Position statement and presentation

1
CVEN4050/4051/9051 Assessment
Position statement and presentation
Mock Case Study
Created by
Natalie Simper January 2015, updated August 2019
Modified for UNSW by Prof MJ Manefield 2020
Deadlines
Position Statement due 5 pm Friday 13 November 2020
Assessment weighting – 40%
Video presentations due 5pm 20 November 2020
Assessment weighting – 30%
Submit position statement as pdf 2
Team-based challenge
Goal: To develop a thorough understanding of site characteristics in relation to subsurface
contaminant migration and degradation over time.
Scenario
Fictional residents of fictional town Darlington are planning to file a fictional class action
demanding compensation for contaminated drinking water. Their action is targeted at one (or
all) of the following establishments:
• Petrol station
• Chemical warehouse
• Dry cleaner
Supporting documents
A. Site model displaying existing well sites, location of plume, groundwater and surface
water and location of establishment in relation to the residential subdivision
B. Geology of the area
C. Table of contaminant levels in well sampling
D. Newspaper article
E. Australian drinking water guidelines
F. Assessment guide
Your small consulting firm (group of 4-6 members) have been engaged by the chair of the local
community-based participation review committee (Mr Michael J Manefield) representing
residents of Darlington as independent consultants to investigate the case. Using the
documentation provided your firm must deliver a briefing presentation and provide an
executive summary detailing the contextual and contamination issues, the most likely source
of contamination and the suggested strategy for dealing with the problem.
Deliverables
Position statement (2 page) – 40% (due end of Week 9) – submitted by each individual as pdf
Team presentation (10 min) – 30% (delivered end of Week 10) – submitted as team
Details
Collaborate as a team (4-6 students), using the following as a guide for completing the
deliverables. Work together. Share ideas. Present as a group (multiple presenters or nominate
one). Submit individual position statements.
1. Define the problem as posed, detailing the contextual geological, ethical, and
environmental implications of the problem.
2. Present a position statement on whether the contamination levels present at the
residential subdivision in question actually present a risk based on the NSW EPA
guidelines, now or in the future.
3. Identify strategies for further investigation of this site. E.g. propose location for further
sampling/ monitoring duration.
4. Assess the strength of your suggested strategies in terms of geological, ethical, and
environmental resolution to the problem.
5. Outline the need for further work in terms of containment or remediation.
Marking scheme
Student submissions will be graded according to the following scheme:
Appropriate (25%) – does the submission adhere to requirements?
Correct (25%) – does the content of the submission reflect reality?
Professional (25%) – is the writing quality and document aesthetic of professional standard?
Engaged (25%) – is there evidence of engagement with the task beyond basic requirements? 3
A. Site model displaying existing well sites, location of plume, groundwater and surface
water and location of establishment in relation to the residential subdivision
B. Geology of the area 4
C. Table of contaminant levels (PCE-TCE-DCE-VC) in well sampling
Well Top of
Screen (m)
Bottom of
Screen (m)
Head (m) PCE (ug/L) Benzene
(ug/L)
Lead
(ug/L)
MW-01 15 10 40.3 98.5 250.0 0.0
MW-02 42 35 47.2 0.0 0.8 0.0
MW-03 22 17 40.1 125.0 0.0 0.0
MW-04 42 35 47.2 0.0 1280.0 19.5
MW-05 40 30 47.3 35.5 0.0 0.0
MW-06 50 40 47.6 450.0 105.5 0.0
MW-07 50 40 47.9 15.5 0.0 0.0
MW-08 50 40 47.6 0.0 0.0 0.0
MW-09 15 10 40.0 14.0 2.5 0.0
MW-10 20 10 41.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 5
D. Newspaper article
Tragically, six year-old
Kaylee Mills has become
the most recent victim of a
contamination disaster for
which no one is willing to
take responsibility.
Kaylee was diagnosed with nonHodgkin’s Lymphoma just one year
ago, highly unusual for someone so
young. She bravely tackled months of
chemotherapy and was loved by all at
City Children’s Hospital, but lost her
fight this week. Contaminated
drinking water from the Darlington
lakes subdivision water supply was
believed to have caused her cancer.
Residents of Darlington filed a
lawsuit against ED Fuels, for
contaminating the ground water with
Trichloroethylene, abbreviated as
TCE.
“Its heartbreaking, I have no words
for this” said Brenda Mills, Kaylee’s
mother.
Legal department spokesman for
multinational petrochemical company
ED, said “this girls death is tragic,
but I can assure you that there is no
evidence that contaminants from our
site have adversely affected the
Darlington water supply”. Local
residents informed us that the ED
environmental division were
monitoring levels in the well on site,
but members of the team refused to
speak to the press.
Residents are frustrated with the
slow progress of legal proceedings,
“We’re at a stalemate, we really
are,” said Kelly Frank, Darlington
resident. The city has engaged the
services of their own consultant to
investigate allegations.
“We’re trying to move this
consultation report forward and get
the city to release it – but it seems
like we’re pulling teeth,” she said.
“It’s very, very frustrating for us.”
