WaterBriefs: Dow divests Superabsorbent Products business

Also in this report: Hunt, Milsoft earn certification; FPL, Biscayne National Park, Fla. water district mark land transfer; Pa. invests record $34M in Saxonburg sewer project; NASA ships water recycling systems for space station; Penetron approved for N.M. sewer vacuum station; Abanaki survey - Plants consider recycling waste oil for heat; NSF 61 accepts new stainless steel materials; RJN Group to conduct Ill. village water main plan; Storm Water Services joins StormwaterAuthority.org...

In other news below:
-- Hunt Technologies, Milsoft first utility vendors to pass MultiSpeak3 certification
-- FPL, Biscayne National Park, S. Fla. Water District mark land transfer
-- Emergency watershed program repairing 4 storm-damaged sites in N. Calif.
-- Praxair exec appointed to Aspen Aerogels board
-- Spiroflow Systems appoints new sales VP
-- Pa. announces record $34 million investment for Saxonburg Area Authority Sewer Project
-- NASA preparing oxygen generation, water recycling systems for space station
-- Penetron approved for Coors Sanitary Sewer Vacuum Station
-- Key challenges for science identified by USGS to support western water management
-- High utility bills cause plants to consider recycling waste oil for heat, says Abanaki survey
-- NSF standard accepts new stainless steel materials in drinking water applications
-- Villa Park Water Main Master Plan to be conducted by RJN Group Inc.
-- 'Water for the Poor' critical to global development, national security, law's sponsor claims
-- Canadian pharmaceutical expansion requires USP purified water system
-- Thompson Pump's Blue Crew primed to pump up the industry
-- Storm Water Services joins StormwaterAuthority.org as water affiliate
-- Essential Innovations Technology signs letter of intent to acquire Geotech Drilling
-- New procurement website for water, wastewater industries

Dow divests Superabsorbent Products business
MIDLAND, MI, Feb. 10, 2006 -- Dow announced today that it has signed an agreement to sell its Superabsorbent Products (SAP) business to Degussa AG. Close of the transaction is dependent upon regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"It was becoming increasingly difficult to justify the product and process research investments needed to satisfy large, global Superabsorbent Products customers," said Ted Cosse, Business Vice President, Acrylics, Solvents, and Intermediates. "After a good deal of analysis, it became clear that the hurdles we faced in trying to attain a global leadership position in Superabsorbent Products were too great to overcome."

Ownership of Dow's Superabsorbent Products plant in Rheinmunster, Germany will transfer to Degussa as part of this transaction. Dow will retain ownership of the Midland, Michigan plant where Dow will contract manufacture Superabsorbent Products for Degussa, ending in the First Quarter 2007. Dow will continue to evaluate its alternatives concerning the Midland facility.

The transaction also includes a long-term agreement to supply a substantial volume of glacial acrylic acid (GAA) to Degussa, with opportunities for future growth in volume over time.

"Through the long-term agreement to supply glacial acrylic acid to Degussa, Dow will continue to be one of the world's largest manufacturers of acrylic acid and esters. We are committed to maintaining a strong position in acrylic acid and esters to support our world-leading emulsions business and strategic merchant customers," added Cosse.

Acrylic acid and acrylic esters are key components used to produce numerous materials such as emulsion polymers and superabsorbent polymers. Emulsion polymers are used in the manufacture of paint, paper, and carpet. Superabsorbent polymers provide the absorbency essential to products such as disposable baby diapers.

Dow (www.dow.com) is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of science and technology to improve living daily. The Company offers a broad range of innovative products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $46 billion and employs 42,000 people world-wide. It's Dowex ion exchange (www.dowex.com) and Filmtec membrane separations (www.filmtec.com) product lines can be found at www.dow.com/liquidseps/.

