmental Consulting (Fredericksburg, VA) for receiving a competitive grant under USAID’s Resilient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Environment (RISE) Innovation Challenge to address linkages between environmental/ resource-based conflict and gender-based violence (GBV) under conservation benefit-sharing schemes. Marstel-Day is delivering the next iteration of a Feedback and Grievance Redress Mechanism (FGRM) for the Government of Fiji’s National REDD+ Programme (Fiji REDD+) to help respond to concerns, complaints, disputes, and other contentious issues that may arise during REDD+ readiness and implementation. This “FGRM+” will better respond to gender-related risks and incidences of GBV which may occur as a result of REDD+ activities. Because GBV and environmental issues are interlinked, they can in some contexts form feedback loops where gender-based attacks, harassment, and discrimination worsen the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resources, and this environmental deterioration triggers new, more damaging forms of violence. In other contexts, preventing and responding to GBV unlocks opportunities for enhanced environmental action, as well as for women’s and community empowerment. Our innovative approach will assist USAID in scaling up across the Pacific region. Partners include WI-HER, the Government of Fiji, USAID, the World Bank, University of the South Pacific, the Fiji Environmental Law Association, Live & Learn Environmental Education, and Fiji’s REDD+ Programme.
PROJECT MERIT Site Remediation
North Wind Portage, Inc. for marking completion of Phase I on July 31, 2020, when the 5,000th truck left the Luckey Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) Site loaded with material contaminated with beryllium, radium-226, thorium-230, uranium-234, uranium-238, and lead. North Wind began shipping FUSRAP-related material from Luckey in June 2018 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District. The project transports and disposes of approximately 1,155 tons of contaminated soil per week – and has maintained that throughout the COVID pandemic. Since the cleanup contract award in 2015, North Wind has worked over 370,000 hours without a lost time accident and logged over 750,000 safe miles to and from the landfill. Phase I cleanup began in April 2018, and North Wind recently completed the backfill and restoration of the area. The entire cleanup is 37% complete. The North Wind team has “overcome incredible technical challenges and worked safely and efficiently to achieve this important milestone, while completing some of the most hazardous cleanup work across the complex,” said Jeff Scott, President of North Wind Portage. “We sincerely appreciate their hard work, dedication to safety, and our partnership with USACE–all of which made this significant achievement possible.”
PROJECT MERIT Cherry Creek Restoration
Pinyon Environmental, Inc. (Lakewood, CO) for the Cherry Creek Restoration Project, a collaboration between Denver, Arapahoe County, the Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority, Denver Water, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, and the Mile High Flood District. Constructed by Concrete Express and designed by Muller Engineering with support from Stream Landscape Architecture and Pinyon Environmental, this project corrected severe erosion, degraded vegetation, and risk to nearby facilities along a one-mile reach of Cherry Creek. The project enhances stream function, safety, aesthetics, and ecological health, providing community amenities including open space, pedestrian connectivity, regional mobility, sustainable ecological processes, and enhanced water quality. Design and construction were constrained by the presence of buried landfill materials including asbestos. During conceptual planning, the team successfully identified environmental constraints to modify the design to avoid, minimize, and mitigate environmental conflicts. Where avoidance was not practicable, remediation measures and abatement activities were completed; materials left in place were encapsulated and stabilized to avoid costly disposal. The project was able to sustainably reuse inert materials such as concrete to provide deep scour protection. Construction was successful in coping with the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, where “essential” workers implemented robust measures to maintain health and safety – the result was construction moved forward without delays.
PROJECT MERIT Clean Drinking Water
RTI International (Research Triangle Park, NC) for pursuing its vision of clean water for U.S. kids – in child care, school, and at home. Lead is a component of piping and plumbing – even “lead-free” plumbing allows some lead. Until recently, there has been no convenient, feasible, and scientifically defensible way to test for lead at every tap. RTI’s novel approach to lead testing at the tap includes citizen scientists and mail-out test kits, along with an online enrollment, training, tracking, communication, and reporting portal. With cross-disciplinary expertise in laboratory analytical science, environmental health science, computer programming, and risk communication, citizens are empowered to test and fix problems at the tap. In 2020, RTI identified detectable lead in 77% of North Carolina child care center tap water samples, with 8% of centers needing follow-up support due to elevated lead. Multi-sectoral efforts with the NC Division of Public Health, NC Child, and Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic received the 2020 Harvard Roy Award for Environmental Partnership due to innovation, significance, scalability, and transferability to related environmental problems and regions. RTI’s program is expanding to other states in 2021, including Georgia, and also testing per- and poly-fluoro alkyl substances (PFAS).
PROJECT MERIT Remediation
SCS Engineers: A Florida developer acquired a 500-acre former landfill to redevelop into an 8-million-square-foot industrial park. Reuse of the site required remediation of contaminated groundwater and stormwater. Problem: Environmental guidelines required 140 acres be set aside for stormwater retention. This involved relocating several thousand cubic yards of waste but would prevent redevelopment of the 140 acres, costing the developer $300 million in real estate sales. That, combined with the expense of groundwater remediation, would make site redevelopment cost prohibitive. Solution: SCS Engineers’ (Long Beach, CA) innovative strategy included connecting the groundwater remediation and stormwater management systems. The integrated system allows for shallow aquifer recharge using stormwater and captures impacted groundwater at the site’s boundary. Extracted groundwater is ultimately disposed of through a 3,500 feet deep injection well. SCS provided an alternative design acceptable to permitting agencies that included groundwater remediation, stormwater management and recharge as a single system. Benefits: The integrated system made the 140 acres available for redevelopment. Over 2 million square feet of building space is being constructed, with another 6 million square feet planned. Development will create hundreds of new jobs and deliver several hundred million dollars to the city and county tax base.
PROJECT MERIT Radiological Decontamination
SIA Solutions: Four Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) aircraft, contaminated by radiological fallout from Fukushima, were purchased by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to increase fleet capability. SIA Solutions, LLC (Houston, TX), in partnership with government agencies, conducted radiological surveys to establish baseline conditions, performed decontamination, and provided radiological remediation support during aircraft disassembly of four MH-53 Navy Helicopters radiologically contaminated from the Fukushima disaster. Fieldwork associated with this project was performed from 2017 to 2020. Over the course of the three-year project, SIA conducted scans of accessible areas, direct radiation measurements, analysis via Gamma Spectroscopy Systems, bulk counter measurements and removable contamination measurements of MH-53 Helicopter airframes and associated components, collecting over 3,662 samples. Results were submitted for review to Naval Sea Systems Command Radiological Controls Program Office (NAVSEA 04N). Where radionuclide concentrations exceeded project release levels, the extent and type of contamination was further defined and a means of decontamination provided for review. Decontamination was performed as required and disposition of components deemed waste and all secondary waste generated during project activities was executed upon approval from multiple government agencies. As a result of SIA’s work, no further actions are required to protect human health and the environment.
PROJECT MERIT UAV Magnetometer Survey
Terracon Consultants, Inc. (Olathe, KS) for conducting a UAV Magnetometer Survey to map construction risk posed by former oil and gas operations. The project site included a 2,400-acre property previously used extensively for oil and gas activities. The client wanted to separate the planned solar equipment infrastructure from any abandoned underground well casings. Much of the site contained dense thorny brush, making pedestrian magnetometer surveys impractical without expensive brush clearing. Initially, oil and gas well permit records and historical aerial photographs were reviewed to prepare GIS-based maps showing the suspected well locations to be surveyed. A light-weight high-sensitivity magnetometer affixed to a drone with a 13-pound payload capacity was used to survey over and around areas where records indicated wells had been drilled. GIS/GPS flight missions were prepared to allow controlled survey transects to be flown 10-feet apart, and 10-30 feet above the ground. Magnetic and GPS data were modeled to create anomaly maps showing the well locations. The process was more efficient than pedestrian surveys and allowed access to areas with dense brush. The magnetic anomaly locations were verified afterwards with a hand-held instrument. Using this approach, the construction risk from former oil and gas operations was identified faster, with less effort, and at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional pedestrian survey methods.
