Waste Not, Risk Not, in Law360

Sheila Woolson, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment and Litigation practices, in the Newark, NJ, office, wrote an article titled "Waste Not, Risk Not."

Following is an excerpt:

Health care facilities are among the most heavily regulated facilities in the country. Along with the myriad laws and regulations pertaining directly to the provision of health care, health care facilities are also subject to federal and state environmental regulations regarding their operations, waste, emissions and discharges.

There are over 40 federal regulations and several different acts that potentially affect health care facilities, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

Most states have their own regulatory schemes that overlay these federal schemes. In addition to complying with these regulations, health care facilities face the possibility of being named as potentially responsible parties (PRPs) in CERCLA litigation arising out of the disposal of nonmedical waste in landfills.