The most common ways of
ingesting TCE is by drinking
contaminated groundwater, or
frequent use of degreasing products.
ED Fuels regularly used TCE for
degreasing workshop tools and
frequently and dumped the fluid in
the back lot of the facility. The
chemical reached the water table,
and a plume of contaminated
groundwater spread under ground
toward the Darlington Lake.
TCE is infamous for being
responsible for the Woburn
Massachusetts Cancer Cluster.
Key findings expressed in the
March 2013 issue EHP
of Trichloroethylene declared it to
be carcinogenic to humans by all
routes of exposure and pose a
potential human health hazard for
noncancer toxicity to the central
nervous system, kidney, liver,
immune system, male reproductive
system, and the developing
embryo/fetus. TCE has been found
in at least 852 of the 1,430
National Priorities List sites
identified by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA).
Kaylee with her brother Kurt just weeks before her untimely death
Deadly Chemical Trichloroethylene
Kills 6 year Old Girl
Rita Skeeter@NorthsideGazette.ca 6
F. Assessment guide.
Assignment
Outcomes
Performance Indicators Mapping to Engineers
Developing Meets expectations Beyond expectations Australia competencies
Demonstrate
contextual
understanding
of the problem
Identifies some issues
present in terms of the
engineering principles,
social, cultural,
environmental,
commercial, legal or
political contexts.
Explains the issues present
in terms of the engineering
principles, social, cultural,
environmental,
commercial, legal or
political contexts.
Analyses the interplay
between issues relating to
engineering principles,
social, cultural,
environmental,
commercial, legal or
political contexts.
1.5 Knowledge of engineering
design practice and contextual
factors impacting the
engineering discipline. (b, c)
Analyse
technical
complexities to
deliver an
informed
position
statement
Explores analytical
processes to investigate
results and inform the
stated position.
Applies appropriate
analytical tools to
investigate, analyse and
interpret results of
calculations to inform
prediction and support the
stated position.
Demonstrates excellence in
analytical application for
the systematic
investigation, analysis and
interpretation results to
inform prediction and
support the stated position.
1.1 Comprehensive, theorybased understanding
1.2. Conceptual understanding
of the mathematics, numerical
analysis, statistics, and
computer and information
sciences which underpin the
engineering discipline
Evaluate health
risks present
based on the
EPA guidelines
Appropriately
interprets EPA
guidelines to assess
potential health risk in
relation to
contamination present.
Appropriately interprets
EPA guidelines to assess
potential health risk in
relation to contamination
present.
Appropriately interprets
EPA guidelines to assess
potential health risk in
relation to contamination
present.
1.6 Understanding of the
scope, principles, norms,
accountabilities and bounds of
sustainable engineering
practice in the specific
discipline. (a, b)
3.1 Ethical conduct and
professional accountability (a,
c)
Formulate
strategies and
recommendatio
ns
Explores technical
knowledge in relation
to environmental
contaminant
engineering.
Proficiently applies
technical knowledge and
skills in the field of
environmental contaminant
engineering to formulate
strategies and
recommendations.
Expertly applies advanced
technical knowledge and
skills in the field of
environmental contaminant
engineering to formulate
strategies and
recommendations.
1.3 In depth understanding of
specialist bodies of knowledge
within the engineering
discipline.
Effectively selfmanage and
demonstrate
commitment to
the Team
Completes self-review
of time management,
team processes and
group performance
evaluation.
Explains and reflects on
decision making, time
management, team
processes, group dynamics,
diverse perspectives,
individual and team
performance.
Demonstrates sound
judgement and decision
making as evidenced
through critical evaluation
and reflection of time
management, team
processes, group dynamics,
diverse perspectives,
individual and team
performance.
3.5 Orderly management of
self, and professional conduct
(a, d, e).
3.6 Effective team membership
and team leadership (a, b, c, d).
Delivers
professional
briefing
Coveys information in
presentation of
technical information;
Communication skills
are developing.
Uses appropriate body
language and vocal control
to express information
effectively and succinctly,
using textual and graphical
media to present the issues
and position to technical
and non-technical
audiences.
Demonstrates clarity,
fluency and confidence
when explaining complex
material to diverse
audiences using various
communication devices for
succinct and compelling
delivery of the issues and
position.
3.2 Effective oral
communication in professional
and lay domains (a).
Effectively
communicates
intended
message in the
form of an
executive
summary
Submits an executive
summary,
communicating some of
the concerns.
Prepares executive
summary, communicating
clearly and succinctly and
presenting an objective
viewpoint.
Prepares high quality,
error-free executive
summary, communicating
clearly and succinctly and
presenting informed,
objective viewpoint.
3.2 Effective written
communication in professional
and lay domains (b).

 

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