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Turner Announces TRIES Funding
The $317 billion defense bill, which provides $20 billion to finance the war in Afghanistan and domestic anti-terrorism measures, will also provide $1.5 million to the Texas Regional Institute for Environmental Studies at Sam Houston State University for a project aimed at maintaining a healthy environment along the United States/Mexico border.
The bill passed both houses of Congress with little opposition and is awaiting the signature of President George Bush.
"This funding provides a unique opportunity to strengthen our national defense, clean up the environment, and support academic research," said Turner. "Even more importantly, technologies designed at Sam Houston State University can be used for both military and civilian purposes in other parts of the state and throughout our nation."
Sam Houston State's Texas Regional Institute for Environmental Studies (TRIES) is a member of the International Consortium for the Environment (ICE) that is facilitated by Air Force Institute of Environment, Safety and Occupational Health Risk Analysis (AFIERA) at Brooks Air Force Base.
"A goal of this consortium is to bring an environment of health and well being to the greatest numbers of people along the United States/Mexican border," said Gordon A. Plishker, TRIES executive director and associate vice president for research and sponsored programs at SHSU. "The consortium recognizes that this goal requires sensible economic development and practical environmental solutions based upon sound science."
Plishker said the funding announced by Turner will be used for a new TRIES program to address both hazardous and non-hazardous wastewaters in water-scarce environments including the Texas and Mexico borderlands.
"Our program's objective is to demonstrate the use of innovative technologies to efficiently treat wastewater from both military and civilian sources," Plishker said, adding that the studies will utilize TRIES facilities in both Huntsville and Texas City.
"These responsibilities assume much greater importance and immediacy as such risks to health and safety and level of readiness relate to our new mandates for homeland security."
Sam Houston State and the College of the Mainland in Texas City this summer announced a collaborative program that includes construction of an Environmental Technology Development Commercialization Center.
The center will be built at the College of the Mainland on land leased by TRIES. The center's goal is to become an international clearinghouse for environmental technologies to address health issues, with focus areas including industrial waste treatment, phyto-remediation, bioremediation, and other green sciences.
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