BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: CONSULTING & ENGINEERING: SMALL FIRMS (<$20 MILLION)
GOLD MEDAL: Cherokee Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), a full-service civil and environmental engineering firm, for growing revenue by 222% during 2008, and placing at number 69 on The Zweig Letter's Hot Firm 2008 list, climbing almost 100 places over its position on the 2007 list. CEI's ranking on the Hot Firm 2008 list based on revenue growth from just over $2.6 million in 2004 to more than $8.4 million in 2007. In addition, the firm made the Top Ten Small Firms list for the first time in 2008. In November 2008, CEI was named the winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year award by Hispanic Business magazine under the "heavy industry" category. The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce has named CEI as one of the Top 10 Minority Businesses in Miami-Dade County and honored the firm with a special award for its commitment to employment diversity.
SILVER MEDAL: PARS Environmental, Inc., a seven-year-old environmental services firm, for growing revenue from $400,000 in 2005 to more than $4 million in 2008, and for increasing staff from five people to 35 professionals over the same period. Working closely with several universities, PARS' consulting business group conducts research and development in innovative environmental technologies and assists with the commercialization of those technologies. For example, PARS has worked with Lehigh Nanotech LLC and Lehigh University to develop and commercialize nanotechnology products for the in situ remediation of soil and groundwater. In October 2007, PARS was named Small Business Company of the Year by the Small Business Administration of New Jersey and PARS President and CEO Kiran Gill was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007 by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.
SILVER MEDAL: Whitman, an environmental, engineering, and management firm, for growing revenue over the past five years from $5 million to $15 million in 2007, and for continuing that growth in 2008 at a 26% rate. According to the company, this growth has resulted from a planned internal ownership transition, the establishment of a senior management team, and the acquisition of Brownworth Engineering, a mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering firm. The addition of these services has introduced new clients and services to the company, while retaining a strong foundation in environmental and engineering work. Whitman's professionals have completed site assessments and remediation projects at over 1,000 sites, including gas stations, industrial facilities, brownfields sites, and oil storage facilities.
BRONZE MEDAL: Walker Consultants, Inc., dba Benchmark Environmental Consultants, for increasing revenue by 36% from $1.6 million in 2003 to $2.5 million in 2008. Benchmark Environmental is an 18-year-old, woman-owned business specializing in Phase I environmental site assessments, subsurface investigations, remediation, indoor air quality assessments, NEPA and state historical preservation evaluations, and other environmental consulting services. Led by President and CEO Kelly Walker, the company achieved its growth through strong marketing initiatives aimed at diversifying its client base. Benchmark Environmental has expanded from its initial focus on the banking industry into such sectors as academia, architecture and engineering, aviation, hospitality, retail, municipal, real estate, transportation, and wireless telecommunications. Today, Benchmark is pursuing projects in wind energy, sustainability, and LEED-certified green building.
BRONZE MEDAL: ES&H, Inc. for growth since its founding in 1997 from one to more than 50 employees and from less than $100,000 in revenue to $6.4 million in 2004 and to an average of nearly $9 million annually over the past three years. The company, which obtained SBA 8(a) certification in 2002, has expanded from its focus in safety, health, and training services to include construction and demolition, disaster response, and regulatory compliance and engineering services. The firm's current contract backlog is more than $200 million. Recent recognitions include the following: Hispanic Business Entrepreneur of the Year (Green Company Category) in 2008; a ranking of 536 on the Inc. 5,000 list in 2007 (number 22 in Top Construction Companies); and listing on Business Tennessee magazine's "Fast 50." The company attributes its success to a senior management team with proven program/project management and business development experience, and to a professional staff that maintains active certifications and registrations in their respective careers.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: CONSULTING & ENGINEERING: MEDIUM FIRMS ($20-$100 MILLION)
GOLD MEDAL: Safety and Ecology Corp. (SEC) for growing revenue by nearly 40% in 2008 to $78 million, continuing a pattern of sustained growth over the past several years. During 2008, SEC merged with Homeland Security Capital Corp. (HSCC), an international provider of specialized, technology-based radiological, nuclear, environmental, disaster relief, and security solutions to government and commercial customers. The merger with HSCC represented a strategic expansion for SEC in the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives (CBRNE) response market. Also within the past several months, SEC established new offices in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, California, and Oregon.
SILVER MEDAL: Sovereign Consulting Inc., an environmental consulting and remediation firm, for revenue growth of 33% from $26.6 million in 2007 to a $35 million in 2008. The 2008 financial results continue a solid growth curve over the last several years; revenue was $12.3 million in 2005, and the employee count has increased from 38 people in 2001 to 181 in 2008. Despite formidable competition from large environmental and infrastructure engineering firms, Sovereign was ranked the top environmental services vendor to Shell Oil Products, U. S. (SOPUS) and El Paso Corp. (EPEC). In 2008, SOPUS presented Sovereign with the SOPUS Vendor Recognition Award for Top Environmental Consultant in the U. S. for Sovereign's outstanding 2007 performance while overseeing more than 620 sites in the Mid-Atlantic region and New England. Sovereign has improved its ranking over the past two years in such industry lists as The Zweig Letter's Hot Firms 2007 (No. 77) and 2008 (No. 35) and Engineering News-Record's Top 200 Environmental Firms in 2007 (No. 198) and 2008 (No. 170).
BRONZE MEDAL: Dillon Consulting Ltd., a Canadian planning, engineering, environmental sciences, and management consultancy, for financial performance over the past two years that consistently ranked the company among the top quarter of performers in the environmental and infrastructure consulting an engineering industry. Dillon achieved this performance through a combination of incentives, sound leadership, healthy markets, and overall good business acumen. While it has doubled its profitability, it has also been able to increase revenue by an average of 10 to 15% annually over the past several years. Dillon employs more than 600 people at 18 offices across Canada and generates annual revenue of just under $100 million Canadian from the provision of services to what it identifies as five market sectors: government, industry, resources, real estate, and international.
BRONZE MEDAL: Dudek, an environmental services and natural resource management firm, for generating profit of 11.3%, comparable growth in year-to-date revenues, and a growing backlog despite a drop in services to the private landowner market and a slowing in California's public sector market. Dudek has been able to sustain its growth pace while holding no debt and while front-funding its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). The firm attributes this progress to the following strategies: proactively adjusting staffing to the marketplace, while retaining, encouraging, and empowering the firm's practice builders; boosting focused marketing and sales activities in stronger client sectors, including water/wastewater, energy, wildfire management, and environmental/regulatory compliance services for schools, medical facilities, and infrastructure; maintaining its long-standing relationships with surviving land development clients such as Tejon Ranch Co., Newhall Ranch and other southern California habitat management programs associated with future development; providing extension-of-staff services to many of Dudek's public and private clients as they cope with staff downsizing; maintaining key technical and regulatory obligations needed for project completion and maintenance; and adding key staff that have become available as a result of the industry downturn in strategic areas of CEQA/NEPA, air quality, energy auditing for water/wastewater facilities, and regulatory compliance.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: CONSULTING & ENGINEERING: LARGE FIRMS (>$100 MILLION)
GOLD MEDAL: Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM), an Australia-based full-service engineering, science, and project delivery firm, for achieving revenue growth of approximately 30% annually over the past five years. Employee-owned SKM today has a staff of about 6,500 at 47 offices around the world and provides services in seven broad market areas: buildings and property; defense; power and industry; international development assistance; transportation infrastructure; mining and metals; and water and environment. Annual revenue exceeds $1 billion Australian (about $698 million U.S.). Much of the company's solid revenue growth derives from the robust mining market in Australia, but SKM is enjoying growth in other regions of the world as well, such as Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
GOLD MEDAL: Tetra Tech, Inc. for a record fiscal 2008, during which gross revenue increased by 38% to $2.1 billion and operating income increased by 23% to $106 million, and during which the company added 1,400 employees. Business in Tetra Tech's core markets of water and environmental services were strong, growing by about 30% in fiscal 2008, and the company's business in alternative energy engineering, including wind power, solar power, hydropower, and nuclear energy, expanded significantly, with revenue from wind projects more than tripling. Also during the most recent fiscal year, Tetra Tech took one of the first steps in a major initiative to expand its international business through the acquisition of ARD, Inc. and two other small firms that provide governance and consulting services to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), now one of Tetra Tech's largest customers.
