Hospitals pay $375,000 for dumping waste

Dec. 9, 2011 at 8:02 PM

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The San Diego district attorney said she settled two civil lawsuits against Scripps Health and Sharp Memorial hospitals for improper medical waste disposal.

District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis said the county department of environmental health officials found multiple violations of the state Medical Waste Management Act and Hazardous Waste Control Act during various inspections of Scripps Health and Sharp Memorial Hospital facilities and the Miramar Landfill.

Violations included unlawful disposal of medical and or hazardous waste such as blood and tissue; failing to

separate medical waste properly; unlawful transportation of medical and hazardous waste; and various violations of other storage, transfer and permitting requirements, documents said.

Although neither defendant engaged in continuous violations of waste handling laws, the patterns of

violations took place over a significant amount of time, Dumanis said in a statement.

Both hospitals agreed to adhere to proper waste disposal practices and to engage in additional projects to benefit the environment. The judgment against Scripps Health calls for the firm to pay $272,870 in civil penalties and costs, while Sharp will pay $102,939 in penalties and costs, Dumanis said.

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