WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $660,000 to 66 student teams for the 2004-2005 academic year to research and develop sustainable designs through the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) competition. According to the EPA, sustainable development allows communities to grow economically while preserving natural resources for future generations. Students will design solutions that both benefit the environment and are not prohibitively expensive.

"As our planet's resources are limited, moving our society towards sustainable development is imperative," said Dr. Paul Gilman, assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development. "I'm pleased to say that many companies are already doing this."

The P3 national student design competition was launched in January 2004. More than 40 partners in the federal government, industry, and scientific and professional societies provide support. Project focus areas include: green buildings and sustainable construction materials, biodiesel production and use, drinking water quality and supply, alternative energy sources and fuel cells, urban redevelopment, and green chemistry.

In May 2005, all teams will be invited to bring their designs to Washington, D.C., to compete for the P3 Award. The National Academy of Engineering will convene a panel of judges for the competition. Winners will be eligible for additional funding to implement their project in the field and move the design to the marketplace.

A list of P3 national student design competition teams and their projects is available at http://es.epa.gov/ncer/p3/projects/index.html.

Publication date: 11/08/2004