June 29, 2022

Rep. Neguse Announces CU Boulder Student Team as Winners of EPA Award

Lafayette, CO— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $25,000 to a student team at the University of Colorado, Boulder to develop a drinking water risk assessment tool. In total, the EPA awarded $399,837 in funding to 16 student teams for research and innovative solutions to address environmental and public health challenges. 

“I am thrilled to see the innovation coming from the students at CU Boulder. Protecting the environment and the water we drink is of the utmost concern, and these advancements will go a long way in helping us do precisely that and create a brighter future for Colorado, the West, and our planet. I look forward to seeing all that this program accomplishes.” said Congressman Neguse. 

The CU Boulder team will develop an alpha version of the Chemical Health Risk Identification System (CHRIS) tool to assist in rapid chemical risk assessment and treatment selection for global drinking water sources. The team, using risk factors such as known chemical occurrence, common chemical sources, and other environmental risk factors, will develop unique risk profiles for drinking water sources under a systematic review process. The tool will then suggest appropriate technologies and interventions to prevent community exposure to chemical contaminants. 

“The students honored today are leading the way when it comes to developing cutting-edge research to address some of our most challenging environmental concerns,” said Chris Frey, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development.?“I’m excited to support the next generation of scientists and engineers though EPA’s P3 program.”  

“This funding will help CU Boulder develop an initial version of a critical tool to empower people and communities to know more about the water they drink,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “Using the tool, people will be able to make better and more informed choices to protect themselves from chemical pollution.” 

“Chemical pollution is a contributor to global disease burden, and the CHRIS tool will fill an important knowledge gap by providing a wide range of stakeholders with knowledge about possible chemical toxin exposures in drinking water, along with appropriate treatment techniques for mitigation,” said Dr. Karl G. Linden, Mortenson Professor in Sustainable Development in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at CU Boulder. “Risk assessment tools such as this represent an important first step toward addressing the impacts of chemical pollutants on global health." 

Other projects around the country include a smartphone app to monitor household lead concentrations, a mesh material to prevent shoreline erosion, and a household heating system for Tribal communities that’s cleaner and more efficient. 

Learn more about the winnershere

More information on the P3 Program