The Veolia North America facility in Port Arthur has been selected for the safe destruction of decontaminated waste associated with the Dallas apartments of the second and third Ebola patients.
“Based on the success of last week’s shipment destruction, our employees are honored to play an active role in this important operation,” said Steve Hopper, president and chief operating officer of Veolia North America’s Industrial Business. “There’s been an element of concern by a Louisiana public official over whether the ash that results from the incineration process could possibly contain Ebola. While caution and concern for public health is quite warranted, a number of experts in public health and viral infections have noted how incineration completely and thoroughly destroys all bacteria and viruses.”
“Our processes and role in managing and safely destroying these materials have since received very strong support from Texas state and local officials, and we’re working diligently to ensure the continued safe handling and destruction of these decontaminated materials. Our employees live and work in the communities they serve and have an exceptional record of ensuring the health and safety of their coworkers and communities.”
All protocols by Veolia remain consistent. Materials transported to the Veolia incinerator will be decontaminated and containerized with multiple layers of packaging to protect employees and others who may have come into contact with the containers. The decontaminated packaged materials will be placed into 30-gallon poly drums, which are treated with CDC-recommended disinfectant, and then put into sealed 55-gallon poly overpack drums as an additional level of safety.
The materials will be transported from Dallas to Port Arthur. All required transportation permits have been secured from the Department of Transportation. Once in Port Arthur, the drums will be destroyed within 48 hours.
Veolia employees are using Universal Precautions recommended by the CDC and OSHA for handling all waste materials. None of the drums will be opened at the Port Arthur facility. Using very stringent waste-handling methods, they will be fed directly fed into the incinerator and safely destroyed.
Incineration is one of the most highly regulated methods of disposal in the world, from air permitting to waste management to homeland security. Veolia’s process destroys and removes 99.99999 percent of harmful materials, well exceeding EPA requirements. With incineration temperatures ranging from 1,500°F to 2,100°F, any viral pathogens are completely destroyed by this process.
The resultant ash – the inorganic solids that result from the incineration process – does not contain the Ebola virus and poses no threat to public health. The ash will be safely disposed in a fully permitted landfill.
Veolia manages hazardous and toxic wastes for governmental and industrial clients with great care and proven technical, operational and management processes. Ensuring the health, safety and welfare of our employees and the public is our highest priority, and guaranteeing environmental compliance and sustainable solutions is core to our values.
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