The Duke Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) exists to support the university-wide efforts to launch safety and environmental programs in education, healthcare delivery, medical teaching and research.  While the organization is focusing on health and safety issues, it also extends its reach to those projects that will further the institutionalization of sustainability at Duke. Recently, the board and the OESO identified numbers of emergency generators around Duke Campus may have promising potential in producing electricity for University’s daily operations. Managers wonder if Duke would benefit from modifying the generators, permit status, and emissions to be co-generation units rather than emergency-use facilities [1; conversation with Clark and Brewer, OESE]. Moreover, the US Clean Air Act requires that new source performance standards (NSPS) to be established to control emissions from new stationary sources [2; CAA, Section 111(b)].  An NSPS requires these sources to control emissions to the level achievable by best-demonstrated technology (BDT), considering costs and any non-air quality health and environmental impacts and energy requirements [2; CAA, Section 123(b)]. This project intends to provide scientific research to analyze the feasibility of the generator transformation. In addition, due to the large consumption of water in laboratories, OESO also intends to achieve cost-effective improvements in water efficiency in specific laboratories.

[1] Conversation with Dr. Charlotte Clark and Dr. Bill Brewer, Duke OESO Office, March 22nd 2012.

[2] United States Clean Air Act, retrieved March 22nd 2012 from http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/

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