In a novel solution to ongoing compliance issues, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) representatives said recently that remediation provider Aftermath Solutions Inc. will deliver a training package worth $150,000 free of charge to Arizona first responders for three years.
ADEQ officials said Aurora, Illinois-based Aftermath, which deals with biohazardous medical waste, will not only provide free blood-borne pathogen training required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but will also pay a $5,000 civil penalty for previous violations in the greater Phoenix area.
The resolution followed a lawsuit in which the state charged Aftermath with failing to handle biohazardous waste properly when an employee allegedly transported spilled medical waste from a body piercing shop to an unapproved location.
“Providing a statewide training benefit for 5,000 first responders directly supports ADEQ’s efforts to protect human health and the environment,” ADEQ Waste Programs Division Director Laura Malone said. “The terms of this agreement are a strong example of how at ADEQ, we always look for and support creative ways to turn enforcement measures into actions that further our communities’ safety and security.”
Aftermath, which has agreed to provide Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) training to first responders for the next three years, has now come into compliance with the state’s medical waste regulations; the agreement is subject to court approval.