Spills, Radiation and Emergency Plans: Our Environmental Compliance Guide
February 5, 2024

Waste management companies are required to follow specific protocols that have been put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency. Remaining in compliance with EPA standards and guidelines is essential if the company wants to avoid paying heavy fines and fees. Spills, radiation leaks, and emergency situations can cause extensive damage to the environment. Depending on the severity of the incident, companies may be fined tens of thousands of dollars in addition to the cost of cleaning up the disaster.

Lab Pack Management

Lab pack management, whether in a laboratory or manufacturer setting, requires chemicals and other materials to be properly identified, labeled, and stored according to Material Safety Data Sheets. All clean-up protocols must be followed at all times in the event of a spill or leak. This is also true if the materials have been set aside for disposal. All hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, including products that are a mixture of both, must be carefully transported and disposed of according to the EPA guidelines for each substance contained in the mixture.

Chemical Waste Management

Chemical waste management includes maintaining up to date versions of MSDS sheets for every chemical material on the premises, including both hazardous and non-hazardous products. Chemical waste disposal must be properly documented. Documents must state the type of chemicals included, how they were being transported where they were being taken, the name of the waste disposal company, and the date/time the shipment was released. Depending on where you live and the type of materials being disposed of, you will have to retain any pertinent documents for the amount of time required by the EPA.

Chemical Lab Packing Services & Disposal

Waste companies that specialize in chemical lab packing services and disposal have the tools and resources they need to remain in compliance with EPA guidelines. When lab packs are provided for the disposal of specific chemicals or mixtures, specific instructions will be included so that the materials that are scheduled for disposal can be correctly labeled and packaged so that both you and the disposal company remains in compliance.

Laboratory Chemical Disposal & Lab Pack Services

Laboratory chemical disposal and lab pack services provide lab packs and disposal instructions that will allow you to remain in compliance with both their hazardous waste disposal guidelines as well as those of the EPA and other government agencies. The same applies for non-hazardous waste disposal guidelines. Due to the fact that laboratories must maintain strict records in terms of projects, experiments, and other activities, the record keeping aspect of disposal procedures will be rather easy. It is up to the laboratory manager, however, to maintain accurate records of all disposal procedures, protocols, and shipments.

Lab Packing Services & Disposal for Government Agencies

Lab packing services and disposal for government agencies often involves hiring a third-party contractor to assist with the identification and testing of certain hazardous and non-hazardous waste materials. In addition to the EPA, other government agencies may also be involved to ensure all proper protocols are followed and that all companies involved remain in compliance with current guidelines. From the first use of the hazardous/non-hazardous materials to the final disposal, complete and accurate records must be kept and maintained for the required period of time.

Lab Packing Services & Disposal for Industrial Laboratories

Industrial laboratories deal with industrial grade wastes, chemicals, and by-products that must be dealt with legally and responsibly. While industry disposal standards are strict, other restrictions and guidelines are added by the Environmental Protection Agency and solid waste districts in the area where the company is located. Lab packs that are provided for the disposal of specific types of waste will contain any pertinent instructions in reference to the handling and transportation of the materials. Not following these instructions could result in a spill or accidental leak that results in environmental contamination and hefty fines by both the industry and the EPA.

Lab Packing Services & Disposal for Medical Laboratories

Medical laboratories deal with a wide variety of drug/chemical waste as well as biologic waste that includes both hazardous and non-hazardous materials. Infectious waste is considered to be extremely hazardous and must be handled according to the legal protocols by the FDA and the EPA. Violating either in any way, shape, or form, could result in not only large fines but also an in-depth investigation that results in civil or criminal charges. Lab packs that are provided for the disposal of medical waste must be used according to the instructions in the kit as well as the MSDS sheets that are on site.

Lab Packing Services & Disposal for Schools & Colleges

Lab pack services and disposal companies also have special protocols when picking up waste from schools and colleges. Waste disposal shipments that involve collections from schools and colleges also contained detailed information from records that were maintained throughout the study/experiment. Much like any other industry, laboratory guidelines must be maintained at the strictest industry standards at all times. This may also require the hiring of a third-party to identify and perform various tests on any chemicals or waste that are being prepared for disposal.

