EPA Action: SBIR grants offer small businesses big payoffs in new technologies America

Also in this report: U.S., Japan consider co-benefits of domestic, global environmental programs; 5 sites added, 5 more proposed for Superfund's National Priorities List; EPA Performance Track Program reaches 470-member mark; Water protection leader named new director of Chesapeake Bay Program; Agency, Smithsonian strengthen Americans' access to environmental information; DOJ reach $2.6 million settlement with Sauget, Ill., Superfund responsible parties...

In other news below:
-- U.S., Japan consider co-benefits of domestic, global environmental programs
-- 5 sites added, 5 more proposed for Superfund's National Priorities List
-- EPA Performance Track Program reaches 470-member mark
-- Water protection leader named new director of Chesapeake Bay Program
-- EPA, Smithsonian strengthen Americans' access to environmental information
-- EPA, DOJ reach $2.6 million settlement with Sauget, Ill., Superfund responsible parties
-- Oil, gas industry agrees to work with EPA in solving environmental problems

Small businesses, big payoffs in new technologies for America -- WASHINGTON, DC, March 8, 2007 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recently announced $2.52 million in contracts to 36 small businesses to develop new technologies that will protect human health and the environment. Recipients of these awards will research issues that range from protecting the Great Lakes to homeland security to nanotechnology and more.

"President Bush understands the health and prosperity of our nation is due to the strength and ingenuity of our small businesses," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "These grants will help spur innovation from America's small businesses so they can continue driving our economy and powering our environmental successes."

The awards were given to businesses in 22 states under EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. SBIR was established to ensure that new technologies are developed to solve priority environmental problems. EPA is one of 12 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 in the United States.

Today's awards will focus on 14 key environmental areas: protecting the Great Lakes; improving air quality; monitoring metals from incinerators; developing sensors to determine whether waters are safe for swimming; finding new techniques for "green" buildings; managing mining wastes; reducing pollution from animal feeding operations; treating drinking water; managing wastewater; finding innovations in manufacturing for environmental protection; protecting the environment using nanotechnology; reducing engine and vehicle emissions; improving homeland security; and developing new methods to produce biodiesel, butanol and ethanol.

There are approximately 25 million small businesses in the United States that employ over 50% of workers and develop most of the country's new technologies. To participate in SBIR, a small business must have fewer than 500 employees, and at least 51% of the business must be owned by U.S. citizens.

From March 15 to May 23, EPA will again be requesting applications for the development of new environmental technologies. Visit EPA's SBIR website at www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir to learn more.

A list of all SBIR awards and more information about each project are available at: www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir/07awards

U.S., Japan consider co-benefits of domestic, global environmental programs -- WASHINGTON, DC, March 8, 2007 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Japanese Ministry of Environment (MOEJ) held a Washington workshop on March 5-6 at the World Resources Institute, a globally-recognized organization on the issues of climate change and sustainable development, to expand their efforts on climate change and sustainable development in developing countries. This week's workshop is the third EPA-Japan meeting in the past 12 months focused on co-benefits in the transportation, agriculture, energy, and waste sectors in developing countries...

EPA adds 5 and proposes 5 sites to Superfund's National Priorities List -- WASHINGTON, DC, March 7, 2007 -- The EPA is adding five new hazardous waste sites that pose risks to human health and the environment to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. The following sites have been added to the cleanup list:
-- Elm Street Ground Water Contamination, Terre Haute, IN
-- Sonford Products, Flowood, MS
-- Bandera Road Ground Water Plume, Leon Valley, TX
-- East 67th Street Ground Water Plume, Odessa, TX
-- Lockheed West Seattle, Seattle, WA
This brings the total number of sites (or final sites) on the cleanup list to 1,245.
The agency also is proposing to add five other sites:
-- Halaco Engineering Company, Oxnard, CA
-- Eagle Zinc Co Div T L Diamond, Hillsboro, IL
-- Eagle Picher Carefree Battery, Socorro, NM
-- Formosa Mine, Douglas County, OrR
-- Five Points PCE Plume, Woods Cross/Bountiful, UT
With the proposal of the five new sites, there are 61 proposed sites awaiting final agency action: 56 in the general Superfund section and five in the federal facilities section. Altogether, there are 1,306 final and proposed sites. To date, there have been 1,562 sites listed on the NPL, with 317 of these sites deleted.
For state-by-state details on individual sites added, see related press releases from March 7 and 8, 2006, clicking here.

EPA Performance Track Program reaches 470-member mark -- WASHINGTON, DC, March 6, 2007 -- From leading food and beverage companies to a major automobile manufacturer, 55 new facilities have joined the National Environmental Performance Track. The partnership program recognizes facilities that set three-year goals for continuous improvements in environmental performance beyond their legal requirements, have internal systems in place to manage their environmental impacts, engage in local outreach about their performance and publicly report results. Since the 2000 inception of this facility-based rather than company-based program, Performance Track membership has grown to 470 members in 46 states and Puerto Rico, and those members have made 1,500 commitments to benefit the environment in both regulated and unregulated areas. To date, Performance Track members have collectively reduced their water use by 3.5 billion gallons, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 88,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, and conserved over 14,000 acres of land while helping to protect their local and national environment. Performance Track members come from a wide range of industries, such as automotive, paper, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and government agencies. For more information on the National Environmental Performance Track program, click here...
Also see:
-- "8 Facilities in the Southeast Commit to Environmental Improvements Beyond Regulatory Requirements" (3/8/07)
-- "EPA Region 7 Welcomes Three Iowa Facilities to the National Environmental Performance Track Program" (3/7/07)
-- "EPA Region 7 Welcomes Eaton Corp. of Kearney, Neb., to the National Environmental Performance Track Program" (3/7/07)
-- "EPA Region 7 Welcomes Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. of Topeka, Kan., to the National Environmental Performance Track Program " (3/7/07)

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Among other recent EPA announcements:
-- "Conference Aims to Boost Environmental Education State-wide in West Virginia" (3/8/07)
-- "Water Protection Leader Named New Director of Chesapeake Bay Program" (3/6/07)
-- "EPA, Smithsonian strengthen Americans' access to environmental information" (3/6/07)
-- "Facilities earn spots in EPA top-performance program" (3/6/07)
-- "EPA Grants Spur Environmental Stewardship In New York Classrooms, Rivers and Parks" (3/6/07)
-- "EPA Grants Spur Environmental Stewardship In New Jersey's Kids and Communities" (3/6/07)
-- "EPA Rated Top Magnet for Postdocs" (3/5/07)

Among other regulatory actions:
-- "EPA, DOJ reach $2.6 million settlement with Sauget, Ill., Superfund responsible parties" (3/7/07)
-- "U.S. EPA issues violation notice for illegal sewer pipe in Thermal, Calif." (3/7/07)
-- "EPA Proposes Plan to Clean Up Fulton Avenue Site" (3/5/07)
-- "EPA Settlement with Dry Cleaner on St. Thomas Pushes Business into the Here and Now" (3/5/07)

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In earlier "EPA Action" reports, see: "Oil, gas industry agrees to work with EPA in solving environmental problems"

For water-related news releases at the EPA website, click here.

For the latest news releases from the EPA website, click here.

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