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The GW Hatchet


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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Irene Ly: This week’s best and worst

Irene Ly, a junior majoring in psychology, is The Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.

In case you missed it, here’s the best and worst news from around campus and the District this week.

Thumbs up:

The School of Engineering and Applied Science now has taken another impressive project under its belt.

GW has been awarded a $900,000 grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to develop a new solar power panel design. The research will be led by Matthew Lumb in SEAS. He will be partnering with four other groups, according to a University release Monday.

Semprius, one of the research partners, has created an alternative design to the current typically flat-plate rectangle, consisting of panels that use micro-scale solar cells, which is more cost effective and energy more efficient.

The announcement comes after the news earlier this summer that GW researchers would receive $1.6 million for heart failure research. It’s great to see the University receiving money to research such important issues that have the potential to benefit people’s everyday lives and that might bring GW national attention.

SEAS has definitely earned some more bragging rights this summer. The recognition and prestige from conducting such research will hopefully attract more aspiring engineers to GW, where the engineering school has always struggled in being as well-known as its international affairs programs.

Thumbs down:

Feel free to go on your stroll along the Potomac River, but don’t touch the water.

A new lawsuit is claiming that the level of the fecal bacteria E. coli in D.C.’s river water is dangerously high, the Washington City Paper reported Tuesday. Fecal bacteria can cause symptoms like vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, fever and other infections.

Despite this, the Environmental Protection Agency approved of the thresholds and did not ask for any actions to be taken. Local nonprofit organizations are suing the EPA for approving the District’s total maximum daily loads – the maximum amounts of pollutants a body of water can have while still passing water quality standards.

We already know that you shouldn’t swim in the Potomac River because it has been named dirtiest rivers in the country, but it’s alarming to hear that any contact with the water can spike the risk of illness. It’s even more disheartening to hear that the EPA has turned a blind eye to something that is potentially harmful.

The groups are hoping the U.S. District Court will declare the EPA’s approval of the District’s maximum loads “unlawful and arbitrary” and demand the federal government to change standards within a year.

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