SILVER MEDAL: Wardrop Engineering Inc. a Canadian consulting and engineering firm, for rapid growth over the past two years, nearly doubling revenue, and for consistently ranking among the top quartile of financial performers in the environmental and infrastructure consulting and engineering industry. Wardrop is a $150 million Canadian (about $125 million U.S.) firm providing engineering, environmental, and other professional services to the energy, infrastructure, mining, and international development markets. In October 2008, it was recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers by MacLean's magazine, the only engineering firm to be so honored all eight years that the magazine has been publishing its Top 100 list. In April 2008, it merged with Ontario-based CPG-Franz Environmental Inc., which specializes in environmental site assessments, environmental management, decommissioning and cleanup, compliance auditing, and construction and project management.
SILVER MEDAL: WSP Group USA, the U.S. unit of U.K.-based WSP, for its ranking as the number-one firm on The Zweig Letter's Hot Firm 2008 list of the fastest-growing engineering, environmental and architecture firms. The firm earned this ranking through its rapid revenue growth from $46.1 million to more than $197 million over the period from 2004 to 2007. WSP Group USA is a fully integrated environmental and engineering consultancy consisting of four business groups: WSP Environment & Energy, WSP Flack & Kurtz, WSP Cantor Seinuk, and WSP SELLS. It employs over 1,100 people in the United States and specializes in environmental, sustainability, property, and transportation projects. The firm also claims strengths in identifying and mitigating environmental legacy issues through its expertise in ecosystem restoration, environmental due diligence, auditing, investigation and remediation services.
BRONZE MEDAL: ERM for 19% growth in net revenue to $445.7 million for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2008, and for a 23% increase in operating profit over the same period. The growth in net revenue was ERM's highest ever, and despite the recent economic downturn, ERM has experienced strong growth in the first half of its current financial year. In each of the past five years, ERM has enjoyed double-digit growth in net revenue, and since 2004, net revenue has grown by 73%. During the past year, ERM has continued to build its capacity around the world, opening 13 new offices and establishing a presence in Romania and Alaska, as well as strengthening its presence in Africa, North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Malaysia. ERM now employs more than 3,500 people at 145 offices in 41 countries.
BRONZE MEDAL: CDM, a leading water/wastewater engineering and construction firm with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, for continued double-digit growth in design-build contracts for large water and wastewater infrastructure projects. A major win during 2008 was the company's receipt of a $36 million project to upgrade the Apra Harbor wastewater treatment plant at the U.S. Naval Base on the island of Guam. The project involves the restoration of the treatment plant to its original operational capacity of 4.3 million gallons per day (mgd). Other major projects awarded within the past 12 to 18 months and still ongoing include a $200 million project for the city of Stockton, California, under the city's landmark Delta water supply program. Late in 2007, CDM received two awards from the Design-Build Institute of America- one for the design and construction of 5-mgd South Region Tertiary Treatment Plant at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, and another for the Coastal Development and Environmental Improvement Projects in Budva, Kotor, and Cetinje, Montenegro.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: REMEDIATION CONTRACTING
GOLD MEDAL: TerraTherm, Inc., a remediation contractor focused on in situ thermal remediation (ISTR) technologies, for increasing revenue by 38% and more than doubling net income during 2008. Based on current backlog and not including any new wins that the firm may receive, TerraTherm expects revenue to increase by more than 100% to over $12 million and net income to triple in 2009. The company attributes this growth in part to the growing popularity of its thermal conduction heating (TCH), advanced electrical resistance heating (ERH), and steam-enhanced extraction (SEE) technologies, which can be applied alone or in combination to solve complex source remediation problems and meet the requirements of a wide range of sites and contaminants.
SILVER MEDAL: Abscope Environmental, Inc., a remediation construction firm, for growing profits by 328% while doubling revenue to $14.5 million over the period from 2003 through 2008. Founded in 1989, the 62-person firm has broadened its geographic reach beyond the Northeast into Illinois, Missouri, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Since 2003, Abscope has achieved and consistently maintains an Experience Modification Rating (EMR) of 0.79 or lower. A significant growth driver has been Abscope's work at former manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites, including a $7 million remediation project begun in 2007 and expanded in 2008. This project features cleanup of more than 12,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils to a depth of 28 feet in an urban setting. Other recent projects include construction at an MGP site in Illinois featuring the installation of a 20,000-vertical-square-foot containment barrier; a 60,000-square-foot asbestos removal project completed in 70 days at an occupied health care center; and an ongoing $18-million cleanup at a former chemical plant in New York State.
BRONZE MEDAL: SCE Environmental Group, Inc. for its placement at number 1,066 on the 2008 Inc. 5,000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States, and at number 13 among the top 50 environmental service companies on the 2008 Inc. 5,000 list. These rankings were based on revenue growth of 350% from $3.2 million in 2004 to $14.3 million in 2007. SCE is a full-service environmental contracting firm employing 80 people and offering landfill construction and closure, industrial maintenance, decontamination, demolition, site remediation, and construction services to medium-size and large corporate and government clients globally. Over the years, SCE has participated in some high-profile projects, including the decontamination of the World Trade Center area following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent anthrax cleanup at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. In 2008, SCE received a 2008 Environmental Achievement Award from EPA for a brownfields cleanup in Pennsylvania involving the excavation, relocation, and stabilization of 163,000 cubic yards of material from 17 areas of concern at the site.
BRONZE MEDAL: OP-TECH, a provider of environmental and industrial services, for revenue growth from $12 million in 2002, when it launched a long-range strategic plan, to $35 million in 2008. During that period, OP-TECH's staff increased from 83 to 186 employees in 11 branch offices in the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic states. The strategic plan underlying this growth focused on boosting the company's core business, developing organically, expanding geographically, delivering high-quality services, driving innovation in its service offerings, processes, and systems, and engaging in aggressive training and development of staff at all levels of the company.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: TECHNOLOGY & SPECIALTY SERVICES
GOLD MEDAL: BioReaction Industries LLC, a maker of biofilters for volatile organic compound (VOC) and odor control, for increasing revenue during 2008 by 300% for the second year in a row. Also during 2008, BioReaction continued its global expansion by forming a partnership with Beijing Victex Environmental Science and Technology Development Co. to deliver its patented air pollution control systems throughout China. The company has installed 10 bio-oxidation systems in the country since forming the partnership. The utilization of the firm's systems and technology has continued to grow in the wood products, paints and coatings, and chemical industries. In addition, BioReaction's bio-oxidation system is enabling companies to reduce their dependency on natural gas, which supplies up to 90% of the energy consumed by a thermal oxidizer, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions output by 80 to 85%. This effort has led to reductions of over 72,000 tons of GHG emissions to date.
SILVER MEDAL: Clean Air Lawn Care, a lawn maintenance business that uses environmentally sound practices, for expanding to 20 franchises nationally after launching in Colorado in 2006. Clean Air Lawn Care uses electric and biodiesel-powered equipment that's recharged by solar panels mounted on the company's vehicles. The firm uses organic fertilizer and claims that its entire operation is carbon neutral. Clean Air Lawn Care has formed partnerships with two of the largest manufacturers of electric lawn-care equipment-Black & Decker and Neuton-as well as with the outdoor clothing and gear provider Patagonia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Clean Air Law Care claims that, during 2008, its operations resulted in reductions of 32,000 pounds of air pollution compared with lawn-care activities using conventional equipment.
BRONZE MEDAL: Brooks Rand Labs, an environmental laboratory specializing in the detection of trace metals and metals species, for revenue growth of an order of magnitude since 2002. New ownership took over the management of the company in January 2002, and since then, revenue has grown from $400,000 to $4 million in 2008, all organic, while the staff increased from six to more than 40 employees. Brooks Rand Labs attributes its success to its employees' dedication, intelligence, and ability to produce work of the highest quality. The company says that its customer service staff is several times larger than other similarly sized analytical labs. Nearly all of the current business comes from repeat customers and word of mouth.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION
GOLD MEDAL: EarthSoft for doubling license fees for its EQuIS environmental, health, and safety (EHS) software package and growing its revenue from training and hosting services by 100%. EarthSoft expanded its Help Desk staff to nine people and sold large enterprise systems to EPA Region 3, the Army Corps of Engineers (Seattle District), the Ohio Department of Transportation, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Nassau County in New York, two URS offices, Haley & Aldrich, Peabody Energy, and several other new clients, including two new states. New international clients in 2008 included Barrick Gold and the Dubai Central Lab, and new Spanish and French versions of EQuIS were released.
