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Ocean Spray Environmental Case Study Essay Sample

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Ocean Spray Environmental Case Study Essay Sample

Ocean Spray had facilities near Middleboro, Massachusetts where the processing of cranberries took place and they knowingly used the towns waste treatment facility for their waste water. This was not a problem until new water standards came about and the problems associated with Oceans Sprays activities came into light. Sludge started to grow in the waste treatment facility so the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality and Engineering became involved. The cause of the sludge was because of high PH levels, which lowered the Biochemical Oxygen Demand, which kills the bacteria that are suppose to help treat the water. When this was discovered Ocean Spray invited specialists to investigate, providing the Ocean Spray technical staff and lawyers.

The Department of Environmental Quality and Engineering ordered Ocean Spray to construct a pre-treatment plant to process its water. Ocean Spray appealed the decision. Since Ocean Spray kept avoiding treating there water the town charged Ocean Spray $14,400 from 1983 to 1987. In October 1987 thousands of gallons of juices entered, the manager initially said none of juices went into the river, but the DEQE said that it did. During its new court date in 1988 Ocean Spray initially plead not guilty on all charges, but paid for the expert and helped pay for the sewage plant’s electric bill while the case was being dealt with. Eventually Ocean Spray pleads guilty and made a plea deal which paid less than the original accounts. Ocean Spray had to fix the system, paying more than a million dollars in improvements.

The decisions that Ocean Spray first made would be normal business practices. They were allowed to give their waste water to the treatment plant, but were then imposed with new environmental standards. I understand the appeal decision to make sure that the environmental regulations should be directed towards Ocean Spray and make sure no other polluter were contributing. Also there is always a possibility that Ocean Spray may not have to pay as much, so there is an incentive to try and draw out court proceedings. It was definitely not in the corporation’s interest to say that none of the leaked juices ended up in the river, especially if Ocean Spray knew some of it did. That could have ended with someone in jail if evidence was found about a lie. The decision to help pay for experts and pay electric bills was a good choice. Ocean Spray made a right choice also in making a plea deal and reducing its potential costs. The company probably knew it was going to have to pay something, so they wanted to pay the least amount. Also it was a good decision to start paying for things because they need a good public image and stay in good graces with the town which the mostly employ.

Lessons to be drawn from this case were to be proactive and follow environmental standards. It will only cost a company more money in the long term if they do not follow these rules and regulations. Something or someone will find out about the pollution and a prosecution will occur. If an accidental leak occurs, it is not good to give false statements. If something happens and the company is liable, then action must be taken and the company should work with environmental government organizations to help correct the problem. The more the company fights back, the more potential harm could be done. In the end, a large corporation wants to keep a good public image, so working with communities and providing essential remedies is a good recommendation and should be implemented, for ethical and business reasons.

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