Ch. NR 526 Note Note: Corrections made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, August, 1997, No. 500.
subch. I of ch. NR 526 Subchapter I — General Provisions
NR 526.01 NR 526.01 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to provide definitions, submittal requirements, exemptions and other general requirements relating to infectious waste management and medical waste reduction. This chapter is adopted pursuant to ss. 227.11 (2) (a), 287.03 (1) (a), 287.07 (7) and (8), 289.05 (1), 289.06 and 299.51 (3), Stats.
NR 526.01 History History: Cr. Register, October, 1994, No. 466, eff. 11-1-94.
NR 526.02 NR 526.02 Applicability.
NR 526.02(1)(1) Except as otherwise provided, the infectious waste management rules apply to all persons generating, handling, storing, transporting, shipping, treating and disposing of infectious waste.
NR 526.02(2) (2) Except as otherwise provided, the medical waste reduction rules in this chapter apply only to medical facilities.
NR 526.02(3) (3) Except as otherwise provided, this chapter governs all solid waste facilities as defined in s. 289.01 (35), Stats., except hazardous waste facilities as defined in s. 291.01 (8), Stats., and regulated under chs. NR 660 to 679; metallic mining operations for nonferrous minerals as defined in s. 293.01 (9), Stats., and regulated under ch. NR 182; and metallic mining operations for ferrous minerals as defined in s. 295.41 (26), Stats., including mining wastes and mining waste sites as defined in s. 295.41 (30) and (31), Stats., and regulated under subch. III of ch. 295, Stats.
NR 526.02(4) (4) This chapter does not apply to the design, construction or operation of industrial wastewater facilities, sewerage systems and waterworks treating liquid wastes approved under s. 281.41, Stats., or permitted under ch. 283, Stats., nor to facilities used solely for the disposal of liquid municipal or industrial wastes which have been approved under s. 281.41, Stats., or permitted under ch. 283, Stats., except for facilities used for the disposal of solid waste.
NR 526.02(5) (5) Except as otherwise provided, this chapter does not apply to the handling, transportation, treatment or disposal of animal carcasses, animal tissue, blood and body fluids from animals, or animal excreta. In cases where the requirements of this chapter conflict with the requirements of s. 95.50, Stats., concerning the disposition of animal carcasses, the provisions of s. 95.50, Stats., shall take precedence.
NR 526.02(6) (6) This chapter does not apply to medical waste mixed with radioactive material which is managed and disposed in a manner that does not violate the provisions of 10 CFR parts 20, 35, 60 and 61, and ch. DHS 157. Except as otherwise provided, this chapter shall apply after the radioactive component has decayed in storage as provided in 10 CFR 35.92 and ch. DHS 157 or is otherwise not regulated as radioactive material.
NR 526.02(7) (7) Any provision of this chapter which deals with occupational health and safety does not apply to a person who is subject to a federal standard for the same activity which is in effect under the federal occupational safety and health act of 1970 and standards promulgated thereunder by OSHA.
NR 526.02(8) (8) Any requirement of subch. II which deals with transportation of infectious waste does not apply to a person who is subject to a federal standard for the same activity established by the United States department of transportation in 49 CFR Parts 171, 172, 173, 177 and 178.
NR 526.02 History History: Cr. Register, October, 1994, No. 466, eff. 11-1-94; corrections in (6) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register March 2003 No. 567; CR 05-020: cr. (8) Register January 2006 No. 601, eff. 2-1-06; corrections in (3) and (6) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register April 2012 No. 688; CR 13-057: am. (3) Register July 2015 No. 715, eff. 8-1-15.
NR 526.03 NR 526.03 Definitions. The definitions in s. NR 500.03 apply to the terms used in this chapter unless the context requires otherwise.
NR 526.03 History History: Cr. Register, October, 1994, No. 466, eff. 11-1-94.
NR 526.04 NR 526.04 Exemptions.
