OSHA Compliance

Environmental Protection Agency

Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
ACTION: Proposed rule

SUMMARY: Some pharmaceuticals are regulated as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when discarded. Healthcare facilities that generate hazardous waste pharmaceuticals as well as associated facilities have reported difficulties complying with the Subtitle C hazardous waste regulations for a number of reasons. First, healthcare workers, whose primary focus is to provide care for patients, are not knowledgeable about the RCRA hazardous waste regulations, but are often involved in the implementation of the regulations. Second, a healthcare facility can have thousands of items in its formulary, making it difficult to ascertain which ones are hazardous wastes when disposed. Third, some active pharmaceutical ingredients are listed as acute hazardous wastes, which are regulated in small amounts. To facilitate compliance and to respond to these concerns, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is proposing to revise the regulations to improve the management and disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals and tailor them to address the specific issues that hospitals, pharmacies and other healthcare-related facilities face. The revisions are also intended to clarify the regulation of the reverse distribution mechanism used by healthcare facilities for the management of unused and/or expired pharmaceuticals.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 24, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2007-0932, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristin Fitzgerald, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (5304P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-308-8286; email address: fitzgerald.kristin@epa.gov or Josh Smeraldi, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (5304P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-308-0441; email address: smeraldi.josh@epa.gov.

Read more at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-25/html/2015-23167.htm