SILVER MEDAL: Cardinal Resources LLC for executing a major business turnaround in its IT staffing business. In late 2006 and early 2007, the firm was devastated by the default of a major client, creating a loss of $535,000 on gross revenue of $940,000- the company's first loss ever. The client had passed the credit checks, had a great D&B rating, and had paid in less than 30 days until the day its funding collapsed and it stopped paying. Cardinal's management team took immediate proactive steps to turn itself around. Realizing that staff and sustainable water systems were the keys to the future, management committed to avoiding layoffs and continuing development, and it quickly pursued every opportunity to reduce costs from an already low overhead. In addition, Cardinal aggressively expanded its international base of work while diversifying its U.S. client base. These measures resulted in a turnaround in 2008, without any layoffs, to gross revenue of $3.2 million, a net income of over $100,000, and a contracted backlog of $3.5 million.
BRONZE MEDAL: Columbia Technologies, LLC, a small veteran-owned provider of site characterization tools, for significant geographic expansion. During 2008, the company added offices in the western and southeastern regions of the United States and initiated field service delivery in Canada. In addition, Columbia Technologies extended the offering of its patented SmartData Solutions internationally, providing real-time quality assurance and information processing support to major clients in Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. Over the past three years, the Columbia Technologies' team has delivered its high-resolution services to 125 individual clients on over 250 sites, imaged in high resolution over a mile of subsurface geochemical conditions each month, worked in 36 states and five countries, and generated a sustained annual revenue growth rate of 23%.
BRONZE MEDAL: Enviance, an EHS software developer, for growing revenue by 45% over 2007 and passing the 11,000 mark in the number of users. During 2008, Enviance processed over 61 billion data points and created or updated nearly 800 million new data records. Today, its environmental compliance and GHG emissions management Software as a Service (SaaS) application is used in 45 countries. In the city and county of Denver, Enviance launched its Driving Change program, which the company describes as the world's first vehicular GHG management and reduction pilot program. Also during 2008, Enviance became the only EHS company named to JMP Securities' list of the Top 100 privately held software companies.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: WASTE AND RECYCLING SERVICES
GOLD MEDAL: Heritage - Crystal Clean, a provider of waste oil collection and other environmental services to small and mid-size customers, for achieving consistent annual sales growth in excess of 20% since its founding in 1999. The company expects to report sales of $100 million for 2008. Heritage - Crystal Clean owes much of its success to President and CEO Joseph Chalhoub, a veteran of the waste collection and recycling industry for more than 30 years. Chalhoub launched Breslube Industries in Ontario in 1977 and rapidly grew the company to one of the leading used-oil collection and re-refining operations in North America. In 1987, Breslube merged with solvent recycler and parts cleaner Safety-Kleen, and with Safety-Kleen's backing, designed and constructed an oil re-refinery in East Chicago, Indiana- a facility that, according to Heritage, remains the largest of its kind in the world. After Safety-Kleen was acquired in a hostile takeover, Chalhoub founded Heritage - Crystal Clean in 1999, and since then has opened more than 50 branch locations serving better than half of the U.S. market. In addition to achieving double-digit revenue growth in 2008, the company went public through an initial public offering (IPO) of common stock in March.
SILVER MEDAL: Liberty Salvage Materials, a solid waste management firm, for recording $2 million in sales during 2008, its first year of operation. In May 2007, Liberty Salvage received the first Materials Recovery Solid Waste Management System approval from the Southern Nevada Health District to operate in Southern Nevada (Las Vegas metro area), and in 2008, it managed several projects seeking certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Liberty Salvage has helped companies recycle 65% of their solid waste, and it has diverted 6825 tons of lumber, 8523 tons of ferrous metal/non-ferrous metals, and 2469 tons of plastics from landfills.
BRONZE MEDAL: Agromin, a California-based green-waste management and processing firm, for revenue growth average 13% annually over the last five years, to approximately $14 million for 2008. This growth has been driven by California regulations that are pushing cities, businesses, and agricultural concerns to operate in a more sustainable manner. Although many businesses manage organic, or "green," waste, Agromin claims to be one of the few that specializes in the sustainable processing and recycling of the materials. At its five recycling locations, it uses environmentally sound approaches to produce more than 240 soil amendment products for agricultural, public works and construction, landscaping, and other applications. The agriculture industry is a major beneficiary of Agromin's products. The firm places green waste recycling facilities on agricultural land and provides these operations with a continual supply of compost and mulch for orchards and crops, as well as helping clients use less water, minimize erosion, and cut down on the use of herbicides and pesticides.
M&A AWARDS: LARGE DEALS
GOLD MEDAL: Stantec, a multidisciplinary engineering firm based in Canada, for continuing its aggressive acquisition pace in 2008, a year during which merger and acquisition activity in the environmental industry declined in the wake of the credit crunch. In February, Stantec substantially strengthened its presence on the West Coast and other U.S. locations through the acquisition Secor International, a 700-employee environmental consulting and engineering firm with 40 U.S. offices and $125 in annual gross revenue. Stantec followed up in March with the acquisition of 170-person RHL, a western U.S. firm specializing in urban land development. The acquisition in July of McIntosh Engineering bolstered Stantec's ability to bring its full range of engineering, environmental, and program management to the mining industry. Finally, in November, Stantec announced an agreement with the Canadian environmental consulting and engineering firm Jacques Whitford whereby Stantec will acquire the $230 million company. The deal will not only effectively double Stantec's environmental practice and establish it as a leading environmental services provider in North America, but it will also provide Jacques Whitford with access to the capital it was seeking to make acquisitions on its own.
SILVER MEDAL: International engineering firm AMEC for a series of deals that strengthened its capabilities in environmental, geotechnical, natural resources, water resources, marine, and green-building/sustainability consulting and engineering. The biggest catch of the year was Geomatrix Consultants, Inc. a $100 million firm that brings to AMEC very-high-end geotechnical and environmental engineering capabilities and, in turn, gains the clout to expand from its predominantly West Coast base into international markets through its affiliation with AMEC. During 2008, AMEC also acquired two Pacific Northwest-based firms: Steward and Associates, a fisheries and watershed management consultancy, and Marine & Environmental Testing, a specialist in industrial hygiene, occupational safety, training, and regulatory compliance services. In April, AMEC added Denver-based Smith Williams Consultants, Inc., a 36-person provider of civil, geotechnical, water resources management, and construction engineering services, primarily to the mining industry. The addition of Maine-based OEST Associates, Inc. in November expanded AMEC's presence in New England and its skill base in green building and sustainable design.
BRONZE MEDAL: Trow Global, an Ontario-based multidisciplinary consulting and engineering firm with specialties in geotechnical and environmental engineering, for completing a deal in June with General Atlantic LLC (GA) whereby GA took a minority position in Trow. The deal was noteworthy both because GA took a minority interest Trow and because it completed the transaction using its own equity rather than debt- both uncommon practices at a time when private-equity firms are using debt to take majority positions in engineering firms. The deal is also notable because it provides Trow with access to the capital necessary to make larger acquisitions than it was previously able to. Trow simultaneously completed its acquisition of Teknika HBA, a Quebec-based provider of a broad range of consulting and engineering services.
BRONZE MEDAL: Investment banker Houlihan Lokey (HL) for arranging the sale of Siemens' Hydrocarbon Service Business (HS) to the Spanish construction and environmental services company FCC Group. In late 2006, as part of its relationship with Siemens, Houlihan Lokey (HL) advised that HS was not core to Siemens' water business and could generate strong interest from buyers in a potential divestiture. In early 2007, Siemens agreed with the recommendation, and HL conducted a global auction and negotiated and structured the sale of the HS to FCC Group for $182 million in a combination of debt and equity. Given the limited number of obvious strategic buyers, the volatility of HS's financials, and disruption in the credit markets during the process, Siemens needed to overcome considerable challenges to achieve a successful outcome. According to Siemens, the deal allowed it to fulfill its objective at a valuation well above its expectations and use the proceeds to fund growth of the Water Technologies division.
M&A AWARDS: MID-SIZED DEALS
GOLD MEDAL: ARCADIS for its acquisition of LFR, Inc. and for undertaking a major re-organization prompted by its 2005 acquisition of Blasland, Bouck & Lee (BBL), an addition that doubled the size of ARCADIS's environmental practice. LFR employs over 480 people in 34 offices nationwide and generated revenue totaling $127 million in 2007. LFR provides a broad range of environmental services, including fixed-price remediation, environmental auditing and due diligence, specialized geotechnical engineering, risk assessment and litigation support/expert witness services, environmental compliance, air quality, and hazardous material abatement. Over the past five years, the company has generated double-digit revenue growth. Following its acquisition of BBL, ARCADIS conducted an organizational design and operational analysis to leverage the combined strengths of the two organizations. The result was a new organizational structure based on four "pillars": client focus, operational excellence; technology leadership; and health and safety.
