EPA Awards Nearly $300,000 to Three Student Teams through its 16th Annual People, Prosperity, and the Planet Program
WASHINGTON (April 6, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced it awarded $299,661 in funding to three interdisciplinary student teams for their innovative solutions to environmental problems as part of its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Program. Funded projects include a system to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water, eco-friendly substitutes for microplastics in packaging, and a technology to remove arsenic from groundwater.
“Congratulations to these students for their hard work and innovative ideas to solve urgent environmental challenges,” said Maureen Gwinn, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “These students are leading the way with their environmental solutions to move us toward a more sustainable future.”
EPA’s P3 program is a two-phase research grant competition for college students that offers hands-on experience that brings their classroom learning to life, while also allowing them to create tangible changes in their communities. Today’s awardees have already completed Phase I, which served as a “proof of concept,” with a one-year grant of up to $25,000 awarded to develop their idea. These teams were then eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $100,000 to implement their design in a real-world setting.
The following teams are receiving P3 Phase II awards:
- Michigan State University - East Lansing, Mich., to make 100% recyclable water and oil-resistant paper coatings, which will eliminate the flow of PFAS from paper coating applications and remove microplastics from the waste stream.
- University of Cincinnati - Cincinnati, Ohio, to develop a practical and cost-effective approach to treat PFAS in drinking water using chemically modified sawdust. The team will partner with community groups in Cincinnati for pilot-scale testing of their technology.
- University of California - Berkeley, Calif., to create a novel technology to remove high levels of arsenic from contaminated groundwaters and partner with a local community in the Central Valley of California to field test this arsenic remediation technology.