DOT issues permit for transporting Ebola medical waste

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | 10/6/2014

The U.S. DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued a special permit to an Illinois-based company to transport Ebola-contaminated medical waste from a Dallas hospital where a patient is being treated for the virus.

On Friday, Oct. 3, the administration granted the permit to Stericycle Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., to haul Category A infectious waste from the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital as well as from the patient’s home for disposal.

The waste is to be disinfected, packaged according to strict hazmat protocols, and placed in 96-gallon tote bins to be hauled to a sterilization or incineration site, according to the permit.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, PHMSA, is currently working to update its joint guidance with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control related to the handling, transport and disposal of Ebola-contaminated medical waste. The agencies released temporary guidance in mid-September, when some Ebola patients from West Africa began arriving in the U.S. for treatment.

According to the CDC, more than 3,400 people have died from the Ebola virus in the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The first case diagnosed on U.S. soil involved a man who traveled to Dallas from West Africa. The man was reported to be in critical condition on Monday.

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