Mt. Dioxin

Document created by Christine Brennan Schmidt on Sep 30, 2010
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http://www.onlineethics.org/Resources/Cases/mtdioxin.aspx

 

This fictional case study is based on an actual Superfund cleanup of an abandoned wood treating facility adjacent to several African American residential neighborhoods in the southeastern US could be adapted for use in analytical courses. At the heart of this study are the ethical issues involved in making decisions with insufficient data. The issues are presented from three different perspectives: that of the Site Manager from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who must make decisions that affect real people's lives; the regional EPA engineer who recommends policy and makes decisions guided by legislation; and an engineer working for a private consulting company contracted to excavate the contaminated soil. The case history, soil sampling data and excerpts from EPA documents are included, together with numerical as well as ethical problems. The advantage of this case study is that it was developed in response to the perceived need for more numerical problems, which are built, in this case, upon results of PCP analysis of soil samples from various locations.

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