georgetown dedicates photovoltaic roof

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  • Georgetown dedicates photovoltaic roof

    With a dedication at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., last week, a solar roof has joined several other projects at the school designed to demon-strate new technologies for cutting energy costs. The Photovoltaic National Education Exemplar, as the roof is called, is a 300-kW system employing 4464 photovoltaic modules covering more than 36,000 sq ft on the roof of the university's Intercultural Center (above). Electricity produced is added directly to the building's electric system; excess power is shared by other campus build-ings during low-demand periods such as weekends and holidays. Of the facility's $24 million total cost, $10 million came from the U.S. Department of Energy.

    Animal cruelty charged in growth gene work The Foundation on Economic Trends, a self-styled "clearinghouse for pub-lic information" headed by social critic and activist Jeremy Rifkin, and the Humane Society of the United States have sued the Department of Agriculture to halt experiments in-volving the transfer of human growth genes into pigs and sheep.

    The suit, filed Oct. 1 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, charges that animal ex-periments in which USDA is partici-pating are not being conducted ac-cording to required federal pro-cedures, including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and are cruel to ani-mals. Last May, this same court is-sued an injunction sought by Rifkin to halt certain experiments approved by the National Institutes of Health's Recombinant DNA Advisory Com-mittee (RAC) because of RAC's fail-ure to comply with NEPA (C&EN, Aug. 13, page 10).

    The experiments now under chal-lenge are being conducted jointly by researchers at the University of Washington, the University of Penn-sylvania, and USDA's Agricultural Research Service. They expand on earlier work in mice by Pennsyl-vania's Ralph L. Brinster and col-leagues. In these experiments, the gene that codes for human growth hormone was injected into the fer-tilized eggs of mice. It was some-times incorporated and expressed in the mouse that developed from the egg and in some of the mouse's offspring. The present work at-tempts to repeat the work in pigs and sheep. USDA's role is to pro-vide the pig and sheep embryos and to perform the transfers.

    The experiments are designed to help understand how growth is reg-ulated in domesticated animals, ex-plains Dan B. Laster, associate depu-ty administrator for animal research at the Agricultural Research Service. Like the earlier experiments in mice, a chemical replica, and not human DNA itself, is what is being injected, he points out. The project has been approved by the appropriate recom-binant DNA committees.

    EPA adds more sites to The Environmental Protection Agen-cy last week announced that 244 hazardous waste sites have been pro-posed for addition to the national priorities list (NPL), which will make most of them eligible for cleanup under Superfund. For the first time, federally owned sites and areas whose groundwater has been contaminated by pesticides are in-cluded on the list.

    Lee M. Thomas, assistant EPA ad-ministrator for solid waste and emer-gency response, admits the propos-al process has taken longer than anticipated. He attributes the delay to the greater number of sites the agency had to deal withfrom an estimated 150 to an actual 244and to policy decisions to include feder-al and pesticide-contaminated sites. 'The process [of proposing sites] has moved along as expeditiously as it could and still produce a good quali-ty product," he insists. And he bris-

    hazardous waste list ties at what he considers an unfair charge of political manipulation of the timing of the list's announce-ment leveled at the agency by Rep. James J. Florio (D.-N.J.) (see page 16).

    He did acknowledge that the pro-cess of placing sites on the NPL, which has taken a year or more, is too long and can be streamlined. To that end, he says, those proposed sites that offer few problems for resolution can be added to the NPL sequentially. "I expect that in six months the agency will finalize a good proportion of the ones it is proposing today." If all of last week's sites are added, the NPL will in-clude 786 sites, nearly 45% greater than the current list of 538.

    Of the 36 federally owned facili-ties proposed, one is a Department of Interior site, three are Department of Energy sites, and the rest are De-partment of Defense sites. Unlike private sites, federal facilities are not

    October 8, 1984 C&EN 5

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