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New EPA Rule for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals in Florida

What you need to know

In February of 2019, the EPA issued a new rule for hazardous waste management that establishes streamlined standards for the healthcare industry. If you’re operating a medical facility of any kind in Florida, it’s always important to be aware of and stay on top of the latest rules and regulations to ensure you’re in compliance. Non-compliance can end up affecting your bottom line in the form of hefty fines and damaged reputation.
Here’s what you need to know about the new EPA rule:

What is the new EPA rule?

The new EPA rule was created after years of consideration by the EPA and other agencies that oversee pharmaceutical and other hazardous medical waste disposal. The main goal of the new rule is to make it easier for healthcare facilities to comply with and properly manage the hazardous medical waste from their facilities while also protecting the environment. Here are the key components:

  • Prohibits the disposal of hazardous pharmaceutical waste by pouring down the drain, flushing or emptying into the sewer
  • Exempts nicotine replacement therapies including gum, patches, and lozenges as being
    P listed
  • Creates two hazardous pharmaceutical waste categories, including those that can be returned in a take-back program and those that cannot
  • Provides new requirements for container storage underscoring the need to keep the public away from hazardous pharmaceutical waste materials storage

What healthcare facilities are impacted by this rule?

The new EPA rule impacts all Florida healthcare facilities that manage pharmaceutical products and waste including the following: 

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Dental practices
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Long-term care centers
  • Pharmacies

When does this rule go into effect?

Although the rule went into effect on August 21, 2019, the current RCRA regulations will continue to be enforced until the rule is effective, which will occur six months after publication in the Federal Register. States are required to adopt the rule, but they do have the ability to make changes, which means effective dates may vary from state to state.

What do you need to do next?

As with all state and federal rules and regulations, it’s important to stay updated and understand your responsibility as a waste generator. In Florida, medical facilities of all kinds can face fines for non-compliance and ignorance of mandates is not considered an acceptable excuse.

All Points Medical Waste is a full-service medical waste company that serves Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties. To find out more about what we do and how we can serve you, call 772.600.4885 or fill out this form.

 

Dawn Connelly

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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