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Among other recent headlines:

Hunt Technologies, Milsoft Utility Solutions pass MultiSpeak3 certification, first vendors to meet new standard -- ARLINGTON, VA, Feb. 10, 2006 -- Hunt Technologies' Command Center™, the web-based operating software of Hunt Technologies' power line carrier AMR/AMI systems, and Milsoft Utility Solutions WindMil engineering analysis software passed independent testing for the MultiSpeak3 specification. The companies are the first software providers to pass third-party interoperability testing for the new MultiSpeak specification, a major new release that offers real-time systems integration using web services. Web services is a popular transport method that can tightly integrate two applications from different software providers. Command Center 2.2.2 passed compliance testing on its ability to use MultiSpeak-defined web services to share data with Milsoft's WindMil engineering analysis software. Testing confirmed that the interface between Command Center and WindMil allows WindMil users to request demand and power quality data for all AMR-supported meters on the system...
Also see: "Hunt Technologies announces preferred supplier agreements for AirPoint modules"
-- "Hunt Technologies' Command Center AMR, Milsoft's DisSPatch OMS pass MultiSpeak V3 interoperability testing"

Florida Power & Light, Biscayne National Park, South Florida Water Management District host celebration to mark land transfer -- Partnership for preservation celebration at Biscayne National Park marks success of ecosystem preservation -- MIAMI, Feb. 10, 2006 -- Florida Power & Light Company, Biscayne National Park and the South Florida Water Management District have teamed-up in a creative partnership to transfer more than 300 acres of wetlands from FPL to the park and the South Florida Water Management District. The land is located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, north of FPL's Turkey Point power plants. The celebration marking the transfer will take place on Friday, Feb. 17 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. at Biscayne National Park...

Emergency watershed program repairing 4 storm-damaged sites in N. Calif. -- Sites in Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma and Yolo Counties under construction -- DAVIS, CA, Feb. 10, 2006 -- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and partners are repairing storm-eroded stream banks supporting homes and businesses in the four northern California counties of Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma and Yolo. The current projects total $425,000; eight additional projects with an estimated construction cost of $2 million are on a waiting list for federal funding, and sites in six more counties are being assessed for program eligibility. Northern California communities sustained damage from strong Pacific storms that began Dec. 19, 2005, and continued through New Year's weekend. The NRCS-administered Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) provides technical and cost share assistance for the needed restoration...

Praxair exec appointed to Aspen Aerogels board -- NORTHBOROUGH, MA, Feb. 10, 2006 -- Aspen Aerogels Inc. today announced that James S. Sawyer, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Praxair Inc. has joined its board of directors. Sawyer has been CFO of Praxair since 2000 and was vice president and treasurer from 1994 until 2000. He's also held various positions with Union Carbide, Citibank and Bechtel...

Spiroflow Systems appoints new sales VP -- CHARLOTTE, NC, Feb. 9, 2006 -- Spiroflow Systems Inc. has named Jim Bell its vice president of sales. Bell will manage sales in North America and develop new business opportunities for the worldwide supplier of powder handling equipment. He has 28 years experience in the materials handling and processing industries with manufacturers such as K-Tron, Matcon and Colortronic as well as manufacturer representatives. Over the years, Bell has held several key positions with leading powder handling equipment manufacturers...

Pa. announces record $34 million investment for Saxonburg Area Authority Sewer Project -- Largest investment of Pennvest funds since program's 1988 inception -- HARRISBURG, PA, Feb. 9, 2006 -- Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell today announced that a $34 million investment in Saxonburg, Butler County, will help lower utility bills, while supporting the local economy. Gov. Rendell said the record Pennvest investment will give 3,000 families a new sewer system. He delivered the funds to the Saxonburg Area Authority, which is comprised of Saxonburg Borough, as well as Clinton, Jefferson, Middlesex and Penn townships.Over the next year-and-a-half, the money will help the authority construct 51 miles of sewage collection lines, 8 miles of interceptor lines, five pump stations, and a 2-million-gallons-per-day wastewater treatment plant...
Also see:
-- "New USGS Web-Based Tool Calculates Groundwater Recharge in Pennsylvania"
-- "Lehigh's Environmental Initiative Attempts to Address Complex Environmental Problems"
-- "Easton WTP Joins the Partnership for Safe Water"
-- "DEP Permits Septage Processing Facility in Beaver Falls"
-- "Gov. Rendell's Budget Proposes Funding to Speed Water Quality Permit Reviews"
-- "PRWA 2006 Annual Conference Early Bird Registration Ends Feb. 17"
-- "DEP Revokes Sewage Waste Processing Permit"

