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News Releases from Region 03

EPA awards grants to college students

Students designs to aid in environmental and public health challenges

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PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 20, 2020) – The Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the award of three undergraduate and graduate student grants through the EPA’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Student Design Competition Program.

EPA awarded approximately $447,000 in funding for 18 teams of undergraduate and graduate students across the country through its People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Student Design Competition Program. Each team will receive a Phase I grant of up to $25,000 to develop their sustainable designs that will help solve important environmental and public health challenges.

Mid-Atlantic Region grantees include the following student teams from Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.:

  • Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Penn., to create a paper test to detect lead in tap water.
  • Howard University, Washington, D.C., to design and test a pollution control method that will reduce nutrient emissions that cause Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Blooms.
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va., to develop a low-cost portable desalination system using wave and solar renewable energy, that can be modified for personal use or the use in small communities.

“The innovative ideas that these P3 teams are bringing out of the classroom and into the real world will help solve some of our nation’s most pressing environmental challenges,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “From creating a simple at-home test for consumers to detect lead in tap water to designing a system to remove toxic chemicals from landfill gas, the fresh thinking behind these projects will result in tangible products that will help Americans for generations to come.”

These teams will showcase their projects at EPA’s National Student Design Expo on June 29-30 at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. Following the Expo, the P3 teams may compete for Phase II awards of up to $100,000 to further implement their designs.

Grantees include student teams from the following universities:

“These P3 grants are a great way for hard-working, devoted college students to put their talents together to assist EPA in finding solutions to some of the environmental and human health challenges we face today,” said Cosmo Servidio, Regional Administrator, EPA Mid-Atlantic Region. “These student proposals for Region 3 – a self-sustainable portable desalination system using wave and solar renewable energy, a pollution control strategy intended to reduce nutrient emissions and a plan to develop a simple and inexpensive paper test for lead in tap water – are quite impressive and will go a long way in EPA’s fundamental responsibility protecting human health and the environment.”