ABC's chemical waste is stored in a warehouse at an off-site location.
While inspecting the warehouse, engineer Scott Lewis notices several leaking drums. He
calls Tom Treehorn, head of ABC's Division of Chemical Waste. Tom responds, "I'll be
right over with a crew to bring the leaking drums over here." Scott points out that
the law forbids returning chemical waste to the "home" site. Tom replies,
"I know, but I don't have any confidence in the off-site folks handling this. We know
how to handle this best. It might not be the letter of the law, but our handling it
captures its spirit."
Scott believes that Tom Treehorn is serious about preventing
environmental problems -- especially those that might be caused by ABC. Still, he knows
that the Environmental Protection Agency will be upset if it finds out about Tom's way of
dealing with the problem; and if anything goes wrong, ABC could get into serious legal
difficulties. After all, he thinks, ABC is not a waste disposal facility.
What should Scott do at this point?
*From NSF Engineering Ethics Case Report.