CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – The EPA is giving more than $1 million in funding to the University of Illinois system for P2 grants.

P2 grants allow U of I to help local businesses prevent and reduce their pollution while lowering business costs. The grants are funded from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

“Reducing pollution at the source, before it ever even enters the waste stream, is the best and most cost-effective way to protect the environment,” Debra Shore, regional EPA administrator, said. “Thanks to these grants, and increased funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is working with organizations like the University of Illinois System to empower communities and businesses to save money and safeguard precious natural resources.”

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign received two grants of nearly $350,000. One will go towards the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, and one will go towards the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center.   

ISTC will train businesses on how to operate a business while reducing energy costs, water consumption, air emissions, wastewater and hazardous wastes. 

“The support that the ISTC Technical Assistance Program will provide to manufacturing operations and related industries will go a long way in Illinois,” Debra Jacobson, associate director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, said. “At the same time, this project will benefit underserved neighborhoods by offering technical assistance to facilities that directly impact local environmental justice communities.”

SEDAC will use its money to create a guidebook on preventing pollution and host two training seminars for businesses. 

“Green business programs are an innovative model for driving voluntary education and engagement in P2 best practices,” Dr. Brian Deal, executive director of the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center, said. “They make it easier for businesses to assess and reduce their environmental footprint, while also providing recognition and a competitive platform for their achievements. SEDAC is thrilled to help integrate P2 technical assistance with national green business best practices.”

University of Illinois Chicago’s Energy Resources Center also received $350,000 to assist industrial plants.