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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
Chapter 121. Regulated Medical Waste Management Regulations
5/30/2024

9VAC20-121-120. Storage of regulated medical waste.

A. The requirements of this section apply to storage of regulated medical waste, including storage (i) in soiled utility rooms and other accumulation areas; (ii) at a generating facility; (iii) during transportation; (iv) at a regulated medical waste transfer stations; and (v) at a regulated medical waste treatment or disposal facility. This section also applies to areas used to transfer a load of regulated medical waste from one vehicle to another or when a vehicle containing regulated medical waste is parked for 24 hours or more during transportation.

B. All regulated medical waste shall be stored in a manner that:

1. Maintains the integrity of the packaging at all times, prevents damage, leakage, and spills and provides protection from the elements, vectors, and trespassers;

2. Maintains the packaging in an upright and stable configuration to minimize the potential for spills. If packages or containers are stacked, except during transport, the top of the stacked containers must not be more than six feet above the level of the floor. The integrity of the containers must not be compromised by the stacking arrangement;

3. Is clean and orderly and located in areas free of standing liquid and debris;

4. Provides security from unauthorized access and protects workers and the general public. Regulated medical waste shall be stored in areas where access is limited to only those persons specifically designated to manage regulated medical waste;

5. Meets the packaging and labeling requirements of 9VAC20-121-110; and

6. Meets the requirements of 9VAC20-121-130 when regulated medical waste is stored in reusable carts or containers.

C. Regulated medical waste transfer stations, treatment facilities, and generators of 250 gallons or more of regulated medical waste per calendar month are subject to the following storage requirements:

1. All regulated medical waste shall be stored on surfaces that are cleanable and impermeable to liquids. Carpets and floor coverings with cracks or gaps shall not be used in storage areas. Where tile floors are used and seams are present in the tile, the floor must be sealed with wax or other floor coatings in order to meet this requirement.

2. In areas used to store regulated medical waste, all floor drains shall discharge directly to an approved sanitary sewer system, and all ventilation shall discharge so as to minimize human exposure to the waste.

3. Signage shall be displayed to indicate any areas used to store regulated medical waste.

D. All regulated medical waste shall be stored in accordance with the following timeframes:

1. Generators of less than 250 gallons of regulated medical waste per calendar month shall arrange for the removal of all regulated medical waste stored onsite at least once per calendar month and provide shipment to a facility permitted to receive it for transfer, treatment, or disposal. No regulated medical waste shall be stored onsite for more than 45 calendar days, and no more than 250 gallons of regulated medical waste shall be stored onsite at any given time. Records shall be maintained in accordance with 9VAC20-121-100 I.

2. Generators of 250 gallons or more of regulated medical waste per calendar month shall arrange for the removal of all regulated medical waste stored onsite at least once per calendar week and provide shipment to a facility permitted to receive it for transfer, treatment, or disposal. No regulated medical waste shall be stored onsite for more than 10 calendar days. Records shall be maintained in accordance with 9VAC20-121-100 I.

3. Regulated medical waste treatment facilities shall provide treatment or removal of all regulated medical waste stored onsite on at least a weekly basis. No regulated medical waste shall be stored onsite for more than 10 calendar days. Records shall be maintained in accordance with 9VAC20-121-340 , as applicable.

4. Regulated medical waste transfer stations shall store unrefrigerated regulated medical waste onsite for no more than seven calendar days. All regulated medical waste stored for more than seven calendar days must be refrigerated and stored in an ambient temperature between 35°F and 45°F (2°C and 7°C). No regulated medical waste shall be stored onsite for more than a total of 15 calendar days. Records shall be maintained in accordance with 9VAC20-121-340 , as applicable.

5. Regulated medical waste transfer stations and treatment facilities shall clearly demonstrate the length of time that regulated medical waste is accumulated onsite by marking the outer packaging in permanent ink or maintaining an inventory, barcode, log, or other recordkeeping system.

E. Except in accordance with a permit:

1. No more than 25% of the regulated medical waste stored onsite each month shall be generated or received from offsite, except for emergency cleanups conducted in accordance with 9VAC20-121-300 E 5 and household sharps collected at sharps drop boxes in accordance with 9VAC20-121-300 E 1;

2. Regulated medical waste shall not be treated onsite; and

3. Regulated medical waste that is stored on a loading dock or in areas designated for loading shall be packaged, marked, and labeled for transport and shall not be stored in loading areas for more than 24 hours.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 6941 et seq.; 40 CFR Part 257.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 13, eff. March 15, 2023.

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