PROJECT MERIT Climate Resilient Park
Weston & Sampson (Reading, MA) for leading comprehensive renewal of the 4.5-acre Langone Park & Puopolo Playground, the first signature waterfront park designed using the City of Boston’s climate resiliency design guidelines. Once the site of the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 in the historic North End, it is now an active recreation lifeline for Boston’s most densely developed community, providing access to recreation opportunities for a diverse, multi-generational population. The park is also a critical link within Boston’s HarborWalk, a network of publicly accessible corridors along Boston Harbor. Weston & Sampson’s multidisciplinary design approach included climate-resilient features embedded throughout the park to protect the neighborhood from sea level rise and damaging storm surge. The company collaborated closely with the City, Climate Ready Boston, and other stakeholders to project climate parameters, model anticipated sea level rise/storm surge, and safely elevate the boardwalk as part of an integrated seawall for the park. The company incorporated ground improvement and lightweight soils to mitigate potential settlement concerns and elevate the park without affecting adjacent structures or park features. Innovative stormwater management techniques/systems enhanced flood recovery following storm events and allow for future connection of off-property stormwater systems to further reduce flooding issues in the City.
PROJECT MERIT Water Utility Climate Risk
WSP USA (San Francisco, CA and Denver, CO) for providing planning, design, execution and evaluation of the first ever water utility climate risk and opportunity tabletop exercises (TTX) with Denver Water and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) in 2020. These TTXs were co-designed between WSP and the water utilities to test the Water Utility Business Function Climate Risk and Opportunity Framework and Guidebook developed between 2018-2019 and published in 2020. By leveraging WSP’s TTX expertise in partnership with Denver Water and SFPUC, WSP established an innovative, collaborative and science-based climate scenario planning approach to help water utility business function leads understand existing underlying conditions, their exposure and sensitivities to future changes in the climate (both acute shocks and chronic stressors), and how they can accelerate the mainstreaming of climate considerations into utility management. As a result of these TTXs, WSP has trained over 40 Denver Water staff and 15 SFPUC staff to identify and prioritize key risks, opportunities and solutions across mission-critical business functions. This approach was informed by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations and can help water utilities identify, assess, and disclose their climate-related risks and opportunities.
PROJECT MERIT Deactivation & Demolition
Engineering/Remediation Resources Group, Inc. (ERRG, Martinez, CA), a small, woman- and minority-owned business, for winning a prime contract with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for deactivation and demolition of Building 79 structures and foundations, removal of potentially environmentally impacted sewer/storm piping and soils, construction of a temporary 12kV bypass, and removal of a legacy 12kV duct bank. The contract also included option scope for construction of transformer pads, tower foundations, and a utility vault for the expansion of the adjacent Grizzly Peak electrical substation. ERRG’s team includes Rosendin Electric, Granite Construction, and Amentum. ERRG is working with the Projects and Infrastructure Modernization Division, which oversees a variety of small- to large-scale projects ranging from infrastructure upgrades to retrofits. This opportunity will boost ERRG’s qualifications to pursue other prime opportunities at other DOE facilities, including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pantex Plant, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories, thus facilitating new federal clients for ERRG.
PROJECT MERIT PFAS testing accreditation
Absolute Resource Associates: In January 2020, Absolute Resource Associates (ARA, Portsmouth, N.H.) set the wheels in motion to become accredited for PFAS analysis, which would make it the only lab in New Hampshire to offer on-site and in-state testing for PFAS in environmental samples. The plan involved a $500,000 investment in equipment, plus training, audits, personnel and many other challenges. All of the pieces were in place, when COVID hit and the universe seemed to suggest that everyone hit the pause button. The ARA management team decided to press on with its PFAS plan, and by the end of April the company was awarded accreditation under the NH Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program for testing PFAS in Drinking Water, making it the first and only New Hampshire-based laboratory certified to test PFAS in the state. In May, ARA was awarded a $2 million contract with the state for PFAS analysis, and in December, ARA was certified for testing PFAS by LC-MS/MS, using quantitation by isotope dilution, allowing ARA to offer analysis for both compliance drinking water samples by EPA Method 537.1, and matrices such as surface and groundwater using the isotope dilution method. Creativity, resourcefulness and technology allowed ARA to implement a very sophisticated piece of instrumentation during an extremely challenging year.
PROJECT MERIT Environmental Data Management Systems
EarthSoft (Pensacola, FL) expanded its client base and significantly grew its infrastructure in 2020 for supporting large EQuIS Enterprise clients. Typically these clients are governments, industrials, or consultants with mega-projects or portfolios of facilities and are using all EQuIS modules and the complete EQuIS workflow. EarthSoft added multiple staff in 2020, expanding especially in Canada and in response to US DOE projects with CONUS (Continental United States) requirements. EQuIS use especially grew in the mining sector in 2020 with multiple new projects in Australia, Mexico, France, Saskatchewan, and elsewhere. EarthSoft initiated an EQuIS Data Governance program to assist EQuIS deployments. These large projects typically have multiple labs and field subcontractors and must create contractual language for the application of EQuIS modules like EDP and Collect for distributed, third-party use. EarthSoft increased the size of its Training Department and continued to grow resources for the Business Partner Program. EarthSoft is an innovation-driven company; significant revenues derive from products only recently published by EarthSoft, including the new Collect, DQM and EQuIS Geotechnical Module.
INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP CCR Remediation
AECOM (Los Angeles, CA) for steadily innovating and advancing the Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) remediation industry by providing high-impact, timely information presented within expert testimony. The company thereby contributed significantly not only to project decision-making and outcomes but also to public and environmental policy forums. AECOM’s continued use of comprehensive data sets via Ash Mart – even throughout Covid-19 restrictions – yielded innovative analysis regarding closure decisions, which benefitted and informed rulemaking testimony. This supplanted relying strictly on testimony based on experience, which historically has not been supported by rigorous and voluminous data. Bringing such expertise and information to light resulted in stakeholder clarity, overcoming confusion brought about by the uncertainty of personal expert testimony. Important benefits result: more stakeholder agreement on outcomes; better decision-making from a position of information; and aligned policy decisions for the greater good of community and environment. By continuing to benchmark and now bring solid data fully into public CCR industry scenarios, AECOM has been able to demonstrate – rather than suggest – best outcomes and better understanding of regulated community decision-making. The advances demonstrate – for the first time – that AECOM’s data methodology is bringing the highest impact to public records and policy, thereby bringing credibility, understanding, and clarity to the entire CCR community.
African Solution (Mogadishu, Somalia) is a social enterprise solid waste management company that converts plastic waste into affordable construction materials such as roof tiles, columns and interlocks. The company has been recognized by government and won an award from the Prime Minister’s Office, Directorate of Environment in late 2019. The firm promotes waste management while fostering social cohesion between returning migrants and their communities of return in Mogadishu under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration Project. Business declined during the pandemic following strict Covid-19 guidelines that minimized the labour force. However, during the pandemic the firm has expanded its research scope, addressing the root cause of solid waste. Professional local and international city planners joined the firm to provide urban planning services.
