Photo courtesy of the UNC-Chapel Hill Multimedia Library.

EHS supports the University’s research mission by assisting laboratories and maintenance areas with safely managing the generation and disposal of hazardous waste. On average, the University generates approximately 50,000 kilograms of hazardous waste per year. The majority of this is generated in research laboratories and consists mainly of solvents used in laboratory-based research. The Facilities Services units at UNC produce maintenance-related wastes including waste paint and solvents.

EHS collects the waste from various campus locations and transports it to a secure, off-campus waste storage facility. This hazardous waste storage facility is in compliance with a complex array of environmental regulations and stores the hazardous waste to prevent chemical releases and other environmental emergencies.

Every 10 years, the hazardous waste facility goes through an extensive re-permitting process in which information on waste types and volumes, waste analysis, waste processing, hazard prevention procedures, emergency planning, compliance history and personnel training are provided to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) for review and oversight.

The permit renewal documentation was submitted to NCDEQ in April 2015 and EHS responded to agency comments in November 2015 and April 2016. The permit documentation was determined to be complete, and the University received a new hazardous waste management permit in September of 2016. The new permit will guide the University’s hazardous waste storage activities through September 2026.

In addition to receipt and implementation of the new permit, EHS began the review of new hazardous waste generation regulations that were finalized in November 2016. These regulations will change the way that hazardous waste is stored and labeled in every laboratory and maintenance area and will require retraining of all University employees who work in areas where hazardous waste is produced.

A high-hazard team was chartered to assist with management of high-hazard and unknown chemical wastes generated by UNC laboratories.

Team activities included: establishment of tracking metrics; collecting data; setting goals for the reduction of high-hazard chemical waste; and developing strategies to meet the reduction goals. The team is developing training and implementing a chemical inventory process to help drive the reduction of high hazard and unknown laboratory chemical waste generation.

Performance measurement is a critical part of the EHS management system. Education, customer service and internal processes are the three most essential components of our work. The chart below indicates the performance in these areas over a five-year period with Level Four representing optimum performance. The adjacent tab shows the specific performance activities and the level of that performance for 2016.

Level Education Customer Service Internal Processes
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Level Four Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level
Level Three Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level
Level Two Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level
Level One Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level Met This Level
Compliance

Education

  • Trained 4 RDU Airport Medical Air Operations personnel in Stormwater Discharge Permit. (Level Three)
  • Trained 4 Service Station personnel in annual Service Station NPDES Stormwater Discharge Permit Storm Water Pollution Prevention. (Level Three)
  • Trained 707 UNC employees from Facilities Services and Energy Services, plus Aramark staff, football stadium volunteers and football stadium concession volunteers in stormwater awareness. (Level Two)
  • Led a team project to analyze stormwater pollution potential at Kenan Stadium caused during football season and developed engineering and educational solutions to improve surface water quality during football season. (Level Two)
  • Trained employees from Facilities Services, Electrical Distribution, EHS, Construction Services, Electric Shop, Student Services (Student Union) and OWRR on handling universal waste. (Level Two)
  • Trained 7 EHS employees on the NPDES Stormwater Discharge Permit Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. (Level One)
  • Trained 10 EHS employees in annual RCRA HW training, OSHA HAZWOPER refresher training and TSDF Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan. (Level One)
  • Trained 15 EHS personnel on USDOT Security Awareness Plan. (Level One)

Customer Service

  • Conducted 8,852 waste pickups of 50,883 kg of hazardous waste and 48,036 kg of non-hazardous solid waste from University generators. (Level Four)
  • Conducted 629 pickups of radioactive waste and shipped 203.819 mCi of radioactive waste offsite for treatment and disposal. (Level Four)
  • Completed 36 HW manifests for transport of hazardous waste and solid waste to an offsite vendor TSDF for treatment and disposal. (Level Four)
  • Shipped 107,786 kg of waste from the TSDF to an offsite vendor TSDF for treatment and disposal. (Level Three)
  • Created 50 waste manifests associated with the direct shipment of solid and hazardous waste from UNC-CH laboratories to offsite vendor TSDFs for treatment and disposal. (Level Three)
  • Shipped 34,717 kg of solid and hazardous waste directly to offsite vendor TSDFs. (Level Three)
  • Shipped 8,754 kg of scrap metal (ferrous and non-ferrous) offsite for reclamation and recycle. (Level Two)
  • Shipped 984 regulated medical waste boxes to Stericycle for incineration. (Level Two)
  • Conducted 46 sediment and erosion control inspections of NPDES permitted land disturbance project. (Level Two)
  • Implemented 52 corrective actions as a result of inspection findings from NPDES Land Disturbance Permit inspections. (Level One)
  • Conducted 79 NPDES Stormwater Discharge Permit Outfall inspections. (Level One)
  • Aided with controlled substances drug disposal on campus which included 14 visits by DHHS Drug Control Unit for 23 lab visits/inspections. (Level One)

Internal Processes

  • Requested and received a revised Title V Air Permit from NCDEQ DAQ to support the replacement of an emergency generator and continued permit required activities associated with campus air permit including testing, recordkeeping, inspections, and submittal of semi-annual and annual reports. (Level Three)
  • Completed the preparation and submittal of the RCRA TSD Facility Permit renewal application to the NCDEQ DWM, receiving the permit renewal in 2016. (Level Three)
  • Prepared and submitted a revised notification to manage mixed low level waste as conditionally exempt to include an additional characteristic waste, D039 to the list of EPA HW numbers managed as conditionally exempt low level mixed waste at the TSD Facility. (Level Two)
  • Requested and received a Buffer Authorization Permit from the NCDEQ for the Finley Fields South Project. (Level Two)
  • Prepared and submitted the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Surveys to the division of Radiation Protection for the Institute of Marine Sciences, the Nutrition Research Institute, UNC Hospital and the Storage Facility. (Level Two)
  • Created and utilized EHS Funding Document for all invoicing. (Level One)
  • Prepared UNC Hospital hazardous and radioactive waste budget analysis and corresponding year-end invoices. (Level One)
  • Submitted the Reclaimed Water Permit Renewal Application package to NCDEQ and received the new permit. (Level One)