Environmental Protection & Hazardous Materials

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The Laser Safety Office oversees the safe operation of all research lasers apart of the University of Miami system.

Have a new laser? Visit the Laser Registration page to register it with EHS!


Laser Safety Officer
Melanie Peapell

Environmental Protection

EHS is tasked with implementing the university’s commitment to environmental protection by ensuring compliance with all federal, state and local environmental regulations. This entails the following:

  • Obtaining and maintaining environmental permits for the following disciplines
  1. Air
  2. Industrial waste
  3. Biomedical waste
  4. Storage tanks
  5. Sanitary sewer discharge
  6. Ozone layer protection
  7. Fats, Oil and Grease discharge


  • Managing hazardous waste, universal waste and pharmaceutical waste disposal according to federal guidelines
  • Providing training to faculty, staff and students on issues relating to environmental compliance such as biomedical waste handling, chemical waste management in laboratories and spill prevention control
  • Responding to small and medium chemical spills
  • Maintaining Hazwoper and D.O.T shipment certifications
  • Consultation on construction projects from an environmental perspective

Hazardous Materials

Environmental Health & Safety oversees the collection and disposal of hazardous chemical waste on all UM campuses. Waste collected in the laboratories is picked up by EHS personnel and prepared for proper disposal.


The waste generated in the laboratories should be placed in the Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA)* designated for that laboratory. Waste should be placed in containers that are in good condition, sealed, and labeled with the exact contents. Always take the time to immediately label all containers in your laboratory. Unknowns pose an extreme safety problem for all and are very expensive to fingerprint. All chemical percentages should be placed on the label if there are compatible mixtures in same container. Where possible, waste chemicals should be collected in separate containers. Compatible non-halogenated solvents should be collected separately from compatible halogenated solvents. Each laboratory can not accumulate more than 55-gallons of hazardous waste or 1-quart of acutely hazardous waste identified as P-Listed Hazardous Wastes*.

When a laboratory is ready for waste pickup, complete the Chemical Waste Disposal Form and contact Vaughan Munro, Yesser (Abraham) Somoza or Brian Reding at 305-243-3268. If further information or clarification is needed, please call EHS at your convenience.

Our Hazardous Waste Policy is designed to meet the disposal needs of all UM personnel in the safest, least time consuming, and economically feasible manner. It is also based on UM compliance with strict EPA regulations. UM employees who work with hazardous chemicals and generate hazardous waste need to dispose of them properly via the EHS office so that we may protect our working environment as well as our outside environment.

For medical laser questions and assistance, please reach out to the Medical Laser Safety Office at 305-243-5057.