SILVER MEDAL: ICF International for its acquisition of Jones & Stokes, a 400-person integrated planning and resource management firm specializing in the transportation, energy, water, and natural resources sectors. Established in 1970, Jones & Stokes supports a broad mix of federal, commercial, state, and local government clients on projects involving the planning and implementation of required infrastructure improvement and mandated government programs. The acquisition of Jones & Stokes expands ICF's environmental capabilities and offerings in strategic growth areas and deepens the firm's environmental planning and natural resource management capabilities. With 19 offices in seven states, Jones & Stokes also strengthens ICF's presence in the western U.S. Jones & Stokes was a 2007 EBJ Gold Medal award recipient among medium-size firms for increasing its annual sales from $70.3 million in 2006 to $85 million in 2007, a 20.9% jump attributable entirely to internal growth.
SILVER MEDAL: IHS, a broad-based information technology and data management firm, for its entry into the environmental, health, and safety arena through three acquisitions. IHS acquired Environmax, ESP, and Dolphin, three companies known for providing best-in-class hazardous materials management, air emissions and climate change management, and chemical lifecycle management software solutions. In the first six months of operating its new business unit, IHS developed a product roadmap to deliver an integrated solution built on the power of Dolphin, ESP, and Environmax technology and giving clients a single system to manage sustainability performance from hazardous waste management to cap-and-trade program management.
BRONZE MEDAL: SCS Engineers for executing two acquisitions in 2008: Environmental Health Services, Inc. in Nevada, and RJR Engineering, Ltd. In Texas. Environmental Health Services brings to SCS new or added capabilities in the areas of industrial hygiene and safety consulting, mold investigation and monitoring, asbestos and lead control, litigation support, environmental assessment, loss control program management, workers compensation management, laboratory services, and EPA and OSHA training. RJR brings a strengthened presence in the Gulf Coast region, particularly in the areas of solid waste engineering and environmental remediation.
BRONZE MEDAL: Kleinfelder for its acquisition of Trigon Engineering Consultants, Inc., a $17 million North Carolina-based consultancy that helped build Kleinfelder's presence in the Southeast. The Trigon acquisition strengthened Kleinfelder in four additional ways. First, it brought a new client base of heavy-industry clients to the firm. Second, it added significant resources and capabilities in site civil and environmental design to its eastern operations. Third, Trigon's national reputation for highly specialized real-time stack testing services and its advanced in-house environmental laboratory provided Kleinfelder with a complementary service to the industrial marketplace. And fourth, the acquisition nearly doubled Kleinfelder's air quality practice, one of the firm's fastest growing practices, adding a vital element to Kleinfelder's overall business strategy to be a national leader in emissions compliance and optimization, process improvement, and related sustainability services for major industry.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
GOLD MEDAL: AECOM Environment for the successful execution of two landmark international projects vital to the establishment of national environmental regulatory infrastructure. In one of the projects, the Malaysian Government hired the firm to establish a Contaminated Land Management (CLM) Framework for the entire country. The CLM framework includes the formulation of CLM legislation, guidelines, and standards, the compilation of a CLM site inventory system (30,000 sites), and stakeholder engagement. One of the most-anticipated environmental regulations in Malaysia, CLM sets a precedent across South East Asia by establishing a foundation for structured management of contaminated land, according to the company. In the other project, AECOM Environment developed a comprehensive national inventory of federal- and state-listed threatened species and ecological communities on Australia Defence Department lands encompassing 130,000 square miles of territory. Engaging with government agencies, Defence staff , and ecologists, the firm produced extensive flora and fauna studies that resulted in increased knowledge of species distribution and populations and a major database that is being used in environmental impact assessment activities.
SILVER MEDAL: RTI International for its receipt of an $85 million contract to manage environmental services for the government of Abu Dhabi and to transfer to the country the knowledge needed to operate a world-class environmental protection program. Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, RTI will provide technical and management support for activities ranging from the accreditation of environmental consultants working in Abu Dhabi and the development of processes to evaluate environmental studies, to conducting risk assessments and establishing compliance and monitoring programs for the transportation, development, and industrial sectors. According to RTI, the project represents the largest investment to date by any government in the region in environmental management capacity building. RTI has a goal of transferring 50% of its environmental services and expertise to local nationals of the United Arab Emirates within five years.
BRONZE MEDAL: Groundwater & Environmental Services (GES), a $100-million-plus privately held C&E firm, for a breakthrough year in the international petroleum market, with annual revenue growth of more than 240%. Gross revenue in this sector increased from $1.7 million in 2007 to $4.1 million in 2008. GES's international group has grown by more than 300% to service the downstream petroleum industry across the Caribbean, Mexico, and Latin America. In early 2008, GES received a five-year contract for the Latin American region valued at more than $30 million, positioning the company as a prime environmental vendor for the world's largest oil company in both the United States and the Caribbean-Central America region. GES has opened a regional office in San Juan, Puerto Rico to manage projects at locations in Mexico, Central America, and several Caribbean island nations. GES expects this strong base to support further growth throughout South America.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT: INFORMATION
Locus Technologies for overhauling its eEHS Software as a Service (SaaS) application to accommodate the growing interest in corporate GHG emissions reporting, sustainability, and governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) reporting. To respond to these emerging corporate needs, Locus moved eEHS it to a new native Web 2.0 platform and added a robust ad hoc query capability to produce boardroom-quality reports from a single mouse click- all delivered through Cloud Computing or SaaS. Functionality added in 2008 included dashboard reporting on GHG emissions, hazardous and non-hazardous waste production, water and energy consumption from multiple sources, and recycling metrics, all of which are available through multiple mashups with popular Google Maps and other Web 2.0 technologies. One of Locus' long term customers, Alstom, has deployed Locus's new eEHS worldwide.
EM-Assist, an environmental consulting, training, and information management firm, for the development of its Cost Reporting and Fund Reimbursement System (CRFRS) and its deployment of the CRFRS to help a major military facility dramatically reduce its annual hazardous waste management and disposal costs. According to EM-Assist, the CRFRS provides ready access to high-quality hazardous waste cost data and streamlines cost accounting procedures, supporting hazardous waste managers with their day-to-day program management, promoting accountability among waste generators, and leading to reduced waste disposal costs and quantities. EM-Assist used the CRFRS to help a client at a large Department of Defense installation develop and implement new hazardous waste cost-reporting business practices, including the invoicing of waste generators for all waste disposal costs. These practices contributed to a reduction in annual waste management and disposal costs of 23% ($570,000 per year) and a reduction of 34% (376 tons per year) in the annual quantity of hazardous waste disposed of, with no decrease in production levels.
Integrated Environmental Services (IES), a SBA 8(a) environmental consulting company, for implementing an enterprise management solution for radiological geophysical log data for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). DOE's geophysical log data quality varied from individual borehole measurements recorded manually to high-resolution spectral gamma measurements. These data existed in a variety of formats stored at various locations across the project; therefore, data were not easily accessible to project-wide end users and decision makers. Working closely with the geophysical logging experts at DOE, IES utilized its five years of knowledge of the DOE database systems to develop a prototype data structure that is flexible enough to be used with virtually any type of depth-value geophysical log, while remaining compatible with DOE's current environmental restoration databases. According to the company, the data is now accessible to end users and decision makers on a mass scale that was never before available, with projected savings of several millions of dollars over the restoration project life-cycle through standardization and accelerated decision-making.
3E Co. for continued enhancements of its information technology product and service line. In the past year, the company has incorporated the requirements and data of the European Union's Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) directive into its compliance and information management services and products, including the Ariel EH&S Decision Support products, 3E Online-MSDS Management solutions, Ariel MSDS Authoring and Professional Services, and the MSDgen software suite for material safety data sheet (MSDS) and label authoring. 3E also added new tools reflecting the United Nations' Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) into its Ariel webInsight regulatory compliance package. In addition, 3E introduced Ariel GHS Rules for SAP EH&S, a new tool for SAP EH&S users that facilitates compliance with GHS by simplifying mixture classification and labeling practices.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT: REMEDIATION
The Adventus Group, a specialist in the evaluation of technologies for remediation projects, for performance evaluations of several innovative technologies that were successfully deployed. One technology, an in situ integrated biological and chemical reduction (ISCR) technology called EHC, achieved greater than 99.9% removal of total chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at a dry-cleaner site in Oregon. Another technology, EHC-O, is a pH-buffered source of slow-release oxygen plus inorganic nutrients for accelerated bioremediation of soil, sediment, and groundwater impacted by organic constituents that are amenable to aerobic biodegradation. The EHC-O process was used successfully at a site in Wisconsin to significantly reduce concentrations of eight polychlorinated VOCs in groundwater, six of them to non-detect levels. And finally, the Daramend technology was used to treat agricultural land that had been contaminated by organo-chlorine pesticides at a cost of $21 per ton- significantly lower than a projected cost of $80 ton using the traditional dig-and-haul method.