NR 526.04(1)(1) General exemptions. In special cases, the department may grant exemptions in writing from non-statutory requirements of this chapter. A person may apply for an exemption under this section by providing the department with a written request along with appropriate documentation which demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that the proposal will not cause environmental pollution as defined in s. 299.01 (4), Stats., and will protect waste handlers and other persons from exposure to infectious waste. The department will send an invoice for the exemption request fee specified in s. NR 520.04, Table 2, upon receipt of the exemption request. In making its decision, the department shall take into account factors such as the population of the area being served, the amount of waste being generated, the design of the facility, the operational history of the facility, the physical and chemical characteristics of the waste and any other information which may be appropriate. The department may grant exemptions under this section if the department finds that granting the exemption will not cause environmental pollution as defined in s. 299.01 (4), Stats., and that the exemption will protect waste handlers and other persons from exposure to infectious waste.
NR 526.04(2) (2)Home generator exemptions. Home generators of infectious waste are exempt from the requirements of this chapter except the safety requirements applying to sharps under ss. NR 526.06, 526.07 (1), 526.08, 526.10 (3) and 526.13.
NR 526.04(3) (3)Sharps collection station exemptions. Persons who operate sharps collection stations are exempt from the requirements of this chapter except the requirements under s. NR 526.09 (5).
NR 526.04(4) (4)Emergency response exemptions. Persons, including but not limited to law enforcement personnel, emergency medical personnel and fire fighters, who are responding to an emergency not occurring at a medical facility, including but not limited to vehicle accidents, fires and natural disasters, are exempt from the requirements of this chapter except the requirements under ss. NR 526.06 to 526.08, 526.09 (4), 526.10 (3) and 526.13.
NR 526.04(5) (5)Funeral director exemptions. Human tissue which is to be interred or cremated under the direction of a funeral director licensed under ch. 445, Stats., the university of Wisconsin medical school or the medical school of Wisconsin, is exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
NR 526.04(6) (6)Research exemptions. Human tissue or animal tissue carrying an infectious agent which is used in research is exempt from the requirements of this chapter until it is no longer being used for research.
NR 526.04(7) (7)Animal product exemptions. Animal tissue which is processed by a rendering plant or incorporated into a consumer product is exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
NR 526.04(8) (8)Wastewater treatment plant exemptions. Any mixture of domestic sewage and other wastes that passes through a sewer system to a publicly-owned treatment works for treatment is exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
NR 526.04 Note Note: Persons who generate or manage small quantities of infectious waste must follow all safety-related requirements found in this rule, but may be exempt from administrative requirements such as licensing and paperwork. Safety requirements are found in the following sections:
  Section NR 526.06 for separating waste.
  Section NR 526.07 for containing infectious waste.
  Section NR 526.08 for handling infectious waste.
  Section NR 526.09 (4) for storing and transferring infectious waste.
  Section NR 526.10 (3) for transporting and shipping infectious waste.
  Sections NR 526.11 and 526.12 (4) for treating infectious waste.
  Section NR 526.13 for disposing of infectious waste.
Exemptions from administrative requirements are found in the following sections:
  Section NR 526.09 (2) for storage and transfer licenses.
  Section NR 526.10 (2) for transportation licenses.
  Section NR 526.12 (2) for treatment licenses.
  Section NR 526.14 (2) for infectious waste manifests and keeping records of amounts generated.
  Section NR 526.15 (2) for infectious waste annual reports.
NR 526.04(9) (9)Blood collection vehicle exemptions. Persons, including but not limited to the American Red Cross, who are transporting whole blood or blood components from temporary locations where blood is collected back to the collector's permanent location are exempt from the requirements of this chapter except the requirements under ss. NR 526.06 to 526.08, 526.09 (4), 526.10 (3) and 526.13.
