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Rep. Johnson Applauds UI Team's Success In EPA Contest

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Contact: Phil Bloomer
Phone: (217) 403-4690
In: Rep. Timothy Johnson exit EPA
April 26, 2007

Washington, D.C.- U.S. Rep. Timothy V. Johnson today announced that a student team from the University of Illinois has been selected a winner in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Third Annual P3 Award.

P3 stands for People, Prosperity and the Planet and is a highly competitive academic contest whose participants presented their projects at EPA’s National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. The competition was created to bring together professional scientists, engineers, and business leaders around innovations designed to advance economic growth while reducing environmental impact.

The U. of I. team of students was selected as one of six winners from around the country. Other winning teams were from Appalachian State University, Lehigh University, Northwestern University, University of Virginia and Western Washington University.

The U. of I. team’s challenge was to find an efficient way to reduce chemical leaching from farm fields. The team chose a design that requires no maintenance, can be easily installed, and makes use of naturally available biomaterials. This challenge and proposed design relate to sustainability in terms of people by providing a long-term, efficient way of reducing or even eliminating chemicals from drinking water, according to the team’s project abstract.

“Our design will provide sustainability in terms of prosperity by reducing the necessary cost of treatment at municipal facilities, and by allowing farmers to take a proactive role in reducing chemical losses from their production facilities,” their abstract stated.

Rep. Johnson said, “I am extremely proud to represent these students and help promote the results of their work. Not only is their work excellent academic training but provides practical knowledge to the marketplace in ways to make our world more liveable. I applaud their efforts and their public service.”

Finalists in the competition were initially awarded $10,000 grants to design their projects. The winning teams will now receive up to $75,000 in grant funds to refine their project, implement it in the field, and take it to the marketplace. Past winners have been able to develop their ideas into small businesses.

Student members of the U. of I. team included Malia Appleford of Urbana, Greg Goodwin of Flat Rock and David Haase of Gilman.

Faculty members of the team are Laura Hahn and Prasanta Kalita.

The team will be formally recognized tonight at an awards ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences.

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