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U.S. EPA penalizes Los Angeles medical lab $156,000

Release Date: 8/19/2004
Contact Information: Laura Gentile, 415/947-4227

Firm must improve management and handling of hazardous wastes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency penalized Grifols Biologicals Inc. and Alpha Therapeutic Corporation $156,546 yesterday for hazardous waste violations discovered at their Los Angeles facility in 2002.

Grifols Biologicals Inc. and Alpha Therapeutic Corporation have entered into a consent agreement with the EPA for violating California's hazardous waste regulations under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

In 2002, during a routine inspection of the facility, EPA officials discovered many hazardous waste violations, including open and mislabeled hazardous waste containers, hazardous wastes stored for more than 90 days, and hazardous waste storage areas that had not been inspected. EPA inspectors also discovered a lack of hazardous waste air emission controls and poor recordkeeping for tanks and training, a lack of emergency equipment in hazardous waste storage areas, and poor employee training in the handling of hazardous wastes.

After the EPA's inspection, the facility quickly began a review of its environmental compliance and corrected the violations.

The facility manufactures medical products made from human plasma. At the time of the inspection, the Alpha Therapeutic Corporation owned and operated the facility. Grifols Biologicals Inc. became the current owner and operator of the facility in 2003.

"Because medical labs produce large amounts of hazardous waste, it is critical that they follow the regulations specifying the proper handling and management of these materials," said Jeff Scott, director of the U.S. EPA's Waste Management Division in San Francisco. "We urge these companies to contact us if they have any questions on the hazardous waste laws."

In the consent agreement, Grifols Biologicals Inc. and Alpha Therapeutic Corporation agreed to pay $156,546 and provide certification of compliance with the air emission control requirements for the hazardous waste tanks.