Review and update policies on the disposal of pharmaceuticals to prohibit the flushing of any drugs into the sewers. Experts say that may be the best way to ensure compliance with a new EPA regulation banning the sewering of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that went into effect August 21.
The policy update also may help ease requirements on frontline staffers, who will no longer have to keep track of what they can and can’t flush down the drain. And it may even help you stay on the good side of federal regulators, who are encouraging the no-sewering of any drug as a best practice to protect water resources.
The August 21 ban on the sewering of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals is the first deadline set out in new EPA regulations published in a February final rule. That rule overall sets up a new category, Subpart P, under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
The ban is the only part of the rule that goes into effect at all healthcare facilities across the United States and its territories without exception. That’s because the EPA is declaring the ban under the authority set out by the federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA).
Other parts of the final rule , officially known as the “Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals & Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine,” are under RCRA and must be approved in each state or territory that has its own RCRA-authorized program (more on that in a bit).