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

9VAC20-120-640. Performance standards.

All alternative treatment facilities for regulated medical waste shall maintain the following level of operational performance at all times:

1. Operational controls and records. The following requirements apply to all alternative treatment facilities.

a. Except as provided in 9VAC20-120-550, 9VAC20-120-600 E or 9VAC20-120-650 D, regulated medical waste shall be ground or shredded into particles that are no larger than an approximate size of 0.75 inches in any dimension. If size reduction takes place prior to treatment, it shall occur in a closed unit immediately preceding or following the treatment unit. Size reduction following treatment must occur within 24 hours of leaving the treatment unit. Transfer from a grinder or shredder to or from a treatment unit shall be under forced draft ventilation that removes fumes from the operations area to a safe discharge.

b. Alternative treatment units shall be evaluated under full loading for effectiveness with spores of B. stearothermophilus or B. subtilis no less than once per month (See 9VAC20-120-910 B).

c. A log shall be kept at each alternative treatment unit that is complete for the preceding three year period. The log shall record the date, time and operator; the type and approximate amount of solid waste treated; and the dates and results of calibration and testing. Where multiple alternative treatment units are used, a working log can be maintained at each unit and such logs periodically consolidated at a central location. The consolidated logs and all performance parameter recordings shall be retained for three years and be available for review.

d. Except as described in 9VAC20-120-300 C and subdivision 1 a of this section, regulated medical waste shall not be compacted or subjected to violent mechanical stress before treatment. After it is fully treated it may be compacted in a closed container in a safe and sanitary manner.

e. All process units for the preparation or treatment of regulated medical waste shall be in closed vessels under a negative pressure atmospheric control that filters all vents, discharges, and fugitive emissions of air from the process units through a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter with efficiency of 99.97% for 0.3 microns.

2. Special requirements by type of treatment. Facilities shall comply with the following treatment requirements for the specific technology employed. Each treatment unit shall be preceded by grinding or shredding in accordance with subdivision 1 a of this section.

a. Dry heat treatment.

(1) Any treatment unit employing dry heat as the main treatment process shall subject all the regulated medical waste to:

(a) A temperature of no less than 480°F for no less than 30 minutes;

(b) A temperature of no less than 390°F for no less than 38 minutes; or

(c) A temperature of no less than 355°F for no less than 60 minutes.

(2) No treatment unit employing dry heat as the main treatment process shall have a treatment chamber capacity greater than 1.0 cubic feet in volume.

(3) Each treatment unit shall be equipped to sense, display and continuously record the temperature of the treatment chamber.

b. Microwave treatment.

(1) Microwaving treatment shall incorporate pretreatment by shredding and steam injection or induction.

(2) Any treatment unit employing microwave radiation as the main treatment process shall subject all the solid waste to a temperature of no less than 203°F for no less than 25 minutes.

(3) Microwave radiation power of the treatment process shall be at least six units each having a power of 1,200 watts or the equivalent power output.

(4) Each microwave treatment unit shall be equipped to sense, display and continuously record the temperature at the start, middle and end of the treatment chamber.

(5) Process temperatures at the exposure chamber entry and exit and the waste flow rate shall be continuously monitored, displayed, and recorded.

c. Chlorination.

(1) Any treatment unit employing chlorination as the main treatment process shall subject all the solid waste to a solution whose initial free residual chlorine concentration is not less than 3,000 milligrams per liter for no less than 25 minutes.

(2) The free chlorine residual of the solid waste slurry after treatment shall be maintained at 200 milligrams per liter. The treated solid waste stream shall be equipped to continuously analyze, display, and record free chlorine residual concentration. Interval sampling every two minutes or less may be substituted for continuous analysis.

d. Other alternative treatment technologies. All alternative treatment technologies approved by the director shall conform to the requirements of this part and any additional requirements the director shall impose at the time of approval.

(1) Any person who desires to use a treatment technology other than those described in subdivisions 2 a, 2 b, and 2 c of this section, or Part VII (9VAC20-120-520 et seq.) or Part VIII (9VAC20-120-580 et seq.) of this chapter shall petition the director for a review under 9VAC20-120-860 and 9VAC20-120-870.

(2) If the director finds that the technology and application is in accord with Article 3 (9VAC20-120-900 et seq.) of Part XI of this chapter, he may consider the facility for permitting.

(3) The director may issue a public notice that an applicant has demonstrated compliance of a process with 9VAC20-120-910 through 9VAC20-120-950 and consider 9VAC20-120-960 in a separate review.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1402 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR672-40-01:1 § 9.2, eff. June 29, 1994; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 18, eff. June 19, 2002.

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