Land Science Technologies, a division of Regenesis, Inc., for the development of Geo-Seal, a new membrane system designed to stop potentially harmful gas vapors from migrating into new buildings and contaminating indoor air. Contaminated site redevelopment often requires the use of a contaminant vapor barrier placed beneath the concrete slab to inhibit subsurface VOCs from migrating into new construction. Historically, different types of materials have been used on a wide-variety of vapor barrier applications. Some are highly chemically resistant, such as 40- or 60-mil-thickness, high-density polyethylene sheets, but they require costly, labor-intensive welding and battening to ensure a continuous and cohesive barrier to vapor migration. Other widely promoted and more easily applied "spray-on" barriers, such as latex/asphalt membrane-type waterproofing materials, can be degraded by VOCs due to the latex/asphalt's affinity for them. According to Land Science Technologies, Geo-Seal provides the best of both systems by combining the chemical resistance of high-density polyethylene with the ease of application and constructability of spray-on systems. This combination results in a cost-effective, chemically compatible gas vapor barrier that limits the transmission of VOC vapors and resists contaminant permeation breakthrough for a period 18 times longer than that of asphalt/latex membranes.
Groundwater & Environmental Services, Inc. (GES) and Columbia Technologies for developing an innovative assessment and feasibility testing service that accelerates and improves conceptual site model development and remediation strategy effectiveness. This method uses Columbia's direct-sensing tools to collect high-resolution, direct-sensing data for more accurate site characterization. Columbia's SmartData Solutions processes the data in near real time to create an interactive, on-line conceptual site model to support ongoing field efforts. This integrated approach provides three-dimensional color images depicting the location, depth, composition, and extent of contaminant plumes within hours. Using the results of this accelerated process and subsequent extraction/injection well development, GES mobilizes its data acquisition processing laboratory (DAPL) to the site to collect extensive feasibility test data and evaluate the comparative effectiveness of remediation technologies, including air sparging, soil vapor extraction, groundwater/product pumping, total-phase vacuum extraction, ozone injection, and chemical oxidation injection methods. Real-time evaluation and adjustment to testing conditions are enabled by on-board computer, a wide array of pumps, blowers, and other tools, and the use of wireless transducers.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT: WATER/WASTEWATER
Severn Trent Services (STS) for two advances in water and wastewater treatment technology: a biological nutrient removal system, and a microwave-based ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system. STS patented a biologically active reactor system that utilized a three-stage biofiltration method consisting of a pre-denitrification process for the first stage, followed by a biological aerated filter for the second stage and a Denite denitrification filter for the polishing filter. A two-month pilot study demonstrated that the system was able to deliver final effluent quality that will meet the new Class IA Effluent Discharge Standards in China. The successful pilot study led to the design and construction of a 20,000 cubic meter per day (m3/day) wastewater treatment plant in Jiashan. STS's MicroDynamics UV disinfection system uses microwaves from electrode-less lamps to generate monochromatic UV light. With electrode-less lamps, there are no electrical connections to fail, corrode or leak, increasing safety and reducing required maintenance. The lifespan of the lamps potentially exceeds 30,000 hours, thus minimizing waste and reducing operating costs.
Bio-Microbics for the introduction of the BioBarrier, a membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology that is scaled down for use in residential and small commercial applications. Up to now, MBR technology has been available only at a scale suitable for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment applications. Ideally suited for the unique needs of the decentralized wastewater market, the BioBarrier's design facilitates the discharge of high-quality effluent into most environments, including surface irrigation and other re-use methods, according to the company. The BioBarrier system incorporates a robust biological process in a small footprint. The company claims that the BioBarrier system is easy to install, is energy efficient, and produces minimal volumes of sludge. The modular system's completely automated operation requires no complicated backwash functionality, which makes it easier to maintain and clean.
Dagua Inc. for the successful deployment in 2008 of its patented DaguaFlo water treatment technology, which combines ozonation and membrane filtration. Although introduced in 2006, the local government in Dagua's Quebec jurisdiction imposed a freeze on municipal infrastructure subsidies and financing, slowing water and wastewater infrastructure development through 2007. Since then, numerous agreements among federal, provincial, and municipal entities have kick-started the water/wastewater market, and 2008 served as a breakout year for the DaguaFlo process. The company successfully compiled credible field data on the technology's performance, deployed the technology at its second installation, and signed a contract for a third deployment. Dagua says that it has built a sales funnel of more than $25 million Canadian in potential projects in its local market alone, and that it has identified potential business partners in Western Canada to deploy the technology on a more national basis.
Filterra Bioretention Systems for the development of the Filterra Bioretention System as an alternative to pipe- and pond-based stormwater management systems. The Filterra system is an advanced, high-flow-rate treatment technology consisting of a concrete landscape container, engineered media, an under-drain system, landscape trees or shrubs, and a protective tree grate. The bioretention plant/soil/microbe treatment complex utilizes physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms to remove nutrients, heavy metals, total suspended solids, oil and grease, bacteria, and other constituents found in urban runoff. In addition, The company has developed Bacterra, a specialized treatment medium to remove fecal coliform and other pathogens from urban runoff. Laboratory tests have demonstrated Bacterra bacteria removal rates of 77 to 99%, and preliminary field results show removal rates of 94 to 99%.
Aeration Industries International, Inc. for the successful deployment of its Tri-Oval Oxidation Ditch Wastewater Treatment System. The Tri-Oval system integrates the company's 11-year-old Aire-O2 Triton aerator/mixer into its Oxidation Oval format, allowing subsurface vertical and horizontal mixing at sufficient velocities to prevent solids settling, provide longer entrainment of the fine-bubble diffused air injection, and allow for deeper ditch designs with smaller footprints. According to the company, the Tri-Oval system's subsurface action eliminates the need for covers, and its dual-mode functionality conserves energy and yields high-quality effluent. Aeration Industries designed and constructed three new Tri-Oval oxidation ditches in 2008, with the first going on-line in North Dakota at the end of the year.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT: AIR QUALITY
O'Brien & Gere for rapid growth in deployment of its DI-DuctInjection Technologies product from $150,000 in revenue in 2005 when it was introduced to nearly $20 million this past year. DI-DuctInjection Technologies provides a total solution for utility, industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers, for the control of sulfur dioxide (SO2), sulfur trioxide (SO3), nitrogen oxide (NOX), mercury, and acid gas emissions. The process involves injecting selected dry sorbents, including Solvair trona, FMC EnProve trona, and hydrated lime, into flue gas to target specific emissions. In full-scale demonstrations, O‘Brien & Gere has designed injection systems that can use any of these options, giving power plants flexibility in addressing specific emissions. According to the company, DI-Duct Injection offers effective air emission control at a fraction of the capital costs of traditional scrubbers. It can also work in tandem with existing air pollution control devices, such as scrubbers, baghouses, and electrostatic precipitators. The technology is being applied to large and small coal- and oil-fired boilers.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT: CLEAN ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE
Weston Solutions, Inc. for the development of its Green Roof Monitoring System for monitoring, verifying, and documenting the long-term performance of green roofs. The number of vegetated roofing systems continues to escalate in North America due to their many environmental benefits, such as energy conservation, stormwater retention, reduction of urban heat island effects, and improvements in air quality. Monitoring the performance of these facilities, however, is critical to maintaining performance and ensuring continued LEED certification. The Green Roof Monitoring System is configured and installed using an array of sensors to gather real-time data for multiple parameters, including ambient, roof surface, and subsurface temperatures; runoff; moisture content; evapo-transpiration; rainfall; and humidity. Data from the monitoring system is integrated into Weston's RespondFast Real-Time Monitoring technology via a secure web site. Data can also be pushed automatically to other data servers. The system can be solar powered, eliminating the need for separate power infrastructure.
TRC Companies, Inc. for the completion of the critical issues review portion of the largest proposed wind farm project to date in New England, in the face of significant public opposition. TRC conducted extensive field studies of the site for the proposed Kibby Wind Power Project in Franklin County, Maine, including the wind turbine generator sites and the proposed transmission line. TRC's site reviews weaved a path through numerous recreational, development, visual, and natural resource issues. In addition to providing licensing support, TRC's electric engineers are serving as the owner's engineer for collector system design and transmission line construction and have provided design engineering services for the 27 miles of transmission line that will connect the project to the New England grid. The wind farm's 44 turbines will provide 132 megawatts (MW) of clean power for over 50,000 Maine homes, but local constituents opposed its development within a protected mountain area. Lending an ear to all interested parties, TRC helped the client successfully address controversial issues and diffuse tensions. The development plan met with unanimous final approval by Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission in July 2008, and construction of the facility began in September.
