Medical Waste Labeling Mistakes Lead to $28,000 Fine for SC Hospital

Posted on 8/18/2017 by Roger Marks

A hospital group that operates facilities across South Carolina has been ordered to pay $28,000 to resolve allegations it unknowingly violated US EPA and State DHEC environmental rules regarding identification and storage of hazardous waste.

A spokesperson says the hospital hired a third-party service provider to properly dispose of the hazardous medical waste. The company unfortunately failed to properly identify hazardous wastes and, as a result, labeled many non-hazardous wastes as hazardous.

Enough waste was mislabeled to impact the hospital’s generator status–a measure of how much hazardous waste a facility generates each month. Facilities that manage more waste face stricter requirements for emergency planning, reporting, providing RCRA hazardous waste training for personnel, and more.

The hospital, having never before generated so much hazardous waste, was left in a lurch—because it was typically excluded from the more burdensome RCRA hazardous waste requirements due to its small monthly waste volume, it was not in compliance with the more stringent rules that apply to large quantity generators.

The hospital group has since switched waste handlers.  The State has more.

Shipping Regulated Medical Waste

The Shipping Regulated Medical Waste online course instructs hospital personnel on the US DOT requirements for identifying and shipping regulated medical wastes. Students who complete this course are ready to accurately classify and name medical wastes, as well as package, mark, label, and complete shipping documentation for these materials.

US DOT requires hazmat training once every 3 years for all “hazmat employees.” Learn more at 

RCRA Hazardous Waste for Very Small Quantity Generators  

Formerly known as Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators, or CESQGs, and now called Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQGs), facilities that generate 100 or fewer kilograms of hazardous waste per month may be excluded from the most extensive and costly RCRA requirements. To capitalize on the exclusion, very small generators must meet basic waste ID requirements and know the regulations that do apply to their operations.

The RCRA for Very Small Quantity Generators online course is now updated to reflect major changes in EPA’s “Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule.” Learn more or enroll here.   

Tags: and, fines, hazardous waste, penalties, RCRA

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