The Ethics Of The National Society Of Professional Engineers

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The first fundamental canon of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Code of Ethics states that engineers “hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.” The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) takes it a step further by amending the NSPE canon and adding that chemical engineers “protect the environment in performance of their professional duties.” These ethical standards were placed in order to prevent contaminations to maintain a healthy work environment, and prevent the general public and environment from being harmed. The “Aberdeen Three” case is an instance of three knowledgeable and high ranking engineers, as well as the United States army, disregarding the safety of the public or their…show more content…
In September of 1985 a large scandal arose when improper care and neglect of a small acid leak waste led to a total of 200 gallons of acid waste flowing into a creek, which merged into a much larger river. Immediate investigation discovered that much of their toxic disposal equipment was corroded, no attempt was made for clean-ups despite the law stating that the army would pay for it, and a culture of following the status-quo and isolating the APG from society. Despite the responsibility that the Army had, due to constitutional barriers, was left alone and instead the Justice Department went after three top level chemical engineering managers Carl Gepp, William Dee, and Robert Lentz. They argued that they had never had any other large chemical accident, their job description did not include a responsibility for caring for the environment, and that they could not be charged for improper waste disposal as they had a different view on what waste was. Despite facing up to fifteen years in prison and a $750,000 fine each, the three engineers only received three years of probation and 1000 hours of community service since they had already paid major fines of which the Army could not pay. Years after the fact, these three professional engineers still argued that they had committed no crime and that what occurred to them was unjust, showing the
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