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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Awards $75,000 Grant to Clarkson University for Innovative Food Waste Project

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Barbara Pualani (

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., with a $75,000 People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grant. The grant will be used to develop a more efficient ammonia removal and recovery process for food waste digesters to reduce the volume of food waste sent to solid waste landfills, simultaneously addressing the objectives of improving air quality and revitalizing land.

“These students are applying what they have learned in the classroom to create innovative solutions to environmental challenges,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These awards support the next generation of scientists and engineers in their commitment to environmental protection, while helping states, tribes, and local communities find solutions to their environmental issues.”

"These P3 students are tackling some of our most pressing and complex environmental issues,” said Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. "The innovative research funded today will help us better protect human health and the environment."

"We are excited for the Clarkson’s P3 student team who are developing innovative food waste solutions to address our most pressing environmental, health and energy questions while educating our future engineers and scientists," said Gina Lee-Glauser, Vice President for Research and Scholarship at Clarkson University. "Environmental projects like this one give our students the chance to solve real-world, open-ended problems with creativity and risk-taking to obtain solutions that are practical and sustainable."

Nationally, EPA awarded more than $557,000 in funding for eight student teams through the P3 Grants Program during Phase II. These teams, made up of college students from across the country, are developing sustainable technologies to solve current environmental and public health challenges.

Other P3 Phase II winners include:

  • Montclair State University – Montclair, NJ
  • Kennesaw State University – Kennesaw, GA
  • University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati, OH
  • Texas Woman’s University – Denton, TX
  • California State University, Chico – Chico, CA
  • Butte College – Oroville, CA
  • University of California, Riverside – Riverside, CA


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 $15,000 grant to develop their idea and showcase their research in the spring at EPA's National Sustainable Design Expo. These teams are then eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $75,000 to implement their design in a real-world setting.

Past P3 winners have gone on to start businesses based on ideas and products developed through their P3 project. For example, a 2007 P3 winning team from University of California Berkeley went on to create SimpleWater, a water treatment company that specializes in household water treatment systems. Another successful 2007 P3 team from the University of Virginia created the Learning Barge, as a part of the Elizabeth River Project.  The Learning Barge is the world’s first floating wetland classroom and America’s Greenest Vessel. It's a "steward ship," teaching children that live nearby about environmental stewardship and how to make the river swimmable and fishable by 2020.

To learn more about the projects of the 2018 P3 Phase II winners, visit:

For more information on the P3 Program, visit:

EPA P3 Phase II winners from Clarkson University