Questions or Comments: mswper@tceq.texas.gov

Transporting Medical Waste

Links to and information about packaging, labeling, and shipping requirements for transporting medical waste, and related recordkeeping and reporting for medical waste generators and transporters.

COVID-19 Information and Updates

  • TCEQ Regulatory Guidance: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • Notice to pharmacies that provide COVID-19 testing and treat COVID-19 waste on-site

    Until further notice, TCEQ will exercise enforcement discretion for all pharmacies that provide COVID-19 testing and treat COVID-19 waste on-site using an approved treatment method. These pharmacies are required to maintain records as prescribed under 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Sections 326.39(b) and 326.41(b). Once the medical waste is treated, it may be managed as routine municipal solid waste in accordance with 30 TAC 326.39(c) and 326.41(c).

    Additionally, until further notice, TCEQ will exercise enforcement discretion on the following requirements for pharmacies that provide COVID-19 testing:

      • The Medical Waste Transporter registration and fee requirements in 30 TAC 326.53 and 326.87; and
      • The Medical Waste Mobile Treatment Unit registration and fee requirements in 30 TAC 326.55 and 326.87.

    However, Medical Waste Transporters and Mobile Treatment Units managing Medical Waste from these pharmacies are still required to comply with vehicle, packaging, labeling, manifesting, and shipping requirements in 30 TAC Chapter 326, Subchapter B.

  • Notice to persons submitting documents to Waste Permits Division

    In response to COVID-19, the TCEQ is operating via telework.

    To ensure uninterrupted and effective work we ask that all submittals to the Waste Permits Division be posted online to allow for immediate access to project managers. Please include a link to the location of the document in the cover letter.

    If you have any questions, please email mswper@tceq.texas.gov and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and cooperation doing this unprecedented time.

Transporting Treated Medical Waste

Treated medical waste may often be managed and disposed of as routine municipal solid waste provided that the following requirements are met:

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Transporting Untreated Medical Waste

The generator of waste, or an authorized transporter other than the generator may transport untreated medical waste. It may be stored, processed or deposited only at a facility that has been authorized to accept untreated medical waste.

Untreated medical waste transported out of the state must be deposited at a facility authorized by the appropriate agency with jurisdiction over such waste (30 TAC 326.23(f)Exit the TCEQ).

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Self-Transport by a Generator

Small Quantity Generators (SQGs): If you generate 50 pounds or less per month of untreated medical waste you are exempted from a permit, registration, notification, or other authorization to self-transport medical waste under 30 TAC 326.31(b)Exit the TCEQ. You may transport your own untreated waste that you have generated to an authorized medical waste collection station, transfer station, storage facility, or processing facility.

Large Quantity Generators (LQGs): If you generate more than 50 pounds of untreated medical waste you must obtain a registration by rule under 30 TAC 326.53.Exit the TCEQ You may also transport your own untreated waste that you have generated to an authorized transfer station, storage facility, or processing facility.

Both small and large quantity generators must initiate and maintain a record of each waste shipment collection and deposition in the form of a manifest or other similar documentation, containing the information required by 30 TAC 326.53(b)(8), (9) and (10).Exit the TCEQ

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Transport by a Person other than the Generator

If you generate untreated medical waste, you may use an authorized transporter under 30 TAC 326.53Exit the TCEQ to ship it. The transporter must obtain a registration by rule, and initiate and maintain a record of each waste shipment collection and deposition in the form of a manifest or other similar documentation, containing the information required by 30 TAC 326.53(b)(8), (9) and (10).Exit the TCEQ

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Transporting by U.S. Postal Service or Equivalent Delivery Service

You do not need authorization to transport untreated medical waste using the United States Postal Service or an equivalent delivery service per the mailing standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual, under 30 TAC 326.31(d)Exit the TCEQ.

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Interstate Transportation

If you transport waste that does not originate or terminate in Texas, you are exempt from the medical waste rules in 30 TAC Chapter 326, (per [30 TAC 326.31(e)Exit the TCEQ and 326.53(b)(16)Exit the TCEQ] except the rules on transportation units used to collect or transport untreated medical waste [30 TAC 326.53(b)(6)Exit the TCEQ].

If you transport untreated medical waste from Texas to other states or countries or from other states or countries to Texas, or collect or transport waste in Texas but have a principal place of business in another state, you must comply with all applicable requirements in 30 TAC Chapter 326 for such transportation activities.[Per 30 TAC 326.23(g)Exit the TCEQ]. If you also engage in any activity of storage, processing, or disposal of medical waste in Texas, you must follow the applicable requirements for facility operators of such activities.

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Contact MSW Permits Section

Contact the MSW Permits Section if you have questions about managing medical waste.

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