Applied Minerals, Inc. (the “Company”) (OTCBB: AMNL) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (the “CRADA”) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory (the “EPA”) to pursue the development of its Dragonite™ Halloysite Clay sorbent technology used for the bio-remediation of oil from contaminated salt marsh and wetland environments.
The recent Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has resulted in heightened awareness of the response community regarding not only the effectiveness of spill treatment methods in use today (viz., conventional booming and skimming, in-situ burning, bioremediation, and the application of dispersants) but also, and of equal importance, the ecological and human health concerns associated with spill mitigation technologies. Also of concern is the ultimate fate of dispersants and their effects on the shorelines and wetlands impacted as they move onto the nearby shorelines. According to EPA data an estimated 18,000-24,000 oil spills, involving the release of 10 million - 25 million gallons of oil into the environment, are reported annually. Consequently, new research is needed to develop sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally benign approaches to clean up oil spills in the environment.
This CRADA will further develop a new tool available to responders for use in land remedial responses to oil spills, specifically wetlands and salt marshes. From experiments and modifications of the Halloysite clay mineral owned by Applied Minerals, Inc., new designs and approaches for using this mineral will be jointly developed that may significantly enhance its utility to sorb crude oil on coastal wetland/salt marsh surfaces. The project will combine the technology and resources of Applied Minerals, Inc. with the experience, expertise, and facilities of the EPA in the cooperative development of new cleanup methods for oil spills contaminating the environment.
“Collaborative efforts through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements such as this help us leverage resources and expertise to develop innovative solutions that support EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment,” said Dr. Albert D. Venosa, Director, Land Remediation and Pollution Control Division at EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory. Dr. Venosa is also a leading oil spill expert for EPA. “This CRADA is a win-win for all involved,” he stated.