EPA’s Nationwide Sewer Ban on Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals
As of 8/21/2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned the drain disposing or sewering of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. This applies to healthcare facilities across the United States. Refer to a previous blog titled: “My Gas Station Turned Into a Healthcare Facility” to get a good idea of what EPA considers a healthcare facility.
This new regulation has turned into a particular challenge for hospitals and clinics that used to drain dispose left over DEA controlled substances down the sink after administration. For example, diazepam solution from certain manufacturers is considered hazardous waste and falls under this disposal ban. So what is a facility to do now? Easy, discard any DEA controls into the PAC-RX™ container rather than down the drain. Then, discard according to federal, state and local regulations. This will likely involve incineration which is also an option available through the PAC-RX™ MailBACK™ program.
Although, the sewer ban specifically applies to hazardous waste pharmaceuticals as defined by EPA, they encourage all pharmaceuticals not to be drain disposed.
EPA estimates the impact of the sewer ban to result in 2,300 tons of pharmaceuticals/year will now bypass our waterways.
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