EPA and Georgia EPD Inspections

Hazardous materials that result from laboratory operations must be managed safely and in compliance with State of Georgia rules and regulations. EHSO has recently been notified that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD) are conducting unannounced inspections of universities and other entities in our area to ensure compliance with laboratory waste management of hazardous materials (biohazard, chemical, radioactive).

A guideline is provided below for possible items that may be reviewed during the inspection, but MAY NOT BE limited to these items:

  1. Regarding all chemical, radioactive, and biological wastes:
    • a. Ensure that all wastes are being collected in appropriate containers.
    • b. Waste containers are in good condition (no residue on the outside of the container, no formation of crystals, etc.).
    • c. All containers are labeled as to their contents.
    • d. All containers are closed unless waste is being added.
  2. Ensure that chemical containers are not stored near sinks or drains without secondary containment.
  3. Ensure that any waste containers that are stored on the floor are in secondary containment.
  4. No legacy chemicals are stored.
  5. Empty P-listed chemical containers are given to EHSO for disposal (see pages 2-3 of the Guidelines for Chemical Waste Management in Laboratories). Note: If your lab has accumulated any chemical waste, now would be a good time to have it picked up. Submit a detailed waste pick-up request to chemwaste@emory.edu.
  6. Chemicals are not put down the drain, in the regular trash, or in biomedical waste without EHSO approval.
  7. Chemicals are not evaporated in the fume hoods.
  8. Used lamps are labeled “Used Lamp(s)” and with the date removed from service.
  9. Unwanted mercury thermometers are labeled “Used Mercury Containing Device(s)” and with the date removed from service
  10. Used lamps and mercury devices are stored so as to prevent breakage.
  11. Used rechargeable batteries are labeled “Used Battery(ies)” and with the date removed from service.
  12. Electronic waste is labeled as “E-Waste for recycling” and recycled through the appropriate department.
  13. Silver recovery units on photo processers are in good working condition.

Please take an opportunity to evaluate your areas of responsibility to verify that you are following the above guidelines. Please contact EHSO if you have questions.

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