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EPA Highlights for the Week of December 5, 2016

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Improving the Safety and Reliability of Drinking Water

Glass being filled with tap waterEnsuring that all Americans have access to safe drinking water is a priority for EPA.While America's drinking water remains among the safest in the world, the drinking water sector faces a growing array of challenges including aging infrastructure, emerging contaminants, and the impacts from drought and other climate events. EPA recently released a plan that serves as a national call to action, urging all levels of government, utilities, and community organizations to work together to increase the safety and reliability of drinking water.

Priorities of the Drinking Water Action Plan include building water infrastructure in disadvantaged, small, and environmental justice communities, addressing unregulated contaminants, improving transparency and communication on drinking water safety, and reducing lead risks. Partnership and collaboration across all levels of government, utilities, the private sector, and the public will be essential to the success of the plan.

Learn more about the six priorities of the Drinking Water Action Plan.

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EPA Honors Combined Heat and Power Award Winners

Conventional Generation vs. CHP: Overall EfficiencyEnergy efficiency saves businesses money and reduces air pollution.EPA recently presented the ENERGY STAR Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Awards to four facilities for the superior performance of their CHP systems. Three of the CHP systems are located at medical centers where energy efficiency is a key strategy to control the cost of health care. The fourth award-winning CHP system is located at an Army National Guard facility. 

These CHP systems achieved operating efficiencies of 70 to 75 percent, much higher than the efficiency of separate production of electricity and thermal energy. The four systems together save an estimated four million dollars annually.

Read more about the winners.

P3 Student Design Competition Now Open

P3 Competition The P3 competition empowers students to solve environmental problems.EPA's P3 – People, Prosperity and the Planet—Program is a unique college competition for designing solutions for a sustainable future. P3 offers students quality hands-on experience that brings their classroom learning to life.

The 2017 Request for Applications is now open. For the first phase of the competition, interdisciplinary student teams submit proposals to compete for a $15,000 grant for project ideas addressing environmental solutions for a sustainable future.

The deadline for applications is February 3, 2017. Learn how to apply for a P3 grant.

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EPA Announces $1.3 Million to Small Businesses

SBIR booth at an industry conferenceSmall businesses play an integral role in creating technologies that help ensure a sustainable future.EPA recently announced the award of $1.3 million to 13 small businesses around the country to develop and commercialize technologies to solve current environmental issues.

Each of the 13 companies will receive a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract for up to $100,000 to develop their green technology. If Phase I is successful, companies will be eligible to apply for a Phase II contract of up to $300,000 to develop and commercialize their technology for the marketplace.

Learn more about the SBIR program.

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