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EPA Honors Missouri University of Science and Technology Student and Faculty Team

Release Date: 04/22/2013
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, 913-551-7557, lancaster.kris@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., April 22, 2013) - EPA announced today that the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Mo., was awarded second prize among small institutions in EPA’s first-ever Campus RainWorks Challenge competition.

Stormwater is one of the most widespread challenges to water quality in the nation. Large volumes of stormwater pollute our nation’s streams, rivers and lakes, posing a threat to human health and contributing to downstream flooding.

“EPA is committed to developing innovative and sustainable solutions for reducing stormwater pollution,” said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. “From my visits to Rolla, and conversations with university students and faculty, I’ve always been encouraged by these engineers’ creative approach to solving common environmental challenges in uncommon ways. Through these kinds of programs, we hope to inspire landscape architects, planners and engineers to develop innovative green infrastructure systems that improve water quality.”

The Campus RainWorks Challenge engages students and faculty members at colleges and universities to apply green infrastructure principles and design, encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, and increase the use of green infrastructure on campuses across the nation. Teams of undergraduate and graduate students, working with a faculty advisor, developed innovative green infrastructure designs for a site on their campus showing how managing stormwater at its source can benefit the campus community and environment.

The goals of the university team’s plan are to improve campus stormwater management in order to mitigate eutrophication and sedimentation in Frisco Lake, a recreational and ecological resource for students.

The team developed designs for five green infrastructure projects and identified a green roof, rain garden, and permeable pavement projects as the most cost-effective. The team selected highly visible sites for all three projects, and calculated the anticipated runoff reduction, pollutant removal, and cost of each project to identify the most cost-effective practices.

In addition to presenting their designs to faculty and students, the team consulted with the school’s chancellor and physical facilities, landscaping and maintenance, and environmental health and safety departments. This collaboration allowed the team to phase their projects to coincide with planned demolition and construction activities. The permeable pavement project, for example, is phased to coincide with the conversion of a parking area into a pedestrian walkway.

The university team is comprised of 22 students from a diversity of disciplines, including: engineering, art history, biology, business, economics, finance, education, graphic design, and history. As a second prize winner, the team will receive a $1,500 cash award and $8,000 for faculty research on green infrastructure.

The Campus RainWorks Challenge received submissions from 218 teams, which were reviewed by more than 30 expert judges from EPA, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Water Environment Federation, and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Green infrastructure helps communities to maintain healthy waters, support sustainable communities, and provide multiple environmental benefits. Green infrastructure captures and filters pollutants by passing stormwater through soils and retaining it on site. Examples of effective green infrastructure include green roofs, alternative designs for streets and buildings, trees, rain gardens and rain harvesting systems.

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More information on the Campus RainWorks Program

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