Nitrate reduction technology secures EPA future technologies award for Virginia Tech

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PHILADELPHIA, PA, May 12, 2010 -- A project proposed by a team of Virginia Tech students won federal funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its potential to help scientists keep water ecosystems clean and healthy. EPA awarded a $9,927 P3 grant -- People, Prosperity and the Planet -- to the Virginia Tech team to further design their project for possible implementation in the field.

"These innovative students from Virginia Tech not only develop technologies for a greener future, but demonstrate the passion and innovative thinking that will lead us there," said Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator for EPA's mid-Atlantic region.

This national competition, sponsored by EPA's Office of Research and Development, encourages college students to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems through technological innovation. These sustainable solutions must be environmentally friendly, efficiently use natural resources and be economically competitive. Each P3 award winner receives funding to further develop a project for future use.

In their winning project, Virginia Tech students developed a method of using bacteria to reduce nitrate levels in a local stream so plants and sea life could flourish in a clean and healthy ecosystem. High nitrate levels in water can lead to algae growth and a reduction of available oxygen.

Virginia Tech was one of 14 universities winning EPA's 2010 P3 award. More information on Virginia Tech's project and the other winners is available at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/p3/project_websites/2010/2010awardwinners.html .

Support for the competition includes more than 40 partners in the federal government, industry and scientific and professional societies.

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