Veolia Environmental Services (ES) for the opening in July 2008 of a waste-to-ethanol production facility in Medina, Ohio- a facility that the company characterizes as its newest and greenest. The Medina facility accepts bulk liquids, returned packaged goods, products that have expired or can't be sold for other reasons, and ethanol-bearing waste from manufacturing processes. Veolia ES de-packages the products and processes them to recover ethanol, which can be used to produce high-octane automotive fuel and other products. Currently, the facility is processing industrial ethanol and producing 190- to 200-proof ethanol for use in the industrial market or as a fuel additive. In early 2009, the facility will receive and process alcoholic beverages, and in mid-2009 it will receive and ferment sugar-bearing non-alcoholic beverages.
Fabgroups Technologies, Inc. for the opening of a 32,000-wet-ton-per-year biosolids treatment facility in Quebec using the company's plasma-assisted sludge oxidation (PASO) process. The PASO technology is essentially a rotary oven equipped with an air-based plasma torch that is designed to treat biosolids with at least 20% organic content after conventional dewatering. The calorific value of the organic material in the biosolids is used as a principal heat source, and the energy produced by the biosolids is typically 10 times that of the plasma energy required for catalysis. The PASO process uses the high enthalpy of plasma, the fact that plasma consumes no oxygen, and the very high ultraviolet (UV) content of the arc to heat relatively wet biosolids to the point where they will oxidize. Biosolids oxidation takes place very efficiently, because it requires little excess oxygen, and the process does not use fossil fuels. The technology consumes less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per wet ton of biosolids and offers an excellent alternative to incineration, thermal drying, landfill disposal, or sludge spreading, according to Fabgroups. The reduction of GHG emissions from the facility is over 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT: WASTE MANAGEMENT & POLLUTION CONTROL
MARCOR Remediation, Inc. for the successful deployment of its patented pneumatic separation units (PSUs) at firing ranges as a backstop medium that can dramatically reduce hazardous waste disposal costs and other expenses associated with the management of lead bullets. Many firing ranges use rubber backstops to catch spent bullets and thereby prevent ricochets and the fragmenting of the bullets into lead dust. Traditionally, these ranges manually separated the spent bullets from the rubber in a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, or they disposed of the shredded rubber and bullets at great expense. Using a vacuum truck to provide suction and filtration, the PNU system allows for the recovery and recycling of the rubber and the bullet fragments at a fraction of the costs of other management alternatives. In 2008, MARCOR deployed the PNU system at the Sacramento Sheriff Office's firing range, at three California Highway Patrol firing ranges, and at firing ranges operated by the Philadelphia Police Department.
Johnson Diversey, a provider of commercial cleaning, sanitation, and hygiene services, for its introduction of a floor-finish applicator system that allows for reduced water use and waste generation. Conventional mop-and-bucket systems can leave up to one-third of excess finish in the mop head and use three to four gallons of water during cleanup. The ProSpeed system replaces the mop-and-bucket processes, and during its first 10 weeks of deployment allowed customers to reduce their water use by more than 71,400 gallons and reduce floor finish waste by 8,200 gallons. In addition, ProSpeed reduces the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), improving indoor air quality in hospitals, schools, and other facilities, and providing a more healthy working environment for cleaning professionals.
PROJECT MERIT: AIR QUALITY
Garlock Sealing Technologies for eliminating the use of toluene, a VOC that's a listed hazardous air pollutant (HAP) under the Clean Air Act (CAA), from its sheet gasket product manufacturing process. Sheet gasket products are manufactured by compressing mixtures of fibers and toluene solvated rubber, a process that results in an average of 119 tons of toluene emissions per year. Gasket sheeting is used to seal and control fugitive emissions from flanges in the oil refining, petrochemical, power generation, and pulp & paper industries. In the interest of promoting a better working environment and improving its environmental stewardship, Garlock decided to eliminate toluene from the manufacturing process, abandoning a practice that had been in place since 1905. The company identified tertiary butyl acetate (TBuAc) as the most promising non-VOC replacement for toluene. The substitution not only achieved the firm's environmental and workplace goals, but also improved its branding and resulted in a superior product with 20% tighter sealing than gaskets made with toluene. In November 2007, after five years and $3 million of investment, Garlock made its last toluene-based sheet gasket at its factory in Palmyra, New York.
Peterbilt Motors Co., a maker of Class 8 trucks, for implementing a program to reduce HAP emissions from its Denton, Texas, assembly plant that involved effective supply-chain management. Peterbilt's primary objectives were to improve the overall air quality of the community, lower the generation of Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemicals, and proactively reduce HAPs emissions to a level where Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards would not apply. The company conducted an initial inventory showing that the primary contributors to HAP emissions were paints and paint-related materials. Peterbilt initiated reformulation projects with affected suppliers to eliminate or minimize HAP chemicals in those products, and new products were developed over a two-year period. In addition, miscellaneous materials that contributed to fugitive HAP emissions were eliminated or replaced with non-HAP products. Finally, Peterbilt introduced a process to review and approve all new chemical products introduced into the facility. Peterbilt has reduced the HAP emission rates from 14 lbs. to 0.68 lbs per truck produced, and it has reduced the TRI reportable chemicals rate has been reduced from 40.8 lbs to 1.20 lbs per truck.
PROJECT MERIT: REMEDIATION & RESTORATION
TerraTherm, Inc. and its partners in Denmark for the start-up and completion in 2008 of what the company describes as the world's first in situ thermal remediation (ISTR) project combining thermal conduction heating (TCH) and steam-enhanced extraction (SEE). The project- a cleanup at a dry-cleaning facility in Denmark- was extremely complex, both because of the underlying geology and hydrology and because of the fact that it was undertaken in very tight quarters beneath the facility, which had to remain in operation for the duration. Pollution at the facility resulted in a significant dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) source area along with a 3,000-foot-long down-gradient plume impacting two municipal wells serving 100,000 citizens in the city of Odense. The remedial goal was to remove the source area, defined as having soil concentrations of tetrachloroethene, or perchloroethane (PCE), above 10 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), and reduce them to concentrations of 1 mg/kg or below. PCE DNAPLs had migrated through 35 feet of clay till into a high-yielding sandy groundwater aquifer, to a treatment depth of 46 feet. Combining ISTR technologies was necessary to achieve complete source-zone cleanup of both the clay using TCH and the sandy aquifer using SEE. More than 9,000 pounds of contamination were removed in only 4.5 months of treatment, representing a removal efficiency of 99.75%.
TRC Companies, Inc. for the successful execution of an Exit Strategy contract with Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc. The project involved the assumption of liability and responsibility for the decommissioning, abatement, demolition, and environmental remediation of the 9.2-acre First Avenue Properties in Manhattan. These properties included Waterside Generating Station, Kips Bay Fuel Terminal, an office building, and a parking facility. Under the supervision of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservations, TRC removed more than 100,000 tons of non-hazardous soil and delivered the soil for beneficial reuse as approved sub-grade structural fill for large landfill projects. TRC also removed over 1,000 tons of soil contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 100 tons of lead-contaminated soil, and more than 200,000 gallons of oily water. The technical complexity of the work was unprecedented due to its highly populated urban surrounding, and TRC's solution enabled the reduction of severe contamination in congested neighborhoods. In one example- the parking lot facility- TRC treated residual VOC groundwater contamination using Oxygen Release Compound (ORC) technology to assist in the biodegradation of residual contaminants. TRC applied ORC to the bottom of soil excavations prior to backfilling and made periodic injections of ORC into water table areas via Geoprobe. Overall, through this source removal and ORC treatment, TRC achieved a 90% reduction in groundwater contaminant levels.
Weston Solutions, Inc. for achieving an outstanding safety record in its conduct of a major remediation effort at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard in the San Francisco Bay area. Since 2002, Weston has completed 200,000 field work hours at multiple Mare Island sites without injury. excavated and transported over 300,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, mechanically sifted soil to remove munitions items, deployed more than 50 acres of multi-layer geosynthetics, trenched and installed more than 7,000 linear feet of groundwater conveyance piping, performed geophysical surveys with investigation of over 15,000 sub-surface anomalies, and safely removed hundreds of munitions and radioactive items. The company's Behavior-Based Safety program efforts earned it the Navy's Safety Through Awards and Recognition (STAR) designation, which the Navy says is awarded only to those companies that have "demonstrated a corporate proactive safety posture throughout the life of their contract."
