Business Regulation
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Business Regulation Simulation
University of Phoenix
Alumina, Inc. (AI), as portrayed in the University of Phoenix (UOP) simulation, is a $4 billion dollar company operating n eight countries around the world. AIs business interests are in automotive components and manufacture of packaging materials, bauxite mining, alumna refining, and aluminum smelting (UOP, 2007). Five years prior, AI was reported to be in violation of environmental discharge norms discovered during a routine compliance evaluation inspection. AI was ordered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up to which they promptly complied. AI claims strict compliance with all standards and regulations. Kelly Bates has now accused AI of poor environmental practices. She further claims that those poor actions could have been the proximate cause of leukemia her 10-year old daughter to developed. AI disputes that claim and defends their environmental record. An examination of the key facts, regulations and legal issues governing this issue follows.

Key Facts, Regulations and Legal Issues
Fact 1: The Erehwon Reporter report[ed] that Kelly Bates accused AI of repeatedly contaminating the waters of Lake Dira with carcinogenic effluents, and has alleged that consumption of the contaminated water is the proximate cause of her 10-year old daughters leukemia (UOP simulation, 2007). The impact of such an accusation could damage the companys “good name” and public image and adversely affect business by swaying public opinion. AI, convinced the emission rates were way below the prescribed level because of the use of the best available technology for pollutant cleanup, decided to release a news story highlighting the efficacy of the systems and the clean record. AI complied with the Clean Water Act. Subsequently, AI conducted an independent study which affirmed the fact that the PAH levels were lower than the prescribed 5 milligrams per liter for all hydrocarbons. Armed with that information, AI was effectively able to avert the accusation Bates made of “repeatedly contamination the waters of lake Dira” (UOP simulation, 2007).

Fact 2: Traffic is causing water pollution in Lake Dira. Increased traffic is poisoning the waters of Lake Dira with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as much as 100 times greater than pre-urban conditions and pose a danger to animal, aquatic, and human life While the fact remains that AI did violate the PAH discharge norms 5 years prior, the state has become heavily industrialized. The independent study revealed that AI was well within the required standards, which leaves the other organizations operating in the area partly responsible. Other organizations operating in the area could have contributory negligence and therefore could also be subject to civil suits and sanctions.

The Clean Water Act is a law established in 1972, which controls water pollution. “The Act established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States” (EPA, 2007, 1). The Act provided the EPA the authority to set pollution standards like setting waste water standards for the industry (EPA, 2007). According to the Act, a set water quality standards and makes unlawful any discharge any pollutants into navigable waters unless a permit is first obtained.

Fact 3: The Erehwon Reporter and Ms. Bates asked the EPA for the report documenting the Clean Water Act violation 5 years ago. The questions then becomes does she have a case to plea? Is there a statute of limitations preventing her from going after AI for damages caused presumably 5 years earlier? Is she allowed to access government records regarding private business?

“The discovery is the principal that the statute of limitations commences to run when a person discovers, or in the exercise of reasonable care should discover, injury due to anothers negligence” (Unknown, 2007, D7). As explained in an article written for the Defense Counsel Journal, the discovery rule is an important instrument to those who practice environmental, toxic and mass torts because of latent injuries.

Unlike exposure to lead or toxic fumes, when a traumatic injury occurs–such as in an automobile accident–the claimants knowledge of the injury is immediate. However, in the context of environmental, toxic and mass torts, the injury producing occurrence–and often even the injury itself–is unknown to the claimant until years, perhaps even decades, later (Meyer, Komotos, OHagan, 2000, 2)

So while the normal statute of limitations would be two years, as in a case involving an automobile accident, when the injury is caused by exposure to a toxic substance with a latency period before any of the affects are know, the victim might not become aware of the injuries until well after the statute of limitation has ended. The discovery rule in this case protects the plaintiffs interests for those who claim exposure to certain “chemicals or other classes of substances that have a latency period exceeding a particular jurisdictions statute of limitations”(Meyer et al, 2000, 5). The limitation period begins “on the date when the plaintiff knows or reasonably should know of the injury and also know or reasonably should know that the injury was wrongfully caused” (Meyer et al, 2007, 5).

The question concerning access to government records can be answered by examining the Freedom of Information Act. “The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, ensures public access to government records subject to certain exemptions and exclusions” (UOP, 2007). The exemptions and exclusions clause of that statement is crucial. Before information is released, the agency must notify the affected agency. By doing so, that allows the affected organizations to object to the disclosure of any information that would harm national defense or foreign policy, privacy of individuals, proprietary interests f business, functions of the government, and other important interests (UOP Counsel Advice, 2007). More specifically, Exemption 4 of the FIOA states:

. protects “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential. This exemption is intended to protect the interests of both the government and submitters of information. Its very existence encourages submitters to voluntarily furnish useful commercial or financial information to the government and it correspondingly provides the government with an assurance that such information will

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Examination Of The Key Facts And Waters Of Lake Dira. (July 11, 2021). Retrieved from