New EPA Hazardous Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal Rules Coming Out in December

The EPA is implementing a new rule on management standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. Here’s what you need to know.

New rules have been finalized by the EPA and will go into effect in December regarding management of hazardous pharmaceutical waste. The rules will apply to both healthcare facilities and reverse distributors including drug wholesalers, medical waste disposal companies, dentists, outpatient and ambulatory services, veterinarians and others.

The final rule that has been put in place has added a new part (part 266 subpart P) that will replace the current “Generator” regulations.

New updates include banning the disposal of items considered hazardous pharmaceutical waste down any drains and adds backing to household take-back programs to assist in proper disposal efforts.

The latest ruling also includes an amendment to rule P075 regarding acute hazardous waste of nicotine and salts. It will now exclude certain U.S. FDA approved over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) and they will no longer be considered hazardous waste when they are being discarded.

With all the new regulations, the EPA is also reminding facilities to offer training to all users on how to properly handle and implement the new actions to ensure they are in place.

In addition to streamlining and improving waste management at medical facilities and for all others that interact with the dangerous materials, the new rules are also expected to have a positive impact on the environment by getting more waste to incinerators and leading to less need for waste wastewater treatment and those exposed to downstream waste water.

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