Preventing Pollution Case Review

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DEP’s existing structure was fashioned more as a divisionalized structure divided by its functional areas – Waste Cleanup, Waste Prevention and Resource Protection. Under the Bureau of Waste Prevention were included the various mediums – air, water, hazardous waste which worked independently of each other; conducting independent inspections, maintaining separate files, with no coordination between departments. Each of these sections also had a high degree of specialization of skills and standardized operating procedures and thus in some ways also resembled a professional bureaucracy, as each frontline and supervisory inspector had mastered the technical issues and knowledge of federal law for only that particular medium.

The Blackstone project sought to wrench the DEP out of its standardized practices, because it called for a cross media inspection of firms which demanded a high degree of fungibility of skills across mediums within the operating core. This was however not possible under DEP’s existing structure, with its high degree of specialization, making it less adaptable. Also, the project called for coordination between the various departments within DEP, which the divisional structure did not currently facilitate.

The best structure for the Blackstone project would be an adhocracy based organizational model that is specially adapted for the specific needs of the project. Due to the complex nature of the assignment and the need for diverse expertise in conducting inspections, a project-based structure at the operating core level that fuses experts from different mediums would be more suited. This may have involved creating a task force of 4 people, with 3 inspectors from each of the different mediums and 1 section engineer to conduct the cross facility expansions. The section engineer would not only take the role of project member in facilitating the process but also supervising it and reporting to the regional engineer in each of the different...
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