JUNE 2009

Kansas medical center settles allegations of waste violations

A Merriam, Kansas, hospital has reached a settlement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over allegations that it violated various provisions of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) related to the handling and storage of hazardous wastes on its campus.

Shawnee Mission Medical Center, 9100 West 74th Street, neither admitted nor denied the allegations brought by EPA Region 7, but has agreed to pay a penalty of $83,488 to the United States in settlement of the government’s claims.

The hospital has also agreed to inventory all solid waste streams generated by its facility and provide EPA with documentation of that inventory. The hospital will make quarterly reports for a period of one year, using photographs and documentation to show that its hazardous wastes are being properly handled.

Terms of the settlement are outlined in a consent agreement and final order filed in Kansas City, Kansas. The document alleges that during a January 2007 inspection, EPA found that the hospital had:

  • Failed to conduct and document weekly inspections of a hazardous waste container storage area.
  • Failed to properly mark hazardous waste accumulation containers.
  • Improperly treated paint and solvent hazardous wastes by allowing opened containers and solvent-soaked rags to evaporate prior to disposal, all without a necessary permit.
  • Improperly disposed of solvent-soaked rags in general trash.
  • Failed to properly label storage containers for used oil, and failed to properly mark universal waste batteries.