Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
Chapter 121. Regulated Medical Waste Management Regulations
4/24/2024

9VAC20-121-160. Management of Category A waste.

A. Category A waste shall be managed in accordance with the requirements of this section.

B. Overarching Planning Considerations and Waste Generator Information and Responsibilities for Category A waste are specified in Sections 3 and 5 of Managing Solid Waste Contaminated with a Category A Infectious Substance. In addition to the general management requirements for regulated medical waste in Part III (9VAC20-121-100 et seq.), all Category A waste shall be handled in accordance with the following additional requirements:

1. Every effort shall be made to minimize the amount of Category A waste generated. Category A waste shall be physically separated, if practical, from other types of waste at the point of origin. When other types of regulated medical waste are mixed with Category A waste, the mixture shall be managed as Category A waste. Category A wastes not suitable for conventional treatment methods, such as batteries, electronics, and oxygen cylinders, shall be segregated from other waste at the point of generation for special handling.

2. All handling, storage, transfer, and treatment of Category A waste must be conducted in areas with cleanable and impermeable surfaces. Carpets and floor coverings with cracks or gaps shall not be used. 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.

3. Equipment and handling techniques that could potentially cause bioaerosols, such as cart tipping, slides, conveyors, and mechanical cleaning or disinfection systems, shall not be used for Category A waste unless the movement and impact is controlled to maintain the integrity of the packaging, prevent exposure to the waste, and any aerosol, bioaerosol, or mist caused by the process is collected and treated or filtered.

4. Category A waste shall not be conveyed in reusable carts or containers unless the containers are subsequently cleaned and disinfected in accordance with 9VAC20-121-130 using an EPA-registered disinfectant appropriate for the type of Category A waste managed and materials being disinfected.

5. All spills of Category A waste shall be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with 9VAC20-121-140 using an EPA-registered disinfectant appropriate for the type of Category A waste managed and materials being disinfected.

6. Category A waste shall be stored in accordance with the requirements of 9VAC20-121-120 B and C. Packages or containers of Category A waste shall not be stacked.

7. A generator storing 250 gallons or more of Category A waste shall notify the department within 24 hours of exceeding 250 gallons. At least once per calendar week, accumulated Category A waste shall be treated onsite in accordance with this section or shipped offsite to a facility permitted to receive it for treatment or disposal. No Category A waste shall be stored onsite for more than 10 calendar days unless an extended storage timeframe is approved by the department. Records shall be maintained in accordance with 9VAC20-121-100 I.

8. The regulated medical waste transfer station or treatment facility shall notify DEQ of receipt of any Category A waste in accordance with 9VAC20-121-340.

C. Waste Transporter Information and Responsibilities for Category A waste are specified in Section 6 of Managing Solid Waste Contaminated with a Category A Infectious Substance. Packaging and labeling of Category A waste for transport must comply with the more stringent packaging standards of 49 CFR Parts 171 through 180 of the HMR, or may require a Department of Transportation special permit for an exception to the HMR requirements to allow for alternative packaging to accommodate the waste.

D. Waste Treatment Information and Responsibilities for Category A waste are specified in Section 7 of Managing Solid Waste Contaminated with a Category A Infectious Substance. In addition to the general treatment requirements for regulated medical waste in Part IV (9VAC20-121-200 et seq.), all Category A waste shall be treated in accordance with the following additional requirements:

1. A facility shall only receive Category A waste for processing or treatment upon specific approval from the director or by specific provisions within the facility's permit.

2. Prior to treatment of any Category A waste, the facility shall notify DEQ and conduct additional validation testing in accordance with 9VAC20-121-260 and an approved treatment plan that is specific to the Category A waste stream and packaging types that will be received.

3. The treatment method and operating parameters shall be appropriate and effective for the type of Category A waste being managed. Treatment units that employ a mechanical process, such as grinding or shredding, prior to treatment or integral to the treatment unit, may not be appropriate for Category A waste streams. The facility shall demonstrate that the process prevents employee exposure to the waste; contains any aerosol, bioaerosol, or mist caused by the process; and treats or filters any air evacuated from the chamber during processing.

4. The facility shall not receive or treat Category A waste until the department has reviewed and approved the validation results, operating parameters, and protocols to be used for the treatment unit.

5. Treatment of Category A waste shall only be in accordance with the operating parameters and protocols approved by the department.

6. Challenge testing shall be performed and documented for every load containing Category A waste. The facility may request an alternate challenge test frequency once a high level of confidence is established that the Category A waste is being effectively treated.

7. The owner or operator shall provide a certification that the regulated medical waste management plan demonstrates protocols specific to the Category A waste stream to be treated and meets all additional standards of Part III (9VAC20-121-100 et seq.) and Part IV (9VAC20-121-200 et seq.), as applicable, in accordance with 9VAC20-121-330. The plan shall specify if and how management protocols for Category A waste differ from existing protocols for routinely received regulated medical waste, including how treated wastes will be disposed. The certification shall also include a statement that the emergency contingency plan has been provided to the local police and fire departments, local emergency manager, and local emergency health coordinator.

E. Final Disposal Information and Responsibilities for Category A waste are specified in Section 8 of Managing Solid Waste Contaminated with a Category A Infectious Substance. Category A waste shall be disposed of in accordance with the following requirements:

1. Category A waste that has been treated in accordance with the special requirements of this section is no longer Category A waste or regulated medical waste. Category A waste treated in accordance with this section is solid waste and shall be disposed of at a permitted solid waste disposal facility, provided the disposal is in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Regulations (9VAC20-81) and the facility's permit.

2. Category A waste not treated in accordance with this chapter shall not be transported to, received for transport, or disposal by, or disposed of in, any solid waste management facility.

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.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.