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EPA Research: October 10, 2017

Fifteen small businesses are getting a combined $1.6 million from EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program. Businesses will use the Phase 1 award money to develop technologies that provide sustainable solutions for environmental issues.

Satellite imagery is helping us find harmful algal blooms earlier to keep the public safe. The Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN), a project involving EPA, NASA, NOAA, and USGS, uses historical and current satellite data to provide an early warning for harmful algal blooms in freshwater. Since 2015, CyAN imagery has detected algal blooms in Ohio, Florida, California, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island before traditional monitoring efforts alerted watershed managers.

What is the public health and economic cost of air pollution from wildland fires? Researchers from EPA and NC State University, the University of Sydney, and the University of Tasmania recently determined that thousands of premature deaths and illnesses were caused by air pollution from wildfire smoke over a five-year period. The economic cost of these impacts is in the tens of billions of dollars.

Scientists at EPA’s Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center in Ada, Oklahoma are conducting world-class research to better protect our drinking water. The research center has specialized laboratories and tools to investigate and improve EPA’s ability to monitor, assess, and model contaminants in underground drinking water sources. Learn more about the center.

EPA scientists developed an interactive board game called Generate! to explore energy choices and the environment. Players can learn the costs and benefits of the energy choices we make, find out what happens if the mix of energy sources changes in the future, and learn what energy choices mean for our climate, air, water, and overall environmental quality. Find the printed materials here.

Researchers need to understand how complex mixtures of air pollutants are formed, transported, and eventually removed from the atmosphere. EPA’s Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) Modeling System, a computational tool that models multiple air pollutants and a variety of air toxics, has been updated to support research in this area. 

EPA is soliciting nominations for people qualified in the area of human health bioethics and biostatistics to serve on the Human Studies Review Board. For more information, read the Request for Nominations to the Human Studies Review Board, 2017, or the announcement at docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0239 Exit