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News Releases

News Releases from Region 08

EPA awards grants to student teams in Colorado, Montana, South Dakota and Utah for innovative technology projects

Five teams in EPA Region 8 among 32 nationwide to receive $25,000 each

Contact Information: 
Barbara Khan (

DENVER - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced approximately $792,036 in funding for 32 student teams through its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grant program. Each team will receive funding to develop and demonstrate projects that help address environmental and public health challenges.

“As EPA celebrates its 50th anniversary, this month, we are highlighting ways the agency supports the next generation of environmental leaders,” said Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, EPA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science and EPA Science Advisor. “The P3 program helps foster environmental education among students to support the next generation of scientists and engineers working to tackle some of today’s most pressing environmental issues.”

The Phase I teams will receive grants of up to $25,000 each to develop their proof of concept. This year’s winners are addressing a variety of research topics including efforts to reduce microplastics waste and food waste, creating innovative and solar-driven nanomaterials, building a stand-alone water treatment system that can provide potable water for indoor use in single family homes, and removing PFAS from water using liquid extractions. These teams are also eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $100,000 to further implement their design in a real-world setting.

Phase I grantees include student teams from the following universities:

  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.
    • MAP-HABS: An Innovative Platform for the Early and Ongoing Detection of Harmful Algal Blooms
  • Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Montana Technological University, Butte, Mont.
    • Biochar Wattle for Enhanced Surface Water Quality
  • South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, S.D.
    • Efficient Solar-Driven Water Desalination Based on Nanomaterial Design
  • Western Dakota Technical Institute, Western Dakota Tech, Rapid City, S.D.
    • Tertiary Wastewater Treatment through Aquaponics 
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Fungi-bacteria Based Biodegradation of PFAS

To learn more about the P3 Phase I winners, visit:


The P3 program is a two-phase research grants program that challenges students to research, develop and design innovative projects addressing environmental and public health challenges. Phase I serves as a “proof of concept,” where teams are awarded a $25,000 to develop their idea and showcase their research in the spring at EPA's National Student Design Expo. These teams are then eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $100,000 to implement their design in a real-world setting.

For more information on the P3 Program, visit:

To learn more about EPA’s 50th anniversary, visit: