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Pollution Case Study

Case: US v. Hayes International Corporation 786 F.2d 1499

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In order to understand the environmental pollution (Hill, 2011), the analysis of the case-study “US v. Hayes International Corporation 786 F.2d 1499” (1986) was conducted. Hayes, an operated airplane refurbishing plant in Birmingham, Alabama, involved two crucial aspects of the production process relevant to this lawsuit: draining of fuel and repainting process with the use of solvents to clean up the systems prior to painting.

The company used an employee named Beasley to do a deal with Performance Advantage Incorporated for the disposal of the hazardous wastes of the fuel, paint and solvent. The arrangement lasted for a period of at least 16 months.

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The government officials discovered illegally dumped drums of paint and solvent in landfill sites, in Alabama and Georgia. The suit was brought in federal district court against Hayes, with criminal charges against five persons according to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The Court pleaded the owner of Performance Advantage guilty in a deal with the government. Two defendants were acquitted on one count, and other two were excused on another count of conspiracy. One defendant was a fugitive from justice.

On appeal, the defendants argued they were not liable because they did not understand the regulations and that Performance Advantage did not have a permit. The appeals court dismissed all the contention that the defendants had. In fact, the court believed Beasley knew his violations well.

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The lessons learnt from this case are as follows: the companies must ensure hazardous wastes are properly treated and disposed; they must have a manifest system to account for the volume, nature, and location of wastes; and they must have an accounting system to track waste to final destination and disposal, as well concern about environmental issues.

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