Tuesday, 22 January 2013
The Clean Water Act (CWA) has been in the press a lot lately, as many companies struggle to meet its demands. With the powers granted by the Act expanding in scope, investors may want to consider companies that are well positioned to benefit from its increased implementation. In this article, we’ll take a look at the CWA and its implications, as well as potential investment opportunities.
What is the Clean Water Act?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Clean Water Act establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into U.S. waters and regulating quality standards for surface waters. These laws make it unlawful to discharge pollutants into navigable water unless a permit is obtained from the organization.
The EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls these permits that can be issued to companies and other organizations. While individual homes that use septic systems don’t require permits; industries, municipalities, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.
Recently, the CWA has controversially grown to include the regulation of water itself as a pollutant, enabling the EPA to regulate the flow of water. For instance, the EPA proposed a plan to deal with sediment in the Accotink Creek aggravated by storm water runoff from Interstate 495, issuing a Total Maximum Daily Load limit to control the amount of water flowing.
Permitting & Prosecutions on the Rise
The EPA has been consistent in prosecuting companies and organizations under the Clean Water Act over the past several years. For instance, BP plc (NYSE:BP) and its partners are facing between $891 million and $3.5 billion in fines imposed under the CWA on the 810,000 barrels of oil blown out from its Macondo well that entered U.S. waters.
New regulations may also require industrial farms to obtain permits under the NPDES, which could significantly expand the CWA’s jurisdiction. A Superior Court in Hyde County, NC recently ruled that the state has the authority to require Rose Acre Farms to be regulated under the federal CWA because of pollutants released from ventilation fans in its henhouses.
These cases illustrate the CWA’s expanding jurisdiction, with prosecutions targeting increasingly larger organizations on the rise. As a result, companies are seeking out new solutions to safely and affordably dispose of waste into water supplies, or to clean wastewater before it’s released into existing water supplies.
Investing in the Clean Water Act
There are many investment opportunities to capitalize on the increasing reach of the Clean Water Act. Companies like American Water Works Company Inc. (NYSE:AWK) provide wastewater treatment services for municipalities, but those targeting environmental remediation may be better targets to capitalize on CWA regulation.
Clean Harbors Inc. (NYSE:CLH) is perhaps the best-known play in the sector, providing environmental, energy and industrial services throughout North America. Investors started taking note of the company after the BP plc (NYSE:BP) oil spill, when the company was retained to help mitigate damages and pollution-related fines.
While there are many other larger companies in the space, like US Ecology Inc. (NASDAQ:ECOL), smaller companies offer investors larger potential upside. After all, it’s easier for a $1 million company to double its market capitalization than a $1 billion company to do the same, although these companies entail additional risk that should be carefully considered.
BioLargo Offers a Promising Opportunity
BioLargo Inc. (BLGO) is focused on solving some of the world’s most important problems using Nature’s Best Solution®, free iodine. Their version of free iodine is both non-toxic & non-staining and yet is also a broad-spectrum disinfectant with no known microbial resistance. Since Iodine is also an essential nutrient, the combination of efficacy and safety makes it perfect for applications that range from wound care and household products to advanced industrial applications like managing contaminated water.
The company’s Cupridyne® technology combines micronutrients with water from any source to deliver free-iodine on demand in controlled dosages, balancing efficacy of performance with concerns of toxicity. With its new Advanced Oxidation System, iodine can be electrochemically created to eliminate dangerous contaminates, nano-sized particulates and even fully soluble contaminates for any water treatment system.
Currently, the company is testing these systems in a number of different industries, including oil and gas exploration, as a founding member of a research chair at the University of Alberta, working in cooperation with the Canadian government. Meanwhile, Vikram Rao, previously from Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), and Harry DeLonge, from PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE:PEP) provide the management experience necessary to bring these products to fruition.
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Saturday, 5 January 2013
BioLargo Retires Debt and Accounts Payable in Preparation of Commercial Focus on Water Treatment, Advanced Wound Care and Pet Products
La Mirada, Calif. - (January 2, 2013) - BioLargo, Inc. (OTCBB: BLGO) announced today that it had retired more than $1,000,000 in debt and accounts payable by issuing a combination of stock and options at a 20% premium to the market price of its stock. The significant reduction in liabilities sets the stage for an increased commercial focus on three specific areas for the BioLargo technology – water treatment, advanced wound care, and pet products.
BioLargo’s president, Dennis Calvert, stated "this is the first time since we acquired the BioLargo technology in 2007 that we have operated with such limited debt and liabilities. Since the acquisition, we have placed, through various private offerings, more than $9,000,000 to advance our technology, develop a series of products, and maintain operations. We have been awarded five patents and have multiple additional applications on file that encompass dozens of novel claims surrounding our technology. Our product designs and technical claims have received validations at the highest levels, which include expert independent testing labs, university studies, side-by-side reviews and comparisons. We have even won a Product of the Year award and our Isan technology received an Artemis ‘Top 50 Water Company’ honor along the way.
"As we march into 2013, we are excited about the commercial opportunities before us and are anxious to work toward our goal of generating meaningful revenues and returns for our shareholders. In water treatment, our new technology has undergone its first round of testing at the University of Alberta Department of Engineering to validate its efficacy for use in the Canadian oil sands. We expect the results of this work to be published soon. We believe our new water treatment technology will be able to treat contaminated water better, at a lower cost, and faster than existing technologies. This technology could have significant impact on any industry that must contend with contaminated water including shale gas, hydraulic fracking, and industrial wastewater. We intend to focus significant efforts in early 2013 developing a commercial strategy for this technology, which will likely include the formation of a subsidiary and a dedicated management team. We intend to continue to advance its design, validate its claims, and refine its function.
“In advanced wound care, our two initial products recently passed third party testing to validate both efficacy and safety. With proof of claims in hand, a team of key executives, and a strategic supply chain partner to finalize our market-ready products, we should be ready to file an FDA 510(k) in the second half of 2013 and we expect to be ready for market in late 2013.
“With pet products, our work over the past two years within the companion animal segment through our Odor-No-More brand has enabled us to develop a series of great products that out-perform the competition and are being prepared for market introduction in early 2013 under the brand name Nature's Best Solution®.”
We make life better by delivering technology-based products that help solve some of the world’s most important problems that threaten our water, food, agriculture, healthcare and energy. Our website is . Our Odor-No-More Inc. subsidiary features award-winning products serving the companion animal and equine markets. (). BioLargo also owns a 50% interest in the Isan System, already commercialized in Australia, which was honored with a "Top 50 Water Company for the 21st Century" award by the Artemis Project. Our subsidiary, Clyra Medical Technologies, Inc. focuses on advanced wound care management and is preparing to make FDA 510(k) applications in 2013.