I recall when the EPA had backbone, when they forced corporations to clean up after themselves. I also recall later, when they began to loose their teeth, and they seemed to function as an Orwellian, double-speaking front organization for logging and oil interests. I don't have a good read on them these days, but they are sponsoring a nifty competition called "P3." I strongly encourage students to look into this and enter. Students and their faculty advisors compete for EPA's P3 Award and the opportunity of up to an additional $75,000 in funding to move their designs to the marketplace or implement them in the field.
I would hope a winning team would take two things that are problems by themselves and combine them into a solution. For example, in Los Angeles, they finally combined the problem of so much rain in the winter overtaxing the storm drain system with the problem of not enough water in the summer and a new municipal rain catchment system promises to solve both problems.