Amended in Assembly April 16, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 649


Introduced by Assembly Member Patterson

February 24, 2015


An act tobegin insert amend Section 118215 of, and toend insert addbegin delete Sectionend deletebegin insert Sections 117748 andend insert 118217begin delete toend deletebegin insert to,end insert the Health and Safety Code, relating to medical waste.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 649, as amended, Patterson. Medical waste: law enforcement drug takeback programs.

Existing law, the Medical Waste Management Act, regulates the disposal of medical waste, including requiring medical waste to be treated by specifiedbegin delete methods,end deletebegin insert methods prior to disposal,end insert including incineration in a controlled-air, multichamber incinerator, or other method of incineration approved by thebegin delete departmentend deletebegin insert State Department of Public Healthend insert that provides complete combustion of the waste into carbonized or mineralized ash.

This bill wouldbegin insert include among those authorized treatment methods any alternative medical waste treatment solely designed to treat pharmaceutical waste, including a pharmaceutical incinerator, as defined, and would require this method to be evaluated and approved by the State Department of Public Health. The bill wouldend insert authorize a law enforcement agency that operates a prescription drug takeback program to utilize abegin delete prescription drugend deletebegin insert pharmaceuticalend insert incineratorbegin delete that does not comply with state lawend delete up to 4 times per year if the incineratorbegin delete was purchased prior to January 1, 2018.end deletebegin insert is evaluated and approved by the department.end insert

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: begin deleteno end deletebegin insertyesend insert. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1begin insert

begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 117748 is added to the end insertbegin insertHealth and Safety
2Code
end insert
begin insert, to read:end insert

begin insert
3

begin insert117748.end insert  

“Pharmaceutical incinerator” means a treatment
4device that solely incinerates pharmaceutical waste, as defined in
5Section 117690, that renders the pharmaceutical waste as solid
6waste.

end insert
7begin insert

begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 118215 of the end insertbegin insertHealth and Safety Codeend insertbegin insert is
8amended to read:end insert

9

118215.  

(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), a
10person generating or treating medical waste shall ensure that the
11medical waste is treated by one of the following methods, thereby
12rendering it solid waste, as defined in Section 40191 of the Public
13Resources Code, prior to disposal:

14(1) (A) Incineration at a permitted medical waste treatment
15facility in a controlled-air, multichamber incinerator, or other
16method of incineration approved by the department which provides
17complete combustion of the waste into carbonized or mineralized
18ash.

19(B) Treatment with an alternative technology approved pursuant
20to paragraph (3), which, due to the extremely high temperatures
21of treatment in excess of 1300 degrees Fahrenheit, has received
22express approval from the department.

23(2) Steam sterilization at a permitted medical waste treatment
24facility or by other sterilization, in accordance with all of the
25following operating procedures for steam sterilizers or other
26sterilization:

27(A) Standard written operating procedures shall be established
28for biological indicators, or for other indicators of adequate
29sterilization approved by the department, for each steam sterilizer,
30including time, temperature, pressure, type of waste, type of
31container, closure on container, pattern of loading, water content,
32and maximum load quantity.

33(B) Recording or indicating thermometers shall be checked
34during each complete cycle to ensure the attainment of 121°
35Centigrade (250° Fahrenheit) for at least one-half hour, depending
P3    1on the quantity and density of the load, to achieve sterilization of
2the entire load. Thermometers, thermocouples, or other monitoring
3devices identified in the facility operating plan shall be checked
4for calibration annually. Records of the calibration checks shall
5be maintained as part of the facility’s files and records for a period
6of two years or for the period specified in the regulations.

7(C) Heat-sensitive tape, or another method acceptable to the
8enforcement agency, shall be used on each biohazard bag or sharps
9container that is processed onsite to indicate that the waste went
10through heat treatment. If the biohazard bags or sharps containers
11are placed in a large liner bag within the autoclave for treatment,
12heat-sensitive tape or another method acceptable to the enforcement
13agency only needs to be placed on the liner bag and not on every
14hazardous waste bag or sharps container being treated.

15(D) The biological indicator Geobacillus stearothermophilus,
16or other indicator of adequate sterilization as approved by the
17department, shall be placed at the center of a load processed under
18standard operating conditions at least monthly to confirm the
19attainment of adequate sterilization conditions.

20(E) Records of the procedures specified in subparagraphs (A),
21(B), and (D) shall be maintained for a period of not less than two
22years.

23(3) (A) Other alternative medical waste treatment methods
24which are both of the following:

25(i) Approved by the department.

26(ii) Result in the destruction of pathogenic micro-organisms.

27(B) Any alternative medical waste treatment method proposed
28to the department shall be evaluated by the department and either
29approved or rejected pursuant to the criteria specified in this
30subdivision.

begin insert

31(C) Any alternative medical waste treatment solely designed to
32treat pharmaceutical waste, including a pharmaceutical
33incinerator, shall be evaluated and approved by the department
34with regard to the necessary treatment of pharmaceuticals.

end insert

35(b) Fluid blood or fluid blood products may be discharged to a
36public sewage system without treatment if its discharge is
37consistent with waste discharge requirements placed on the public
38sewage system by the California regional water quality control
39board with jurisdiction.

P4    1(c) (1) A medical waste that is a biohazardous laboratory waste,
2as defined in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b)
3of Section 117690, may be treated by a chemical disinfection if
4the waste is liquid or semiliquid and the chemical disinfection
5method is recognized by the National Institutes of Health, the
6Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the American
7Biological Safety Association, and if the use of chemical
8disinfection as a treatment method is identified in the site’s medical
9waste management plan.

10(2) If the waste is not treated by chemical disinfection, in
11accordance with paragraph (1), the waste shall be treated by one
12of the methods specified in subdivision (a).

13(3) Following treatment by chemical disinfection, the medical
14waste may be discharged to the public sewage system if the
15discharge is consistent with waste discharge requirements placed
16on the public sewage system by the California regional water
17control board, and the discharge is in compliance with the
18requirements imposed by the owner or operator of the public
19sewage system. If the chemical disinfection of the medical waste
20causes the waste to become a hazardous waste, the waste shall be
21managed in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 6.5
22(commencing with Section 25100) of Division 20.

23

begin deleteSECTION 1.end delete
24begin insertSEC. 3.end insert  

Section 118217 is added to the Health and Safety Code,
25to read:

26

118217.  

A law enforcement agency that operates a prescription
27drug takeback program may utilize up to four times per year a
28begin delete prescription drugend deletebegin insert pharmaceuticalend insert incinerator thatbegin delete does not comply
29with this part or other state law if the incinerator was purchased
30prior to January 1, 2018.end delete
begin insert is evaluated and approved by the
31department pursuant to Section 118215.end insert



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