FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND, 2019
SUMMARY: Some pharmaceuticals are regulated as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when discarded. This final rule adds regulations for the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by healthcare facilities and reverse distributors. Healthcare facilities (for both humans and animals) and reverse distributors will manage their hazardous waste pharmaceuticals under this new set of sector-specific standards in lieu of the existing hazardous waste generator regulations.
Among other things, these new regulations prohibit the disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals down the drain and eliminates the dual regulation of RCRA hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that are also Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substances. The new rules also maintain the household hazardous waste exemption for pharmaceuticals collected during pharmaceutical takeback programs and events, while ensuring their proper disposal. The new rules codify Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s prior policy on the regulatory status of nonprescription pharmaceuticals going through reverse logistics. Additionally, EPA is excluding certain U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) from regulation as hazardous waste and is establishing a policy on the regulatory status of unsold retail items that are not pharmaceuticals and are managed via reverse logistics, fulfilling the commitment we made in the Retail Strategy of September 2016.
DATES: This final rule is effective on
August 21, 2019.