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Environmental Ethical Dilemna Essay

2178 words - 9 pages

The dilemma I am faced with is that I overheard the Vice President ask the Company's environmental consultant for advice on how to dump toxic production wastes into a holding pond on the Company's property. I am the Vice President's assistance and basically run the company. I ask myself three questions in regards to the information I overhear. First I ask if I recognize any breaches of ethics by the parties. Second, I ask what the legal ramifications of this information. Finally, I ask myself what courses of actions I might take in response to the above facts and what are the consequences of my actions.There are several breaches of ethics in this situation. One breach of ethic would be violating the Organizational Code of Ethics (Corley, p 397). These would be a general list of topics and codes that businesses should cover. Included in this list is both a fundamental honesty and adherence to the law and protection to the environment. Both codes of conduct would be breached by this behavior. The company would not be protecting the environment or adhering to the law by not following the Toxic Substances Control Act, which is a coordinated effort to evaluate the effects of chemical compounds on society and the environment (Corley, p.308). The dumping of toxic production in the Company's holding pond may cause further damage if the water trickles into a creek and contaminates the water.Another breach of ethic would be that of my own individual values (Corley, p. 399). If I know about this violation and wrongdoing I did nothing to stop it, I would be failing to live up to my own expectations of honesty, fairness and the common good.If the company decides to dump various toxic production wastes into a holding pond on our property, they are required by law to follow in compliance with certain regulations. These regulations protect the environment as well as those that work within various environmental capacities. The laws most applicable to the company are the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, herein referred to as the RCRA, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, known as CERCLA or the Superfund, and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Congress in 1976 amended the Solid Waste Disposal Act, (Corley, p. 309), regulates the "storage, transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous wastes," according to Michael T. Dawkins and Cory T. Wilson. Mr. Dawkins and Wilson are the authors of "Avoiding Criminal Liability Under Environmental Law." This act prosecutes in a civil court and a criminal court. Since it is known by the assistant that the company wants to dump various toxic production wastes into a holding pond on the company's property, the legal ramifications that the assistant faces are defined as one "knowingly" holding, storing, transporting or even disposing of a hazardous substance. Thus, the RCRA two requirements exist for the originator of wastes:*To...

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