DNREC cites Bayhealth for hazardous waste violations

DOVER — DNREC announced Monday that Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital received a Notice of Administrative Penalty and Secretary’s Orders for alleged violations of Delaware’s laws and regulations governing hazardous waste management.

Under its federal grant work plan, the department conducted an initiative in 2014 to inspect Delaware hospitals in order to determine compliance with hazardous waste regulations, particularly related to the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals, DNREC said.

The order issued by Secretary David S. Small includes a penalty of $73,509 and $11,026 in cost recovery for DNREC.
According to DNREC, its Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances conducted a compliance assessment at Bayhealth’s Kent General Hospital on July 31, 2014.

On Monday, Bayhealth issued the following statement through spokeswoman Pam Marecki:

“When made aware of the situation, Bayhealth cooperated fully with DNREC,” she said.

“Bayhealth immediately implemented training and procedures to ensure compliance with Delaware’s laws and regulations governing hazardous waste management.”

DNREC said the assessment identified 22 alleged violations of Delaware’s Regulations Governing Hazardous Waste, including: failing to make a hazardous waste determination on pharmaceutical wastes and improperly disposing of pharmaceutical wastes. Additional violations included failure to conduct waste handling and disposal training; and failure to conduct required weekly inspections, the state said.

DNREC said that prior to the July 2014 assessment, it had also conducted an assessment in March 2014 at Bayhealth’s Milford Memorial Hospital. After similar alleged violations to what was found at Kent General were identified, DNREC said it provided Bayhealth with extensive assistance for returning to compliance — including the department’s conducting training event at Bayhealth’s request for hospital employees that covered proper hazardous waste management for health care professionals.

Kent General Hospital has since come into compliance with Delaware’s laws and regulations governing hazardous waste management, DNREC said.

Also, a Secretary’s Order issued to St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington includes a penalty of $13,021 and $1,953 in cost recovery for DNREC.

The Secretary’s Orders can be found on DNREC’s website at www.dnrec.delaware.gov.

DNREC said Bayhealth’s Kent General Hospital and St. Francis Hospital have 30 days to appeal the penalty orders.

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