Closing a Lab under Deadlines
When Sarepta Therapeutics made the decision to consolidate their West Coast operations to the East Coast, they immediately went to work finding a service provider that could properly manage all phases of their chemical inventory disposal as well as provide coordination of all necessary phases of their facility closure. With short notice on the project, and a quick deadline for completion, Sarepta Therapeutics needed a company that was familiar with the complex regulatory issues associated with chemical and facility management and could get to work quickly.
The Corvallis, OR site had a significant manufacturing operation that required a large amount of chemicals and reagents to be ordered in advance. Consequently a significant amount was onsite. “We had already ordered a large number of chemicals that were being stored on-site,” observed Todd Melgreen, manager of chemistry and safety at Sarepta. “There were over 3,500 containers of various different solvents, reagents and chemicals that needed to be disposed of.”
With a fast approaching deadline and a significant amount of chemicals on-site, there were several challenges to prepare the facility for the landlord. “After exploring several options, we brought in Veolia to handle the operation because of their reasonable prices and reputation in the industry,” said Melgreen. “Veolia agreed to come in, pack and dispose of excess chemical stock, decontaminate the entire facility, including all laboratory spaces, two exterior chemical storage buildings, dispose of any additional waste, engage a Certified Industrial Hygienist to perform confirmatory sampling and provide a clean bill of health to the site.”
Hire Veolia for Facility Decommissining Services
Since Sarepta did not have properly trained and certified lab pack technicians to manage the scope of work, Veolia was responsible for coordinating the efforts and making sure the project was completed safely and on time. “Veolia safely removed the stockpile of chemicals, decontaminated all lab surfaces including our fume hoods and lab equipment, power washed the interior of the chemical storage facility, and then collected the rinse water to properly dispose of it,” noted Melgreen. “After they finished the packing, Veolia began testing the facility to confirm everything was properly decontaminated before we turned over the building to the landlord.”
While the job was completed quickly, it wasn’t without surprises. “We did run into one issue when Veolia discovered some reactive chemicals that had been on-site for an unknown period of time,” remembered Melgreen. “Since we had originally obtained these chemicals, the DOT regulations had been changed, and we could no longer ship them through normal channels.”
Veolia was prepared for any contingency, and carefully managed the chemicals with specialized “remote opening” equipment in compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Melgreen credits Veolia’s expertise and quick thinking for keeping the project moving without delays. “Veolia had a specialized team come in to prepare those chemicals for safe transport and disposal, and everything ended up going very smoothly.”
Facility Decommissined on Time, within Budget
All chemicals were properly removed from the site, and a full decommissioning report was provided to Sarepta Therapeutics, within the budget expectation.
Melgreen is appreciative that Veolia was able to come in and complete the full scope of work on time and within budget. “Overall, Veolia did a great job for us. They have extensive knowledge of waste handling operations and how to properly manage all chemical hazards, so there weren’t any issues. We were extremely satisfied with the whole process.”