Month: July 2019

EPA Awards $2.3 Million in Funding for 21 Small Businesses to Develop Innovative Environmental Technologies

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $2.3 million in funding for 21 small businesses to develop technologies that will help protect human health and the environment by monitoring air quality, treating drinking water, cleaning up contaminated sites, and creating greener, less toxic materials.

“These funds support small businesses that have developed new technologies to monitor air quality, test for PFAS, and address other pressing environmental challenges,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Through EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program, we provide important assistance to entrepreneurs as they develop innovative solutions that will strengthen both environmental protections and economic growth.” 

These 21 small businesses are receiving Phase I contracts from EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which awards contracts annually through a two-phase competition. Companies compete for a Phase I award of up to $100,000 by submitting research that addresses key environmental issues. After receiving a Phase I award, companies are eligible to compete for a Phase II award of up to $300,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology.

SBIR Phase I recipients include:

  • Creare LLC, Hanover, N.H., AirQAST Portable Automated Air Quality Monitoring
  • Anfiro, Inc., Woburn, Mass., Block Copolymer Membranes for Total Removal of Ionic and Nonionic PFAS from Industrial Wastewaters Optionally Co-Contaminated by Alcohols
  • Brisea Group, Inc., Parsippany, N.J., Development of Microwave-assisted Membrane Filtration for Pretreatment of PFAS in Industrial Wastewater
  • AAPLasma LLC, Feasterville, Pa., Non-Thermal Plasma Assisted Inactivation of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Wastewater
  • Framergy Inc., Wilmington, Del., Innovative Pretreatment Technologies for PFAS in Industrial Wastewater
  • Mainstream Engineering Corporation, Rockledge, Fla., Field-deployable Measurement of Fluorocarbons in Water
  • PTP Strategy LLC, Gainsville, Fla., CDD-SORT: A Next-Generation System to Detect Hazardous & Recyclable Materials in Discarded C&D Debris
  • Faraday Technology Inc., Englewood, Ohio, Electrochemical Pretreatment of PFAS-Contaminated Aqueous Effluents; Electrochemical Extraction and Remediation of PFAS in Soils
  • Talk About It Solutions DBA Remooble, Maple Grove, Minn., Fast Acting Bio-Derived and Bio-Degradable Paint Removers for Epoxy, Latex and Lacquer Coatings
  • Claros Technologies Inc., Stillwater, Minn., Novel Sorbent Technology for Simultaneous Removal and Degradation of Waterborne PFAS
  • Polykala Technologies LLC, San Antonio, Texas, Development of “Smart” Polymer Nanofiber Mats for Selective and Efficient Removal of PFAS from Landfill Leachate 
  • TDA Research Inc., Wheat Ridge, Colo., Disposable Test Strips for Ultra-Sensitive Quantification of Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Ground Water; Development of a Non-Toxic Paint Stripper
  • Sporian Microsystems Inc., Lafayette, Colo., Low Cost Hyperspectral Measurement System to identify Harmful Materials in Construction and Demolition (C&D) Materials
  • Oxbyel Technologies, Inc., Mesa, Ariz., Electrochemical Mineralization of PFAS in Industrial Wastewater
  • QuakeWrap, Inc., Tucson, Ariz., Trenchless Water Main Point Repairs with SuperLaminate
  • 2W iTech LLC, San Diego, Calif, Rapid Field Trace Detection of Perfluoroalkyl Substance in Water
  • BioLargo, Inc., Westminster, Calif., Aqueous Electrostatic Concentrator to Remove Per-and Poly-fluroakyl Substances from Water
  • KWJ Engineering Incorporated, Newark, Calif., Ultralow Power Sensor Package for Ground Level Air Pollution Levels from Wildland Fires
  • MicroAeth Corporation DBA AethLabs, San Francisco, Calif., Black Carbon and UV Particulate Matter, Multi-Gas, Multi Pollutant Sensor Platform
  • Intellisense Systems, Inc., Torrance, Calif., Remote Air Quality Reporting (RAQR) Device
  • Enoveo USA, Berkeley, Calif., The NODE biosensor: real-time contaminant detection in stormwater

EPA’s SBIR funding supports both the economy and the environment by creating jobs and promoting small businesses to bring environmental technologies to market. One EPA SBIR small business, GreenTechnologies, LLC, is commercializing a sustainable and innovative treatment and nutrient recovery process for wastewater. Their processes recover nutrients such as phosphorus, carbon and nitrogen in wastewater and convert the excess nutrients into sustainable slow-release fertilizers, branded under the name GreenEdge®, which are being sold commercially throughout the country and internationally.

EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, enacted in 1982 to strengthen the role of small businesses in federal research and development, create jobs, and promote U.S. technical innovation. To be eligible, a company must be an organized, for-profit U.S. business and have fewer than 500 employees.

For more information on EPA’s SBIR Phase I recipients, visit https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/641/records_per_page/ALL

Learn more about EPA’s SBIR program at www.epa.gov/sbir and learn about the current open Phase 1 SBIR solicitation, which closes on July 31, at www.epa.gov/sbir/sbir-funding-opportunities

Learn more about the federal SBIR program at www.SBIR.gov.

U.S. Reps Unveil Next Step to Remove, Prevent Marine Pollution

Read the full story in Waste360.