NASA preparing oxygen generation, water recycling systems for space station -- HUNTSVILLE, AL, Feb. 9, 2006 -- On Jan. 24, NASA shipped an oxygen generation system to the International Space Station. It arrived the next day at the agency's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The system will be installed in a pressurized cargo compartment later this month for a possible May launch aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. It uses water to generate breathable oxygen for crew members. Life support systems like this are necessary to support future long-duration missions to the moon, Mars and beyond...

Penetron approved for Coors Sanitary Sewer Vacuum Station -- EAST SETAUKET, NY, Feb. 9, 2006 -- ICS Penetron International Ltd., a leader in integral crystalline waterproofing products, announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently approved Penetron for use as the waterproofing system of choice for the concrete structures of the Coors Sanitary Sewer Vacuum Station in Albuquerque, NM. As a part of the North and South Valley project that improves water infrastructure, the vacuum station will provide sewer service to approximately 600 properties. Funded through the Water Resources Development Act and spearheaded by U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, this project represents cooperative efforts to alleviate some of New Mexico's water and environmental problems...

Key challenges for science identified by USGS to support western water management -- WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 9, 2006 -- Ensuring stable water supplies has grown more complex as the challenges facing water managers continue to mount, especially in the West, reported the U.S. Geological Survey yesterday. Informed decisions of water users and public officials will be necessary to ensure sufficient freshwater resources in the future to support a growing population and economy. The USGS has released a report that examines Western water availability, the modern role for science, and the value of monitoring and research to ensure an adequate water supply for the nation's future...

High utility bills cause plants to consider recycling waste oil for heat, says Abanaki survey -- CLEVELAND, OH, Feb. 9, 2006 -- According to a new survey by Abanaki Corp., a key provider of oil skimming products, more plant managers are considering recycling waste oil as a way to fight rising energy costs. In the results, 78% of respondents are struggling to find ways to reduce plant energy costs, and in the face of record-high fuel oil prices, 35% of respondents said they would consider burning waste oil to heat their plants. Now that President Bush has called for new ways for Americans to reduce their addiction to oil, the findings suggest that companies could be doing more to reduce winter heating bills. Although three quarters of respondents said their companies skim oil from their wastewater, only 8% said their plants already burn waste oil for heat, according to Abanaki research in its "Recycling Waste Oil for Heat Survey"...

NSF standard accepts new stainless steel materials in drinking water applications -- ANN ARBOR, MI, Feb. 9, 2006 -- NSF International announced today that "NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking water system components -- Health effects" now allows additional types of stainless steel as acceptable materials for use in the manufacturing of drinking water equipment. Incorporation of these additional grades into the standard will save equipment manufacturers time and expense in getting their products certified to NSF 61 while continuing the organization's ongoing commitment to protecting public health...

Villa Park Water Main Master Plan to be conducted by RJN Group Inc. -- WHEATON, IL, Feb. 9, 2006 -- The village of Villa Park, IL, hired RJN Group Inc. to conduct a Water Main Master Plan. The program involves survey and assessment of the existing water distribution system and developing the hydraulic model to size the new water mains to meet current demands and criteria. RJN was selected for this program due to an outstanding performance record of municipal infrastructure improvements in DuPage County. The project will begin in February 2006 and continue through the June 2006...

