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EPA Proposes Expansion of Universal Waste for Pharmaceuticals

December 9th, 2008 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News

In the December 2nd, 2008 Federal Register, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed an amendment to the Universal Waste Rule which would add hazardous pharmaceutical wastes to the definition. The Universal Waste Rule, introduced on May 11, 1995, modified the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s hazardous waste regulations by establishing a set of streamlined requirements for the collection of certain widely dispersed hazardous wastes, called “universal wastes.” This proposed rule would facilitate better management of pharmaceutical wastes by streamlining the generator requirements and encouraging generators of hazardous pharmaceutical wastes to manage them under the provisions of the Universal Waste Rule, which ensures that these hazardous pharmaceutical wastes are properly disposed of and treated as hazardous wastes. In addition, this proposed rule would facilitate the implementation of pharmaceutical take-back programs by removing RCRA barriers in the collection of pharmaceutical wastes from health care and other such regulated facilities, as well as facilitate the collection of pharmaceutical wastes from households, including non-hazardous pharmaceutical wastes. Comments must be received on or before February 2, 2009 identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2007-0932. For submission information go to: Docket.

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