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$22 MILLION HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE GRANT TO 22 UNIVERSITIES; 30 PERCENT OF MONEY MUST ASSIST LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES

Release Date: 11/19/2001
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Environmental News

FOR RELEASE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2001

***EMBARGOED UNTIL 5 P.M., EST, NOV. 19***

$22 MILLION HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE GRANT TO 22 UNIVERSITIES;
30 PERCENT OF MONEY MUST ASSIST LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES

Dave Ryan 202-564-7827 / ryan.dave@epa.gov


EPA Administrator Christie Whitman today awarded more than $22 million in research grants to establish five new Hazardous Substance Research Centers affiliated with 22 universities. The Centers will address concerns about hazardous substances in the environment by conducting basic and applied research, and providing technology transfer and community outreach. Whitman announced the awards at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C.

Thirty percent of the total grant money will be used to provide outreach and technology support to help citizens in low-income communities become effective participants in hazardous substance management decisions that might affect them.

The Johns Hopkins University will study the processes for detecting, assessing and managing risks associated with the use and disposal of hazardous substances in urban environments. The Centers at Purdue University in Indiana, Oregon State University, Louisiana State University and Colorado State University will investigate the removal of contaminants from the environment.

The grants were awarded by two EPA offices: the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, and the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program in the Office of Research and Development. STAR is an ongoing $100 million a year grant program designed to engage the nation’s best university scientists and engineers in environmental research.

Uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites, like warehouses and landfills, exist on thousands of properties where chemical wastes were dumped in the past. Congress established the Superfund Program in 1980 to locate, investigate and clean up the worst sites nationwide. The new Centers are part of EPA’s program to fund research and training on the management of hazardous substances and publish the research results.

The Centers will also work on the remediation and redevelopment of Brownfields. These are abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.

The following describes the research programs planned at the five new Centers and the grant amount received:

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., “EPA Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments” will receive $5.2 million. The mission of this Center is to promote a better understanding of processes for detecting, assessing and managing risks associated with the use and disposal of hazardous substances in urban environments. The Center is a consortium of universities that will provide technical expertise to community groups, state, municipal and local environmental regulators and industry in the Northeast.

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., “Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, and Great Plains Hazardous Substance Research Center for Integrated Remediation Using Managed Natural Systems” will receive $4.5 million. This consortium of universities will focus on low-cost remediation technologies to remove contaminants from the environment and restore ecosystem quality, thereby enhancing site redevelopment options. The focus of this Center will be the remediation needs of the Midwest, Middle Atlantic and Great Plains states.

Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore., “Western Region Hazardous Substance Research Center for Developing In-Situ Processes for VOC Remediation in Groundwater and Soils” will receive $4.5 million. This Center will focus on the remediation of below-ground contamination problems associated with volatile organic chemicals and known groundwater contaminants, especially in the western part of the country.

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La., “South and Southwest Hazardous Substance Research Center” will receive $4.5 million. The objective of this Research Center is to provide information about the engineering management of contaminated sediments and other problems of special interest to communities in southeastern parts of the country.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., “Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center for Remediation of Mine Waste Sites” will receive $3.8 million. This Center will focus on developing new or improved methods or technologies to clean up environmental problems associated with mine wastes, especially in the Rocky Mountains.

The other affiliated universities that will share in this grant money are: New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark; Morgan State University, Baltimore, Md.; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Connecticut, Storrs; Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta; Rice University, Houston, Texas; Texas A&M University, College Station; Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio; Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, Kan.; Howard University, Washington, D.C.; Kansas State University, Manhattan; Michigan State University, East Lansing; University of Cincinnati; University of Missouri, Rolla; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg; Colorado School of Mines, Golden; Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

For additional information on the program, contact Estella Waldman of EPA at 202-564-6836 ( waldman.estella@epa.gov ) or go to: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/centers/hsrc

For additional information on the individual Centers, contact the Center directors:

Edward Bouwer, Johns Hopkins University, 410-516-7437
Katherine Banks, Purdue University, 765-496-3424
Lewis Semprini, Oregon State University, 541-737-6895
Danny Reible, Louisiana State University, 225-388-6770
Charles Shackelford, Colorado State University, 970-491-5051

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