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1. ABERDEEN 3 ABDULLAH KAMAL FAIZAN ASHRAF 2. The Aberdeen Proving Ground 3. What is Aberdeen? The Aberdeen Proving Ground ã U.S. army facility located in Aberdeen,…
  • 2. The Aberdeen Proving Ground
  • 3. What is Aberdeen? The Aberdeen Proving Ground • U.S. army facility located in Aberdeen, Maryland • Established October 20th,1917 (6 months after the U.S. enter WW1) – Oldest active proving ground “proving ground” • Military reservation where weapons and other military technology are tested
  • 4. Resource Conservation & Recovery Act • Passed by Congress in 1976 (9 years before incident) • Implemented criminal fines for violations of the open dumping or hazardous waste disposal guidelines.
  • 5. The “Aberdeen 3” Case • Disregard for safety, storage, and disposal of chemicals by 3 chemical engineers that resulted in the discharge of hazardous chemicals into the public environments surround the Aberdeen Proving Grounds from 1983-1986.
  • 6. September 17th , 1985 Sulfur Acid tank leaks 200 gallons into nearby river. March 19th , 1986 pilot plant shutdown Federal investigation of pilot plant begins • Investigators discovered chemical retaining dikes were corroded and leaking chemicals into the ground.
  • 7. The Three engineers William Dee • Developed binary chemical weapons and led the chemical weapons developmental team. Robert Lentz • In charge of developing processes used to manufacture chemical weapons. Carl Gepp • Manager at pilot plant.
  • 8. Previous Inspection Violations • Flammable and cancer-causing substances left in the open • Chemicals that become lethal if mixed kept in the same room • Leaking drums of toxic substances • Numerous drums of chemicals misplaced and unlabeled • Smashed chemical drums and spilled wastes
  • 9. Engineers defense in trials • Didn't knowingly commit crime • Federal employee immunity • Hazardous materials are not technically waste • Environmental responsibility is not in job description
  • 10. Conviction • Each charged of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) • Faced up to 15 years in prison & $750,000 in fines • Sentenced to 3 years probation & 1000 hours community service
  • 11. Violation of Engineering Ethics • Always act with care and competence o Misplaced ,unlabeled or poorly contained chemicals. • Keep their knowledge and skills up to date and assist the development of engineering skills o Engineers claimed no knowledge of RCRA
  • 12. • Identify and evaluate and where possible quantify risks o Poor storage of carcinogenic and volatile chemicals o Roof collapse o Untrained workers handling hazardous chemicals • Ensure that all work is lawful and justified o Illegal handling of hazardous waste violation of RCRA
  • 13. • Minimize and justify any adverse effects on society or natural environment for their own and succeeding generations o River leakages o Hazardous chemicals exposed to environment • Hold paramount the health and safety of others o Untrained workers handling hazardous chemicals o Carcinogenic chemicals poorly stored
  • 14. Virtue ethics • The virtuous engineer would • Request cleanup funds • Maintain safe work environment • Accept fault of endangering public
  • 15. How could this incident have been avoided? • Request for Army Clean-Up Funds following initial violations. • Proper disposal treatment and storage of chemicals. • Better communication with those physically responsible for handling the chemicals. • Obligation to let superiors know that the chemicals were not being handled properly.
  • 16. Proposed solution • Legislate laws to force army to be more involved in maintaining safety within APG and other plants • US government should periodically investigate the facilities • Proper employee training or integrate detailed hiring qualification system
  • 17. • Take preventative measure to avoid issues of negligence • There should be more emphasis on integration of engineering ethics on engineers curriculum so they can learn what is moral autonomy and use it on there professional life's.
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