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College Students Lead the U.S. towards a Greener Future - EPA P3 Awards Winners

Release Date: 04/26/2007
Contact Information: Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C. - April 26, 2007) Students from Western Washington University drove from Washington State to Washington, D.C., in a car entirely powered by biodiesel fuel made from recovered landfill methane. Northwestern students built a solar powered system that provides electricity to a rural town in Panama, miles away from any electric power grid. The University of Virginia team designed and built a floating "learning barge," that teaches about cleaning up and restoring plant to a river area by doing it! These were just a few of the winning projects at EPA's People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) awards ceremony last night.

This national competition, sponsored by EPA's Office of Research and Development, enables college students create sustainable solutions to environmental problems through technology innovation. These sustainable solutions must be environmentally friendly, efficiently use natural resources and be economically competitive. Each 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.

"The Bush Administration believes that American innovation is the key to solving our nation's – and our world's – environmental challenges," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Not only are these students unleashing the power of the possible to meet tomorrow's challenges, they are proving that doing what's good for our planet can also be good for the bottom line."

Winners of this year's awards and their projects are:

  • Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C., The Affordable Bioshelters Project: Testing Technologies for Affordable Bioshelters
  • Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., Containment of Highly Concentrated Arsenic-laden Spent Regenerant on the Indian Subcontinent
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., Solar Photovoltaic System Design for a Remote Community in Panama
  • University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, Ill., An Innovative System for Bioremediation of Agricultural Chemicals for Environmental Sustainability
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., The Learning Barge: Environmental + Cultural Ecologies on the Elizabeth River
  • Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash., Bio-Methane for Transportation

The P3 Award competition was held at EPA's 3rd National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on April 24 and 25. The Expo showcases innovative, cutting-edge technologies designed by the P3 teams along with sustainable policies and technologies developed and implemented by government and state agencies and nonprofit organizations. Support for the competition includes more than 40 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: