Safety

Tip of the week: Those with incinerators must review new EPA revisions

Hospital Safety Insider, September 30, 2009

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Although there are only 57 active medical waste incinerators in the country, if your facility is among those housing one, you need to check out an updated regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
 
An original rule came out in 1997 and established emissions guidelines for medical incinerators. The Sierra Club promptly sued the EPA, arguing that the agency violated the Clean Air Act.
 
In 1999, a federal appeals court rejected the Sierra Club’s arguments, but remanded the complicated rule back to the EPA for further explanation. The rule has remained in effect during the remand.
 
The final amendments to the rule, which the EPA believes answers the court’s questions, include:
  • Strengthened existing emission limits for all regulated pollutants
  • Additional stack testing requirements for existing and new sources
  • Additional monitoring requirements for new sources
  • Annual inspections of emission control devices
  • One-time visible emissions tests of ash-handling operations
  • Procedures for test data submittal
  • Revised waste management plan provisions
The EPA offers a fact sheet about the regulation that gives a nice overview of the provisions and the rule’s history.



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