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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Awards $74,958 Grant to the University of Cincinnati for Innovative PCB Decontamination Technology

05/25/2018
Contact Information: 
Francisco Arcaute (arcaute.francisco@epa.gov)
312-886-7613 312-898-2042 Cell

For Immediate Release    No. 18-OPA 17

EPA Awards $74,958 Grant to the University of Cincinnati for Innovative PCB Decontamination Technology

CHICAG0 (May 25, 2018) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded a $74,958 People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grant to the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. This P3 grant will be used to develop low-cost technology to decontaminate PCBs (poly-chlorinated biphenyls) decontamination which remain a challenging worldwide problem due to their high toxicity and bio-accumulation.

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

“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.”

"The P3 student team at the University of Cincinnati is tackling one of our most pressing and complex environmental isses," said Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp.  "The innovative research funded today will help us better protect human health and the environment."

“This EPA grant will provide the essential support for an interdisciplinary team of students to work on toxic waste reduction, "said Associate Professor Mingming Lu, Dept. of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati. “A more affordable PCB reduction technology will be developed, to benefit the economically disadvantaged communities."

The seven other P3 Phase II winners are:

  • Montclair State University – Montclair, NJ

  • Clarkson University – Potsdam, NY

  • Kennesaw State University – Kennesaw, GA

  • Texas Woman’s University – Denton, TX

  • California State University, Chico – Chico, CA

  • Butte College – Oroville, CA

  • University of California, Riverside – Riverside, CA

Background

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: https://www.epa.gov/P3/20172018-p3-grant-recipients

For more information on the P3 Program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/P3