Title XV of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act (Act) establishes statutory requirements to ensure that Potentially Infectious Medical Waste (PIMW) will be handled in a safe and responsible manner. On June 17, 1993, the Illinois Pollution Control Board (Board), in accordance with Title VII of the Act, adopted regulations prescribing the standards and criteria for the handling of PIMW. These regulations became effective June 21, 1993. The requirements found in the Act and the Board’s regulations are intended to reduce the occupational and environmental health risks that occur during the storage, treatment, transport, transfer, and disposal of PIMW.
The information presented in this fact sheet does not eliminate any person’s responsibility to fulfill any legal obligation under the Act or regulations promulgated thereunder.
The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide some of the PIMW requirements, found in both the Act and the Board’s regulations. For the complete requirements, please see Title XV of the Act and 35 Illinois Administrative Code (Ill. Adm. Code): Subtitle M.
For additional information on PIMW regulations in Illinois, contact the PIMW Coordinator at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency; Bureau of Land #33; 1021 North Grand Avenue East; P.O. Box 19276; Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276, or call (217) 524-3289.
A storage operation is defined in the Act as the containment of waste, either on a temporary basis or for a period of years, in such a manner as not to constitute disposal. The Act also defines a transfer station as a site or facility that accepts waste for temporary storage or consolidation and further transfer to a waste disposal, treatment, or storage facility.
In order to accept PIMW, a storage and/or transfer facility must be permitted by the Illinois EPA Bureau of Land. Only PIMW that has been stored and packaged in accordance with the Act may be shipped to these facilities. Any hospital that treats, stores, or transfers only PIMW from its own activities or members of its medical staff does not need a permit. Any person conducting a PIMW treatment, storage, or transfer operation for PIMW generated by the person's own activities that are stored or transferred within the site where the PIMW is generated does not need a permit.
Please refer to Sections 1422.105, 1422.106, and 1422.107 of Subtitle M for details concerning permit applications, including documentation required, filing fees, and certifications necessary. Permit applications may be obtained from the Illinois EPA.
Before medical waste can be accepted for storage/transfer, the potentially infectious medical waste (PIMW) must be packaged in accordance with the regulations. First, generators must separate the PIMW into the following groups: (1) sharps, (2) oversized, and (3) all other PIMW. Next, the segregated PIMW should be packaged in containers that are: (1) rigid, (2) leak-resistant, (3) impervious to moisture, (4) of sufficient strength to prevent tearing or bursting, and (5) sealed to prevent leakage. In addition to the above requirements, the sharps containers must also be puncture-resistant. Oversized PIMW must be covered or packaged so that contact with transport workers and the public is minimized. Sharps may not be packaged with oversized PIMW.
PIMW packages which can be accepted for storage/transfer must be labeled as follows:
The generator must mark on two opposite sides of the exterior of the PIMW package (on one side of oversized PIMW), in lettering that is readable at a minimum distance of five feet: (1) the word 'BIOHAZARD', (2) the word 'Sharps' if the package contains sharps, and (3) the International Biohazard Symbol.
In addition, the generator must securely attach a water-resistant label or tag to each package and write in indelible ink: (1) Generator's name, (2) Generator's address, and (3) Generator's phone number (24-hour number, if available).
The transporter must also affix a label to each package in the same manner: (1) Transporter's name, (2) Transporter's permit number, (3) Transporter's address, (4) Transporter's phone number (24-hour number, if available), and (5) For each package, the date when PIMW initially left the generator's site, or a unique ID number giving that information.
When there is more than one transporter, each transporter must label each PIMW package in this manner. Tags must not obscure any previous information on the package.
Inner packages must be marked with the word 'BIOHAZARD', the word 'SHARPS' if they contain sharps, and the International Biohazard Symbol.
Transporters of PIMW are required to have:
A person can transport PIMW without a hauling permit or manifest if:
Transporters are required to obtain a hauling permit to haul PIMW EXCEPT:
Persons required to have a PIMW Hauling Permit must transport PIMW:
Any person who stores PIMW must comply with the following:
It is the transporter's responsibility to carry a completed PIMW manifest. The manifest must be in a form prescribed and provided by the Illinois EPA. The Illinois EPA assesses a fee of $2.00 for each PIMW manifest, payable by the transporter.
A 1.5 cents per pound fee must be collected from:
Transporters who are exempt from obtaining a hauling permit are also exempt from carrying a manifest.
There is no fee for a storage/transfer facility permit application.
Facilities which are required to have a storage/transfer permit must comply with the following:
Manifests are required for the transport of PIMW (except for the exemptions described above). Storage/transfer facilities will be required to retain a copy of these manifests for 3 years and must make them available for inspection and copying by Illinois EPA.
All facilities permitted to store or transfer PIMW or those un-permitted facilities which treat more than 50 pounds per month of PIMW must file an annual report with Illinois EPA by March 31 specifying the quantities and disposition of PIMW transported, stored, treated, disposed, or transferred during the previous calendar year. Such reports must be on forms prescribed and provided by Illinois EPA.