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Vermont Student Team Wins Grant for Environmental Project

Release Date: 10/17/2014
Contact Information: David Deegan (617) 918-1017

BOSTON – A student team from Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., is among five teams in New England chosen by the US Environmental Protection Agency to receive up to $15,000 to pursue projects that deliver sustainable, alternative methods of addressing environmental challenges.

The team at Norwich Universithy won the funding for a project to re-design pervious, or permeable, concrete to harvest and filter storm water runoff contaminated by organics, nutrients, and metals and convert it to meet drinking water quality standards. The project is called Pervious Concrete Filters for Sustainable Water Resources Management.

“Projects and designs created by student teams each year surpass our expectations,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “It’s exciting and hopeful that students are coming up with sustainable ways to address our country’s challenging environmental issues, while also helping to create a vibrant, growing economy.”

"This grant funding from the EPA, offers our Norwich student team the opportunity to present our design ideas on a national stage, in addition to raising water awareness on campus and sharing our research with the local community,” said Susan Limberg, student team leader. “Having the support of an enormous and respected agency such as the EPA behind us is a great encouragement to our team."

In addition to the group at Norwich University, teams at Bridgewater State University, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Worcester Polytech Institute and University of Connecticut were among 42 college teams nationwide selected for EPA’s annual Prosperity and the Planet (P3) student design competition.

Past P3 teams have used their winning ideas to form small businesses and non-profit organizations. An inter-collegiate team made up of students from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and two Chinese universities launched the nonprofit organization One Earth Design, based on their winning project: a solar-powered device that cooks, provides heat, and generates electricity.

Since 2004, the P3 Program has provided funding to student teams in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, committing over $10 million to cutting-edge, sustainable projects designed by university students. Projects from this year’s teams include sustainable alternatives to address the reduction of traffic congestion in Cincinnati, Ohio; extending the growing season for farmers by heating greenhouses with biomass; and environmentally friendly flame retardants.

Funding for the P3 projects is divided into two phases. In the first phase, student teams submit a proposal for a project, and if they are selected, they compete with other Phase I winners at the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. At the Expo, teams compete for Phase II funding of up to $75,000. This year marks the 11th year for the EPA P3 Program.

More information:
- the 2014 P3 Phase I Projects:
http://epa.gov/ncer/2014P3grantees
- EPA’s Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Program:
www.epa.gov/ncer/p3/

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