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Medical waste management facility proposed for Princeton

Bluefield Daily Telegraph - 1/2/2019

Jan. 02--PRINCETON -- A West Virginia agency is requiring a local health provider that's generating more medical waste to obtain a permit to operate an infectious medical waste management facility.

Blue Ridge Internal Medicine, located at 407 12th Street Extension just outside the city of Princeton, has applied to the West Virginia Infectious Medical Waste Program in Charleston for a permit to operate an infectious medical waste management facility. The state requires medical facilities that generate over a certain amount of medical waste every month to have this permit.

"The West Virginia Office of Environmental Health Services states that any facility which generates over 50 pounds of infectious medical waste in a one-month period is classified as an infectious waste large-quantity generator and must be permitted," Office Manager Leynee' Ensminger of Blue Ridge Internal Medicine said.

The medical facility now has five providers -- physicians and nurse practitioners -- serving patients, she said.

"That means we generate more medical waste because we're seeing more patients," Ensminger stated. "Our waste is more than 50 pounds per month, anywhere from 62 to 90 pounds. Since our waste is more than 50 pounds per month, this precipitated the need for a permit. Nothing has changed except that they (state) want us permitted because we generate more than 50 pounds per month."

In February, the company that hauls away Blue Ridge's infectious waste, Stericycle, Inc. out of Proctorville, Ohio, weighed the month's waste and informed Blue Ridge that it weighed more than 50 pounds. As a result, the medical provider had to go through the process of getting a infectious medical waste management facility permit, Ensminger recalled.

Every four weeks, Stericycle, Inc., transports Blue Ridge's medical waste to a designated facility in Parkersburg, according to the application Blue Ridge submitted to the West Virginia Infectious Medical Waste Program.

The infectious waste including hypodermic needles known as "sharps," blood, and laboratory refuse is placed in medical waste boxes and cartons supplied by Stericycle, Ensminger said. The sealed boxes are then stored in a contained area away from patients.

Blue Ridge had not received its permit as of Friday. Ensminger said Blue Ridge was required by the state to place a legal notice in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph twice. The legal notice was published on Dec. 17 and Dec. 24, 2018.

Ensminger stated that she would present the notices to the state Office of Environmental Health Services to show that it had been advertised.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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(c)2019 the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, W.Va.)

Visit the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, W.Va.) at bdtonline.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 
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