Project Merit Awards


ARCADIS U.S. (Denver, CO) for the closure of environmental liabilities associated with a major energy-industry transaction years ahead of schedule and with a commendable safety record. In 2006, Sempra Energy and Topaz Power Group sought a deal allowing Topaz to purchase and upgrade power plants in the south Texas energy market while assuring Sempra confidence in the closure of its existing environmental liabilities. In July 2006, the parties contracted ARCADIS to provide regulatory closure of 35 sites at seven power plants under its Guaranteed Remediation Program (GRiP); the multi-billion dollar property transfer deal was concluded shortly thereafter. Four years later, ARCADIS has closed 30 of the 35 sites with no lost time in over 54,000 hours of work. As of December 2010, the project was three years ahead of schedule in closing out Sempra's environmental liabilities. ARCADIS attributes its success to informed engagement of the regulator, diligent use of Texas's risk-based regulatory framework AND proactive coordination of remediation and redevelopment activities.

Marstel-Day, LLC (Fredericksburg, VA) for facilitating the development of the Eastern North Carolina Land Use Strategy (ENCLUS), a 25-county comprehensive conservation effort to preserve farms and forestland under Marine Corps' low-level aviation training routes in eastern North Carolina. Protecting land under military airspace is critical to DOD. As rural areas give way to development pressures, military training ranges experience "encroachment"-i.e., training constraints caused by incompatible development such as residential subdivisions and tall structures-and loss of natural habitat and rural communities. ENCLUS highlighted ecosystem services such as migratory pathways and endangered species habitat, in addition to working-lands values. It also incorporated the concept of "layering and leveraging" agencies' funds to monetize conservation values, enhancing conservation programs' financial attractiveness to landowners. The State of North Carolina has established a "Market-Based Conservation Working Group" to implement ENCLUS, targeting 380,000 acres of land, and Marstel-Day is leading the Marine Corps' participation in its implementation.

American Water (Voorhees, NJ) for its upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant serving the city of Fillmore, California. When the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board implemented stricter regulations to improve the quality of treated wastewater discharges to the Santa Clara River, the Fillmore wastewater treatment plant, built in 1955, needed significant upgrades. Rather than simply building a facility to discharge highly treated water, the city developed a new, state-of-the-art water recycling facility that eliminates river discharges and enables a full-scale water reuse system. The city engaged American Water in a public-private partnership to design, build and operate a 2.4 million gallon per day (mgd) facility to produce high-quality disinfected water. The facility meets federal and state regulations and currently produces 1 mgd for groundwater recharge and irrigation of school grounds, parks, and other areas.

MWH (Broomfield, CO) for its work in expanding and centralizing wastewater utility services for the city of Cape Coral, Florida. The city awarded MWH a design/construction-management-at-risk contract to undertake an $873 million Utilities and Facilities Expansion Program which began in 1999. Over the next decade, MWH installed more than 720 miles of water, irrigation, and gravity sewer pipelines and constructed over 240 miles of residential road. MWH designed and built a new reverse osmosis wastewater treatment plant, expanded two wastewater reclamation facilities, expanded an existing wastewater treatment plant, and designed a new biosolids facility. A major consideration was southwest Florida's natural habitat, which is home to threatened and endangered species, including the bald eagle, the Florida burrowing owl, and the gopher tortoise. MWH's work created more than $26 million in cost savings for the city. MWH implemented the "Customer First" program, which included a 24/7 hotline and resulted in an 83% customer satisfaction rating andcompleted over 3.3 million hours of work with only one lost time incident.

Kaiser Permanente (Oakland, CA) for its development of the Sustainability Scorecard for the healthcare industry. In early 2010, Kaiser Permanente introduced the scorecard, which requires healthcare suppliers to provide environmental data for $1 billion worth of medical products and equipment used in Kaiser Permanente's facilities. The scorecard requires suppliers to provide information on their environmental commitment, their use of potentially harmful chemicals in their products, and their efforts to improve package recycling. Broadlane, Kaiser's key supply chain partner, has adopted the tool, which could influence another $9 billion in medical purchasing. Kaiser claims that the Sustainability Scorecard is one of the most comprehensive sustainability indexes due to the breadth of materials involved, the number and geographical range of the facilities covered, the sheer size of the spend, and the potential influence on purchasing by the healthcare industry.

TRC Companies, Inc. (Lowell, MA) for its design and environmental permitting support of Axio Power's "Brownfields to Brightfields" effort in Massachusetts. In 2010 TRC completed a permitting project and continues to provide design services for Axio as the company prepares to install a 2 MW photovoltaic (PV) solar facility at a closed municipal landfill in Greenfield, Massachusetts. In addition to conducting landfill engineering, PV design, and interconnection services, TRC also submitted a Landfill Post-Closure Use permit application to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP). Axio received notification of permit approval in August 2010, marking it the first Landfill Post-Closure Use Permit issued by MDEP for a PV system.

CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) for helping Onondaga County in New York overhaul its combined sewer overflow (CSO) program to incorporate "green infrastructure" (GI). In 2008, Onondaga County halted construction of two CSO large vortex treatment facilities and transmission conveyances, a project with an estimated cost of $250 million, to re-evaluate the county's CSO consent decree to incorporate a GI program. CH2M HILL reviewed historical modeling efforts, performing climate change projections, developing a credible and feasible GI program, and selling the GI program to regulatory and environmental groups. The new program increased CSO capture from 85% to 95% while eliminating the inefficient vortex facilities. Efforts included sewer-shed planning, mapping of impervious areas, research of GI programs nationwide, development of concept designs, and development of a "green calculator" workbook to estimate GI benefits for specific assumptions and local data. Completed projects include city parking lots using porous and pervious asphalt and concrete, and tree-scaping.

Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, CA) for its design of the wastewater treatment plant and water reclamation facilities at the Johns Creek Environmental Campus (JCEC) in Fulton County, Georgia. The JCEC facilities employ membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology to treat wastewater to levels suitable for reuse. The showcase plant has architectural elements giving it the appearance of a historic mill complex located on the Chattahoochee River. The site includes a new shared-use park and interpretive natural trail system, including a cascading stream and pond system. The new facility uses low-impact design elements that incorporate sophisticated noise and odor abatement features and technologies. In addition, an educational facility with a lecture hall, classroom, and teaching lab was added to educate local school children about the impact of water quality on the local environment. The project was procured using a design-build approach with the design-builder (Archer Western), designer (Brown and Caldwell) and owner (Fulton County) collaborating to design and construct the facility.

Dudek (Encinitas, CA) for its coastal environmental planning work in connection with a high-profile Los Angeles regional public parks project located on 1,700 acres within California's coastal zone. The Public Work Plan (PWP) for the parks project was only the second PWP approved by the California Coastal Commission (CCC) in the past 10 years. It was approved for the Malibu Parks Public Enhancement Program, which is owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Malibu Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). PWPs are an alternative on large-scale public projects with overlaping jurisdictional boundaries and provide a comprehensive permitting vehicle for obtaining CCC approval. In certifying the PWP for the Malibu Parks Public Enhancement Program, CEC stated that "this is exactly the type of project anticipated under the Coastal Act."

The Shaw Group (Baton Rouge, LA) for comprehensive environmental services at the former Fort Ord site in California since 1995 where Shaw has assisted the Army in transferring large parts of the former training base for public reuse. Shaw's accomplishments include: unexploded ordinance remediation involving 370 acres of investigations, 900 acres of geophysical mapping, 1,300 acres of surface removal, 110 acres of subsurface removal, destruction of more than 800 explosive items, and management of 300,000 pounds of munitions debris; sampling of more than 5,000 acres of former firing ranges and the cleanup of more than 270,000 cubic yards of soil; the closure of a 125-acre landfill; and the construction and operation of four groundwater treatment systems. By mapping habitat quality, and remediating lead or explosives concentration to a weighted average, Shaw reduced the excavation area at several former firing ranges. Shaw also designed a vertical expansion to place 125,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil on top of the existing landfill cover. Through November 2010, Shaw's team had worked for 12 years on the project without a lost-time injury.

EQ - The Environmental Quality Company (Wayne, MI) for its role in the cleanup of the Enbridge Pipeline spill in Marshall, Michigan-described as the worst oil spill in Michigan's history. On July 26, 2010, a million gallons of crude oil were released from the Enbridge Pipeline into a creek and flowed 2.5 miles to the Kalamazoo River. The spill was finally stopped and contained 38 miles downstream. EQ began working with a team of contractors (Young's Environmental and ML Chartier) on the response and cleanup, an effort that involved 450 people and 225 pieces of equipment, including vacuum trucks, frac tanks, oil skimmers, roll-off equipment, and 25 boats, all working around the clock. The EQ team had primary responsibility for the pipeline site and cleanup zones along the creek, where the majority of the contamination occurred. EQ's facilities received loads around the clock, amounting to 12,000 cubic yards of crude oil-impacted hazardous waste debris. EQ also managed deliveries amounting to 30 to 40 roll-off boxes per day to a local non-hazardous waste landfill.

Allied Waste, a unit of Republic Services Co. (Phoenix, AZ), for upgrading its Pacific Region Compost Facility (PRC) in Corvallis, Oregon, to serve as the state's first food composting facility. The facility was granted Oregon's first permit to compost type 3 feedstock (food waste including meat, dairy, and bread). Allied is diverting food waste such as fruits, vegetables, meat, bread, and pasta out of the waste stream and into the recycling stream. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) data found that almost 15% of the material landfilled in Oregon is food waste. Customers in Portland, Corvallis, and Salem are sending their food scraps to the PRC to be recycled into compost for use in gardens, farms, and erosion control projects. Food waste recycling has been conducted successfully in Washington and California but without an appropriate facility in Oregon, this type of recycling has been limited, since the material had to be transported to Washington.

