Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
Chapter 120. Regulated Medical Waste Management Regulations

9VAC20-120-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. Chapter 14 (§ 10.1-1400 et seq.) of Title 10.1 of the Code of Virginia defines words and terms that supplement those in this chapter. The Solid Waste Management Regulations, 9VAC20-81, define additional words and terms that supplement those in the statutes and this chapter. When the statutes, as cited, and the solid waste management regulations, as cited, conflict, the definitions of the statutes are controlling.

"Act" or "regulations" means the federal or state law or regulation last cited in the context, unless otherwise indicated.

"Alternative treatment method" means a method for the treatment of regulated medical waste that is not incineration or steam sterilization (autoclaving).

"Approved sanitary sewer system" means a network of sewers serving a facility that has been approved in writing by the Virginia Department of Health, including affiliated local health departments. Such sewer systems may be approved septic tank/drainfield systems and on-site treatment systems, or they may be a part of a collection system served by an NPDES permitted treatment works.

"Associated" means two or more firms that share staff members, management, directors, and assets or engage in joint ventures. Holding companies and part owners are associated parties.

"Ash" means the residual waste material produced from an incineration process or any combustion.

"ASTM" means the American Society For Testing and Materials.

"Autoclave tape" means tape that changes color or becomes striped when subjected to temperatures that will provide sterilization of materials during treatment in an autoclave or similar device.

"Blood" means human blood, human blood components, and products made from human blood.

"Board" means the Virginia Waste Management Board.

"Body fluids" means liquid emanating or derived from humans including blood; cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, peritoneal and pericardial fluids; semen and vaginal secretions; amniotic fluid; urine; saliva in dental procedures; and any other body fluids that are contaminated with blood, and any other liquids emanating from humans that may be mixed or combined with body fluids.

"Closure" means the act of securing a regulated medical waste management facility pursuant to the requirements of these regulations.

"Closure plan" means the plan for closure prepared in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

"Commonwealth" means the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Container" means any portable enclosure in which a material is stored, transported, treated, or otherwise handled.

"Contaminated" means the presence or the reasonably anticipated presence of blood or other body fluids on an item or surface.

"Contingency plan" means a document setting out an organized, planned and coordinated course of action to be followed in the event of a fire, explosion, or release of regulated medical waste or regulated medical waste constituents that could threaten human health or the environment.

"CWA" means the Clean Water Act (formerly referred to as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act), 33 USC § 1251 et seq.; PL 92-500, PL 93-207, PL 93-243, PL 93-592, PL 94-238, PL 94-273, PL 94-558, PL 95-217, PL 95-576, PL 96-148, PL 96-478, PL 96-483, PL 96-510, PL 96-561, PL 97-35, PL 97-117, PL 97-164, PL 97-216, PL 97-272, PL 97-440, PL 98-45, PL 100-4, PL 100-202, PL 100-404, and PL 100-668.

"Decontamination" means the use of physical or chemical means to remove, inactivate, or destroy human pathogens on a surface or item to the point where they are no longer capable of transmitting disease and the surface or item is rendered safe for handling, use, or disposal.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality or his designee.

"Discard" means to throw away or reject. When a material is soiled, contaminated or no longer usable and it is placed in a waste receptacle for disposal or treatment prior to disposal, it is considered discarded.

"Discharge" or "waste discharge" means the accidental or intentional spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, or dumping of regulated medical waste into or on any land or state waters.

"Disposal" means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste into or on any land or water so that such solid waste or any constituent of it may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters, including ground waters.

"Disposal facility" means a facility or part of a facility at which solid waste is intentionally placed into or on any land or water, and at which the solid waste will remain after closure.

"Domestic sewage" means untreated sanitary wastes that pass through a sewer system.

"Empty" means wastes have been removed from a container using the practices commonly employed to remove materials of that type.

"EPA" means the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"Etiologic agents" means the specific organisms defined to be etiologic agents in 42 CFR 72.3. In general, etiologic agents as defined in 42 CFR 72.1 means a viable microorganism or its toxin which causes or may cause human disease.

"Federal agency" means any department, agency, or other instrumentality of the federal government, any independent agency, or establishment of the federal government including any government corporation and the Government Printing Office.

"Generate" means to cause waste to become subject to regulation. When regulated medical waste is first discarded, it must be appropriately packaged in accordance with this regulation. At the point a regulated medical waste is discarded it has been generated.

Note: Timeframes associated with storage and refrigeration are no longer linked to the "date of generation."

"Generator" means any person, by site location, whose act or process produces regulated medical waste identified or listed in Part III (9VAC20-120-80 et seq.) of this chapter or whose act first causes a regulated medical waste to become subject to this chapter.

"Hazardous material" means a substance or material that has been so designated under 49 Parts CFR 171 and 173.

"Hazardous waste" means any solid waste defined as a "hazardous waste" by the Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.

"Health Care Professional" means a medical doctor or nurse practicing under a license issued by the Department of Health Professions.

"Highly leak resistant" means that leaks will not occur in the container even if the container receives severe abuse and stress, but remains substantially intact.

"Highly puncture resistant" means that punctures will not penetrate the container even if the container receives severe abuse and stress, but remains substantially intact.

"Motor vehicle" means a vehicle, machine, roll off container, tractor, trailer, or semi-trailer, or any combination of them, propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used in transportation or designed for such use.

"Nonstationary health care providers" means those persons who routinely provide health care at locations that change each day or frequently. This term includes traveling doctors, nurses, midwives, and others providing care in patients' homes, first aid providers operating from emergency vehicles, and mobile blood service collection stations.

