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News Releases from Region 01

Harvard School of Public Health Awarded $651K EPA Research Grant

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

BOSTON - The School of Public Health at Harvard University is one of six academic institutions receiving a grant targeted at studying the ecological impacts of manufactured chemicals. Harvard is receiving $651,708 for its research on this topic.

The six universities have been given a total of almost $4 million for their research, which will lead to better chemical risk assessments and decisions for protecting the environment.

The Harvard research project, titled "Integrated Modeling Approaches to Support Systems-Based Ecological Risk Assessment" is being done in partnership with Washington State University and Western Washington University.

"This kind of research gives us new ways to evaluate how chemicals affect our ecology. These innovative approaches can help us predict and, more importantly, prevent chemical impacts," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "With this knowledge, we can better protect the environment."

"Ecological risk assessment typically focuses on individual chemicals and their impact on individual animals, but we really need to better understand the effects of multiple stressors, including multiple chemicals, on populations" said Katherine Ellen von Stackelberg, principle investigator at Harvard. "We are excited for this project, which will allow us to combine data sets and modeling approaches to help regulators make better decisions."

The other grants included awards to University of California, Santa Barbara; Michigan State University; University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Oregon State University at Corvallis; and Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

These STAR - or "Science to Achieve Results" - grants are part of EPA's Chemical Safety for Sustainability research program's efforts to develop new methods to improve chemical evaluation and support environmental sustainability. This research will use innovative methods to understand how chemicals can hurt the ecology and public health.

More information:

On these EPA grant awards: www.epa.gov/ncer/2014ecoimpacts

On EPA's Chemical Safety for Sustainability research program: www.epa.gov/chemical-research