Korea Environment Corporation (Keco) Korea is a resource-poor country, where every resource is valuable. It is a high-volume energy consumer with an extremely high dependency on other countries. Its waste generation continues to increase due to economic growth, but the installation of new waste disposal facilities has been constrained by the NIMBY phenomenon. Considering this, it is necessary to establish a production and consumption structure that does not increase waste while achieving economic growth. Waste generation should be constrained and waste recycling should be strongly encouraged, either in the form of physical recycling (maximizing the use of the physical material) or thermal recycling (converting waste into energy as much as possible). This reduction of natural resources and energy consumption will contribute to preserving the environment. The enactment of the Framework Act on Resource Circulation and the enforcement of related systems, which stipulate the basic matters necessary for the transition to a sustainable resource-circulating society, are important policy attempts to move beyond Korea’s existing waste management paradigm and linear economy to a circular economy and resource circulation society. In addition, it will also contribute to the formation of a national consensus that realizing a circular economy is a key strategy to solve environmental and economic problems at the same time. Keco hopes to raise global awareness of the excellence of Korea’s new circular economy policy and related institutions and boost international cooperation and partnerships between countries, including the EU
Trihydro Corporation (Laramie, WY) for participating in the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council’s (ITRC) Industry Affiliates Program (IAP) since 2001, with multiple staff participating in numerous Project Teams over the past two decades. The ITRC works to achieve healthy and sustainable air, water, land, and ecology through collaborative research and communication of innovative solutions to challenging environmental problems. Project Teams help develop technical guidance documents and training series materials to assist professionals and stakeholders (e.g., federal/state agencies, academia, industry, and consultants) working throughout the environmental industry. In 2020, Trihydro professionals participated in several Project Teams, including those surrounding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), 1,4-dioxane, soil background concentrations/risk assessments, vapor intrusion, environmental statistics, and bioremediation. In 2021, staff will be assigned to five Project Teams. Trihydro team members routinely co-author and peer-review ITRC documents and give technical training presentations on the latest environmental Project Team topics. Through Trihydro’s work with ITRC and similar academic consortia, team members are committed to collaborating with diverse stakeholders in the industry with differing perspectives to generate awareness of and support for important environmental issues.
Industry Leadership: George B. Smith
George Smith for serving in various leadership roles in the environmental consulting & engineering industry and community for the past 35 years. In addition to a career that progressed from Bechtel to Harding Lawson to MACTEC to Arcadis and to his own management consulting business, George has served on the 13-member Hazardous Materials Commission in Contra Costa County, California since 2004. He was appointed Environmental Engineer in 2006, and elected Chairman of the Commission in 2012, and has served as Chairman since. The Commission consists of representatives from industry, environmental organizations, labor unions, elected officials, and local community advisors and has addressed issues such as: Environmental Justice; Prioritization of brownfield sites; disposal of pharmaceuticals; impact of sea level rise; transport safety; site cleanup plans; and cybersecurity.
SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION #PullingOurWeight
Arcadis and Dow: Arcadis (Amsterdam, Netherlands) for expanding its business partnership with Dow, Inc. (Midland, MI) at a global level to support Dow’s #PullingOurWeight campaign, which involves volunteer engagement around the world to recover waste from the environment and properly recycle or dispose of it. Dow designed #PullingOurWeight to emphasize three areas with the goal of creating a global movement: Encouraging education; Emphasizing the importance of recycling; Collaboration across the plastic value chain. The #PullingOurWeight campaign is well aligned with Arcadis’s goal of improving quality of life. As such, Arcadis pledged global support to Dow. To do this, Arcadis leveraged its network of young professionals, called City Shapers, to coordinate and partner with Dow volunteers. Arcadis employee support over the past two years has included 15 locations: Canada (Toronto and Calgary), Europe (Wiesbaden), United States (Bay City, Collegeville, Bristol, Saginaw, Croydon), Brazil (Sao Paulo), China (Beijing, Shanghai, Sanshui, Hong Kong, Shenzhen), and Singapore. Arcadis was able to keep up the effort safely in 2020 despite the COVID pandemic and ultimately help Dow beat its goals for waste recovery (exceeding a million pounds!).
SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION Philanthropy
Burns & McDonnell (Kansas City, MO) for giving back to the communities in which we live, work and play. This year saw unique challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, driving the company to provide additional resources and services to communities, clients and employee-owners throughout the United States. To bolster support for those on the front lines, the Burns & McDonnell Foundation donated $1.5 million to the United Way COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund. This donation was in addition to the $4 million donated to United Way in 2020 from Burns & McDonnell’s annual employee-owner campaign. To provide relief funding nationwide, the Burns & McDonnell Foundation also matches donations from individual employee-owners, further supporting employee-owners’ ability to make an impact within the organizations and causes they are most passionate about. Additionally, Burns & McDonnell will invest $2.5-$3 million between 2018 and 2022 in Science City, an internationally awarded science learning center in Kansas City, Missouri. This brings total investment over the last decade to an excess of $8 million in support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming.
SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION Covid Recovery Fund
ERM (London, UK) for launching Standing Together, a COVID-19 Recovery Fund to help mitigate the negative impacts of the coronavirus during this unprecedented human and economic crisis. ERM’s Global CEO Keryn James describes this initiative as: “Together we have a critical role in using our knowledge and expertise to help navigate the human and economic crisis created by the pandemic. Standing Togetheris our commitment to supporting thought leadership and our non-profit partners in their efforts to emerge stronger, as we all navigate our way to the “new normal”. A budget of US $200,000 has been allocated across two program areas: Thought leadership: leading research-led collaborations that draw on lessons-learned from the pandemic. In SE Asia ERM is working with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to explore how COVID-19 has impacted greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from plastic waste. In the United States, ERM is working with the Capitals Coalition to improve understanding of how natural, human and produced capital have impacted community well-being and resilience during the pandemic. ERM Foundation: providing unrestricted funding and pro bono professional support to help longer-term non-profit partners navigate the pandemic and continue important work protecting biodiversity, supporting women’s livelihoods, reducing carbon emissions, and improving access to clean water and sanitation.
SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION Justice and Equality
Jacobs (Dallas, TX) for launching a global Action Plan for Advancing Justice and Equality in August 2020, building on Jacobs’ existing global inclusion and diversity strategy, TogetherBeyond, and setting actionable initiatives and measurable objectives in the company’s continuing efforts to address embedded and systemic racial inequities. Actions encompass: No. 1 – Amplifying Jacobs’ culture of belonging by expanding the company’s conscious inclusion program and training the global workforce in bystander intervention in 2021; promoting programs and volunteer opportunities for organizations committed to justice and equality; and adding Martin Luther King, Jr., Day as a U.S. holiday. No. 2 – Recruiting, retaining and advancing black employees by increasing representation at all levels of the organization (including the Board of Directors) to proportionally reflect the overall external population; providing continuous professional development and advancement; and partnering with external organizations to provide leadership development programs to accelerate advancement for black employees to mid- and senior-level leadership. No. 3 – Contributing to structural change in broader society by donating $10 million over the next five years in support of black educational, professional development and scholarship opportunities; increasing women- and minority-owned supplier and vendor spending; and expanding Jacobs’ mentor-protégé program with local subcontractors, suppliers, and professional services firms to encourage more women and minority firm engagement and growth.
SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION Philanthropy
Kleinschmidt Associates (Pittsfield, ME) for giving back so generously during a very difficult and trying year. The Kleinschmidt Fund annually distributes tens of thousands of dollars to organizations supported by Kleinschmidt and its employees. During 2020, the company stepped up efforts to a new level of more than $90,000 in funding, with $75,000 of that directed toward those most impacted by COVID and distributed at the discretion of the company’s local offices. To further support local businesses impacted during the pandemic, Kleinschmidt set up a virtual client appreciation effort, choosing local businesses near its 10 locations to prepare gift baskets for clients. This effort allowed Kleinschmidt not only to express its appreciation to clients but also to contribute more than $16,000 to small local businesses. Kleinschmidt is also a supporter of The Roverchase Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Birmingham, Ala. that connects service dogs with families who cannot afford one. Kleinschmidt supports the Roverchase Foundation both through financial grants from Kleinschmidt’s Philanthropy Program and through employee volunteering.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Algae Harvesting
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center For integrating and demonstrating an innovative Harmful Algal Bloom Interception, Treatment and Transformation System (HABITATS) in collaboration with industry and academic partners as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program. Recent pilot scale technology demonstrations in Florida and New York in 2020 included use of AECOM’s patent-pending Hypernucleation Flotation Technology (HFT) and demonstrated the removal of harmful algae, nutrients, carbon, and algal toxins from eutrophic waterbodies, creating a deployable system for restoring impacted waterways. Results showed removal rates of up to 99% for microcystin and chlorophyll-a, 95% for total phosphorus, and 82% for total nitrogen. In collaboration with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the EDRC also completed a pilot-scale test of hydrothermal liquefaction technology for transforming HABs into a liquid biofuel. The integration of flotation-separation and hydrothermal liquefaction transforms one of the most challenging environmental problems into a renewable biofuel source. Algae harvesting can also be an impactful technology in combating climate change. Algae replicates using the same photosynthetic processes that trees use in sequestering CO2 but is 400 times more efficient at removing CO2.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Virtual Engagement
ERM for setting up and maximizing digital community engagement in a Virtual Open House for TC Energy Corporation in preparation of the 2021 NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. System Expansion Project in Alberta, Canada. Social distancing restrictions prevented in-person community engagement and public open houses from taking place, but regulatory requirements and stakeholders need to socialize project development information remained, so ERM configured a virtual open house microsite offering an accessible option for the project proponent to share information with Indigenous communities and other key stakeholders. The site replicated much of what attendees would experience in-person with audio clips and related transcripts from subject matter experts, downloadable files, an interactive map, videos, and remains fully accessible on computers, tablets or mobile devices. Visitors and stakeholders are also able to submit feedback to the project team.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Smart Glasses
Antea Group (Heerenveen, Netherlands) for using smart glasses to cost-effectively support remote site inspection associated with due diligence activity when in-person site reconnaissance is not possible due to travel, safety or confidentiality restrictions. Smart glasses can be used to visually audit and inspect a property and its operations – both inside or outside – and stream or record data for interpretation, interactive Q&A and photo documentation. Via computer and secure interface, multiple people can engage remotely in real-time review of facility operations and site features. While cell phones and tablets can offer similar access, smart glasses work with and without internet access and allow for secure storage of facility images and data. In scenarios such as during the Covid-19 pandemic, when site access is restricted or confidential, Antea Group sends the smart glass technology to a designated on-site facility employee, provides training, and conducts a live stream of the site inspection. The interactive capabilities of the smart glass technology allow for questions, picture taking, texting, and recording of the site walk for documentation purposes and sharing with third-party stakeholders. In scenarios with restricted travel site review, an Antea Group assessor wears the smart glasses and live streams the site inspection to remote client management, avoiding the logistics and costs associated with a large group of stakeholders being on-site. Further, due diligence reviews often involve multiple assessors with specific subject matter expertise, and having the ability to bring in these professionals for a portion of the site review allows for multiple disciplines to be efficiently covered in a single site inspection without having more than one assessor physically on-site.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Mixed Reality Headsets
APTIM (Baton Rouge, LA) for use of mixed reality headsets (Microsoft HoloLens) in the field to facilitate audits for a variety of commercial and industrial clients and allowing those clients to maintain compliance during the facility visit restrictions related to COVID-19. The HoloLens is a self-contained computer headset worn by a field user. The device works with Microsoft Teams to allow real time video, audio and data communication between the field user and a remote team. During an EH&S audit of a power producer, Aptim typically sends three auditors to the plant to complete respective protocols; however, due to the client’s visitor restrictions, Aptim sent one auditor to the plant with the HoloLens while the two remaining auditors conducted their portions of the audit remotely via the field user. The remote auditors were able to guide the field user, and the client was also able to remotely observe the audit. Aptim’s use of the HoloLens headset reduced the number of field staff visiting clients’ sites, lowered the risk of COVID-19 exposure, and saved travel expenses, all while meeting the compliance objectives of EH&S audits.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Site Investigation
Azimuth1 (McLean, VA) for developing EnviMetric, a machine learning technology for the contaminated site investigation process. Azimuth1 has been working with the National Science Foundation since 2017 to develop this technology and this year launched the technology for commercial application. Data from thousands of contaminated site investigations were compiled and augmented to train the machine learning model, allowing users to leverage thousands of site observations to predict contaminant dispersion at uncharacterized sites or sites with data limitations. EnviMetric can be applied during early investigation to help make a sampling plan and to address data gaps during investigation when dealing with issues like sampling under buildings and highways or off-site access to identify data gaps based on the existing site data set. EnviMetric can also be used to identify source zones and to manage a portfolio of sites. This machine learning model draws on data from more than 86,000 contaminated sites across the country and can be used at sites impacted with LNAPL, DNAPL, PFAS, and heavy metals. EnviMetric provides environmental consulting firms a higher success rate, and provides property owners a reduction in the total cost of remediation over current methods.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Bottled Water
Bluewater Group (Stockholm, Sweden) for meeting the unique challenges of 2020 and delivering leading-edge water purifiers and bottle solutions that are green, clean, and healthy. Bluewater has successfully evolved and refined its business mission to end the need for single-use water plastic bottles at home, in commercial environments, and in public arenas. This has been achieved by creating an on-demand, localized micro water delivery and bottling solution for use in urban public areas and at major sporting, musical, and other events. Bluewater’s efficient, compact second-generation reverse osmosis water purification technology is complemented by a newly launched range of sustainable Bluewater stainless steel and glass bottles: Combined they create a water delivery eco system to reduce environmental impacts at home, at work and on the go. At the 2019 British Golf Open, Bluewater helped organizers ban the sale of single-use plastic bottles during a four-day event with over 230,000 visitors by providing 19 hydration stations and tens of thousands of stainless steel bottles. In South Africa, Bluewater partnered during 2020 with Film Africa to supply mobile water stations to film locations. In Sweden, Bluewater installed a micro sea water harvesting system on an island sailing resort enabling visitors to access purified water for drinking and washing taken from one of the most beautiful yet highly polluted seas in the world.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Complex Site Remediation
Burns & McDonnell (Kansas City, MO) for introducing a focused, next-generation solution to remediate complex sites using Progressive Remediation Strategies (PROGRESS). In every facet of PROGRESS, a multitude of technologies are implemented to address the inherent uncertainties of remediation – including unseen subsurface conditions – with an emphasis on the site geologic model, which quantifies the process driving remediation performance to inform design decisions for cost-effective solutions that deliver predictable results. Another innovative solution, utilized for clients seeking transmission line routing support, is Burns & McDonnell’s Route Analysis Powered by Intelligent Design (RAPID) process, which incorporates algorithms to accelerate the science of route selection while maintaining enough manual input to retain its unique art. RAPID automates and accelerates the identification, analysis and documentation of preliminary routes for linear projects, resulting in a defensible routing study while saving on time and cost.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Digital Solutions
ERM (London, UK) for reimagining ERM Core Services by unlocking the power of data-driven interventions. As part of ERM’s Resilience, Rebound, Reimagine strategy to reset growth in the next normal, ERM has integrated technological interventions with core service offerings. The pandemic has acted as an accelerator to digitally upgrade ERM services, shortening distances with our clients and enabling them to continue operations as well as strengthen business resilience strategies. ERM’s digital solutions will help clients transition to a low carbon economy, deliver sustained business value, and continue safe operations across value chains. Below are examples of services and digital interventions: Climate Advisory, Capital Project Delivery, Connected Carbon Management – AR/VR for stakeholder, modelling software, Advance and Predictive analytics. EHS Management Systems and Compliance – Data-driven solutions on air quality, audits, certification, compliance and water services. Regulation Intelligence (e.g., ReachCentrum- ChemDataSharing). Mergers & Acquisitions – Use of Geospatial Intelligence and remote inspection techniques for due diligence. Liability Portfolio Management and Remediation – Integration of remedial telemetry systems. Product Stewardship – Life cycle software and service models. Operational Performance – Connected data management for greater insights. Safety Services – E-learning and data enabled risk assessments. Sustainability Services – Integrated reporting platforms, ESG Benchmarks.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT PFAS Testing & Research
Eurofins Environment Testing America for nearly tripling existing PFAS testing capacity across its U.S. network in 2020 while vastly expanding methodology and sample matrix capabilities across myriad emerging fronts. Eurofins has seven dedicated PFAS laboratories in the United States, with over 100 staff focused on various PFAS analysis. Beyond traditional analysis of drinking water, groundwater and soil, Eurofins has advanced analysis of sediments, tissues, biosolids, consumer products, human serum, air, food, and bench-scale PFAS treatability studies. In 2020, Eurofins’ team of PFAS experts continued to pioneer development across the spectrum of challenging PFAS methodology questions, increasingly lengthy compound lists, and emerging technology. Eurofins commits 15-20% of its PFAS capacity to methodology research. Among 2020 projects were the furtherance of a PFAS testing model known as TOF (Total Organofluorine) and NTA (Non-Target Analysis), along with the validation of EPA Method 533, as well as developing methodology to support testing of PFAS emissions from incinerators and thermal treatment systems. Eurofins launched an isotope dilution serum blood test considering up to 36 compounds and made emergency testing available on a 24-hour basis. Observations and findings were shared with the world of PFAS stakeholders via technical webinars. In 2020, Eurofins technical experts presented 73 webinars with a total attendance of 64,000 Industry stakeholders seeking education.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Seabed Mapping
Fugro USA Fugro USA, Inc. for mapping sections of Apalachicola Bay in Florida for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the past three years. In addition to updated nautical charting, the new seabed mapping supports improved understanding of the region’s bathymetry, geomorphology, bio-diversity, and distribution of habitats to support Florida fisheries, coastal modeling, and resource management. The 2018 and 2019 task orders were conducted using traditional vessel-based multibeam echosounder technology. In 2020, Fugro added its new uncrewed surface vessel (USV) to the data acquisition effort as a force-multipler. The fit-for-purpose USV, known as the Blue Shadow (FAS-900), is equipped with multibeam echosounder technology and designed to increase the rate of data acquisition on medium- to large-scale mapping programs. Use of the USV also reduces health and safety exposure and increases operational sustainability, all of which helps NOAA achieve more efficient and effective nautical charting updates. While delays associated with Covid-19 impacted Fugro’s ability to utilize the Blue Shadow at the project’s start in April, Fugro successfully deployed the technology in July to help streamline data collection on a sizeable portion of the project.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Contract Tracing
GHD GHD for Contact Connect™, a real-time solution that monitors movements within a facility to help employers perform appropriate contact tracing and manage physical distancing measures. Data are captured on an open GIS cloud platform and can be integrated with the stakeholder’s facility and geo-fencing parameters. Alerts and visual dashboards are provided for real-time intelligence and immediate response (instant notifications with subsequent isolation procedures). Unlike other solutions currently available, Contact Connect is tailored to meet specific requirements. It is hardware and software agnostic, so data easily integrates with other enterprise software and databases – which also means no separate software purchases are required. Additionally, Contact Connect is designed to ensure complete anonymity and security. It does not collect or store any employee, personal, health or medical information; all data collected and stored are encrypted both in transit and at rest and traces employees only when in the workplace. Contact Connect can be used in a variety of settings and applications, including large manufacturing facilities, warehouses, hospitals, long-term care facilities, large offices, stadiums and sports facilities, and more.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Mobile PFAS Treatment
Groundwater & Environmental Services, Inc. (GES, Wall Township, NJ) for constructing a mobile treatment system to treat a diverse group of PFAS-impacted liquid waste streams on-site. These wastes include aqueous film forming foam from firefighting, training exercises, and accidental releases from foam systems; investigation-derived waste; and groundwater from well development and purging. Currently, many facilities rely on off-site landfilling or incineration, which is expensive and subject to changing acceptance criteria and bans on acceptance at disposal facilities. The properties of PFAS compounds limit treatment options, but technologies can be used individually or as an integrated treatment train to remove PFAS and co-contaminants effectively from waste streams. To solve a client’s need to treat multiple waste streams in different areas at a large facility, GES designed and constructed a mobile PFAS treatment system using filtration, granular activated carbon and ion exchange resin. By providing a mobile PFAS treatment system, GES achieved several benefits: 1) cost savings, 2) customizable treatment process, 3) sustainability improvement, 4) on-site treatment reliability, 5) flexibility to treat at multiple locations in batches or continuously, and 6) rapid implementation of interim or final treatment.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Modeling Tool For Offshore Aquaculture
ICF (Fairfax, VA), in partnership with NOAA, for developing a modeling tool to assist in environmental review and permitting of offshore aquaculture operations. The assessment tool, known as Offshore Mariculture Escapes Genetics Assessment, or OMEGA, is used to simulate different farm scenarios, model potential level of risk to surrounding wild populations, and aid NOAA in regulatory decision-making. Offshore marine aquaculture is important to meet U.S. demand for seafood, and an executive order in May 2020 and current draft legislation seek to promote U.S. marine aquaculture while addressing the burdensome permitting process. In 2020, OMEGA was applied successfully to simulate one of the greatest areas of regulatory uncertainty: concern over unintended loss of fish from offshore farms (i.e., escapes). OMEGA modeled the consequences of varying numbers of fish farmed, different levels of escapes, and varying chance of escapees encountering wild fish to the sustainability of the surrounding Almaco Jack wild fish population in the Gulf of Mexico. Conclusions helped determine the size of production in a pilot project where no risk would be posed to the wild Almaco Jack fish. OMEGA is a proven tool that will help NOAA fulfill its mission of both supporting a growing aquaculture industry and sustainable fisheries.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Wastewater & Drainage App
Kleinfelder (San Diego, CA) for developing an application (app) that monitors and forecasts drainage and wastewater system hydraulic conditions by coupling National Weather Service (NWS) weather forecast data with urban sewer and drainage models. The app retrieves weather forecast data from the NWS to simulate and predict flooding and sewer/drainage system hydraulic conditions 48-72 hours in advance of weather for operational planning and emergency response purposes. Utilizing cloud computing services from Amazon Web Service (AWS), the app-predicted flooding areas and system hydraulic conditions are automatically updated every six hours after NWS updated weather forecast. The app will automatically notify key operations personnel or emergency responders when risks of flooding or sewer overflows are predicted so appropriate actions may be taken to protect public health and the environment. App prediction results (flooding areas) can be georeferenced in map with high geographic resolution and integrated with other mapping services (such as Google Map or Bing Map).
