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University Beat

USF Water & Energy Initiatives Draw EPA Attention

Work by USF researchers into what Nancy Stoner calls "real-world problems" -- like detecting contaminated water supplies and turning wastewater into useable clean water and energy -- brought the Environmental Protection Agency official to the University Wednesday.

Stoner, the EPA's Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, visited the Patel College of Global Sustainability and a trio of labs at the Tampa and Lakeland campuses.

Stoner, along with other EPA officials and executives from the non-profit global educational organization, the Water Environment Federation, toured the Tampa labs of Civil and Environmental Engineering Associate Professor Daniel Yeh and Distinguished Professor of Microbiology Daniel Lim. They also visited USF's Lakeland campus and Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering George Philippidis.

She had high praise for the scientists' work.

"It's essential. As federal resources shrink for doing this kind of research, it's more important that we have more partners outside the federal government to work," she said.

Stoner also unveiled EPA's Blueprint for Integrating Technology Innovation Into the National Water Program. The plan encourages universities like USF to work more closely with both the government and private industry to develop technologies that the schools might one day bring to market.

"The point of the Blueprint is to further these partnerships...and identifying problems that these entities can solve and make money doing so," she said.

WUSF will have more on Stoner's visit on an upcoming University Beat report.