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

9VAC20-121-220. Design and construction requirements.

A. The design and construction of all regulated medical waste transfer stations or treatment facilities shall be governed by the standards as set forth in this section. These facilities shall have:

1. An access road suitable for loaded collection vehicles in all weather conditions from the entrance to the unloading or receiving area of the facility.

2. Onsite queuing capacity for the expected traffic so that the waiting collection vehicles do not back up onto the public road.

3. Unloading and loading areas of an adequate size and design to facilitate efficient transfer of regulated medical waste to and from collection vehicles and the unobstructed movement of vehicles.

4. Access controls such as perimeter security fencing, gates, locks, badge systems, or other controls to limit access to areas used to store, transfer, or treat regulated medical waste to only those persons specifically designated to manage regulated medical waste.

5. Adequate lighting so that operating personnel can exercise site control. Lighting may be provided by portable equipment as necessary.

6. Covered areas with cleanable and impermeable surfaces for handling, storage, transfer, and treatment of regulated medical waste and the cleaning and disinfection of reusable containers. These areas shall not be carpeted or have floor coverings with cracks or gaps. 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.

7. Bermed pavement, a liquid retaining lip, or equivalent controls at loading docks and near rolling or bay doors to contain potential leaks and spills of regulated medical waste or other liquids.

8. Floors sloped or graded to drain such that all effluent, wash water, and other runoff from storage and processing areas, treatment equipment, waste compactors, and reusable container cleaning and disinfection areas is contained and discharged directly to an approved sanitary sewer system.

9. Ventilation that discharges to minimize human exposure to the waste.

10. A water supply shall be provided for cleaning purposes.

11. Fire alarm and protection systems capable of detecting, controlling, and extinguishing any and all fires.

12. Fixed radiation detectors in a location as close as practicable to the incoming waste loads and in an appropriate geometry to monitor all waste prior to storage, transfer, or treatment. A fixed radiation detector is not required at captive regulated medical waste management facility if the facility demonstrates that there is no potential for generation or management of radioactive materials or wastes. Demonstration shall include a certification that there is no radiation producing equipment or material onsite.

B. Effluent, wash water, and other runoff from the facility shall not be permitted to drain or discharge into surface waters except when authorized under a VPDES permit issued pursuant to 9VAC25-31.

C. Slides, cart tippers, conveyors, and similar equipment used to move regulated medical waste must be designed and constructed such that the movement and impact is controlled to maintain the integrity of the packaging at all times and prevent damage, leakage, and spills. Trash chutes shall not be used to manage regulated medical waste.

D. Any areas used for the storage of regulated medical waste shall be designed in accordance with 9VAC20-121-120 and have sufficient storage capacity for the maximum anticipated storage amount based on the amount of daily incoming waste and maximum length of time in storage.

E. All facilities that manage reusable containers or carts for regulated medical waste shall have designated areas for manual or mechanical cleaning and disinfection that comply with the requirements of 9VAC20-121-130.

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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