Non-Hazardous Waste Management and Disposal

Non-hazardous waste management involves keeping accurate records of purchases, storage, usage, and the ultimate disposal of all chemical or material waste on the premises. While non-hazardous waste disposal protocols are less strict, in some ways, they must still be adhered to so that the company or laboratory in question remains in compliance with both government and industry standards. It is up to both entities to follow the guidelines and maintain accurate and concise records.

Hazardous Waste Management and Disposal

Hazardous waste management and disposal involve stringent EPA guidelines that are designed to not only prevent spills and leaks but also protect employees in the work environment. These protocols are designed to limit exposure to toxic and hazardous materials during their use, storage, and eventual disposal. Hazardous waste management requires appropriate documentation be kept on hand at all times and that permits be kept with shipments destined for disposal. Third-party contractors are often used to ensure companies remain in compliance at all times.

Hazardous Waste Lab Packing Services & Disposal

Hazardous waste lab packing and disposal services must provide adequate instructions and lab pack materials to laboratories and testing facilities to ensure they have everything they need for the safe storage and disposal of all types of hazardous waste used at the facility. Instructions must be followed and adequate records must be kept at all times. This includes Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheets that outline all protocols and guidelines associated with each substance or material. All documentation must be kept in an area that is easily accessible to all employees.

Transportation & Disposal of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Waste

Transportation and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste involve a unique set of protocols and guidelines aside from those required for the materials’ disposal. In order to transport any hazardous or non-hazardous materials to a disposal destination, specific permits and documents are required. This is especially true if the shipment is crossing state lines. For different types of hazardous waste, special routes must be mapped out that avoid heavily populated commercial, residential, or school zones.

Radioactive Waste Disposal

Radioactive waste is extremely dangerous and requires special containers that have been lined with lead or other types of metal to ensure that radiation does not leak or spill out into the surrounding environment. Radioactive materials require special containers whether the materials are being stored, used within a project, or being prepared for disposal. Third-party contractors that specialize in the maintenance and disposal of radioactive isotopes and other types of radioactive materials may be called in to ensure that all compliance guidelines are strictly enforced.

Waste to Energy

Compliance is also mandatory when converting waste to energy through hazardous waste incineration and hazardous waste fuel blending. While non-hazardous waste incineration may have more relaxed guidelines, the basics are still the same in terms of adequate documentation, transportation protocols, and the handling of materials that may be a mixture of both hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Converting waste to energy offers a new, more cost-effective fuel source, but along with that, also comes the responsibility of protecting the environment and the creatures that live in it. The EPA and other government agencies continually monitor and update the protocols associated with waste to energy disposal methods. If your company employs this methodology, it is up to you to remain current with those guidelines and submit any required reports in a timely fashion.

The purpose of the EPA formulating protocols and guidelines encompasses many different factors. Not only is it important that hazardous and non-hazardous wastes and chemicals be treated in a safe manner, but they must also be properly contained so that they do not have an adverse effect on the environment or its inhabitants. Proper storage in specialized containers may be required to reduce the risk of spills and leaks that could devastate large areas of groundwater or soil.

Utilizing proper disposal methods is also an essential part of the equation. No matter how a chemical or waste product is disposed of, the goal is to have as minimal an impact on the environment as humanly possible. Repeated issues that involve non-compliance or the misuse of hazardous chemicals may result in heavy fees and fines being levied against the company in question.

Remaining in compliance with state and federal guidelines is rather simple if you follow the instructions within the MSDS sheets and have a good working knowledge of EPA guidelines and protocols. It’s also essential to have a thorough knowledge of the permits that may be required in order to transport and dispose of certain types of materials. Maintaining complete and accurate records will assist you in remaining compliant, as will having a list of resources to fall back on when you need a third-party contractor or a professional testing agent to approve of your shipments and disposal methods.

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