EPA’s New Draft Hazardous Waste Rules Promote Flexibility, but Devil is in the Details

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On August 31, 2015, EPA released two proposed hazardous waste rules under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) that will be soon be available for public comment after they are published in the Federal Register. One rule would make significant changes to the basic generator requirements applicable to all businesses. The other would create an entirely new and separate regulatory scheme for pharmaceutical wastes generated at healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and retailers of over-the-counter medications. EPA’s rationale behind the proposed rules is that RCRA hazardous waste generator regulations, designed for manufacturing, do not fit well with current practices in many industries, particularly the healthcare industry.

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