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Two San Diego Hospitals Fined For Waste Violations

The District Attorney's Office has reached settlements totaling nearly $400,000 in two separate lawsuits -- against Scripps Health and Sharp Memorial -- for improperly handling, transporting and storing medical waste at the hospitals and a city of San Diego landfill.

County Department of Environmental Health officials found multiple violations of the State Medical Waste Management Act and Hazardous Waste Control Act during various inspections of Scripps Health and Sharp Memorial hospitals and the Miramar Landfill, according to the D.A.'s office, which announced the settlements Wednesday.

Violations included unlawful disposal of medical and/or hazardous waste such as blood and tissue; failing to separate medical waste properly; unlawful transportation of medical and hazardous waste; and various violations of other storage, transfer and permitting requirements.

Although neither defendant engaged in continuous violations of the waste handling laws, the violations spanned a significant period of time, prosecutors said.

Both hospitals have now agreed to adhere to proper waste disposal practices and to engage in additional projects to benefit the environment. The judgment against Scripps Health calls for the firm to pay $272,870 in civil penalties and costs. Sharp will pay $102,939 in penalties and costs.

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