WaterBriefs: AMRA supports talks on new law and time-of-use rates

Also in this report: Seal Sands Chemicals signs license deal; Schneider Electric to host U.S. expo; Aquarius Technologies debuts as WWEMA member; Aqua America buys Texas systems; RJN Group delivers Little Rock sewer report; Ontario city awards Veolia Water services partnership; UTEK, Innova Pure Water ally; CH2M Hill achieves top U.S. environmental ranking; Hydroxyl picks president, CEO; Basin Water joins Russell Index; SSWM meets Mexico officials; BOC Edwards unveils electroplating solution...

In other news below:
-- Seal Sands Chemicals signs license agreement with BioCompatibles International
-- Schneider Electric to host Initi@tive 2006 for first time in United States
-- Aquarius Technologies debuts as new WWEMA member
-- Aqua America grows in Texas with water, wastewater system acquisitions
-- RJN Group delivers Little Rock sewer report, launches Del. sewer rehab project
-- Brockton, Ontario, awards water, wastewater services partnership to Veolia Water
-- UTEK Corp., Innova Pure Water Inc. announce strategic alliance
-- CH2M Hill achieves top ranking among U.S. environmental firms
-- Hydroxyl appoints Carolyn Rogers as president, CEO
-- Basin Water joins Russell Index, helps Baldy Mesa Water District
-- SSWM Management meeting top Mexico officials on remediation projects
-- BOC Edwards announces new liquid abatement system for metal electroplating waste

Automatic Meter Reading Association welcomes time-of-use rates (TOU) public discussions -- New law may provide electric customer real-time pricing -- NORTHBROOK, IL, July 12, 2006 -- Earlier this month Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed into law a bill which facilitates retail consumers' access to rates based on the time of day they use electricity. AMRA, the leading association of automated metering technology for utilities, welcomes and supports the public discussion that will be sparked as a result of the law.

Through monthly newsletters, an annual fall symposium and regular online discussion forums, the association educates and informs utilities about new government-driven requirements, such as the one in Illinois and related laws potentially involving automated metering technologies.

AMRA Sr. Vice President of Advocacy Stephen Carrico said, "As required by law, states and their regulatory agencies are examining the benefits of time of use (TOU) pricing as a result of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT). AMRA has been tracking an increasing number of state proceedings concerning time-based rates and advanced metering issues." The public discussion over TOU pricing has been beneficial to regulators, utilities and consumers, added Carrico.

TOU pricing is about flexibility and control for consumers and utilities alike. TOU pricing enables utilities to better serve customers by providing the opportunity to choose the use of energy when it's most beneficial, thereby shifting control over the monthly bill directly to the consumer.

"As we head into summer, when electricity demand can be especially high, consumers can weigh in on whether they would like to control their consumption and the amount of their monthly payments, and utilities can address whether there is significant and relevant benefits from TOU demand and service," added Carrico. TOU pricing could mean lower rates and a lower monthly bill for the customer and more efficiency for utilities.

AMRA (www.amra-intl.org), the international voice of the AMR industry, provides information critical to the understanding and application of the wide range of AMR technologies. Through industry analyses, symposia and relevant publications, AMRA serves the business interests of utilities and utility technology suppliers. In addition to providing a forum for its members to exchange information, the association tracks legislative and regulatory issues relevant to utilities including EPACT.

Among other recent headlines:

Seal Sands Chemicals signs license agreement with BioCompatibles International -- INDIANAPOLIS, IN, July 12, 2006 -- Seal Sands Chemicals, a company within the Health and Specialty Products division of newly formed Vertellus Specialties Inc., has reached an agreement with Biocompatibles International, plc to license its biocompatible polymer technology based on Phosphorylcholine (PC) derivatives. The transaction includes specific patent rights, process technology, applications and trademarks associated with the PC Technology...
Also see: "Reilly Industries, Rutherford Chemicals combine to become Vertellus Specialties Inc."