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Remote Sensing
NV5 Geospatial (Hollywood, FL) for completing an innovative project that included the capture of high-resolution unmanned aerial lidar and color imagery over a 155-acre technology campus in the northwest. Additionally, the aerial acquisition team completed 360-degree oblique imagery for 10 locations, as well as thermal imagery of numerous rooftops that would be used for inspection and analysis. The Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) provided a flexible and nimble platform for this data collection. Oblique imagery provides significant added benefits as it allows NV5 to see texture and spectral data on vertical surfaces that aren’t available from more traditional “top down” imagery. Data captured in the thermal infrared spectrum hold the keys to many advanced analytics allowing NV5 to see well beyond the visible spectrum and find otherwise undetectable inefficiencies. The NV5 Geospatial mapping team completed 2D and 3D topographic mapping of the campus. After data were post-processed, a custom online web portal was created for the client that included an accessible user interface for all stakeholders to interact and manipulate the data.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT PFAS Remediation
Regenesis (San Clemente, CA) for PlumeStop® Liquid Activated Carbon™, which has been widely accepted and successfully used for in situ treatment of PFAS-contaminated groundwater to eliminate exposure risk to downgradient receptors. PlumeStop has been applied or is in the planning phase on 114 project sites worldwide, including industrial properties, Department of Defense facilities, airports, and Superfund sites. In 2020, Regenesis treated seven PFAS sites while adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic and developing protocols to ensure safe work practices. Treatment involves injecting and coating subsurface soil grains with 1 to 2 micron-sized carbon particles, which chemically sorb PFAS compounds and other organic contaminants from the groundwater as it naturally flows through a treatment zone. This treatment process transforms the underlying geology into a groundwater purifying filter, preventing the PFAS from migrating further. PlumeStop treatments for PFAS are designed to last for decades, corroborated through independent, peer-reviewed, third-party studies. PlumeStop PFAS treatments have proven successful, with the target PFAS compounds reduced and maintained below their regulatory cleanup levels on all of the applications completed to date. Compared to ex situ PFAS treatment approaches (i.e., pump and treat), PlumeStop in situ treatments do not generate new waste streams and have demonstrated substantial project life-cycle cost reductions.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Waste Management’s Connected Landfills Pilot
SCS Engineers: Waste Management designed an internal landfill technology solution then contracted with SCS Engineers to integrate and deploy Waste Management’s innovative ‘Connected Landfills’ pilot, which leverages advanced automation technologies. Waste Management’s Connected Landfills system was piloted at the West Edmonton Landfill in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The pilot proved to simplify workflows, equipping landfill assets with internet-connected devices and sensors. Technicians are able to review data remotely via dashboards on mobile devices, allowing them to monitor changes, make decisions, and even directly interact with equipment with the push of a button. With less time spent in transit, landfill employees will be able to spend more time managing landfills’ productivity and health. The design and integration advance Waste Management’s existing environmental management platform by increasing worker safety, the user experience, and running the landfill systems efficiently. It also supports Waste Management and SCS Engineers’ commitments to ensuring public safety and environmental protection for landfill staff and the surrounding community.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT Eco-Friendly Stabalization of Navigational Waterways
SIA Solutions, LLC (Houston, TX), in partnership with USACE, Marine Design Center and USACE, Vicksburg District, for supporting design, development, demonstration, and testing of an innovative solution to install navigational stabilization materials to reenforce the levee system, prevent scouring and sustain defined channels for vessel traffic on the Mississippi River. The “Mat Sinking Barge Prototype” project provides a new technology solution for USACE to integrate into DOD’s program to maintain navigational waterways with minimal impact to the ecosystem and surrounding environment. This prototype enhances the process for the installation of revetment materials that will stabilize riverbanks and ensure critical navigation waterways are available to complete DOD’s mission. SIA and partners designed, fabricated, and tested an automated articulated concrete mattress (ACM) emplacement technology, including the integration of automated mechanical, sensing, and control systems for future installation on a barge vessel platform. Through this new technology solution, SIA and its government clients identified, developed and demonstrated a modern Mat Sinking technique that utilizes automation and robotics to make the process efficient while reducing environmental impact and improving personnel safety.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT AirWatch System
WSP USA (New York, NY) for developing the AirWatch System™ to meet new regulations requiring real-time fence line ambient air monitoring around oil and gas facilities to keep worksites safe and environmentally compliant. A comprehensive solution housed in an unassuming solar-powered enclosure, the Airwatch System is built around a state-of-the-art hydrocarbon monitor that provides continuous real-time emissions monitoring for hazardous air pollutants with part-per-billion sensitivity, including volatile organic compounds and hydrocarbons (C5-C16). It also collects automated laboratory confirmation samples, stores hydrocarbon and meteorological data to the cloud, and is accessible through a secure web-based portal. The technology can identify leaks and collect laboratory confirmation samples faster than traditional monitoring methods, which helps expedite process equipment repairs and remediation, reduce air emissions, and protect public health and the environment.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
Kleinfelder (San Diego, CA) for completing three strategic acquisitions adding over 600 employees (staff increase of more than 33%) to position the firm for accelerated growth in select geographies and expansion in key markets. In August, Kleinfelder acquired Garcia and Associates (GANDA), an environmental planning and permitting firm serving clients in the federal, state, and private infrastructure markets. With offices in California, Hawaii, and Guam, GANDA adds integral environmental expertise to Kleinfelder’s business in the Western United States. In October, Kleinfelder strengthened existing operations in Nevada and expanded the business to new geographies in the Midwest with the acquisition of Poggemeyer Design Group (PDG), a design, engineering, and construction management firm. Within these geographies, PDG diversifies Kleinfelder’s services and client base, particularly in the water and wastewater markets. October also brought the addition of GTS, a gas utilities and pipeline engineering services company that bolsters Kleinfelder’s operations in California and Georgia and expands the company’s footprint to Arizona. GTS’s specialized expertise creates significant growth opportunities for Kleinfelder in the gas utilities and midstream O&G markets. Leveraging the complementary technical expertise, diverse client portfolios, and strong industry reputations of GANDA, PDG, and GTS, Kleinfelder has further established the firm as a major player in the industry.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
The RSK Group Limited (Helsby, UK) for acquiring Black & Veatch’s Water Europe and Water Asia businesses, adding an expected £160 million to RSK’s annual revenues. The deal will include UK-based Black & Veatch Limited, Black & Veatch Hong Kong Limited and Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Limited in Singapore. The businesses, which will be rebranded as RSK’s Binnies division, specialize in water utility, infrastructure, engineering and environmental projects, and flood and coastal defense planning and design. The deal will increase RSK’s headcount from 4,300 to 5,500 employees worldwide and add significantly to RSK’s Asian footprint. Operations in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam will be brought into the group, in addition to the Binnies’ offices throughout the UK. “This acquisition marks the most significant growth in our 31-year history, positions RSK as a market leader in the water sector, and provides a springboard for RSK into the East Asian markets,” said Chief Executive Officer Alan Ryder, founder of RSK. “The combination of RSK’s environmental, scientific and engineering capabilities and global presence with Binnies’ expertise in water utility, flood and coastal and environmental services will enable our group to deliver ever more sustainable water and environmental solutions.” Strengthening its presence in the water sector is a key strategic aim for RSK. In 2020 the group also acquired the UK-based Water Research Centre (350 employees) in August 2020, and Ireland-based water engineer Nicholas O’Dwyer (200 employees) in March 2020. RSK’s annual revenues have increased from £147 million in 2018 to £287 million in 2020, and the latest acquisitions will see this rise to over £500 million in 2021 as the company works towards its 2025 goal of becoming the largest privately owned environmental and engineering business in Europe with revenues of £1 billion annually. Ryder founded RSK in 1989, and the company has acquired 39 businesses since 2016 with backing from Permira (2016-2018) and Ares Capital Europe (2018-present).
