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Which Agency Controls Medical Waste Disposal Regulations?



January 20, 2023



Home » Medical Waste Disposal » Which Agency Controls Medical Waste Disposal Regulations?

Which Agency Controls Medical Waste Disposal Regulations?

Which Agency Controls Medical Waste Disposal Regulations? When it comes to medical waste disposal, it is important to know who is responsible for regulating and controlling these activities. Medical waste disposal regulations are put in place to protect the public from potential health risks, and it is important to understand who is responsible for these regulations. In this article, we will discuss which agencies are responsible for medical waste disposal regulations, what medical waste is, who is responsible for medical waste disposal, what regulations are in place for medical waste disposal, how the agencies control the process, what penalties are in place for not following medical waste disposal regulations, how businesses can ensure they are following medical waste disposal regulations, and what resources are available to help businesses comply with medical waste disposal regulations.

Which Agency Is Responsible for Medical Waste Disposal?

The agency responsible for medical waste disposal regulations varies by state but is typically the state level Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Health Department, Department of Environment and Conservation or a combination thereof. The agencies are responsible for setting and enforcing regulations that protect the environment and public health. Medical waste disposal is one of the regulations that the agencies are responsible for, and it is important to understand the agencies’ role in regulating this activity.

Typically, the EPA is responsible for regulating medical waste disposal by businesses. This means that any business that produces medical waste must comply with the EPA’s regulations in order to stay in compliance. The EPA is also responsible for ensuring that medical waste is properly disposed of and does not pose a risk to public health or the environment.

What is Medical Waste?

Medical waste does not have a universal definition across the states and does not even have a universal name. In some states it is called infectious waste, biomedical waste, regulated medical waste, biohazard waste, and more.

According to the US EPA medical waste is generally, healthcare waste that that may be contaminated by blood, body fluids or other potentially infectious materials and is often referred to as regulated medical waste. 

Who Is Responsible for Medical Waste Disposal?

Which Agency Controls Medical Waste Disposal Regulations?

It is important to understand who is responsible for ensuring that medical waste is disposed of properly. The generator is ultimately responsible for the proper treatment and disposal of the medical waste they generate. It is up to them to insure they are compliant with the EPA’s regulations.

Businesses that produce medical waste are responsible for ensuring that they are following the regulations in place for treating and disposing of medical waste. This includes properly labeling and storing medical waste, properly treating and disposing of medical waste, and ensuring that the medical waste is not a risk to public health or the environment.

What Are the Regulations in Place for Medical Waste Disposal?

When the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988 was established, it gave the US EPA agency authority for two years in four states to find a better way to manage medical waste. What prompted the investigation was several east coast beaches had medical waste washing up on shore and there was a growing public concern over safety.

The purpose of this act was to do the following.

After the act was completed in 1991 the federal agencies came up with a Model Guidelines for State Medical Waste Management. These guidelines, developed by the Council of State Governments, are intended to serve as a ready-reference tool for all aspects of medical waste management. However, it was left up to each state to define and enforce its own program.

The MWTA also required EPA to examine various treatment technologies available at the time for their ability to reduce the disease-causing potential of medical waste. The technologies that EPA examined in 1990 included:

So, while regulations vary from state to state, in general they include.

How Do the Agencies Control Medical Waste Disposal?

The agencies responsible for enforcing the regulations for medical waste disposal. The agency which could be any state of federal authority like the EPA or OSHA does this by conducting inspections of businesses that produce medical waste and by issuing fines for any violations of the regulations. The agencies also have the authority to issue orders to businesses to ensure that they are complying with the regulations.

The EPA also ensures that medical waste is properly treated and disposed of and does not pose a risk to public health or the environment. The agency provides guidance to businesses on how to properly manage medical waste and how to ensure compliance with the regulations.

What Are the Penalties for Not Following Medical Waste Disposal Regulations?

The EPA and OSHA can impose penalties on businesses and individuals who do not comply with the regulations for medical waste disposal. The penalties can include fines, orders to cease operations, and criminal charges. The severity of the penalties depends on the severity of the violation and the length of time that the individual or business has been in violation of the regulations.

The EPA also has the authority to take legal action against businesses and individuals who do not comply with the regulations. This includes filing lawsuits and seeking injunctions against businesses and individuals who are in violation of the regulations.

How Can Businesses Ensure They Are Following Medical Waste Disposal Regulations?

Businesses that produce medical waste must ensure that they are following the regulations for medical waste disposal.

Businesses can ensure compliance with the regulations by properly labeling, storing, and packaging medical waste.

From there hiring a medical waste disposal company that owns and operates its own medical waste treatment plant is the surest way to stay compliant.

A medical waste company that owns a medical waste treatment plant is regulated by the state to ensure safe treatment and disposal. In short, the state is regulating them to make sure they are doing things according to state regulations.

They must register with the state as a treatment facility and are regulated more than a medical waste hauler, who simply transports waste from point A to point B.

When looking for a medical waste management company be sure to ask them if they own and operate their own medical waste treatment plant.

At Bio-MED we own the trucks that come to your facility, we employ the drivers that come into your facility and we own the destruction plants that treat your medical waste.

By having one company handle your waste from ‘cradle-to-grave’ allows us to bring our customers, the best process, products and services with significant savings.


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