[Pharmwaste] EPA grant awarded to reduce pharm in enviro

Meleesa Johnson Johnsome at co.portage.wi.us
Wed Feb 8 16:50:28 EST 2006

Villanova University wins federal funding to reduce pharmaceuticals in the 
Release date:01/27/2006 
PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented a 
$101,125 pollution prevention grant to Villanova University in Delaware 
County, Pa. today to study what can be done to reduce the presence of 
pharmaceuticals in the environment.

Villanova will carry out a project to prevent pharmaceutically-active 
chemicals from entering the environment. Under the direction of Dr. 
Rominder Suri, director of the Villanova Center for the Environment, the 
project will identify ways to better manage how prescription and 
non-prescription pharmaceuticals are discarded from university 
dormitories. Additionally, the project is developing technology to reduce 
pollution by preventing pharmaceutically-active chemicals from leaving 
municipal wastewater treatment plants. 

“Villanova’s project is significant because it gives us a head start at 
working on ways to effectively reduce pharmaceuticals in the environment 
while continuing to learn more about this emerging environmental issue,” 
said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “Although 
EPA is funding this project, the results of Villanova’s work can be useful 
for other universities that are voluntarily taking steps to reduce 
pollution on their campuses as their commitment to improving the 

“The leadership of EPA in tackling this problem is exemplary and 
commendable,” said Suri. “They are recognizing the problem and are taking 
steps to protect the environment and human populations while at the same 
time helping the industry by developing treatment technologies and 
innovative waste minimization approaches.” 

For the last 10 years, scientists have been measuring pharmaceutical 
contamination of lakes, streams, and groundwater. Traces of drugs, 
excreted by people and livestock, have been found in numerous water 
sources. Many of these chemicals are “hormone mimics” and interfere with 
the reproductive system of aquatic organisms. They can have a detrimental 
effect on the local ecology and sensitive human populations, such as 
pregnant women, children or the elderly. 

The grant comes from EPA’s source reduction and pollution prevention 
program that supports efforts to reduce or eliminate pollution as well as 
innovations to develop pollution prevention projects of general interest. 
For more information please visit http://www.epa.gov/Region3/p2/grants.htm 

Meleesa D. Johnson
Portage County Solid Waste Department
600 Moore Road
Plover, WI  54467
johnsome at co.portage.wi.us
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