Sometimes it seems the easiest way to get rid of a problem is to burn it up. Unfortunately, it's not quite that easy when it comes to a medical facility.
The operation of a medical waste incinerator is regulated by the EPA under the Clean Air Act (CAA), which requires that stationary air pollution sources (e.g., incinerators) meet specific operating requirements and emission limits. The CAA sets standards for operator qualification and training, monitoring and testing procedures, operational parameters, and inspections. It also controls specific air pollutants such as these:
- Particulate matter
- Sulfur dioxide
- Hydrogen chloride
- Oxides of nitrogen
- Carbon monoxide
- Dioxins and dibenzofurans
- Fugitive ash dust
Other EPA programs also have air emission monitoring components that may apply to your medical incinerator. These include:
- Operating permit provisions under Title V of the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) Amendments (40 CFR 70)
- Hazardous Air Pollutants program (40 CFR 63)
States can establish their own regulations, which can be more stringent than federal requirements (e.g., on mercury emissions) to implement the federal guidelines for existing facilities. Continue on through this section to learn more about air pollution control requirements and monitoring practices that may apply to your medical incinerator.