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Going for the Gold with Green Technology

Release Date: 05/11/2006
Contact Information: Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C. - May 11, 2006) Students from Appalachian State University drove from North Carolina to Washington, D.C., in a bus entirely powered by biodiesel fuel made from recycled cooking oil. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor students are "growing" materials for construction of buildings, both to use natural fibers and to encourage a new market for agriculture. These were just two of the winning projects at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) awards ceremony last night.

"P3 releases the power of the possible to advance sustainable solutions to environmental challenges," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "I am pleased that our nation's future leaders are answering President Bush's call to deliver environmental and economic results by expanding technology and innovation."

This national competition, sponsored by EPA's Office of Research and Development, enables college students to research, develop and design scientific, technical, and policy solutions to sustainability challenges. Sustainable solutions are environmentally friendly, efficiently use natural resources and are economically competitive. The P3 award includes funding up to $75,000 that gives the students an opportunity to further develop their designs and move them to the marketplace.

Winners of this year's awards and their projects are:
Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C. - Closing the Biodiesel Loop: community based production of ASTM D6751-03 standard fuel from local waste vegetable oil;
Lafayette College, Easton, Pa. - Sustainable Water Systems in Honduras - a simple method to remove inorganic arsenic from groundwater sources;
Portland State University, Portland, Ore. - WISE, an interactive website for educators and students on a holistic (whole systems) approach to sustainable development guided by the WISE owl;
Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. - The Green Dorm: design and construction of a sustainable facility for residential, laboratory and commons space;
University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Mass. - Cancer treatment drugs from green tea - novel used non-toxic enzymes to extract poly(catechins) with promising anti-tumor activity; and
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Growing Alternative Sustainable Buildings from natural fiber, biodegradable or recyclable materials.

The P3 Award competition was held at EPA's first National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The students exhibited their design projects while companies, non-profit organizations and government agencies exhibited their commercially successful sustainable technologies. Support for the competition includes more than 45 partners in the federal government, industry and scientific and professional societies.

More information about the P3 Award competition:

P3 award winners and their projects:

EPA's sustainability research program: