EPA Inaction in Identifying Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals May Result in Unsafe Disposal

    [released May 31, 2012]

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General has released Report No. 12-P-0508 dated May 25, 2012 in which it states that since 1980, "EPA has not used its RCRA authority to determine whether pharmaceuticals may qualify as hazardous waste. EPA also has not established a process for the regular identification and review of pharmaceuticals that may qualify for regulation as hazardous waste. Without a regular process, EPA cannot provide assurance that pharmaceuticals that may pose a hazardous risk to human health and the environment have been identified."

    The report lists three recommendations:

    1. Identify and review existing pharmaceuticals to determine whether they qualify for regulation as hazardous waste.
    2. Establish a process to review new pharmaceuticals to determine whether they qualify for regulation as hazardous waste.
    3. Develop a nationally consistent outreach and compliance assistance plan to help states address challenges that health care facilities, and others as needed, have in complying with RCRA regulations for managing HWPs.

    The full report may be accessed at EPA OIG Report.

    If you have any additional questions about disposal of any pharmaceutical waste or if you have any questions about managing your pharmaceutical waste, please contact us at info@pharmecology.com, call us at 877-247-7430, or visit our web site at www.pharmecology.com.