Ethics Essay



Essay Paper
This paper will discuss the moral and ethical issues concerning how and why Locally Undesirable Land Uses (LULUs) and Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) are located. A LULU, or TSDF, can be a power plant, a munitions factory, a county landfill, a medical waste incinerator, a hazardous waste storage facility, a military base, an airport or any number of other facilities that people need, but do not want to live next to. The siting of these types of facilities is thought to be driven by either racism or market forces. The reason the siting of these facilities is thought to be racist is based in the fact that a majority of these facilities are located in communities that have a high minority population. The market forces argument is based on the fact that the siting of these facilities is profit driven and bottom line motivated. This paper will utilize the SAGE sequence for ethical decision making in management to examine the issue and determine what is the most ethical solution to this case.
The case this paper will examine is unusual in the fact that the local residents have identified and requested the TSDF be located on their land. The stakeholders who are against this project do not live near the proposed facility, but fear the facility could endanger their community and the environment. This case also concerns Native Americans and their sovereign rights to govern their own land. The following excerpt from web page of the Skull Valley Goshute Tribe provides some history on the tribe:
The Goshutes have inhabited the southwestern part of the United States for thousands of years. They were there before the Mormons, the Mexicans and even the Spaniards. At their peak the Goshutes numbered about 20,000. Today there are less than 500 Goshutes, of which 124 belong to the Skull Valley Band. Historically, the Goshutes had Shoshone relatives and friends to the north, Paiutes and Pavants to the south and the Utes to the east. At one time the Goshute homeland extended from the Wasatch front westward past Wells, Nevada and occupied several hundred square miles. Today, the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation is comprised of approximately 18,000 acres. (1)
Defense cutbacks in Tooele County is the driver behind the Goshutes decision to seek out new business opportunities for the reservation. The Tekoi Rocket Test Facility is currently located on the reservation and Hercules Aerospace tested rockets for defense systems at this facility.. Defense cutbacks in the early nineties created an air of uncertainty concerning the status of the facility, therefore the Goshute tribe aggressively solicited other business opportunities for their reservation. The decision by the Skull Valley Goshutes to host a Monitored Retrieval Storage (MRS) facility on their reservation located in Tooele County, Utah has triggered the case that this paper will examine. An MRS facility is designed to temporarily store, for approximately 40 years, spent nuclear fuel rods. The proposed facility would be designed to store 10,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel rods until a permanent storage facility could be built in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Yucca Mountain facility is still in the planning stages and no time frame has been developed for this project.
There are currently two commercial hazardous-waste incinerators, one hazardous-waste dump and one low-level radiation dump located in Tooele, County. Until 1969 the military conducted open-air testing of chemical and biological weapons at the Dugway Proving Grounds near the Skull Valley Reservation. The reason the military stop testing these weapons was the death of nearly 6,000 sheep living near the testing grounds. A deal was made between the military and the Goshute Tribe to bury the sheep in a mass grave on their reservation. This incident has been kept quiet by the military that originally blamed the sheep’s deaths on pesticide poisoning, but an autopsy revealed the true cause of death was due to a nerve agent. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has undertaken a project to clean up the contaminated site under the title of the Tooele County Sheep Project. The Department of Defense has recently received permission to begin test burning of chemical weapons in Tooele, County. “U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell has denied an attempt by the Chemical Weapons Working Group, the Sierra Club and the