Medical waste company fined by Washington after hazardous material found

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — State inspectors have fined a medical waste company $72,000 for repeated violations of federal regulations.

The Washington Department of Ecology fined Stericycle on Monday. Officials say the Lake Forest, Illinois-based pharmaceutical waste company mishandled hazardous waste at its Morton facility.

State regulators say inspections at the Lewis County facility found bins of waste pharmaceuticals that federal law designates as hazardous waste at the site. Inspectors found liquid hazardous waste leaking in areas that could leach into groundwater.

A Stericycle spokeswoman says the situation is complex because the waste in question is packaged at health care facilities. She says the company will continue to work with the facilities and the state to minimize improper handling of discarded pharmaceuticals.