Research Recap: This Week in EPA Science
By Kacey Fitzpatrick
One thing I’ve learned since starting work here at EPA is that we love to use acronyms. I even keep a running list in my notebook which I sometimes discretely check mid-conversation. For example, I work in EPA ORD IOAA Comms (translation: Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Immediate Office of the Assistant Administrator, Science Communications).
Read below to find out why a discussion at EPA involving PARIS isn’t necessarily about the city in France, and learn about more research that’s been highlighted this week.
That being said, here is today’s Research Recap: this week in EPA science, or as we like to call it: R.R. – T.W.I.E.P.A.S. (Just kidding!)
- PARIS III: EPA’s Solvent Substitution Software Tool
EPA researchers have developed a software tool called “Program for Assisting the Replacement of industrial Solvents, version 3.0, “ or PARIS III, that helps companies find alternate chemical mixtures or solvents that still improve their industrial processes but are not as harmful to our environment. The tool is provided by the EPA for free, and can be effective and efficiently used to help individuals find better and more benign solvent mixtures for many different common industrial processes.
- Digitally Detecting Waterborne Illnesses
EPA researchers are bringing current methods of monitoring human pathogens in drinking water into the digital age. This advancement would offer a whole new set of opportunities, including greater statistical power to detect if the pathogen is present and, if so, to determine its concentration.
Dr. Eric Villegas, a scientist working on the project explains, “Digital PCR can perform up to a million reactions in the same amount of time that standard techniques take, improving how we model the detection of waterborne pathogens.”
- EPA Announces Funding to Create Two New Drinking Water Innovation Centers.
Two EPA-funded innovation enters will develop and test advanced, low cost methods to reduce, control, and eliminate groups of water contaminants that present challenges to communities worldwide.
“These centers will help to develop innovative and practical solutions for challenges faced by smaller drinking water systems, which make up the majority of public water systems in the United States,” said Lek Kadeli, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development.
- EPA, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality renew partnerships with Hampton University, Norfolk State University
The goals of the partnership include promoting an increase in the number of minorities with careers in environmental science and environmental engineering, and promoting a greater understanding of the causes and effects of air pollution. The partnership will also continue an EPA-funded program called LEAP—Linking Environmental and Academic Programs—at both universities.
If you have any comments or questions about what I share or about the week’s events, please submit them below in the comments section!
About the Author: Writer Kacey Fitzpatrick recently joined the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development as a student contractor.
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