WSP Environment & Energy (Reston VA) for its community-inclusive approach to characterizing and remediating a 10-acre site in Darlington, South Carolina. The site had been developed in the 1880s as a cotton mill and was repurposed for manufacturing electronic components from 1958 to 2005. The client, Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. is the corporate successor to a company that briefly owned the facility from 1963 to 1968. Since 2005, the site has been vacant, its owner now defunct in the U.S. and Vishay is voluntarily addressing environmental issues in cooperation with state and local authorities. The site is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). WSP recommended demolition of site structures to address the potential conveyance of contaminants from storm sewers to a nearby creek and to access underlying contaminated soils. WSP engaged a community group consisting of members from families who worked at the plant for generations to gain acceptance of demolishing the structures. WSP facilitated a final tour and provided 300 "clean" bricks from the plant as keep-sakes.

Mabbett & Associates, Inc. (M&A; Bedford, MA) and WSP Environment & Energy (Reston, VA) for environmental work in connection with the construction of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) headquarters in Washington, D.C. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is leading the development of the new USCG headquarters at the St. Elizabeths Campus, a national historic landmark. M&A and WSP have worked closely to ensure that environmental requirements are met while still achieving critical construction milestones at the largest construction project in the country to be funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). The team has had to abate latent environmental conditions associated with a former solid waste incinerator, laundry, fuel oil tank farm, and coal-fired power plant. Ash from the power plant and incinerator had been landfilled across more than 10 acres on site and used as fill material for buildings and roads. In less than 10 months, more than one million tons of soil has been excavated and over 600,000 tons of ash and contaminated soil have been removed. A comprehensive air monitoring program, including telemetry-based data management, has ensured safe conditions for workers and confirmed that construction has not affected air quality in surrounding residential areas.

The Louis Berger Group (Morristown, NJ) for recovering a destroyed tidal marsh in New Jersey through the innovative use of dredge material. In the early to mid 1900s, the tidal marsh along the Hackensack River bordering Lincoln Park in Jersey City became an illegal dumping ground for a wide variety of un-permitted wastes. Using ARRA funds entrusted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) hired Louis Berger to oversee the construction of a new tidal marsh using one of Berger's innovative designs. Once all of the trash and un-permitted wastes were removed from the site, over 200,000 cubic yards of clean dredge material was brought in from the Hudson River to double as a landfill cap and a planting stratum. With construction completed in the fall of 2010, there are now 40 acres of new tidal marsh with over a mile of walking trails. Many fish and bird species have already been observed using the new marsh, and an explosion of new plant life is expected in the spring of 2011.

WRScompass (Tampa, FL) for an in-situ stabilization and sustainable remediation project at the Sanford Superfund Site in Florida. The site is the largest in-situ stabilization project in the United States. WRScompass concurrently operated two drill rigs at varying depths and stabilized more than 142,000 cubic yards of soil and diverted and rehabilitated more than 2,300 feet of creek bed. In conjunction with EPA, site engineer and construction manager Natural Resource Technology, Inc., and the site owner, WRScompass applied its cleanNgreen sustainable remediation program that reduced emissions at no additional cost to the customer. One application was the use of granulated blast furnace slag in lieu of cement, resulting in a reduction of more than 10,000 tons of CO2. The company also shifted to the use of tier-2 and tier-3 equipment, along with B20 diesel, which reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20%. In addition, it used a gravity drain system along the creek, which reduced reliance on the existing seven-pump diversion system. Approximately 10 acres of trees and undergrowth were recycled and given to local landscaping companies to be used as mulch, creating more than 800 tons of recycled material that was not sent to landfills.

Sullivan International Group, Inc. (San Diego, CA) for its work on the Jacobsville Neighborhood Soil Contamination Site Project in Evansville, Indiana under its EPA Region 5 RAC. The project was listed as number 34 in Vice President Joe Biden's report 100 Recovery Act Projects that are Changing America. Historical sample results had previously shown elevated lead concentrations in a number of residential yards at the site. Based on this sampling, the Jacobsville site was selected for a major cleanup and was divided into two operational units (OUs). OU1 encompasses 141 acres and 496 residential properties. Sullivan was provided the remedial design and drawings for the residential properties to be initially cleaned up, and proposed a value-engineered plan to complete the project more efficiently. Sullivan embraced a green remediation and sustainability strategy as part of the project that included working with local Girl Scouts to plant 2,500 trees in the Evansville Indiana Area. Remediation at the site began in April 2010 and was completed in the fall of 2010. As part of the remediation activities, Sullivan surveyed homeowners and received an average score of 9.47 out of 10 from 92 residences.

PERC Water (Costa Mesa, CA) for the design, construction, and operation of the Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility in California. The project was 100% privately funded in a challenging financial environment. It is the first water recycling facility to use California Code Section 5956 to allow for private investment in essential municipal infrastructure. The facility began full operation seven months ahead of the state's mandated compliance deadline. The city did not pay any up-front capital costs and began paying a monthly service fee (which includes 30-years of capital replacements, debt service, and operations and maintenance) once the facility was in operation. The facility's power consumption costs have been 35% lower than expected and the process tanks are underground, which allows for a small footprint (less than 2 acres), virtually no odor or noise, community friendly appearance, and cost savings. The water produced by the facility is of a higher quality than the state's stringent quality requirements and is available for reuse within the community.