Apr 20, 2011

EPA Awards P3 Grants to College Teams for Environmental Innovation

Winning projects include solar-powered water distribution system and groundwater contaminant removal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded grants this week to six college teams across the country that participated in the seventh annual EPA People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) award competition held at the National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The P3 award competition and National Sustainable Design Expo were a part of the 2011 EPA Earth Day celebration event April 16 and 17. Since 2004, the P3 annual competition has provided a platform for teams to showcase sustainable projects designed to protect the environment, encourage economic growth and use natural resources more efficiently. These projects provide sustainable solutions to worldwide environmental problems.

"EPA’s P3 Award winners are the environmental and economic future of our nation,” said Paul T. Anastas, assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Research and Development. “Their sustainable innovations, from agriculture to architecture to energy production, keep our nation competitive and protect our health and the environment.”

After an initial peer review process, this year’s winners were selected from 55 competing teams following two days of judging by a panel of national experts convened by the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science. Each P3 award-winning team receives a grant of up to up to $75,000 to further develop the design, implement it in the field or move it to the marketplace.

Winners of this year’s awards include:

• University of Massachusetts-Lowell for novel greener routes to halogen-free flame retardant material;
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a solar powered water collection, containment and self-regulating distribution system;
• Purdue University for development of community power from sustainable small hydropower systems;
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Oglala Lakota College for use of bone char for the removal of arsenic and uranium from groundwater at the Pine Ridge Reservation;
• Drexel University for lightweight green roof systems; and
• Stanford University for innovative university-school partnerships for renewable energy projects and education.