“Microplastics Sampling for Stormwater Management,” a research project being conducted at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) program.
Student teams from 21 colleges across the country received Phase I grants. The monetary award will help the teams further develop the concept for their proposed projects and make them eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $100,000 to continue their research.
The UTC team is led by Dr. Jejal-Reddy Bathi, assistant professor in civil engineering and coordinator of environmental engineering at the University.
Microplastics found in stormwater runoff can be difficult from a research point of view and also expensive for cities to control, Bathi explained. He said the research at UTC hopes to develop equipment that will reduce the technical and cost resources needed to deal with the problem.
“The simplicity and lower costs of utilizing this sampling device are expected to encourage communities to track and mitigate emerging microplastics pollution, thereby protecting public health and maintaining sustainable urban water resources,” he said.
The project is expected to include students from several departments at UTC, one of the goals of the EPA P3 program.
Now in its 20th year, the program “recognizes the power of students to translate imagination and science into new solutions that protect human health and the environment,” said Chris Frey, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development.
For more information, visit the EPA P3 website.