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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
Chapter 121. Regulated Medical Waste Management Regulations
2/23/2024

9VAC20-121-300. Applicability.

A. Any facility operated for the transfer or treatment of regulated medical waste that is not exempt in accordance with this chapter, must hold a permit-by-rule from the department prior to commencement of operations.

B. Each regulated medical waste management facility permit-by-rule shall be limited to one site and shall be nontransferable between sites.

C. A new permit-by-rule is required when there is:

1. Any new regulated medical waste management facility; or

2. Any change in design or process of a regulated medical waste management facility that will result in a different type of facility. These changes may include a change from transfer to treatment facility, change of physical location, or change from captive to non-captive facility.

D. The director may grant a variance from any provision contained in this part to a permittee provided the requirements of Part VI (9VAC20-121-400 et seq.) of this chapter are met.

E. The following regulated medical waste management activities are conditionally exempt from the requirements of this part provided no open dump, hazard, or public nuisance is created and wastes are managed in accordance with the requirements promulgated by other applicable state or federal regulations or the conditions provided in this section.

1. Household sharps may be collected in a sharps drop box located in a public restroom, airport, train station, health clinic, pharmacy, health department, police or fire station, community organization building, permitted solid waste management facility, or other location as a convenience to the public, as long as the following requirements are met:

a. Sharps drop boxes shall only receive household sharps from individual home generators who choose to transport household sharps to the drop box. Sharps drop boxes shall not receive waste from collection vehicles or other entities that have collected waste from more than one real property owner;

b. All owners and operators of sharps drop boxes must comply with the general handling, packaging and labeling, storage, reusable container, spill cleanup, transportation, and Category A waste management requirements for regulated medical waste outlined in Part III (9VAC20-121-100 et seq.) of this chapter; and

c. Collected sharps shall be treated or disposed of as regulated medical waste in accordance with this chapter. Untreated sharps shall not be recycled or disposed of in a solid waste landfill or other solid waste management facility. Collected sharps that are shipped offsite as part of a mail-back program shall be transported in accordance with the requirements of 39 CFR 111 and 9VAC20-121-150 K.

2. Facilities that employ a treatment method to treat regulated medical waste onsite but subsequently package, label, and transport the waste offsite to be further managed as regulated medical waste are exempt from permitting in accordance with this chapter, but are subject to all other standards outlined in Part III (9VAC20-121-100 et seq.) for the management of regulated medical waste.

3. Treatment systems (such as an effluent decontamination system) used to treat industrial or domestic sewage discharges in compliance with federal, state, or local pretreatment requirements as applicable. If the treatment unit separates solids from liquids prior to discharge, the solids shall be managed as regulated medical waste unless it meets an exemption in accordance with this chapter.

4. Combustion of up to 10% by weight of regulated medical waste in a Virginia Solid Waste Management Regulations (9VAC20-81) permitted solid waste incinerator, thermal treatment, or waste to energy facility. Regulated medical waste must be an approved supplemental waste or included in an approved material review process in accordance with the State Air Pollution Control Board regulations and management of the regulated medical waste prior to addition to the incinerator, thermal treatment, or waste to energy unit must be in accordance with this chapter.

5. Temporary offsite storage of regulated medical waste generated from an emergency cleanup for up to 72 hours, including in a locked vehicle, prior to transporting directly to a regulated medical waste management facility permitted to receive the waste for treatment, transfer, or disposal, provided that all regulated medical waste is:

a. Generated from an emergency or unplanned sudden or nonsudden spill or release of regulated medical waste requiring immediate response in order to protect human health or the environment, and the regulated medical waste was not generated by a health care professional or nonstationary health care provider;

b. Collected from not more than one individual regulated medical waste generator and is not received from collection vehicles or other entities that have collected waste from more than one real property owner;

c. Managed, stored, and transported in accordance with all requirements of Part III (9VAC20-121-100 et seq.) of this chapter, except for the storage timeframe which shall be no more than 72 hours; and

d. Not a Category A waste, hazardous waste, or radioactive waste.

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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