EPA Gives Small Businesses Contracts for Green Tech

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $1.6 million in contracts to 23 small companies to assist their efforts to bring promising new green technologies to market, according to a Feb. 20 press release.

This award is part of EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which helps small business throughout America develop technologies that are more protective of air and water quality and promote alternative sources of energy.

“Since 1982, EPA has been priming the pump of American ingenuity to better improve America’s environment,” said Kevin Teichman, deputy associate administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “We believe that small businesses can be leaders for green innovation and they are proving that economic and environmental gains can go hand in hand.” Among the many examples of initiatives to emerge from the program:

• Innova Tech of Morrisville, N.C. is developing an affordable new way for restaurants or food franchises with charcoal broilers to reduce emissions.

• DC Instruments of Thousand Oaks, Calif., will use sound waves to detect water leaks in aging water infrastructure pipes. Finding and repairing leaks promptly prevents costly pipe replacement.

• A previous year’s contractor, Compact Membrane Systems, developed a vapor recovery system that captures and re-stores escaping gasoline vapor at gas station pumps, saving fuel costs and preventing air pollution. The California Air Resources Board has mandated its use at more than 13,000 gas stations in California by April.

The Small Business Innovation Research projects are evaluated by the agency and those selected can receive awards up to $70,000 with a six-month period of performance. Those projects with the greatest commercial potential can become eligible for up to $225,000.

The 23 contract recipients received their awards in January. For information on the awardees, visit http://es.epa.gov/ncer/sbir/09awards/.