FEBRUARY 2009

Pennsylvania DEP fines medical waste processing company

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has assessed a $5,000 penalty against an out-of-state company that processes and transports infectious medical waste after inspectors discovered violations of Pennsylvania’s Solid Waste Management Act.

Medical Waste Recovery, Inc. is a Delaware company with a Denville, New Jersey mailing address that holds a permit to operate in Pennsylvania.

The company’s medical waste processing system was operating at the Sharon Regional Health System facility in August 2008 when DEP inspectors followed up on an odor complaint and discovered five violations.

DEP conducted a follow up inspection when it was operating at Jameson Memorial Hospital in New Castle. The previous violations had been corrected, but another violation was identified.

DEP sent notices of violation to Medical Waste Recovery, Inc. and the violations have been corrected.

The violations included:

•Failure to post warning signs regarding the type of waste being processed.

•Lack of emergency alternative storage and processing plan.

•Absence of continuous differential pressure meter to monitor and record processor air pressure drops.

•Absence of individual employee training records.

•Failure to maintain Ph monitoring log.

•Lack of previous approval for off-site infectious waste generators.

The $5,000 penalty payment has been deposited into Pennsylvania’s Solid Waste Abatement Fund, which finances cleanups of illegal dumps and other hazards to public health.