Two small businesses have been awarded $70,000 grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to develop new technologies to solve priority environmental issues.

Omega Optics Inc. of Austin, Texas, is working on a commercially viable technology to identify contaminants in drinking water.

Defiant Technologies of Albuquerque, N.M., has its sights on a hand-held miniature chemical sensor system that will report on contaminants in ground water, and can be adapted for use in even the smallest wells.

EPA and SBIR awarded 34 small businesses a total of $2.38 million in funding to develop new technologies to protect human health and the environment. “Small businesses are critical elements for technical innovation in the United States,” says the EPA’s Al Armendariz. “EPA is helping small businesses make significant contributions to both the environment and the economy through the SBIR program.”