file under: Energy, Facilities, Sustainability, United States, North America

CDM Smith Projects Win Excellence in Environmental Engineering Honor Awards

Environmental sustainability and design projects recognized by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers

May 05, 2011

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts—Three CDM Smith projects have received Excellence in Environmental Engineering Honor Awards from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE). In the environmental sustainability category, both the Catawba County Regional EcoComplex and Resource Recovery Facility program and the Asheville, North Carolina sustainability management plan received awards. CDM Smith’s Lower Baker adult fish trap (AFT) upgrade was recognized in the design category.

The Catawba County Regional EcoComplex and Resource Recovery Facility program in Newton, North Carolina, USA, is setting a precedent in sustainable practices. Developed in partnership between Catawba County and CDM Smith, the program involves multiple components—including a landfill, a biosolids processing facility, a university research center and private businesses—that reuse each other’s waste products as energy sources or raw materials.

The foundation of the EcoComplex program is a biosolids processing facility that will dry biosolids from 10 local wastewater treatment plants with waste heat recovered from engines that convert Blackburn landfill gas into electricity. The product will become fertilizer for various agricultural needs, including biofuel crops that will fuel landfill vehicles. Liquid waste from the drying process will be injected back into the landfill to enhance waste decomposition and generate additional electricity. A wood gasification energy facility will use wood waste from an adjacent lumber processing company and pallet manufacturer to generate electricity, as well as harness heat and steam energy to dry lumber and wastewater biosolids. Several universities are collaborating with the county for research, including Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The Asheville sustainability management plan was created in partnership between the city of Asheville, North Carolina, USA, and CDM Smith to incorporate sustainability and creative energy management in all city functions—transportation, water, wastewater, solid waste, green building and land use planning. The plan provides an integrated approach for resource management to achieve the aggressive goal of reducing the city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2 percent each year until an 80-percent reduction is achieved.

To balance environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic vitality, the plan looked beyond simple energy and GHG reduction and created best practice recommendations to improve sustainable government and community operations. The outcome of the plan was a consensus-based set of sustainability goals, a comprehensive list of action items and an implementation plan for moving forward. This flexible strategy for prioritizing and implementing projects is helping Asheville reduce fuel consumption from commuting, city fleet vehicles and mass transit; water consumption and energy use for water treatment and distribution; and waste production in city facilities and the larger community. The plan positioned the city to successfully secure funding through several federal grants totaling $1.6 million.

CDM Smith’s work with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to successfully upgrade its Lower Baker adult fish trap in Concrete, Washington, USA, has enhanced the once endangered fish population in the Skagit watershed. This innovative project has set a new trend in fish passage at hydroelectric power facilities with the installation of a fish elevator, automated lift and sorting system, and “fish taxi” loading system.

PSE partnered with CDM Smith and R2 Resource Consultants Inc. to renovate its fish passage system in compliance with the Baker River’s new 50-year relicensing requirements, mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. CDM Smith designed and constructed several new automated, fish-friendly features to improve the capture and transport of migrating adult salmon. The automated lift and sorting system was incorporated to sort the various species of fish and route certain fish species to a sampling station for classification and analysis. The electronic data management systems for collecting biological information about captured fish, as well as the new fish taxi loading system, allowed for mechanized loading of fish into water filled trucks for transport upstream past the Baker dams. Upon its completion in June 2010, a record fish count—close to 22,000 sockeye salmon—were captured and counted at the AFT.

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Release Number: 161-11