Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has assessed a $451,000 fine against UPMC for illegally dumping medical waste at the Monroeville landfill. DEP fined Allegheny Health Network $86,900 in July for similar violations.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the story:
The fact that the medical waste, including bloody dressings, body fluids and needles, wasn’t shrink-wrapped inside those red bags served as the telltale sign the bags hadn’t undergone autoclave sterilization.
The neighbors alerted landfill officials, who in turn notified the State Department of Environmental Protection, whose two-year investigation resulted in assessment of a $451,000 fine against UPMC that was announced Tuesday. The DEP said 12 UPMC hospitals were disposing unprocessed and potentially infectious waste in the landfill along with municipal garbage.
Based on that same investigation, DEP fined Allegheny Health Network $86,900 in July for similar violations of the state Solid Waste Management Act involving medical waste from its West Penn and Forbes Regional hospitals.
DEP spokesman John Poister said the investigation found no evidence that the two hospital systems intentionally were disposing of medical waste illegally and attributed the problem to lack of proper training of employees.