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
Tetra Tech (Pasadena, CA) for advancing its strategic focus on high-end consulting and cutting-edge technology solutions for water, environment, sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy projects with the acquisition of industry leading firms. The acquisitions of Segue Technologies and BlueWater Federal Solutions augmented Tetra Tech’s high-end consulting services with more than 550 technical experts in advanced analytics, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and enterprise-wide software applications. These additions also provided Tetra Tech with new government clients and further advanced Tetra Tech’s relationships within various U.S. federal agencies focused on information technology. Tetra Tech is leveraging these high-end resources to deliver solutions for clients throughout its global operations. In joining Tetra Tech, Segue and BlueWater also created tremendous opportunities for their employees by gaining access to a global platform and Tetra Tech’s $20 billion contract capacity with the U.S. federal government.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
TRC Companies, Inc. (Windsor, CT) for three significant acquisitions in 2020: Environmental Partners, Inc. (EPI), 1Source Safety and Health, and Shoener Environmental, demonstrating commitment to a long-term growth strategy and to servicing partners and clients. EPI (Seattle, WA) specializes in environmental and geo-science investigation and remediation solutions on all aspects of uplands and waterfront sites including soil, sediment, groundwater, surface water, vapor intrusion, and indoor air quality. The addition of 1Source Safety and Health (Exton, PA) brings TRC expertise in management consulting services in areas such as indoor air quality, asbestos management, industrial hygiene and safety management system. Finally, Shoener (Dickson City, PA) brings expertise in environmental, wind, solar and engineering solutions. Serving clients across the country, Shoener has presence in eastern and western Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California. With a strategic growth strategy further bolstered by the acquisition of Lockheed Martin’s Distributed Energy Solutions Group in late 2019, TRC continues to be uniquely positioned to provide end-to-end services for all renewable energy projects.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
Terracon Consultants, Inc. (Olathe, KS) for three environmental acquisitions in 2020 in support of Terracon’s Strategic Plan 2023 growth goals: Skelly and Loy, Inc. (S&L, Harrisburg, PA), Environmental Planning Group, LLC (EPG, Phoenix, AZ), and Burleson Consulting Inc. (Folsom, CA). Skelly and Loy is a 50-year-old 150-person public- and private-sector environmental consulting firm with offices in Pittsburgh and State College, Pa., Hunt Valley, Md., and Morgantown, W.Va. The addition of S&L’s environmental and engineering expertise and long-time regional presence allows Terracon to strengthen service offerings and geographic resources in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic. Environmental Planning Group is a 21-year-old 50-person privately held firm specializing in environmental planning and permitting, landscape architecture planning/design, biological and cultural resources, earth sciences, paleontology, public involvement, geographic information systems (GIS), and environmental mitigation and construction support. The firm serves public and private sector clients in the Western United States. Burleson Consulting provides environmental compliance and engineering services for federal, state, municipal, and industrial clients throughout California. All three firms have a strong long-term and respected presence in the market and are deeply committed to the clients and communities they serve, which aligns well with Terracon’s Purpose, Vision, and Values.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
SGS (Geneva, Switzerland) for acquiring SYNLAB Analytics & Services (A&S), a leading European environmental, food testing and tribology services company. Currently, A&S is a division of SYNLAB, a leading medical diagnostic services provider in Europe. In 2019, A&S generated revenue of €202 million and adjusted EBITDA of €34 million and had approximately 2,000 employees. Organic revenue growth was 5.8% in 2019 and, despite the impact from COVID-19, was 0.3% in H1 2020. A&S generated approximately 60% of 2019 revenue in environmental testing, 20% in food testing, 10% in life sciences testing, and 10% in oil condition monitoring. Regionally, the acquisition enhances SGS’s market position in Northwestern Europe by strengthening the firm’s presence especially in Germany and Benelux, while enabling it to enter attractive markets in the Nordics. Acquiring A&S is strongly aligned with SGS’s strategic objective of accelerating M&A in high-growth sectors with scope for automation and digitization.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
Pace Analytical (Minneapolis, MN) for completing seven strategic acquisitions in the second half of 2020. Pace closed transactions with five environmental testing and analytical services companies and two providing specialty life sciences services, adding 21 lab and service centers and over 300 employees to the Pace Analytical National Laboratory Network. Pace acquired environmental organizations Aerobiology Laboratory Associates, ASA Laboratories, B Environmental, Con-Test Analytical, R&A Laboratories, and Standard Laboratories, gaining added capacity for microbiology, air, PFAS, and other services in strategic locations. Bio-Concept Laboratories and Emerson Resources were added to the growing Pace Analytical Life Sciences business with non-sterile and sterile clinical trial materials manufacturing, spray drying for formulation development, specialty excipients, and ophthalmic formulation development and manufacturing expertise. These capabilities allow Pace Life Sciences to support customers through each critical stage in bringing pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products to market – from early-stage R&D through to clinical trial materials production and GMP manufacturing services.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
Stantec (Edmonton, AB) for buying 300-person Wenck (Maple Plain, MN) and expanding its capabilities in The Netherlands with the acquisition of AGEL adviseurs. Wenck is an environmental engineering firm with core expertise in air, water, waste, food processing, natural resources, and infrastructure. Founded in 1985, Wenck strengthens Stantec’s ability to support clients in the industrial, infrastructure, energy, and real estate sectors. AGEL adviseurs is a 75-person multi-disciplinary engineering firm specializing in environmental services, spatial development, infrastructure, and GIS services. AGEL works for local municipalities and land developers, supporting the circular economy, climate adaptation, development, and energy transition. AGEL’s expertise spans master planning, landscape design, roadway engineering, sustainable building design, environmental studies, and GIS analysis.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
Environmental 360 Solutions Ltd. (E360S, Toronto, ON) for several acquisitions in 2020, including Whitecap Environmental Services Inc. (Mission, BC). Founded in 2016, Whitecap Environmental provides hazardous and non-hazardous material destruction services, handling waste such as expired medication and pharmaceutical products, biomedical waste, chemical waste, pesticide and herbicide waste, paint and non-hazardous products. Also in 2020, E360S announced the acquisitions of Infratech Sewer & Water Services Inc. (Sudbury, ON); Waste Watchers Ltd. (Medicine Hat, AB); Airdrie Waste Management Inc. (Crossfield, AB); transfer station assets of John Westendorp Enterprises Inc. (Westbrook, ON); Alliance Disposal 2010 Ltd. (Grande Prairie, AB); Future Waste Recycling Systems Inc. (Thorold, ON); and Direct Specialty Industrial (Timmins, ON). E360S’s goal is to become a leading North American environmental company through acquisition and organic growth.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
GFL Environmental, Inc. (Vaughan, ON) for closing the acquisition of the divestiture assets resulting from the transaction between Waste Management, Inc. and Advanced Disposal Services, Inc. Assets acquired by GFL Environmental, which include 34 collection operations, 36 transfer stations, and 18 landfills across 10 U.S. states, are supported by over 900 employees. The purchase price was US$863.5 million. In 2020 GFL Environmental also purchased $400 million WCA Waste Corp. (Houston) from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners II for $1.2 billion, continuing its expansion into the U.S. solid waste market. WCA operates a vertically integrated network of solid waste assets, including 37 collection-and-hauling operations, 27 transfer stations, 3 material recovery facilities and 22 landfills across 11 U.S. states. “We will now work to implement our well-established integration plans for these acquisitions while maintaining our focus on tuck-in acquisitions and opportunities to realize meaningful synergies.,” said Patrick Dovigi, founder and chief executive officer of GFL.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
