For the last three decades, cleaning up what others have left behind has been good business for Sevenson Environmental Services Inc., Niagara Falls, N.Y. But in 2010, the returns were especially rewarding, as the remediation contractor saw revenue jump 33%, vaulting it nearly 100 places up the Top 400.

Photo: Courtesy Of Sevenson Environmental Services

CEO Michael A. Elia attributes the rise to federal stimulus funding for Superfund and other waste- cleanup projects. “The government wanted projects staffed at every level,” says Elia. The firm also has been an emergency responder in Tennessee after five million cu yd of wet coal ash at a TVA powerplant site burst its storage pond in late 2008. Sevenson managed the cleanup of 2.5 million cu yd of ash from the nearby Emery River. “It was 24/7 for months,” says Elia.

Sevenson anticipates many happy returns in 2011. Its $500 million worth of backlog work includes cleanup of manufactured gas-plant sites for U.S. utilities. “We made a name for ourselves in New York City. Now we’re pushing across to California,” says Elia. The firm is ahead of schedule dredging three million cu yd of toxic materials from Lake Onondaga, N.Y. A $15-million equipment investment has enabled Sevenson to diversify into sediment dredging at a Denver drinking-water reservoir and harbor-deepening. “Life is good at Sevenson,” says Elia.