Albuquerque vs. Isleta Pueblo Water Case

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INTRODUCTION

Isleta Pueblo and Albuquerque are nearby and just bounded by two Indian Pueblos. Isleta is downstream from Albuquerque. Pueblo used water directly from the river for drinking during religious ceremonies. In 1992, Isleta Pueblo got their approval by EPA to set their own water quality standard. The sewage treatment plant for the Albuquerque city puts water into Rio Grande. In this case, Albuquerque and Isleta Pueblo request for different standard for water quality standard. The water quality standard for Albuquerque already meets the standard of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) including the arsenic concentration. But, Isleta Pueblo want to get a strengthen water quality standard when the discharged water by Albuquerque effluent the river. To comply with the Pueblo’s arsenic standard could cost the city an additional $300 million in plant upgrades in order to renew their NPDES permit later. To comply with the Pueblo’s arsenic standard could cost the city an additional $300 million in plant upgrades in order to renew their NPDES permit later. The City, Pueblo, and EPA finally agreed to support a USGS study of arsenic in the area. Much of the arsenic being delivered to the Pueblo through the Rio Grande come from the groundwater running through the Jemez Volcanic Field added more arsenic. In 2002, the Isleta Pueblo amended its water quality standards. The Tribe’s new water quality standards were recently approved by the EPA, and have been set into law. The City did not have to spend huge sums of money to upgrade its system. However, a few glitches remain in the system.

What and how is (are) the code of ethic violated by people involved (engineers, management, local authority, government) in this case? Albuquerque sewage treatment plant meets all applicable Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations including the standard for arsenic concentration in the river. Any peoples or municipality who want using river water for drinking must treat the water first. Albuquerque has violated the code of ethic because of their sewage treatment plant bring the problem to the peoples. Under National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) code of ethics and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) also state that engineers shall hold the paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public and protect the environment in performance of their professional duties. Although they have their right according to the federal law, they actually must protect the environment and healthy of the people first. They know that the Pueblo used water directly from Rio Grande River for drinking during religious ceremonies and also has been used by the peoples that live near the river.

What guidance might one (or more) of the engineering society codes of ethics provide in handling or preventing the event from happening?

The conflicts of Albuquerque vs. Isleta Pueblo are about conflict mediation, and to the distribution of water. Traditionally, the Pueblo used water directly from the river for drinking during religious ceremonies. The pueblo is on the banks of the Rio Grande, downstream from Albuquerque metropolitan area, which contains approximately 650,000 peoples. In 1992, the Isleta Pueblo, south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, became the first tribal entity to be approved to create its own water quality standards. The tribe’s adoption of new water quality standards in 1992 was a distress for the Albuquerque and its treatment facility. To fulfill with the Pueblo’s arsenic standard could cost the city an additional $300million in plant upgrades.

In this case, one of the most important issues has been environmental protection and the rise of the environmental movement. Engineers are responsible in part of creation of the technology and also working to find solutions to the problems caused by modern technology. The environment movement has led to an increased awareness among engineers that have...
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