Crime Scene Investigation
Case of the Illegal Dumpsite
Smith had worked for the same company in the shipping and receiving
department for 15 years.
John was proud of his attendance record, and even though he
wasn't always giving his job 100%, he believed he was doing a good job.
Everyone goofs off at work part of the time, don't they?
One morning when John arrived at work, he stopped at the bulletin
board where new job listings were posted.
One of the postings was for a supervisor position in a department
in which he had always wanted to work.
The pay was a nice increase too, and with the extra money, he
could have his truck with the new tires and rims customized.
That night John filled out the necessary papers for the job and
hurriedly turned them in the next day.
Weeks later, he and all the other employees that had applied,
were called in for an interview.
John just knew that he would land the job.
However, when the person to fill the position was announced a few
weeks later, another employee that had worked less time than John got
John was furious at being overlooked!
That night when John clocked out and was getting into his car in
the parking lot, he said, "I'll get even with them for this."
Tony Harris loved the outdoors and he loved photography, so many
years ago when he relocated his family to a wetland area near a major
river, he put his two "loves" together and started doing
Some of Tony's photographs had even been published in several
Tony was very familiar with the wetland area and the wildlife
because he spent most of his free time photographing there.
Tony had set out very early on a cool, crisp morning to spend the
weekend camping and taking pictures at his favorite wetland area.
Tony was excited about his trip and the great pictures he
expected to get so when he came across the cove with its terrible
stench, Tony was unprepared for what he found.
In a tree-surrounded cove of the river, Tony found several dead
waterfowl and turtles that had washed ashore.
When he examined them, there weren't any markings to show
injuries, and the animals appeared to have been healthy when they died.
Tony took several pictures of the area and the dead animals and
decided to call the Game and Fish Commission when he returned home.
A new hunting season had opened and with it came lots of calls
about pouching problems and hunting accidents.
Chelsea Brown had worked for the Game and Fish for several years
since her graduation from college.
She had been raised to love animals and the environment so this
job was great for her.
Today she was spending time in the office to catch up on some
reports and to answer the hotline.
She was in a very relaxed mood when the phone hotline rang, and
she took a call from a Mr. Tony Harris.
She remembered Mr. Harris from an awards banquet when the
Game and Fish Commission gave Tony an award for some of his outstanding
waterfowl photographs that they had published in their G & F
Tony reported the incident with the dead waterfowl and turtles he
had witnessed in the cove and said he would send the photographs of the
area and the dead animals to the Game and Fish.
Chelsea thanked Mr. Harris and told him she would make a report.
The call didn't seem to be too serious to Chelsea at the time.
However, when Chelsea went to the G & F logbook to register
the incident, she found numerous other reports called in from other
hunters and campers stating that they had noticed a lot of unexplained
deaths in the waterfowl and turtle populations in this area of the
This couldn't be ignored.
Chelsea said, "Guess we better get some people out there to
check on this."
When the Game and Fish officers traveled to the wetlands, they
found more than just dead wildlife.
The scene they discovered might be the cause of the reported
deaths of wildlife in this aquatic habitat.
Near the area of several of the reported hotline sightings, the
officers found a large amount of industrial waste that had been dumped.
The waste included large piles of discarded plastics, metals, and
first inspection of the wastes didn't give the officers a clue where
the trash came from or who had left it there.
However, there were several deep tire tracks
shoe prints from a man's athletic shoe
in places where the ground
had been extremely wet at one time.
Like many areas of the wetlands with clay-based soils, when
the water had receded from this area, the tracks and the ground dried
hard like cement.
There was a possibility that the waste could have a negative
effect on the environment and the animals in the area.
The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, would have to be called
to help identify the unknown plastics, metals, etc. and to determine if
they were or were not hazardous.
The officers closed off the area and the investigation began!
As a student, you will be a scientist on the team that the EPA
sent to the wetland area to study the dump site and its effect.
You will work along with the people from the Game and Fish to
solve three problems ---
type of plastics and metal are dumped at the site?
any of the plastics or metals cause death like the waterfowl and
is responsible for the illegal dumping and subsequent clean-up and
Devise a plan for a safe method of disposal for the trash found at the dump site? and an estimated cost for removal and damages.
Plastics, metals, tire tracks, shoe prints
ACTIVITY # 1 - Identifying Plastics
Handout - Industrial Park
Types of Plastics PowerPoint
Toxic Plastics --- Fact or Myth? PowerPoint
ACTIVITY # 2 - Identifying Metals
ACTIVITY # 3 - Shoe Print & Tire Tread Patterns
If the Shoe Fits PowerPoint
Handout - Shoe Imprint from Dumpsite
Handout - Tire Tread Pattern from Dumpsite
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