The May 2022 Water and Wastewater Market Recap covers interesting and useful water industry news for this month. It contains updates on industry drivers, notable projects, and recent mergers and acquisitions, as well as some interesting reads, and upcoming upcoming meetings and conferences.
Our data team tracks major developments in the water industry, which we call drivers. Here are some of the most important drivers from last month.
Draft Recommended Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS)
Organization: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Summary: On May 3, 2022, the EPA issued 'Draft Recommended Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)' and 'Draft Recommended Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS)' and sought public comments in 30 days. These fluorinated organic chemicals are part of a larger group of chemicals referred to as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Draft includes the most recent scientific findings on the impact of PFOA and PFOS on freshwater creatures. It also quantifies each chemical's toxicity to aquatic life and offers standards to safeguard it from each chemical's acute and chronic effects.
Massachusetts Announces $1.3B for Wastewater and Drinking Water Infrastructure
Organization: U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW)
Summary: On May 9, 2022, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that 183 wastewater and drinking water projects across the Commonwealth are eligible for $1.3 billion in low-interest loans and grants. The funds will be provided through the Massachusetts Clean Water Revolving Trust. They will support construction, planning, and asset management initiatives to improve water quality, upgrade or replace aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and reduce energy consumption and costs at treatment plants. These projects include 88 clean water projects costing $963 million and 61 drinking water projects with $363 million. Additionally, $3.7 million is to be offered by the Trust as grants for 34 Asset Management Planning projects.
EPA Adds Five PFAS Chemicals to List of Regional Screening and Removal Management Levels to Protect Human Health and the Environment
Organization: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Summary: On May 18, 2022, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added five additional per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to the Agency’s Regional Screening and Removal Management Levels to protect human health and the environment. The five new PFAS chemicals are:
- Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid and its ammonium salt (HFPO-DA or GenX)
- Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
- Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)
- Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS)
With the latest addition, the Regional Screening Levels (RSLs) and Regional Removal Management Levels (RMLs) now increased to six PFAS chemicals. In 2014, the Agency added perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS) to the RMLs and RSLs. EPA uses these risk-based values (RMLs and RSLs) to determine whether removal action or further investigation is needed at sites of alleged contamination. The Agency reviews and updates these risk-based values twice a year.
Notable Capital Improvement Programs
Here are some recent, notable Capital Improvement Programs (CIPs). FirmoGraphs has deconstructed the CIPs into data elements, along with available project descriptions. Please feel free to request a meeting and review the data live in our business intelligence application.
Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, Louisiana, Increases Capital Spending by 8%
In the CIP covering the 2022-2031 fiscal years, the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans detailed plans to spend $2,557.2 million on capital projects, an increase of 8% from nearly $2,366 million in the 2021-2030 CIP. The current CIP has 138 discrete projects, compared to 153 projects in the prior CIP. The table below breaks down Board’s planned capital spending by business area for its last two CIPs.
Planned Spending in All Areas Increases
In the recent CIP, all business areas increased their allocations. Spending for Water notes a biggest increase, $87.7 million. The top project in this category is a replacement of the water distribution system on East Bank FEMA valued at $247.5 million. This is an ongoing project that has increased by $67.3 million from the prior period. Another project with an increased value in the current CIP in comparison to the prior is Normal Extensions and Replacements of Water Mains Citywide from $15 million to $29 million.
Planned spending in the Drainage category also increased by $53.1 million due to the increase in allocations of the Southeast Louisiana (SELA) - 25% SWB Participation Inclusive of 5% Cash Requirement project and SELA Program Management project by $28 million and $11 million, respectively. The Drainage category also raises its spending to $559.9 million despite decreasing $24 million of the top project from the prior period, which is the Replacement of Sewer System Associated with JIRR Projects. The decrease accompanies increased WIFIA Sewer Program projects by $50 million and the newly added project worth $30 million, replacing Generators and Portable Pumps for Sewer Pumping Stations. Overall, the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans increased capital spending due to the newly added projects and additional funding for the ongoing projects in the different categories.
Three Projects to Get More than $100 Million; 19 Projects to Get More than $25 Million
Out of 138 projects, three projects are valued at more than $100 million in the current CIP, and 19 projects are valued at more than $25 million. The top project is the ongoing project, the Power Master Plan, with $383 million under the Combo category, which has the highest allocation in the CIP of Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans. Another $180 million planned under Combo is the Capital Budget Overhead projects. The water category also gets a project worth $247 million, the Replacement of Water Distribution System on the East Bank.
The following M&A transactions in the Power Generation and Supply Industry stand out in the month of May:
- On May 17, 2022, Virginia American Water acquired Town of Waverly’s drinking water system assets for $2.2 million.
- On May 26, 2022, NW Natural Water Company agreed to acquire Northwest Water Services and Aquarius Utilities.
- On May 26, 2022, Artesian Water Company acquired the water system of the Town of Clayton.
What We Are Reading
Here are some recent articles our team has been reading:
- Interior invests $240M in water infrastructure repairs
- McCarthy Building Companies completes WWTP expansion
- Los Angeles receives $441M WIFIA loan for outfall replacement
- City of Newark to use ARP funds to replace lead water pipes
- Barnstable voters elect to spend big to get the PFAS out of their drinking water
- San Diego files lawsuit over toxic PFAS chemicals in water
- DeKalb County, Ga. wins $284M WIFIA loan
- New legislation would allow DEQ to regulate some types of PFAS in drinking water
- Biden-Harris Administration and EPA Announce Actions to Improve Drinking Water and Wastewater Services for Tribes and Alaska Native Villages
Organizations have shifted their event strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are tracking these changing meeting plans.
Meetings in June and July 2022
- AWWA ACE22 - June 12 - June 15, 2022
- IWA World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion - June 17 - June 22, 2022
- WEF Innovations in Process Engineering - June 20 - June 23, 2022
- NGWA Fate of PFAS: From Groundwater to Tap Water - June 21 - June 22, 2022
- WEF Stormwater Summit - June 27 - June 29, 2022
- ACWA Annual Washington, D.C. Conference - July 12 - July 14, 2022