EPA FAQ: Why do hazardous waste pharmaceuticals need new management standards?

EPA FAQ: Why do hazardous waste pharmaceuticals need new management standards?

Frequent Questions about the Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Proposed Rule

Question: Why do hazardous waste pharmaceuticals need new management standards?

Answer: Healthcare workers and retail pharmacy employees are often unfamiliar with or confused by RCRA hazardous waste management requirements, prompting them to dispose of hazardous pharmaceuticals as municipal waste or medical waste. This proposed rule would streamline the current regulations governing these wastes, ensuring that larger quantities of hazardous pharmaceutical wastes are managed properly. Additionally, the rule proposes a tailored set of management standards specifically designed to reduce the complexity of the RCRA hazardous waste regulations for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. It streamlines the collection and handling requirements for widely-dispersed hazardous wastes and facilitates their inclusion in the hazardous waste management system.

If this proposal is finalized, EPA expects that management of hazardous waste pharmaceutical would improve and the regulatory burden for many hazardous waste pharmaceutical generators would decrease. This proposal provides a solution to many of the issues facing healthcare facilities. By proposing a convenient and practical system for the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that is easy to comply with, EPA will encourage healthcare facilities to manage all of their pharmaceutical waste – non-hazardous and hazardous – under the rule when finalized.


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