SEC-004: Disposal of Regulated (Hazardous) Materials

Date: 06/30/2005 Status: Pending
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Research
Applies To: Academic Division and the Medical Center.
Table of Contents:

Policy Statement

Reason for Policy:

To ensure that the use, storage, and disposal of Regulated (Hazardous) Materials in University facilities is in compliance with applicable federal and state laws.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • University Facility:

    Any defined space of the University, including a room, lab, series of labs, building, or controlled outdoor area.

Policy Statement:

It is a violation of federal and state law to leave Regulated (Hazardous) Materials (e.g., chemicals, biological agents, and radioactive materials) in University facilities (e.g., laboratories, maintenance spaces, art classes, shops, loading docks, closets, or any other area where these materials are used) unless they are properly capped, stored, and labeled. It is also a violation of law to fail to dispose of such materials in accordance with the University’s Hazardous Waste Collection & Disposal Policy when they are no longer needed. The use, storage, and disposal of Regulated (Hazardous) Materials in University facilities is governed by the following:

  1. It is the responsibility of the faculty member or supervisor in charge of a University facility to assure that federal and state laws on the use, storage, and disposal of Regulated (Hazardous) Materials (RHM) are obeyed. In the case of teaching labs and facilities, the departmental chair is responsible. Each University facility should have appropriate procedures in place to meet these guidelines.

  2. It is the responsibility of the College or School dean or the director of an administrative department to assure that these obligations are met. Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is available to explain the scope and content of applicable laws and to assist deans, department chairs, laboratory directors, and directors of administrative departments with the development of policies.

  3. Subject to the limitations recited below, EHS will arrange for the disposal of unwanted or unneeded RHM at no cost to the laboratory, department, College, or School.

  4. All RHM to be discarded must be labeled with a Hazardous Waste Label form, provided by EHS.

  5. Before a facility where RHM have been utilized is vacated for remodeling, for new occupants, or upon the retirement of faculty members, the department responsible for the area must notify EHS. Before any remodeling can begin or the new occupants move in to the facility, the facility must be inspected by EHS staff. Any RHM remaining in the facility must either be given to a facility where it can be used, or it must be disposed of as hazardous waste prior to the departure of the occupant. EHS staff can provide guidance regarding the proper disposal of any RHM present. In extreme cases EHS can arrange for packing at the facility and direct removal of wastes by a waste contractor.

    There will be no cost for waste removal services if EHS is notified well in advance (at least 60 days before the facility is to be vacated) and if the occupants are able accurately to identify wastes and other RHM. If EHS is not notified in a timely manner and is forced to make arrangements with a waste contractor for emergency services, or if materials in a facility cannot be identified, the department will be required to pay the cost of disposal services. If renovations are made or new occupants move into an area that contains old or unwanted RHM or unlabeled waste, the department will be held responsible for any disposal costs. Facilities Management must notify EHS if they encounter RHM or unlabeled waste in an area to be renovated. New occupants who move into a facility and find RHM left by their predecessors must contact EHS as soon as possible.

  6. EHS will conduct inspections of all University facilities on unannounced schedules. If RHM are not capped, stored, and labeled in a proper manner, occupants will be cited for a RHM violation and the responsible individual, the department chair or supervisor, the dean or director of an administrative department, and the appropriate vice president will be notified. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and/or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will also inspect facilities from time to time. Financial penalties resulting from violations of state or federal law for which they cite the University can be very serious. Such penalties will not be paid from central University resources but must be borne by the laboratory, department, College, or School responsible for the facility in violation.

Related Information:

SEC-003, Chemical Safety & Waste Training
SEC-005, Hazardous (Chemical) Waste Collection and Disposal
SEC-019, University Health & Safety Program

Major Category: Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 06/30/2005
Supersedes (previous policy):
Disposal of Regulated (Hazardous) Materials XV.E.6