Settlement over medical waste violations results in aid for homeless animals

A $65,000 settlement for biohazardous medical waste violations in Arizona will help go toward treating animals at the Humane Society of Central Arizona, according to a news release.

In an Oct. 4 news release, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced that Star Valley Veterinary Clinic (which is not an AAHA member practice) agreed to pay a $65,000 settlement for alleged biohazardous medical waste violations in Gila County, Arizona.

According to the ADEQ, an inspection in June 2009 showed that the clinic had improperly disposed of untreated biohazardous medical waste syringes contaminated with blood. The investigation showed that the syringes were placed in regular solid waste containers and dumped in the Gila County landfill between 1999 and 2009.

As a result of the investigation, the clinic agreed to pay a $5,000 penalty and conduct a $60,000 Supplemental Environmental Project. The project will employ veterinarian services to treat animals for the Humane Society of Central Arizona, and will provide education on the proper management and disposal of hazardous medical waste in the animal care industry.

In the news release, ADEQ Director Henry Darwin said the settlement will help to improve the future of many animals.

"This is…a very creative settlement that will allow many abandoned pets and other animals in the Payson area to receive medical treatment while at the same time educating animal owners about the proper disposal of this medical waste," Darwin said.