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Press release from Marketwire

Bennett Environmental Inc. Update on Business and Strategic Plans

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bennett Environmental Inc. Update on Business and Strategic Plans13:34 EST Friday, January 20, 2012OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 20, 2012) - Bennett Environmental Inc. (TSX:BEV) (the "Company" or "Bennett") today announced an update in its business and strategic plans.Soil inventory at the Company's Saint Ambroise, Quebec contaminated soil treatment plant continues to increase. The Company estimates that approximately 30,000 tonnes of untreated soil are currently at the plant. No current revenue related to this soil in inventory has been recorded. An additional approximately 17,000 tonnes are anticipated to be received from various jobs which have been awarded but not shipped or not fully shipped. Subject to the impact of a potential transaction occurring, the Company's current plans are to commence processing at its soil treatment plant late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2012, with a view to maximizing efficiency and controlling costs. For each of these contracts awarded, the tonnage amounts are approximate, and in each case there is no commitment on the part of the client with respect to the amount of material or remaining material that will be shipped under the contract, or the timing of these shipments. Actual amounts shipped may be more or less than the anticipated amounts.Regarding corporate strategy, Bennett President and CEO Mr. Lawrence Haber stated that "Bennett is continuing to pursue strategic M&A opportunities, and engaged Canaccord Genuity as its financial advisor and has been working with them for a number of months. The Board remains focused on seeking to complete one or more transformative transactions designed to maximize shareholder value. This may or may not be in the environmental space, and may involve one or more of a sale of the Company as a whole, a sale of the Company's assets, an acquisition or a merger. However, there can be no assurance that any transactions may occur or when."Finally, as previously announced, the Company's former CEO, John Bennett, has commenced another lawsuit against Bennett, alleging, among other things, conspiracy and oppression. The claims relate to the U.S. Department of Justice August, 2009 indictment of Mr. Bennett in connection with alleged bid-rigging and other illegal conduct occurring during the time period while he was CEO of Bennett. A number of former directors and officers of the Company are also named as defendants. Bennett understands that Mr. Bennett is currently fighting extradition to the U.S., where he is under indictment for actual or attempted kickbacks and fraud, and conspiracy, against the U.S. government. While Mr. Bennett has obtained court orders entitling him to interim indemnification from the Company, pending a final decision on the merits or other developments, the Company continues to be of the view that the substance of the new lawsuit, as with the substance of past lawsuits involving Mr. Bennett as plaintiff, is baseless and entirely without merit, and intends to defend it vigorously.Forward Looking StatementsCertain statements contained in this press release and in certain documents incorporated by reference into this press release constitute forward-looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe", "confident", "plan" and "intends" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Bennett believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in, or incorporated by reference into, this press release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Bennett undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.About Bennett Environmental Inc.Bennett Environmental Inc. is a North American leader in high temperature treatment services for the treatment of contaminated soil and has provided thermal solutions to contamination problems throughout Canada and the U.S. Bennett Environmental's technology provides for the safe, economical and permanent solution to contaminated soil. Independent testing has consistently proven that the technology operates well within the most stringent criteria in North America. For information, please visit the Bennett Environmental website at: www.bennettenv.com.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Lawrence HaberBennett Environmental Inc.President and CEO(905) 339-1540 Ext. 202www.bennettenv.com