ARCADIS for the successful application of its Enhanced-Reduction Dechlorination (ERD) cleanup technology at a technically challenging site. Under a contract delivered through the company's Guaranteed Remediation Program (GRiP), ARCADIS participated in the remediation, regulatory closure, and redevelopment of the Crestwood brownfield site in Glendale, Wisconsin. The key impediments to the redevelopment of this site were the technical challenges in remediating a 2,500 feet long plume of chlorinated solvents in groundwater, with source-area dense DNAPLs, and the lack of cost certainty for completing all remedial obligations. ARCADIS was able to overcome these challenges by guaranteeing the cost to closure via its GRiP contract and employing an ERD groundwater remedy that effectively treated the DNAPL source area to concentrations below the cleanup criteria. Regulatory closure was obtained in 2008, and the brownfield site has been fully redeveloped for commercial and retail land use.
Aquifer Solutions, Inc. for completing a design-build project involving the construction of a 2,000-foot-long bioremediation reactive barrier for treating high explosives and chromium in groundwater. This project was conducted at DOE's Pantex Plant in Texas, where the barrier treats perched groundwater overlying the Ogallala Aquifer, a vital and increasingly depleted source of water for Texas and the Great Plains. According to Aquifer Solutions, in situ bioremediation of high explosives is a newly developed innovative technology, and this large-scale project and its preceding pilot advanced the industry's understanding of the alternatives. The "bio barrier" involved the injection of 0.9 million gallons of amendment into 42 injection wells screened at a depth of 275 feet below ground surface. The project involved two and one half miles of drilling, the construction of two miles of buried pipeline, and the construction and operation of a fully automated, computer-controlled mixing and injection system. The project was completed on schedule, and 30,000 hours of work were conducted with a 100% safety record.
PROJECT MERIT: ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIA
Marstel-Day, LLC for launching a new audio program on its website (www.marstel-day.com) titled "Vital Voices of the Environment." This innovative series features interviews conducted by company President and CEO Rebecca Rubin with critical environmental thinkers and planners of our time, each of whom offers a perspective on a key issue affecting the future of our planet. These interviews span topics ranging from global climate change to localized environmental challenges, and they offer a diverse set of informed opinions, allowing listeners to assess for themselves the shape and magnitude of our environmental challenges. Marstel-Day plans to add new "voices" to the series every few weeks, and it currently features experts on such topics as the environment and the impacts of rising global temperatures; the future of the San Francisco Bay area as it confronts climate change; the importance of environmental journalism for developing nations; key considerations for the future of transportation; the global "peak oil" debate; and unique challenges and successes in the Rappahannock River region.
Environmental Data Resources, Inc., for the launch of commonground (commonground.edrnet.com), a service that the company describes as the first on-line community specifically for environmental professionals. Through commonground, members can share real-time answers from peers and experts on pressing environmental questions, review job opportunities, download more than 500 documents, research reports and articles, and engage in ongoing discussions concerning market issues, trends, and legislation. Membership has surpassed 2,700 parties in six months, with representation from across the United States, plus members from 60 countries such as the United Kingdom, Brazil, India, Mexico, Italy, China, Hong Kong, and Australia.
PROJECT MERIT: ENERGY & INFRASTRUCTURE
Environmental Management and Planning Solutions Inc. (EMPSi) for preparing a programmatic environmental impact statement on geothermal energy development potential in 12 western states for the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Services. The PEIS analyzed 530 million acres and was completed in less than 20 months, the quickest PEIS completed for the government, and at a lower cost than other comparable PEIS documents, according to EMPSi. The PEIS addressed the need to increase domestic sources of renewable geothermal energy on public lands in an environmentally responsible manner. This project also reduced the backlog of leases, some dating back to the 1970s, by 90%.
WIH Resource Group for a study, conducted for the city of Boise, Idaho, detailing the benefits that the city will enjoy by implementing a plan to require waste and recyclables collection vehicles in the city switch to compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative to diesel fuel. According to the study, Boise's waste management operations will stand to save money by switching to CNG fuel. Not only has the price of natural gas been significantly lower than that of diesel fuel for many years- approximately $0.50 per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) or cheaper- but an excise tax credit available under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 has made this fuel an even better bargain. Estimated savings for 20 new compressed natural gas trucks that the city's Solid Waste Division is contemplating purchasing may produce fuel savings of more than $157,894 per year over diesel fuel and will assist the city in reducing its carbon footprint. Based on the WIH Resource Group study's findings, the city is entering into a 10-year contract with Allied Waste Industries for collection services, contingent upon Allied Waste providing the services with CNG fueled vehicles.
PROJECT MERIT: WATER/WASTEWATER
American Water's Applied Water Management (AWM) Group for executing a design-build project involving the installation of a wastewater recycling facility for the Solaire luxury high-rise building in New York City's Battery Park neighborhood. The Solaire facility presented a particular challenge because of its location in a densely populated area. For the building, AWM Group designed and built a wastewater treatment facility that recycles 25,000 gallons of water per day for use in flushing toilers, filling the building's cooling tower, and irrigating rooftop gardens. The Solaire building is also energy efficient, consuming 35% less overall energy and 67% less energy at peak demand than systems in buildings of similar size. The facility also contains 19% recycled construction materials. These attributes qualified the Solaire building for LEED Gold certification.
Bolton & Menk Inc. for the design of an upgrade for the wastewater treatment facility serving the city of Buffalo, Minnesota. The city faced increasing resistance from nearby residents to the hauling and land application of biosolids generated at the facility, which also faced the constraints of a new city program requiring reduced energy consumption. Bolton & Menk recommended a treatment process that answered these challenges with what the firm refers to as an innovative twist. The design combines belt filter presses, a belt dryer, and a traveling-grate incinerator to recover heat energy from the biosolids, converting 95% of the original mass into a fuel source for subsequent inflow. The air-tight, closed-loop process eliminates any chance of odors being vented to the atmosphere and allows for the capture of heat to be reused in a continuous drying process. This heat energy replaces 80% of the natural gas that would otherwise be required to dry the biosolids. Energy savings in the first year of operation are expected to exceed $90,000. By 2027, annual savings are projected to reach $500,000.
Black & Veatch for the design of a new water treatment facility for the city of Geneva, Illinois. As part of an extensive improvement in the city's water system, Black & Veatch designed a 30,280 m3/day water-softening facility using reverse-osmosis (RO) membranes. A Black & Veatch study determined that the costs of softening by conventional lime treatment and by membrane technology were essentially equivalent, but that the membrane option had numerous advantages, including a greater potential to meet future regulatory requirements, greater flexibility in phasing in future expansion, and a footprint. The new plant sits on a 16.2-hectare site that is home to several historic barns and surrounded by a park, a greenway, wetlands, and a bike trail, and the architectural features of the facility are consistent that setting. Construction on the water treatment facility started in June 2006, and the plant was commissioned in May 2008.
CH2M HILL for the completion of a $40 million design-build-operate (DBO) project for the city of Clovis, California. The project included a state-of-the-art sewage treatment/water reuse facility and, according to the company, was unique for its use of advanced treatment technologies through an alternative project delivery method. For disinfection, the plant uses Wedeco low-pressure, high-output UV lamps that cut energy consumption significantly. Also, the use of membrane bioreactors provides better opportunity for automation, reduced facility size, and treatment performance, and the patented Cannibal sludge reduction system reduces the amount of biosolids by 90% percent and is the largest application of the technology to date in a California plant. The DBO contract was a departure from Clovis's customary procurement method, and the Clovis facility is the first treatment plant in California completed using DBO. The 2.8-mgd plant will help offset the declining supply of groundwater needed to support anticipated planned development and irrigation use in city parks and other areas.
Chen and Associates for its services in connection with the design, permitting, construction administration, and grant monitoring for the installation of a gravity sewer in the town of Hypoluxo, Florida. During the planning phase of the project, which included the installation of a drainage roadway and landscape enhancements, Chen obtained easements from nearby residents and identified and applied for several drainage grant opportunities. When designing the project, coordination was necessary with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the city of Boynton Beach, the Palm Beach County Health Department (PBCHD), the town of Manalapan, the South Florida Water Management District, and the town of Hypoluxo and its residents. Chen met the challenge of integrating existing facilities into the design of the new project. Through consultation with the PBCHD and the city of Boyton Beach, Chen obtained a variance of minimum pipe slope and depth for the gravity sewer system, confirming that the lift station could be eliminated from the project. This saved the town of Hypoluxo approximately $250,000. Also, Chen designed the stormwater management system to include a natural weir and exfiltration trench as a low-cost method for improving the quality of the water discharging into the Lake Worth Lagoon.