NR 526.04(10) (10)Mass vaccination waste exemptions. Persons who are transporting infectious waste from emergency mass vaccinations, including but not limited to smallpox and excluding routine vaccinations, are exempt from the requirements of this chapter except the requirements under ss. NR 526.06 to 526.08, 526.09 (4), 526.10 (3), 526.11, 526.12 (4), 526.13 and 526.14 (1) (a). Persons transporting waste from emergency mass vaccinations may be required to file annual reports under s. NR 526.15.
NR 526.04 Note Note: USDOT requirements may apply to hazardous materials transported by researchers, emergency response personnel and blood collection vehicles. For more information, contact the USDOT helpline at 1-800-467-4922.
NR 526.04 History History: Cr. Register, October, 1994, No. 466, eff. 11-1-94; am. (1), Register, June, 1996, No. 486, eff. 7-1-96; CR 05-020: cr. (9) and (10) Register January 2006 No. 601, eff. 2-1-06.
subch. II of ch. NR 526 Subchapter II — Infectious Waste Management
NR 526.05 NR 526.05 Infectious waste categories.
NR 526.05(1) (1) A solid waste which is included in any of the following categories is presumed to be infectious waste unless methods of testing which are generally accepted by the medical profession demonstrate that the waste is not infectious:
NR 526.05(1)(a) (a) Sharps, as follows:
NR 526.05(1)(a)1. 1. Contaminated sharps which are both infectious and may easily cause punctures or cuts in the skin, including but not limited to: hypodermic needles, syringes with needles attached, scalpel blades, lancets, broken glass vials, broken rigid plastic vials and laboratory slides.
NR 526.05(1)(a)2. 2. Unused or disinfected sharps which are being discarded, including hypodermic needles, scalpel blades, lancets and syringes with needles attached.
NR 526.05(1)(b) (b) Bulk blood and body fluids from humans.
NR 526.05(1)(c) (c) Human tissue.
NR 526.05 Note Note: A tooth containing mercury amalgam may be both an infectious waste and a hazardous waste. See s. NR 526.11 (2) (f) for how to manage teeth containing mercury amalgam.
NR 526.05(1)(d) (d) Microbiological laboratory waste.
NR 526.05(1)(e) (e) Tissue, bulk blood or body fluids from an animal which is carrying a zoonotic infectious agent.
NR 526.05(2) (2) A solid waste which is not included in the definition of infectious waste, which is not mixed with infectious waste and which does not fall under one of the categories in sub. (1) is presumed not to be an infectious waste. Solid wastes presumed not to be infectious wastes include all of the following:
NR 526.05(2)(a) (a) Items soiled but not saturated with blood or body fluids from humans included in the definition of “bulk blood and body fluids".
NR 526.05(2)(b) (b) Items soiled with body fluids from humans not included in the definition of “bulk blood and body fluids".
NR 526.05(2)(c) (c) Intravenous tubing after needles have been detached.
NR 526.05(2)(d) (d) Tissue, blood, body fluids or cultures from an animal which is not known to be carrying or experimentally infected with a zoonotic infectious agent.
NR 526.05(2)(e) (e) Animal manure and bedding.
NR 526.05(2)(f) (f) Other solid wastes, including but not limited to containers, packages, waste glass, laboratory equipment and other materials which have had no contact with blood, body fluids, clinical cultures or infectious agents. When possible, use of these items shall be reduced, and the items shall be reused or recycled.
NR 526.05(2)(g) (g) Formerly infectious waste, after it has been treated according to s. NR 526.11.
NR 526.05(3) (3) An item which is trace chemotherapy waste and is also considered to be infectious waste either by being included in the definition of infectious waste or by falling under one of the categories in sub. (1), is regulated only according to s. NR 526.055. However, if that item is mixed with bulk amounts of chemotherapy waste which is a hazardous waste, the item is regulated according to chs. NR 660 to 670.
