The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources’ Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that Central Vermont Medical Center, Inc. was fined $20,250 after inspections of the facility revealed multiple violations of Vermont’s Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.
Hazardous waste contains chemicals that are dangerous or capable of having harmful effects on public health and the environment. The DEC recognizes that many businesses generate some amount of hazardous waste in the normal course of business and provides information and support generators need in order to comply with state and federal hazardous waste management laws. Central Vermont Medical Center, Inc. (CVMC) is registered as a Small Quantity Generator. This designation requires the medical center follow a comprehensive set of practices to safely manage hazardous waste—from waste generation to storage and disposal.
In July 2018, DEC staff conducted a routine inspection of CVMC’s Berlin facility and observed multiple storage, labeling, and management violations. DEC staff also found hazardous waste stored outside of designated waste collection stations throughout the hospital. Additionally, DEC staff found that arrangements with local emergency response personnel had not been established regarding the locations and types of hazardous materials onsite, and emergency information had not been posted in certain areas of the facility.
“It’s important for hazardous waste to be properly labeled, stored, and managed at a facility. These facilities also need to make sure they’re prepared to handle a hazardous waste emergency. Establishing these essential practices helps track and properly manage hazardous waste throughout its lifecycle in a facility,” says Emily Boedecker, DEC Commissioner. “These practices help prevent accidental exposure to the harmful effects of hazardous materials, and protect the facility’s employees and its clients as well as the public, emergency responders, and the environment.”
A follow-up site visit in September 2018 by DEC revealed several continuing storage violations and improper waste management. After receiving notifications of the violations, CVMC submitted a plan to correct the deficiencies and returned to compliance. As a result of negotiations, CVMC agreed to resolve the matter and pay a penalty of $20,250 for the violations. The Vermont Superior Court, Environmental Division incorporated the settlement agreement into an Order of the Court on February 4, 2019.
To access resources for Vermont’s hazardous waste handlers, including compliance handbooks, or for more information about DEC’s Waste Management and Prevention Division, visit https://dec.vermont.gov/waste-management.