Brown & Caldwell for the design and engineering of the 40-mgd Columbus Biosolids Flow-Through Thermophilic Treatment facility for the municipality of Columbus, Georgia. The firm led development of a new thermophilic anaerobic digestion process for treating wastewater solids, coupling the process with an advanced cogeneration system- the first thermophilic anaerobic digestion facility in North America, to the firm's knowledge, heated entirely by cogeneration-derived heat fueled exclusively by digester gas. The digestion process uses a 30-minute batch reactor downstream from a complete-mixed thermophilic digester to enhance biosolids reduction and increase the volume of gas generated. The design will result in a net carbon offset of 9,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to Brown & Caldwell.
PROJECT MERIT: SUSTAINABILITY & RESOURCE PROTECTION
Michael Brandman Associates for the 404.3-acre University Hills residential development project at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). For the project, Michael Brandman moved development (<21% of total acreage) out of sensitive upland areas and clustered higher-density housing on the flatter portions of the site. A major drainage feature was preserved in its entirety, and neighborhoods were designed to follow contour lines separated by open space areas with bio-swales for water quality protection. Common buildings will apply for LEED certification. In addition, the design designates approximately 235 acres of open space as a permanent land laboratory for the university. Finally, the design includes a very detailed fuel modification plan to protect residents from future wildfires.
MWH for engineering services provided as part of the post-Katrina New Orleans reconstruction effort. MWH is not only helping the city to rebuild but, through its Green Solutions program, it is focusing both on the preservation of the city's rich historical resources and on building new structures or renovating existing ones using principles of sustainable design. Although many of the recovery projects in New Orleans are too limited in scope to earn enough points to be certified under the LEED green building rating system, MWH has found opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and positively impact many projects. MWH has incorporated the Green Solutions approaches into a guide for educating subcontractors in the principles and implementation of green building design.
C&E FIRMS: NEW PRACTICE AREAS
Environmental Data Solutions Group (EDSG) for successful entry into the climate change and sustainability consulting market. For 10 years, EDSG, a certified small business enterprise, had provided environmental consulting services in the areas of remediation, compliance, and environmental management information systems (EMIS). In 2008, EDSG developed an aggressive marketing strategy focused on expanding its suite of services to include climate change and sustainability in response to changing regulatory requirements and client needs. By effectively implementing this plan, EDSG secured 10 new client projects addressing climate change or sustainability issues, and by the end of 2008, the firm expected this new service area to represent approximately 20% of revenue, up from 5% in 2007. Also in 2008, EDSG successfully penetrated the federal contracting arena- industrial and commercial clients had previously accounted for 100% of its customer base- through $500,000 in new projects with the General Services Administration and Marine Corps Installations West.
ENVIRON Holdings, Inc. for growth in its new Building Technology Services practice. ENVIRON established this practice largely through the 2007 and 2008 acquisitions of Boelter Associates, Inc., and the Gustitus Group, adding critical depth to ENVIRON's existing building energy conservation and indoor environmental quality services. Through these acquisitions, ENVIRON has greatly enhanced its ability to provide comprehensive building-related environmental, health, safety, and energy-related services to a global network of property and real estate sector clients. The Building Technology Services practice accounted for $4.1 million in revenue for 2008, and ENVIRON projects that the practice will generate revenue totaling $5.1 million during 2009.
Engineering Remediation Resources Group (ERRG) for successful engagements in a new practice area, clean construction. In the clean construction market, ERRG won the following awards: a Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) with Fairchild Air Force Base for the repair and maintenance of facilities, including such projects as landscaping, fence construction, the construction of an operations center, and road repairs; a contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform levee repairs at 33 sites along the American River in Stockton, California; a U.S. Coast Guard contract to perform inner harbor dredging in Alameda, California; the design and construction of a landfill expansion cell at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps facility; the construction of a water treatment plant for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Davis, California; the installation of sewer lines for the U.S. Coast Guard; and the construction of a warehouse expansion for a private client in Washington. During the past year, these projects combined to represent over $17.5 million in revenue for ERRG's new practice area of clean construction.
AMEC Earth & Environmental for rapid results through its recently established research and development (R&D) program, under which the company funds promising R&D projects proposed by its employees. The program, financed through $100,000 in corporate funding plus additional funds from the local business units and regions, was created to promote AMEC's technical excellence, competitiveness, and visibility to clients, regulatory agencies, and prospective employees. The company completed the first round of projects in 2008, including the following: positive results of an investigation into whether some species of algae can be used to rapidly remediate naphthenic acids from oil sands tailings ponds; successful experiments showing that activated carbon can be used to bind and trap PCBs in sediment, thereby reducing threats to wildlife that live in or drink from streams; and the publication of Nanotechnology and the Environment, a book, co-authored by four AMEC scientists, that explores how the use of nano-scale materials can impact human health and the environment.
MWH for the development of the quickStart suite of programs for helping clients that are starting up new operations in the face of current economic and environmental pressures. According to the company, organizations around the world across all industries face similar challenges such as determining where, when, and how to invest in infrastructure and how to prepare for the potential effects of emerging trends such as climate change, shifting demographics, and the aging workforce. Through the quickStart program, MWH shows these organizations where to begin their efforts, providing strategic advice in such areas as climate change, sustainability, asset and knowledge management, workforce development, information technology, and capital program delivery. In a collaborative workshop setting, MWH conducts a broad-based evaluation of an organization's strategy, people, processes, data, tools, and performance. The findings are measured against best practices assembled by MWH using a proprietary software tool that displays real-time results, allowing clients to quickly identify areas that are working and those that could be improved.
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc. for growth in its environmental management information systems (EMIS) development practice. Effectively launched in 2004 when the company was asked by the American Chemistry Council to develop a web-based data-entry, management, and reporting system under the council's Responsible Care program, EA has since grown its EMIS practice to 15 full-time employees and $3 million in annual revenue, with a backlog of $4 million. EA's EMIS capabilities include software and database application development and customization, GIS system enhancement, website development and hosting, data creation and conversion, geo-referencing and map processing, network support services, digital archiving and file management, and training. The clientele for the EMIS service cuts across all of EA's markets, including state agencies and municipalities, the federal government, private industry, and professional associations.
PRACTICE INNOVATION: SUSTAINABILITY
WRSCompass for the development of its cleanNgreen approach to conducting environmental remediation projects according to set of sustainability metrics. The cleanNgreen approach allows clients to obtain credit for their cleanup initiatives through measured reductions in their carbon footprint, among other benefits. The company measures the sustainable outcomes of cleanup projects in terms of energy consumption, emissions (greenhouse gases and others), alternative energy use, beneficial reuse of the properties and the materials, on-site treatment and in situ technology, and resource utilization and efficiency. Examples of cleanNgreen measures include the adoption of idle reduction policies and the use of ultra-low-sulfur diesel and biodiesel fuel in heavy equipment. A key component of the cleanNgreen approach, according to the company, is the provision of assistance not only in remediating contaminated sites in a sustainable manner but communicating the benefits to the client's stakeholders, including employees, shareholders, and host communities.
R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services for the successful deployment of its Green Initiative Program, under which it attempts to recycle 100% of all waste materials generated during its demolition and decommissioning projects. A disabled veteran-owned business under the same ownership for over 73 years, R. Baker & Sons has grown into a professional organization with several offices employing nearly 100 employees. Services include total building demolition, selective dismantlement, facility decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation and re-installation, demolition consulting, on-site concrete crushing, scrap-metal salvage and recycling, and used-equipment purchasing. Recycling activities at specific projects include the crushing of concrete into useable aggregate, the recovery and recycling of metals, the selling of used and surplus equipment, and the salvage of used wood timbers and materials In addition to maximizing the recycling opportunities of each job, the company also takes pride in its impeccable safety record (EMR 0.79) and has been an integral part in four projects/sites that have obtained OSHA Voluntary Protection Plan (VPP) safety awards. The firm expects to generate revenue of $15 million in 2008.
THE EBJ BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
In October-December of 2008, EBJ solicited the environmental industry via email, website and word-of-mouth for nominations for the EBJ Business Achievement Awards. Nominations were accepted in 200-word essays in either specific or unspecified categories. Categories or size designations may be altered depending on the volume of nominations or of the number of worthy recipients. Final awards were determined by a committee of EBJ staff and EBJ editorial advisory board members. The 2008 EBJ awards were presented in a special ceremony at EBJ's Environmental Industry Summit VII in Coronado, Calif. On the evening of February 20, 2009. The Environmental Industry Summit is an annual three-day event hosted by EBJ. Congratulations to the 2008 winners and EBJ encourages all interested companies to submit a nomination for this year. (Disclaimer: Company audits were not conducted to verify information or claims submitted with nominations).