NR 526.05 History History: Cr. Register, October, 1994, No. 466, eff. 11-1-94; cr. (2) (g), Register, June, 1996, No. 486, eff. 7-1-96; CR 05-020: am. (3) Register January 2006 No. 601, eff. 2-1-06; correction in (3) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register April 2013 No. 688.
NR 526.055 NR 526.055 Trace chemotherapy waste.
NR 526.055(1) (1) Source separation.
NR 526.055(1)(a)(a) No person may mix trace chemotherapy waste in the same bag or waste receptacle with infectious waste or with non-hazardous solid waste, unless mixing the wastes is necessary to protect the health or safety of patients, employees or other persons.
NR 526.055(1)(b) (b) If infectious waste or non-hazardous solid waste is mixed with trace chemotherapy waste, the mixture shall be managed according to subs. (2) and (3).
NR 526.055(1)(c) (c) If trace chemotherapy waste is mixed with other chemotherapy waste, the mixture shall be managed according to chs. NR 660 to 670.
NR 526.055(2) (2)Containment. No person may transport trace chemotherapy waste from the property where the waste was generated unless the person puts the waste in a container which protects waste handlers and other persons from exposure to the trace chemotherapy waste and all of the following requirements are met:
NR 526.055(2)(a) (a) Hard trace chemotherapy waste, including but not limited to syringes, drug dispensing devices and broken or empty chemotherapy drug vials, shall be contained in rigid, puncture-resistant labeled plastic containers designed to prevent the loss of the contents and labeled with the visible words “Trace chemotherapy waste" and “Incinerate only".
NR 526.055(2)(b) (b) Soft chemotherapy waste, including but not limited to gloves, disposable gowns, towels, empty intravenous solution bags and empty tubing, may be contained in containers meeting the requirements of par. (a) or in a bag meeting the requirements of s. NR 526.07 (2) (a) and (b).
NR 526.055 Note Note: “Empty" has the meaning in s. NR 661.07.
NR 526.055(3) (3)Treatment. Trace chemotherapy waste shall be treated by incineration or other method approved by the department. An incinerator used to treat trace chemotherapy waste may be one of the following:
NR 526.055(3)(a) (a) An incinerator regulated by the department under s. NR 502.09 or 502.13 or regulated by another state as an incinerator that burns medical waste.
NR 526.055(3)(b) (b) An incinerator regulated by the department under chs. NR 664 and 665 or regulated by another state as an incinerator that burns hazardous waste.
NR 526.055 Note Note: The NIOSH “Hazardous Drug Alert" lists hazardous drugs, including chemotherapy drugs, by name and gives guidance on containment, labeling, handling, storage and disposal.
NR 526.055 History History: CR 05-020: cr. Register January 2006 No. 601, eff. 2-1-05; correction in (1) (c), (3) (b) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register April 2013 No. 688.
NR 526.06 NR 526.06 Source separation.
NR 526.06(1)(1) No person may mix infectious waste in the same bag or waste receptacle with solid waste which is not infectious waste, unless mixing the wastes is necessary to protect the health or safety of patients, employees or other persons.
NR 526.06(2) (2) No person may separate infectious waste from solid waste which is not infectious waste unless adequate measures are taken to protect waste handlers and other persons from exposure. After separation, solid waste previously mixed in the same bag or waste receptacle with infectious waste shall be managed as infectious waste.
NR 526.06(3) (3) No person may remove solid waste or infectious waste that has been placed in a bag or waste container labeled with the biohazard symbol or fail to manage the waste as infectious waste from the time of generation until the waste has been treated according to s. NR 526.11, unless the person follows waste management procedures which will protect waste handlers and other persons from exposure.
NR 526.06(4) (4) No person may transport solid waste and infectious waste on the same cart or vehicle unless the wastes are in separate and identifiable bags or waste containers. If the wastes are transported on any roads, the requirements of ss. NR 502.06 and 526.10 shall also be met.
