News | January 30, 2014

EPA Awards Almost $9M In Grants To Researchers Working To Improve Water Quality

Recently at the 14th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced grants to four research institutions for innovative and sustainable water research to manage harmful nutrient pollution. Nutrient pollution is one of America's most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems, and is caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways.

“These grants will go towards research to help us better manage nutrients and better protect our precious water resources from the dangers of nutrient pollution, especially in a changing climate,” said Administrator McCarthy.

When excessive nitrogen and phosphorus enter our waterways -- usually via stormwater runoff and industrial activities -- our water can become polluted. Nutrient pollution has impacted many streams, rivers, lakes, bays and coastal waters for the past several decades, resulting in serious environmental and health issues, and negatively impacting the economy. For example, nutrient pollution can reduce oxygen levels in water, leading to illnesses in fish and the death of large numbers of fish. In some cases nutrient pollution leads to elevated toxins and bacterial growth in waters that can make people sick.

The Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants, announced by Administrator McCarthy today, are an integral part of EPA’s research on water quality and availability. Improving existing water infrastructure is costly, which makes creating new and sustainable approaches to water use, reuse and nutrient management important.

These grants support sustainable water research and demonstration projects consistent with a comprehensive strategy for managing nutrients and active community engagement throughout the research process.

The following institutions received grants:

  • Pennsylvania State University Center for Integrated Multi-scale Nutrient Pollution Solutions, to focus on nutrient flows in Pennsylvania and the Chesapeake basin;
  • University of South Florida Center for Reinventing Aging Infrastructure for Nutrient Management, to support Tampa Bay and similar coastal areas as they face problems of aging wastewater collection and treatment systems, and rapid population growth;
  • Colorado State University, Center for Comprehensive, Optimal, and Effective Abatement of Nutrients, for linking physical, biological, legal, social and economic aspects of nutrient management in the Western and Eastern United States; and
  • Water Environment Research Foundation, Alexandria, Va, National Center for Resource Recovery and Nutrient Management, for innovative research in nutrient reduction through resource recovery and behavioral factors affecting acceptance and implementation.

For more information on the grants and projects, visit http://epa.gov/ncer/nutrient.

For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/research/waterscience.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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