Draft regulations governing the disposal of medical and infectious waste in Davis County are still being researched and are not ready for a public hearing yet, the county health board was told this week.
Rich Harvey, the county health department's environmental division director, said the more research that is done on the regulations, the more complex it becomes.There is little in the way of existing regulations in other counties or states, Harvey told the board, and Davis researchers are trading information wit their counterparts in Arizona and other states that are also struggling.
"This is an extremely difficult area," said Harvey. He called the county's need to draw up the regulations "industry-driven," meaning with two medical waste disposal plants being proposed for the area, the county is forced to drop other, equally crucial tasks and work on the regulations.
"It's something that's going to happen and we need to be in a position to handle it adequately," said Harvey.
One medical waste incinerator is proposed in North Salt Lake and a second as an addition to the county's garbage burning plant adjacent to Hill Air Force Base. That plant will have an autoclave, or sterilizer unit, to pre-treat the waste before burning.,
Harvey said he's contacting autoclave manufacturers now, asking for some technical information before proceeding further with the regulations.
Board members asked Harvey to schedule a medical waste disposal industry representative for their next meeting to discuss the issue and answer their questions.