Schneider Electric to host Initi@tive 2006 for first time in United States -- PALATINE, IL, July 12, 2006 -- Schneider Electric North American Operating Division announced it will host Initi@tive 2006: the Gateway to the New Electric World -- a debut trade exposition in the United States. The trade exposition to showcase power, and automation and control solutions, applications, products and services. Successful Schneider Electric Initi@tive events have previously been held in Mexico, Australia, Belgium, Thailand, Turkey and other countries around the world...

Aquarius Technologies debuts as new WWEMA member -- PORT WASHINGTON, WI, July 12, 2006 -- Aquarius Technologies Inc. announces the formation of a corporation engaged in the design, manufacture, and marketing of proprietary wastewater treatment processes. Aquarius president and CEO Tom Pokorsky served as chairman of the Water Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA) in 1997, when he was president of Sanitaire, now part of ITT Corp. The new company is one of the association's newest members...

Aqua America grows in Texas with water, wastewater system acquisitions -- BRYN MAWR, PA, July 12, 2006 -- Aqua America Inc. announced today that its subsidiary Aqua Texas Inc. has acquired the water and wastewater utility assets of Hood County Utilities Inc. in a transaction valued at $975,000. The acquisition consists of three water systems and one wastewater utility, which serve more than 2,200 residents near Granbury in Hood County. Aqua owns more than 375 water and wastewater systems in Texas serving about 155,000 residents in 49 counties. The Hood County acquisition expands Aqua's regional network in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by adding systems serving the River Run and Lakeside Hills residential communities, as well as the water and wastewater systems for the Blue Water Shores subdivision. Over the next several years, Aqua plans to make nearly $250,000 in water infrastructure improvements to these new systems...

RJN Group provides Little Rock sewer condition information report -- LITTLE ROCK, AR, July 12, 2006 -- RJN Group Inc. recently entered into an annual service contract with the Little Rock Wastewater Utility in Arkansas to provide information regarding the condition of the sanitary sewer collection system for future hydraulic and structural design improvements. This project is part of a 15-year program that includes capital improvements in the collections system, unsewered areas, treatment plants, pump stations, and wet-weather peak flow detention. The project involves flow monitoring and field inspection services...
Also see:
-- "RJN Group begins White Clay Sewer Basin rehabilitation for New Castle County, Del."
-- "RJN Group helps Red Oak, Texas, upgrade its wastewater collection system"

Brockton, Ontario, awards water, wastewater services partnership to Veolia Water -- HOUSTON, TX, July 12, 2006 -- The municipality of Brockton, Ontario, and Veolia Water Canada announced a partnership that will unify water and wastewater services under a common contract that emphasizes safety, reliability and environmental responsibility. Veolia Water will operate three drinking water systems and one wastewater plant that serve about 10,000 residents in southwestern Ontario. Brockton marks the 22nd Canadian community served in Veolia Water's nearly 30-year operational history...

UTEK Corp., Innova Pure Water Inc. announce strategic alliance -- TAMPA, FL, & ST. PETERSBURG, FL, July 12, 2006 -- UTEK Corporation (AMEX:UTK) (LSE-AIM:UTK), a specialty finance company focused on technology transfer, and Innova Pure Water Inc., a developer and manufacturer of water treatment products, announce that they have signed a strategic alliance agreement. Jack Nohren, Innova CEO, said he thought the alliance will enable Innova to identify technology acquisition opportunities. Through its strategic alliance agreements, UTEK assists companies in enhancing new product pipelines with acquisition of proprietary intellectual capital from universities and laboratory research centers...

