For Immediate Release - March 06, 2014

Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton Fined $8,000 for Violating Hazardous Waste Regulations

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed an $8,000 penalty to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton to correct noncompliance with the Commonwealth's hazardous waste regulations and required improvements to the hospital's hazards identification and hazardous waste management.

MassDEP conducted an inspection at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in September 2012, during which it was identified that the hospital failed to properly determine the hazards of its pharmaceutical and medical wastes, and offered the hazardous pharmaceutical wastes to a transporter that was not licensed by MassDEP. The inspection also found hazardous waste labeling violations. The hospital cooperated with MassDEP during the investigation and initiated corrective actions to address the noncompliance issues at its facility immediately after the inspection.

As part of an agreement between MassDEP and Cooley Dickinson, the hospital has agreed to pay $6,000 of the assessed penalty and MassDEP has agreed to suspend the remaining amount provided the company remains in compliance with the terms of the agreement.

"Certain medications that are destined for disposal are considered hazardous wastes and must be managed in accordance with the Massachusetts hazardous waste regulations," said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield.  

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.