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Lexington, Mass. Company Selected to Share EPA Small Business Assistance

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David Deegan (

BOSTON – A Lexington, Mass. business was selected to share in $1.8 million from the US Environmental Protection Agency to continue developing a technology to decontaminate railway and subway cars and protect workers from exposure to potentially harmful substances.

TIAX LLC was one of six businesses nationwide selected by EPA to receive funding to promote development of technologies aimed at helping to solve environmental issues.

"Small businesses are not only essential to the American economy, but they also produce some of our best, cutting-edge technologies," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "Through this funding, these companies will create jobs and create value in the marketplace, all while developing innovations that protect the environment and human health."

TIAX LLC has developed a technology that meets a need for decontamination of biological material in railway and subway cars. At the same time, it can also decontaminate chemical and radiological hazards. Technologies used today involve intense manpower and separate steps for site preparation; decontamination; wash-down; and recovery for waste disposal.

The funding for TIAX, which is part of EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, will help design a process for manufacturing and packaging of a shelf-ready decontamination system with wider applicability to remediate surface contamination in other building and transportation systems.

"Small businesses are often key partners in protecting our nation's environment," said EPA Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. "This funding is an important way that EPA can assist companies develop critical products that advance a clean environment and public health, while bolstering our economy."

The six companies being announced today, including TIAX LLC, are receiving Phase II contracts from EPA's SBIR program, which awards contracts annually through a two-phase competition. Companies compete for a Phase I award of $100,000 by submitting research that addresses key environmental issues. After receiving a Phase I award, companies are eligible to compete for a Phase II award of $300,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology. The recipients of these Phase II awards will now work to bring their products to market.

The TIAX technology combines tasks and reduces the manpower necessary for cleanups. It also protects workers from exposure and reduces the volume of hazardous waste needing disposal. The technology may be used in response to hazardous material releases in buildings and transportation systems, including trains, buses and aircraft. The technology could also be transferred to cleaning mold.

The other five businesses to be funded include XploSafe of Stillwater, Okla., Renuvix, LLC of Fargo, N.D., Microvi Biotech, Inc. of Hayward, Calif., Hi-Z Technology, Inc. of San Diego, Calif., and ASAT, Inc. of Cottage Grove, Ore. This year's projects also include technologies to economically and efficiently recover nutrients from wastewater, and create coatings such as wood stains and spray paints that produce less air pollutants. During Phase II, these companies build on technologies developed during Phase I, and focus on working with consumers and bringing their products to market.

This EPA funding supports innovative, environmental solutions developed by small businesses across the nation. Phase II funding specifically allows these companies to further develop their technologies and encourages commercialization of their product.

EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, enacted in 1982 to strengthen the role of small businesses in federal research and development, create jobs, and promote U.S. technical innovation. To be eligible to participate in the SBIR program, a company must be an organized, for-profit U.S. business and have fewer than 500 employees.

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