CONCORD - Concord Hospital was fined $205,000 for improperly disposing of hazardous-waste pharmaceuticals over a four-year period from 2005-09.
Senior assistant attorney general K. Allen Brooks said the violations were discovered in an inspection by the state Department of Environmental Services. Capital Regional Health Care Corp., also known as Concord Hospital Inc., quickly corrected the problems once it was notified of the violations on Jan. 9, 2009, he said, and has not been cited since.
The allegations did not pertain to infectious waste, commonly called “biohazards,” such as expended needles, according to a press release.
The inspection revealed the hospital did not identify hazardous-waste alcohols, solvents and used oil for recycling, or follow certain hazardous-waste management requirements.
The violations included the improper disposal of at least 800 gallons of hazardous-waste pharmaceuticals, which included medication and associated chemicals, Brooks said.
The state alleged the hospital did not identify certain pharmaceutical wastes as hazardous and, as a result, shipped the waste to facilities that were not authorized to accept them. The hazardous waste ended up in the city’s sewage and waste stream, Brooks said.
According to a press release, there are 30 pharmaceuticals specifically listed as hazardous waste and numerous other drugs considered hazardous waste because they are ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic.
The case, Brooks explained, was in the settlement stage since 2009. Under terms of the settlement, approved by Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Larry Smuckler, the hospital is assessed a $205,000 penalty, with $50,000 credited to the hospital if it provides free state-approved training related to the management of pharmaceutical waste to New Hampshire-based health care facilities.
The remaining $155,000 is to be paid to the state over the next several months.