EPA Approves Biological Product for Controlling Mussels

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved use of a biological product for controlling invasive mussels.

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved use of a biological product for controlling invasive mussels.

Across the U.S. and Europe, invasive zebra and quagga mussels are crippling industrial and commercial water sources by clogging pipes and infesting freshwater lakes and rivers, resulting in billions of dollars of damage to civil and industrial infrastructure.

EPA has approved the use of Zequanox™, a biological treatment system from Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI).

“The Zequanox approval represents a revolutionary step in the treatment of this serious problem,” said Dr. Sarahann Rackl, MBI’s Invasive Mussel Project Leader. “By providing a safe and effective biological solution that does not harm other aquatic species, Zequanox could ultimately prevent millions of gallons of toxic chemical by-products from entering increasingly scarce water sources.”

Zequanox is derived from a common microbe found in soil and water bodies. The product has significant benefits over current chemical treatments, which can be toxic to beneficial species and pollute the waterways. It can be used by power plants and raw water treatment facilities as an alternative to chemical treatments, such as chlorine, or as a complement to chemical products.

The approval of Zequanox marks MBI’s expansion into the multi-billion dollar water market. In preparation of the EPA submission, MBI worked extensively with the Federal Bureau of Reclamation in a hydroelectric generation facility on the lower Colorado River under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, as well as with the Ontario Power Generation’s Niagara Plant Group.

Zequanox will initially be launched in power generation and industrial facilities in late 2011 and later will expand into open water treatments.

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