The Save Our Seas Act 2.0 legislation builds on the successes of the Save Our Seas Act, which was signed into law last year.

U.S. universities battle a security storm in Congress

Read the full story in Science.

The threat from China is real, U.S. academic leaders say. But so, too, is the possibility that federal efforts to combat that threat could inhibit the U.S. research enterprise.

Webinar: Employing Energy Efficiency to Protect Health and Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change

Tue, Aug 6, 2019 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT
Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6961079984083993613

ACEEE’s new webinar series explores the intersections of health, environment, and energy, and highlights the latest research from experts in these fields, emphasizing promising practices in program design and policy implementation. Join us for our second webinar in the series, “Employing Energy Efficiency to Protect Health and Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change.”

Energy efficiency is a cost-effective strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the health effects of climate change. By saving energy in buildings and making vehicles more fuel efficient, we reduce our need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. These reductions in pollution mean big gains for health.

Doctors will share their experiences advocating for energy efficiency policies as a strategy to mitigate the health effects of climate change in state legislatures. Experts will also discuss how energy efficiency can play a role in protecting public health by reducing greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants.

Speakers

  • Mona Sarfaty, MD MPH FAAFP, Executive Director, Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University
  • Aparna Bole, MD FAAP, Medical Director, Community Integration, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Cassandra Kubes, Research Manager, Health and Environment, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo exit plastic lobbying group amid environmental concerns

Read the full story in Supply Chain Dive.

In response to pressure from public and environmental groups, both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo announced they are withdrawing from the Plastic Industry Association this year, reported CNBC.

Both companies cited disagreements with the policy and advocacy work of the trade association, but would not elaborate on the policies with which they disagree.

Exiting the association aligns with the companies’ sustainability policies. Coca-Cola aims to have its packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, while PepsiCo is working to have its products be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by the same year.

Webinar: Building Energy and Water Efficiency Solutions

August 8, 2019 11 am CDT
Register at https://www.serdp-estcp.org/Tools-and-Training/Webinar-Series/08-08-2019

Energy and Water Efficiency Improvements for Dishrooms in Military Dining Facilities by Dr. Frank Johnson

Energy and water usage for commercial food service have a significant impact on the overall usage of a facility. Daily meal preparation and cleanup in a military dining facility (DFAC) represents more than 75% of the energy and water load. Within the food service facility itself, the dishwashing room or “dishroom” has the highest energy intensity compared to the other zones within a DFAC. This project identified and demonstrated dish machine with waste water heat recovery to reduce the energy and water usage and intensity within a dishroom used for cleaning and sanitizing flatware, dishes, cooking vessels and other food service-related utensils at a military installation. Results showed a savings of 35 therms per day of natural gas and 6,375 gallons of water per day when replacing the existing machine with an energy efficient design. These savings equate to 12,775 therms and 2.33 million gallons of water per year.

Hygroscopic Cooling Tower for Reduced Heating, Ventilation, and Air Cooling Water Consumption by Dr. Christopher Martin

This project is evaluating technology for water use reduction at Department of Defense (DoD) facilities that use cooling towers for building comfort control, cold storage and data center cooling. Since they approach the ambient wet bulb temperature, cooling towers allow chillers and other equipment to maintain operating efficiency, even during periods with a high dry bulb temperature. However, cooling towers are intense consumers of water and are a key target for water conservation improvements. Hygroscopic cooling is an advanced cooling tower concept intended to optimize water use without significant degradation of cooling performance. With this system, 100% of the makeup water is evaporated for cooling; no water is wasted in a blowdown stream. Additionally, when ambient dry bulb temperatures are cool enough, water evaporation in the hygroscopic system is restricted to increase the proportion of dry sensible cooling. This technology is being demonstrated at two DoD facilities with contrasting climates to determine its range of water saving potential. The presentation will discuss hygroscopic cooling within the context of conventional wet cooling towers and existing water saving techniques together with demonstration updates from the two DoD facilities.

Has Your Doctor Talked To You About Climate Change?

Read the full story from NPR.

In June, the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association were among 70 medical and public health groups that issued a call to action asking the U.S. government, business and leaders to recognize climate change as a health emergency.

Midwestern farmers’ struggles with extreme weather are visible from space

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

From space, the U.S. Midwest is more brown belt than farm belt right now.

At this time of year, a band of deep Kelly green should spread from Ohio to North Dakota as corn and soybeans race to pack on size before they pollinate and bear fruit. But 2019’s unprecedented rains have uprooted the typical course of events. Some crops are waterlogged and stunted. Others won’t be planted at all.

Unplanted, drowned or late fields have two things in common: They look brown from space, and they mean farmers will probably harvest less corn and soybeans this year than they had planned.

A Climate-resilient Los Angeles Must First Address Its Polluted Past

Read the full story in The Revelator.

To meet ambitious climate goals, L.A. needs more local water. A critical step is battling the ghosts of industry past — polluted groundwater that dates back to World War II.

Dozens of U.K. Species Have Been Displaced by Climate Change In Last 10 Years

Read the full story at e360 Digest.

Fifty-five animal species in the United Kingdom have been displaced from their natural ranges over the past decade due to rising temperatures. The species have shifted as far as hundreds of miles poleward in search of cooler climes, with some crossing seas to arrive for the first time ever in the U.K., according to a new study in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

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