Kinderhook Industries: Investment firm Kinderhook Industries, LLC (New York, NY) for acquiring its 10th environmental services platform with the recapitalization of EcoSouth Services of Mobile, LLC (Axis, AL) in partnership with Jeff Claunch, a waste industry veteran. EcoSouth is an integrated waste company operating the Axis Industrial Landfill, the only private EPA, RCRA Subtitle D compliant landfill in Mobile County. The company also provides transportation and in-plant services for businesses that generate non-hazardous solid and liquid waste throughout the Gulf Coast. Since founding in 2012, EcoSouth had modified its permits to allow for additional waste streams and expanded its service area from two to 19 counties. Also in 2020, Kinderhook portfolio company Capital Waste Services, LLC (Columbia, S.C.) completed the acquisition of May River Disposal, Inc. (Bluffton, SC), a residential waste management company with over 5,800 customers. May River marked Capital Waste’s fourth add-on acquisition and Kinderhook’s 52nd environmental services transaction.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
Parametrix (Seattle, WA) for acquiring Civil FX (Las Vegas, NV), a company that blends civil engineering with visualization and immersive reality. The acquisition will expand the Parametrix’s visualization and augmented and virtual reality services for use in planning, stakeholder engagement, design, and construction management. Civil FX will operate as a division of Parametrix, a 100-percent employee-owned engineering, planning, and environmental sciences firm with 13 offices across the Western United States.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT Mergers & Acquisitions
Danaher Corporation (Washington, DC) for its Water Quality platform acquisition of Aquatic Informatics Inc. (Vancouver, BC) from XPV Water Partners. Aquatic Informatics provides software for data management, analytics, and compliance in the global water industry. “With our deep applications expertise, we can combine hardware, software, and services together to help environmental, municipal, and industrial customers save money, improve asset performance and reduce risk,” said Danaher VP and Group Executive Kevin Klau. Danaher Water Quality includes Hach, Pall, Trojan Technologies, ChemTreat, OTT HydroMet, and Sea-Bird Scientific.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT IPO Award
Montrose Environmental Montrose Environmental Group (Irvine, CA), a provider of testing, leak detection, remediation, water treatment, regulatory consulting, and other environmental services, for filing for an initial public offering that raised $150 million from 10 million shares priced at $15 per share. Montrose Environmental was founded in 2012 and booked $244 million in revenue for the 12 months ended March 31, 2020. Montrose has pursued a focused acquisition strategy, announcing several acquisitions in the 2019 to mid-2020 timeframe alone, including: CTEH emergency response; ECT2 air and water treatment technologies; Lehder Environmental Services; Air, Water and Soil Laboratories; Target Emission Services; Golden Specialty air testing; and Environmental Planning Specialists. The company has grown to more than 65 offices and 1,500 employees in the United States, Canada and Australia. Montrose is backed by Oaktree Capital and listed on the NYSE under the symbol MEG.
50-Year Company Recognition
Burns & McDonnell
Over its 120-year history, environmental services has been one of the longest running practice areas of Burns & McDonnell, although the name didn’t emerge until the 1970s. Burns & McDonnell’s first project, awarded in 1900 in Iola, Kansas, included the development of a sanitary sewer system study, and the company completed its first ‘environmental services’ project in 1916 for Waterton, South Dakota. Since 1970, Burns & McDonnell had expanded major service offerings from sanitary sewer and water treatment, to air permitting and hazardous waste remediation.
Heritage Environmental Services
Since inception 50 years ago in 1970, Heritage Environmental Services has been solving complex waste management problems, recycling, treating, disposing of and managing waste for customers across North America, prioritizing safety and compliance. Heritage has an innovative mindset that is the primary driver of its positions as the largest privately held specialty waste company in the world. Heritage owns a RCRA Subtitle-C hazardous waste landfill, the first of its kind in the U.S., and the company acquired a transportation business in 1983 and an incinerator in 2005. In 2000, Heritage started a ‘total byproducts management’ company for beneficial reuse opportunities and clients’ sustainability goals. The 2017 acquisition of fuels-blending facility Rineco allowed Heritage to turn hazardous waste into fuel for cement kilns.
In 1969 a former Tuskegee Airman and three U.S. Department of Defense analysts founded a company to finance minority-owned businesses in Washington D.C. The first president was World War II veteran Clarence “Lucky” Lester (who earned his nickname after flying more than 90 missions without being hit) and the four founders, who had worked together at the Pentagon, established the Inner City Fund. In 1972 the company went into consulting, changed its name to ICF Incorporated, and became an advisor to U.S. federal agencies. 50 years later ICF is a global consulting and technology services provider with more than 7,000 professionals providing resource management and environmental services and innovations to practitioners and policymakers in federal agencies, corporations, law firms, and communities
SCS Engineers started as a partnership between Bob Stearns, Tom Conrad, and Curt Schmidt on April 1, 1970, in Long Beach, California. The firm’s first project was to investigate a subsurface gas problem at a residential subdivision in Palos Verdes. Eight months after SCS was founded, a new federal agency called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was created, and SCS performed three of the first research contracts: a nationwide study of wastewater in the canned fruit and vegetable industry; a study on equipment for sanitary landfills; and a study of the impact of federal agency regulations, policies, and practices on solid waste generation and recycling. In 50 years since, SCS Engineers has earned a leadership role in solid waste management and environmental services, and maintains close connections with its community client base even more in the crisis year of 2020. SCS has many of its 70 regional and satellite offices located near client sites and mobile offices co-located on project sites. SCS produced a documentary on the firm’s 50 years of progress and accomplishments and to close out the year, SCS’s employee-owners made contributions to five environmental organizations.
Miller Environmental Group
Miller Environmental Group (MEG) was incorporated in 1971 to serve the environmental remediation needs of utility, transportation, and petrochemical industries in New York and the surrounding areas. Today, five decades since inception, MEG continues to be guided by safety and innovation, but our client list and the industries we serve have expanded. Through this diversification, MEG has found great growth, and remained at the forefront of the environmental industry nationwide. MEG provides clients with worry-free, one-stop solutions for all their environmental remediation needs across the United States. MEG believes in employing highly trained team members who trust and depend on outstanding safety policies and procedures to guide their work. 50 years of success has been possible due to our commitment to integrity, professionalism, and safety, but also because of our relationships with clients as we see them as partners. The MEG reputation is one our clients trust, with a commitment to compliance they rely on. Collectively, this kind of dedication has supported the growth of MEG throughout the decades and will continue to drive us as a leader in our industry for many more.
ERM (originally called ERL) was founded in 1971 by Florence and William Fisher who moved from the US to the UK and launched a company to provide an interdisciplinary approach to solving environmental problems. In 1977, Paul Woodruff founded ERM in the US, and by 1987, ERL had operations in the UK, Hong Kong, Italy and Bahrain and that year merged with ERM with 500 staff in 25 locations across the US. Through mergers, acquisitions, geographic and service expansion, the company has grown to over 5,500 people in more than 40 countries and territories. Over its 50 years, ERM has worked as a trusted partner with some of the world’s largest and leading organizations in relation to policy, regulation and attaining business goals, taking a boots-to-boardroom approach and providing strategic and practical services. ERM is celebrating its 50th anniversary in what EBJ is calling the 50th anniversary of the environmental industry, and what the United Nations has declared the start of the Decade of Action: the 10 years until 2030 by when the world must make significant progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the climate targets set in the Paris Agreement. In the 2020s, companies like ERM and across the environmental and climate change industries will continue to help in shaping a sustainable future with the world’s leading organizations.