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Environmental Health & Safety

Environmental Compliance Unit

Environmental Health and Safety Storage Building

Prior to construction of the Environmental Health and Safety Storage Building, the University of Rochester operated an interim status TSD facility located in the Universities Medical Center. All waste generated by the different colleges and facility via a permitted waste hauling truck that was owned and operated by the University. Waste was either treated onsite or shipped to off-site facilities for ultimate disposal. The TSD Facility was closed at the end of 1993.

Current Chemical Waste Management at the University of Rochester

Hazardous Waste at the University of Rochester is generated by teaching and research laboratories as well as Physical Plant. The largest conainer of waste allowed in a laboratory is a 5-gallon size can. However, most waste is collected in containers which are gallon size or less. Lab personnel are required to keep the containers closed, labeled and in secondary containment. All labs are inspected periodically to make certain these procedures are being followed. The nature of the waste generated varies from lab to lab and generally consists of the same materials that are on the hazardous materials inventory for each lab. Waste generated by facilities operations are typically paint related materials, defreasers, oils, lighting waste, and other building maintenance compounds.

Chemical Waste is centrally managed by the Hazardous Waste Management Unit located at 520 Intercampus Drive. The building is a state-of-the-art 90-day storage facility whcih is inspected by New York DEC as well as U.S. EPA. Waste generated by the University is brought to the building for temporary storage prior to off-site disposal. Acid and bases are neutralized on site and two solvent recovery units are used to recycle selected solvents. Selected containers of chemicals are listed on a chemical re-use list for distribution to labs at no charge in order to minimize the cost of new chemicals and disposal. No outside waste is accepted. In addition, no Regulated Medical Waste or radioactive materials are managed iat the facility.

All waste must be shipped from the central facility to a commercial disposal company every 90 days. During the storage period all waste is categorized and stored by chemical compatibility to minimize the risk of accident.

Compatible Flammable Liquids are bulked in 55-gallon size steel drums in a room that features ACO2 fire suppression system with heat rise detectors, static grounding, spark proof fixtures, explosive venting, and has negative air pressure compared to other storage areas of the building.

All fire detectors and safety shower/eye wash units are connected to the central secrity dispatch. The building is monitored by a zoned system which will allow the dispatcher to know exactly where a problem is and what device triggered the alarm. Security will make all the appropriate notifications as prescribed in the University's written Emergency Response Plan. The floor is sealed with chemical resistant epoxy sealer.

Each room is surrounded by a berm or other means of containment to prevent the accidental release or mixing of chemicals.

An up-to-date inventory of the chemical wastes at the facility is maintained on a computer data base and can be accessed from either the building's front office or from the Environmental Health and Safety Department.

The office area has separate environmental controls and is separated from the storage area by a 2 hour fire wall. The fresh air supply has a positive pressure to the rest of the building. The security and safety system can be monitored from the area. There are also adjoining locker and laundry areas.

This state-of-the-art facility has enabled the University to better manage its waste and reduce the potential of an accidental release to the environment. It represents a major commitment by the University to make certain its operations are conducted in the best manner possible.

QUESTIONS? Contact the Environmental Compliance Unit at (585) 275-2056 or EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 12/31/2013. Disclaimer.