Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals

Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals

Pill BottleEPA's acting administrator signed the final rule, titled, "Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine" on December 11, 2018 with a Federal Register publish date of February 22, 2019. This rule is expected to make our drinking and surface waters safer and healthier by reducing the amount of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals entering the nations waters by 1,644 to 2,300 tons annually. This reduction is expected to occur by prohibiting the disposal of unused, expired, or unwanted medications in the sewer system.

The sewer prohibition became effective August 21, 2019 in all states, territories, and Indian country. This is because a portion of the Rule was promulgated pursuant to the 1984 Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA). The sewer prohibition is the only provision of the Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Final Rule that was promulgated under HSWA authority. As a HSWA provision, the sewer prohibition goes into effect on the effective date of the rule (August 21, 2019) regardless of whether a government has received authorization to implement Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) or has implemented Subpart P.

Once North Carolina receives authorization to implement the rule in its entirety, all facilities subjected to this rule may require further action. Please stay informed on this regulation as it progresses.

If you would like to learn more about this rule please visit the EPA Hazardous Pharmaceuticals Website.

Please see the FAQ's below for more information pertaining to the Sewer Ban.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Final Rule (February 22, 2019; volume 84 of the Federal Register starting on page 5816) prohibits the sewering (i.e., flushing or pouring down the drain) of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by healthcare facilities and reverse distributors (see 40 CFR section 266.505). To which pharmaceuticals does the sewer prohibition apply?

Does a healthcare facility that is a very small quantity generator (VSQG) have to comply with the sewer prohibition?

When is the sewer prohibition effective?

When the sewer prohibition becomes effective on August 21, 2019, are healthcare facilities and reverse distributors required to submit a notification (i.e., Site Identification Form 8700-12) to EPA that they are operating under Part 266 Subpart P?

Who will be responsible for enforcing the sewer prohibition?

Can hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that contain a radioactive component be discharged to the sewer?

Can hazardous waste pharmaceuticals be discharged to septic tanks?

Can hazardous waste pharmaceuticals be discharged to the sewer from a healthcare facility or reverse distributor that has a pretreatment permit?

Does the sewer prohibition apply to pharmaceutical manufacturers?