Whistleblowing And The Environment Case Study

1026 Words 5 Pages
Register to read the introduction… The company has a contract to dispose of medical waste from a local hospital. During the course of her work, Chantale comes across documents that suggest that Avco has actually been disposing of some of this medical waste in a local municipal landfill. Chantale is shocked. She knows this practice is illegal. And even though only a small portion of the medical waste that Avco handles is being disposed of this way, any amount at all seems a worrisome threat to public health.
Chantale gathers together the appropriate documents and takes them to her immediate superior, Dave Lamb. Dave says, "Look, I don't think that sort of thing is your concern, or mine. We're in charge of record-keeping, not making decisions about where this stuff gets dumped. I suggest you drop it."
The next day, Chantale decides to go one step further, and talk to Angela van Wilgenburg, the company's Operations Manager. Angela is clearly irritated. Angela says, "This isn't your concern. Look, these are the sorts of cost-cutting moves that let a little company like ours compete with our giant competitors. Besides, everyone knows that the regulations in this area are overly cautious. There's no real danger to anyone from the tiny amount of medical waste that 'slips' into the municipal dump. I consider this matter
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She is currently faced with the decision whether or not to spend money on new technology that will reduce the level of a particular toxin in the wastewater that flows out the back of the factory and into a lake.
The factory's emission levels are already within legal limits. However, Jonica knows that environmental regulations for this particular toxin are lagging behind scientific evidence. In fact, a scientist from the university had been quoted in the newspaper recently, saying that if emission levels stayed at this level, the fish in the lakes and rivers in the area might soon have to be declared unsafe for human consumption.
Further, if companies in the region don't engage in some self-regulation on this issue, there is reason to fear that the government — backed by public opinion — may force companies to begin using the new technology, and may also begin requiring monthly emission level reports (which would be both expensive and time consuming).
But the company's environmental compliance budget is tight. Asking for this new technology to be installed would put Jonica's department over-budget, and could jeopardize the company's ability to show a profit this

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