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Hazardous Waste Pharmaceutical Disposal

On Feb. 22, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted the Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule (Pharms Rule). Most of the provisions of this rule will not be in effect in New York until the State adopts them.

The Pharms Rule adds regulations for the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by health care facilities and reverse distributors. Health care facilities 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. These provisions also prohibit the disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals down the drain (i.e., sewering). The ban on sewering hazardous waste pharmaceuticals went into effect nationwide on Aug. 21, 2019.

More information on the Pharms Rule can be accessed on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) website. A copy of the enforcement discretion letter is also available on the DEC website under the heading “NYS RCRA Interpretations for Some Specific Drugs – Nicotine.”

To subscribe to DEC’s mailing list, go to the Email Notices through DEC Delivers webpage, enter your email address in the blue box on the righthand side of the page, and click “Submit.”

LeadingAge will be providing more guidance on this regulation in the future.

Contact: Dawn Carter, dcarter@leadingageny.org, 518-859-1695