'Water for the Poor' critical to global development, national security, law's sponsor claims -- WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 9, 2006 -- A groundbreaking new law authorizes redoubling foreign aid efforts to promote access to clean water and sanitation. The Sen. Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act -- honoring the late Democrat from Illinois, an early advocate of worldwide access to safewater -- was signed into law in December by President George W. Bush. Co-sponsored by 101 House members and passed unanimously in the Senate, this bipartisan legislation directs the secretary of state to develop a detailed strategy for integrating water and sanitation programs into U.S. foreign policy. The law also calls upon the United States to fulfill its commitment to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to halve the percentage of people without access to safe water by 2015 -- the first time that an MDG has been adopted as part of U.S. law. U.S. Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR) was to discuss the legislation at the Woodrow Wilson Center on 8Feb. 14...

Canadian pharmaceutical expansion requires USP purified water system -- WARRENDALE, PA, Feb. 9, 2006 -- Novocol Pharmaceutical of Canada needed a new water system for a plant expansion, since they were increasing production of a dental anesthetic, and required an additional 13 gallons per minute of water. The system had to be of a cGMP design and meet USP quality requirements. Novocol chose USFilter's PreVUE System with its CDI-LX continuous electrodeionization technology...

Thompson Pump's Blue Crew primed to pump up the industry -- PORT ORANGE, FL, Feb. 9, 2006 -- Thompson Pump & Manufacturing Co. Inc., in Port Orange, FL, introduced the Blue Crew at the ARA (American Rental Association) tradeshow Feb. 7-8, in Orlando, FL. Members of the Blue Crew were signing their 2006 calendars in booth #6137. The Blue Crew campaign launches with a new web site, www.tpbluecrew.com, special event appearances, and signature promotional items...

Storm Water Services joins StormwaterAuthority.org as water affiliate -- WILMOT, NH, Feb. 8, 2006 -- StormwaterAuthority.org, a multi-partnered national website designed to assist both the private and public sectors in making informed decisions about stormwater treatment and management, gains 10th service provider affiliate in Storm Water Services, of Spring, TX, which has over 50 years experience in the stormwater management industry. The company specializes in permitting, maintaining the necessary records, monthly monitoring, maintenance, annual engineering certification, and SWQ-Features clean-outs as required to comply with the regulatory criteria set forth in the storm water quality management plan...

Essential Innovations Technology signs letter of intent to acquire Geotech Drilling -- BELLINGHAM, WA, Feb. 7, 2006 -- Essential Innovations Technology Corp., provider of cutting-edge geoexchange solutions for residential, commercial and industrial applications as both a geoexchange energy service company and as a manufacturer of proprietary geothermal heat pump technology, announced today that the company has recently signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire 100% ownership in Geotech Drilling Services Ltd., of Prince George, British Columbia, Canada...

New procurement website for water, wastewater industries -- Website provides access to water and wastewater contract opportunities from around the world -- DETROIT, MI, Feb. 6, 2006 -- There is a new international procurement website for the water and wastewater industries. www.h2bid.com is a global procurement portal exclusively dedicated to the water and wastewater industries. The site is for water and wastewater utilities and their vendors. H2bid allows utilities to post contract opportunities, and allows vendors to search and download the contract opportunities. Posting and searching is free, but there is a small fee to download the full details of a contract opportunity...

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In earlier newsbriefs, see: "WaterBriefs: Key factors set to drive growth in European SCADA, DCS markets" -- Also in this report (Feb. 8, 2006): Dutch water management organizations choose Datastream 7i; Singapore-Tuas seawater desalination project earns award; World's largest desalination plant with Filmtec membranes now fully commissioned; SPL Enterprise Asset & Work Management enters 2006 with strong momentum; Stormwater360 filtration system receives conditional certification from N.J. DEP; Vanson HaloSource changes name to HaloSource; New TiPS white paper exposes broader implications of alarm management; McWane Inc., executive plead guilty, sentenced for environmental crimes; Gledhill named Blue-White Industries vice president of manufacturing; ABB notes 37,000 attendees at AHR Show; Best practices by water sector business sought for Stockholm Industry Water Award; Ofwat, Ofgem issue joint discussion paper on financing networks; Aqua Society climbs into the ring with UNESCO ambassador; Bandersnatch Research 'Observations' newsletter examines coalbed methane development...

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