CH2M Hill achieves top ranking among U.S. environmental firms -- DENVER, July 12, 2006 -- CH2M Hill, a global full-service engineering, construction, and operations firm, is the top environmental firm according to Engineering News Record (ENR). The number one ranking marks the first time CH2M Hill has held the top spot in ENR's annual rankings of the Top 200 Environmental Firms. Helping propel it into the top spot is a sharp increase in environmental work for both public and private clients, particularly work originating in the firm's Environmental Services, Water and Nuclear business groups. Recent environmental highlights for the firm include turning an environmental liability into a community asset through the successful clean up and closure of the former nuclear facility at Rocky Flats, providing quality assurance for debris removal following the 2005 hurricanes, the remediation of Iron Mountain Mine in Redding, CA, one of the largest dischargers of heavy metals in the United States, as well as providing a full scope of environmental services to public and private clients. The firm was also recently ranked the number one program management firm and received a top five ranking in the list of top design firms by ENR...
Also see: "CH2M HILL hires Greg Pulliam"

Hydroxyl appoints Carolyn Rogers as president, CEO -- VICTORIA, BC, Canada, July 12, 2006 -- Hydroxyl Systems Inc. announced today that its board of directors has appointed Carolyn Rogers to the positions of president and chief executive officer. Rogers will lead Hydroxyl in an evolving set of growing market sectors, building on a solid foundation of customer successes, strong financial position, and industry recognition of its innovative technologies. She most recently served as Hydroxyl's vice president-finance. Rogers is a graduate of business and economics at Brandon University, with a CMA designation. She earned her MBA from Queen's School of Business, Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Prior to joining Hydroxyl she held senior management positions in both the financial services and consulting sectors...

Basin Water joins Russell 3000 Index, Russell 2000 Index -- RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA, July 11, 2006--Basin Water Inc. today reported that it has been added to the Russell 3000® Index and the Russell 2000® Index when Russell Investment Group reconstituted its family of U.S. indexes on June 30, according to the list of additions posted on www.russell.com. Basin Water -- known for a proprietary, scalable ion-exchange wellhead treatment system -- designs, builds and implements systems for the treatment of contaminated groundwater, providing reliable sources of drinking water for many communities ...
Also see: "High efficiency ion exchange technology brings arsenic compliance to Baldy Mesa Water District"

SSWM Management meeting top Mexico officials on remediation projects -- SSWM/ETI team to discuss implementation schedules of new and existing projects -- CARLSBAD, CA, July 11, 2006 -- Robert Brehm, CEO of U.S. Microbics Inc., an innovative environmental products and services company, announced that management of its majority-owned subsidiary, Sub-Surface Waste Management of Delaware Inc. and its Mexico subsidiary company, Environmental Tec International S.A. de C.V. (ETI), are meeting in Mexico this week to discuss implementation details of many pending projects. Meetings are scheduled with the Governor's staff of Puebla and Veracruz, the Mayor elect of Mexico City, officials of the Federal Electricity Commission (C.F.E.), Mexico banking officials, and various other officials. SSWM/ETI has a considerable backlog of proposals pending and delayed due to environmental diagnostic equipment border crossing mixups, election campaigning by government officials, and reprioritizing of cleanup projects previously scheduled. Management and officials discuss implementation schedules for many projects, including the 11 Environmental Emergency Response Centers (ERC) in Veracruz, a Lake Valsequillo water cleanup project, a multi-faceted soil remediation project located at one of the largest power generating plants in the south of Mexico, in Merida, Yucatan, at Nachi Cocom, and various site assessments measuring toxic releases such as fuel and oil spills that occur periodically as well as during storm events such as hurricanes...

BOC Edwards announces new liquid abatement system for metal electroplating waste -- Integrated system provides simplified treatment and 1000-fold concentration of metals from multiple waste streams -- SAN FRANCISCO, July 11, 2006 -- BOC Edwards, a leading supplier of vacuum and abatement equipment to the world's 300 mm semiconductor fabs, announced today the release of its new EPMA™ (electroplated metals abatement system) product, which offers simplified liquid waste treatment and lower cost of ownership than conventional approaches. The first system has been installed and is operational in a major U.S. electronics manufacturing facility where it processes metal laden waste streams from both CMP and multiple plating operations in a single integrated process...

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