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Industrialists and environmentalists have trouble finding common ground. That extends to District real estate. Now that Defenders of Wildlife has bought the former headquarters of the National Mining Association on 17th Street NW, the eco-group is using its relocation to make a policy point, by giving the building what spokesperson Brad deVries calls “an environmental makeover.” The project entails removing “a fair amount of asbestos,” deVries says, and installing a new heating system—to replace the existing coal-fired furnace. National Mining Association President Jack Gerard says he’s too “thrilled” by the sale to care what the new owners are doing to his group’s old digs. “If that’s what they want to do with it, terrific,” Gerard says. “We wouldn’t have done that, because it doesn’t make economic sense.” —Chris Shott