"NPDES" or "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System" means the national program for issuing, modifying, revoking, reissuing, terminating, monitoring, and enforcing permits pursuant to §§ 307, 402, 318, and 405 of the Clean Water Act. The term includes any state or interstate program that has been approved by the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

"Off-site" means any site that does not meet the definition of on-site as defined in this part, including areas of a facility that are not on geographically contiguous property or outside of the boundary of the site.

"On-site" means the same or geographically contiguous property, which may be divided by public or private right-of-way, provided the entrance and exit to the facility are controlled by the owner or the operator of the facility. Noncontiguous properties owned by the same person but connected by a right-of-way that he controls and to which the public does not have access are also considered on-site property.

"Owner" means the person or persons who own a regulated medical waste management facility or part of a regulated medical waste management facility.

"Package" or "outside package" means a package plus its contents.

"Packaging" means the assembly of one or more containers and any other components necessary to assure compliance with minimum packaging requirements under VRGTHM or this chapter.

"Permit by rule" means provisions of this chapter stating that a facility or activity is deemed to have a permit if it meets the requirements of the provision.

"Permitted waste management facility" or "permitted facility" means a regulated medical waste treatment or storage facility that has received a permit in accordance with the requirements of the chapter.

"Physical construction" means excavation, movement of earth, erection of forms or structures, the purchase of equipment, or any other activity involving the actual preparation of the regulated medical waste management facility.

"Processing" means preparation, treatment, or conversion of regulated medical waste by a series of actions, changes, or functions that bring about a decided result.

"RCRA" means the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (42 USC § 6901 et seq.), the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984, and any other applicable amendments to these laws.

"Regulated medical waste" means solid wastes defined to be regulated medical wastes in Part III (9VAC20-120-80 et seq.) of this chapter.

"Regulated medical waste management" means the systematic administration of activities that provide for the collection, source separation, storage, transportation, transfer, processing, treatment, and disposal of regulated medical wastes whether or not such facility is associated with facilities generating such wastes or otherwise.

"Regulated medical waste management facility" means a solid waste management facility that manages regulated medical waste.

"Safe sharps program" means a program supported by a city, county, town or public authority that is intended to enhance the safe disposal of sharps discarded by private individuals.

"Sanitary sewer system" means a system for the collection and transport of sewage, the construction of which was approved by the Department of Health or other appropriate authority.

"Secondary container" means a storage device into which a container can be placed for the purpose of containing any leakage from the original container.

"Section" means a subpart of this chapter and when referred to all portions of that part apply.

"Sharps" means needles, scalpels, knives, syringes with attached needles, pasteur pipettes and similar items having a point or sharp edge or that are likely to break during transportation and result in a point or sharp edge.

"Shipment" means the movement or quantity conveyed by a transporter of a regulated medical waste between a generator and a designated facility or a subsequent transporter.

"Site" means the land or water area upon which a facility or activity is physically located or conducted, including but not limited to adjacent land used for utility systems such as repair, storage, shipping, or processing areas, or other areas incident to the controlled facility or activity.

"Solid waste" means any garbage, refuse, sludge and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid or contained gaseous material, resulting from industrial, commercial, mining and agriculture operations, or community activities, but does not include (i) solid or dissolved material in domestic sewage, (ii) solid or dissolved material in irrigation return flows or in industrial discharges which are sources subject to a permit from the State Water Control Board, or (iii) source, special nuclear, or by-product material as defined by the Federal Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended 42 USC §§ 2011-2284. The definition of solid waste is further clarified in the Solid Waste Management Regulations (9VAC20-81-95).

"Solid waste management" means the collection, source separation, storage, transportation, transfer, processing, treatment, and disposal of solid wastes or resource recovery.

"Spill" means any accidental or unpermitted discharge, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, or dumping of wastes or materials that, when spilled, become wastes.

"Start-up" or "cold start-up" means the beginning of a combustion operation from a condition where the combustor unit is not operating and less than 140°F in all areas.

"Storage" means the holding, including during transportation, of more than 200 gallons of waste, at the end of which the regulated medical waste is treated or stored elsewhere.

"Training" means formal instruction, supplementing an employee's existing job knowledge, designed to protect human health and the environment via attendance and successful completion of a course of instruction in regulated medical waste management procedures, including contingency plan implementation, relevant to those operations connected with the employee's position at the facility.

"Transfer facility" means any transportation related facility including loading docks, parking areas, storage areas, and other similar areas where shipments of regulated medical waste are held during the normal course of transportation.

"Transportation" or "transport" means the movement of regulated medical waste by air, rail, highway, or water.

"Transport vehicle" means any vehicle used for the transportation of cargo.

"Vector" means a living animal, insect or other arthropod that may transmits an infectious disease from one organism to another.

"VRGTHM" means Virginia Regulations Governing the Transportation of Hazardous Materials promulgated by the Virginia Waste Management Board as authorized by §§ 10.1-1450 through 10.1-1454 of the Code of Virginia.

"Waste management facility" means all contiguous land and structures, other appurtenances, and improvements on them used for treating, storing, or disposing of waste.

"Waste management unit" means any unit at a treatment or storage facility that possesses a permit, or that has received regulated medical waste (as defined in this chapter) at any time, including units that are not currently active.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1402 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR672-40-01:1 § 1.1, eff. June 29, 1994; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 18, eff. June 19, 2002; Volume 27, Issue 22, eff. August 3, 2011.

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