The EPA’s announced the start of research projects in 14 states including Texas, Kansas and Nebraska. The various projects will address what the agency called “priority environmental and human health problems.”
The research will be carried out through partnerships between the EPA’s research office, regional offices and states.
One of the partnerships is between EPA Region 6 and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to develop a low-cost sensor to detect harmful air emissions known as volatile organic compounds. Those compounds contribute to the formation of ozone, considered to be a significant source of air pollution in many parts of Texas.
The EPA Region 7 office will work with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality in development of tools for harmful algal blooms. The blooms often lead to drinking water contamination of E. coli. The Kansas project will evaluate the use of new molecular-based technology to identify the species that produce the toxins and factors promoting toxic blooms. In Nebraska, the technology will identify sources of fecal contamination in rivers and lakes.