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October 2007

EPA awards $1 million in research grants to Ohio institutions

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded grants for research projects totaling almost $1 million to the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.

EPA awarded $698,689 to the University of Cincinnati to provide a fundamental understanding of how a toxic substance produced by blue-green algae can be changed by exposure to ultraviolet light, a process used to disinfect drinking water.

Blue-green algae are bacteria that can grow in freshwater lakes, ponds, and wetlands. Some blue-green algal blooms can be toxic if swallowed by wildlife, livestock or people who drink untreated water. The research will be critical to developing cost-efficient ultraviolet technologies to treat water contaminated by the toxin.

The Agency also made a $299,581 grant to the Partnership for Industrial Ecology in Central Ohio whose members include Ohio State University and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio. The partnership will develop an industrial ecosystem tool kit for use in reducing the amount of waste going into central Ohio landfills by 15 percent over the next five years.

The grants were made by EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research. The grant to the University of Cincinnati was made under EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program in conjunction with Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms, an interagency research program aimed at the prevention, control, and mitigation of harmful algal blooms.

The grant to Ohio State University and SWACO was made under the center’s Collaborative Science and Technology Network for Sustainability, another STAR program, that helps solve local environmental problems through collaboration between federal, state and/or local agencies and others.