NR 526.06 History History: Cr. Register, October, 1994, No. 466, eff. 11-1-94.
NR 526.07 NR 526.07 Containment. No person may transport infectious waste from the property where the waste was generated unless the person puts the waste in a container which protects waste handlers and other persons from exposure to the infectious waste and the person meets all of the following requirements:
NR 526.07(1) (1) Sharps shall be contained in rigid, puncture-resistant labeled containers made of materials including but not limited to metal or rigid plastic, designed to prevent the loss of the contents and labeled with a visible bio- hazard emblem or with the visible words “bio-hazard", “sharps" or “infectious waste".
NR 526.07(2) (2) Infectious waste other than sharps shall be contained according to all of the following:
NR 526.07(2)(a) (a) The waste shall be placed in a single plastic bag that meets or exceeds 165 grams resistance by the ASTM method D1709-04 and is tear resistant using method ASTM method D1922-03a, or, if necessary, a double bag that meets the same standards, or a rigid reusable container.
NR 526.07 Note Note: These testing methods are entitled “Standard Test Methods for Impact Resistance of Plastic Film by the Free-Falling Dart Method" and “Standard Test Method for Propagation Tear Resistance of Plastic Film and Thin Sheeting by Pendulum Method" respectively. Copies are available for inspection at the central office of the department of natural resources and the offices of the secretary of state and the legislative reference bureau. Copies may be obtained from ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959 USA, www.astm.org, phone number 610-832-9585.
NR 526.07(2)(b) (b) The bag or rigid reusable container shall be securely sealed to prevent leakage or expulsion of the contents under normal handling.
NR 526.07(2)(c) (c) Any bag containing infectious waste shall be placed in a rigid container, including but not limited to a corrugated cardboard container, a covered reusable container or a covered cart. The rigid container shall be labeled with a visible bio-hazard emblem and the word “bio-hazard". Bulk containers shall be small enough to be handled by a single person.
NR 526.07(3) (3) No person may open a secured container of infectious waste which is ready for transportation until immediately before treating the waste, unless repacking is necessary to prevent spills or leakage, or the person is conducting a waste audit or training session.
NR 526.07(4) (4) All reusable containers shall be disinfected after being emptied. No person may open, empty or clean a reusable sharps container by hand.
NR 526.07 History History: Cr. Register, October, 1994, No. 466, eff. 11-1-94; am. (intro.), Register, June, 1996, No. 486, eff. 7-1-96; CR 05-020: am. (2) (a) and (c), r. (2) (d), cr. (4) Register January 2006 No. 601, eff. 2-1-06.
NR 526.08 NR 526.08 Handling. No person may handle, load, unload, process or treat infectious wastes unless adequate measures are taken to protect waste handlers and other persons from exposure to the infectious wastes and unless all of the following requirements are met:
NR 526.08(1) (1) All containers shall be handled and transported to prevent the loss or spilling of the contents.
NR 526.08(2) (2) Nuisance conditions shall be prevented from developing. Appropriate measures shall be taken to prevent odors, including but not limited to refrigerating the infectious waste below 42° Fahrenheit until treated.
NR 526.08(3) (3) All infectious waste shall be loaded and unloaded by hand or by a safe mechanical method which does not damage containers or spill their contents.
NR 526.08(4) (4) Untreated infectious waste may not be compacted.
NR 526.08 History History: Cr. Register, October, 1994, No. 466, eff. 11-1-94; am. (2), Register, June, 1996, No. 486, eff. 7-1-96.
NR 526.09 NR 526.09 Storage and transfer. No person may store infectious wastes unless the person protects waste handlers and other persons from exposure to the infectious waste and unless the requirements of this section are met. For the purposes of this chapter, storage also includes, but is not limited to the transfer of infectious waste. Infectious waste generators may temporarily accumulate infectious waste in individual containers near the place where the waste was generated, prior to moving the waste to an on-site infectious waste storage facility.
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Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.