EPA proposes two rules that impact veterinarians

EPA proposes two rules that impact veterinariansWish regulations pertaining to disposal of hazardous pharmaceutical waste were easier to understand, more practical, and safer for the environment? You’re not alone! For years, the AVMA has advocated on these issues, and with the recent publication by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of two proposed rules – one on Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements and the other on Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals – AVMA sees the potential for regulatory benefits to the veterinary profession, public safety, and the environment.

The proposed steps forward include:

  • Revised regulations to improve management and disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals
  • Tailored regulations to address specific issues faced by veterinary facilities, hospitals, pharmacies and other healthcare-related facilities
  • Development of a user-friendly, electronic hazardous waste determination decision tool
  • A ban on sewer disposal (flushing or pouring down drains) of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by all healthcare facilities and reverse distributors

The AVMA will be commenting to the EPA on both of the proposed rules. The focus of our comments will be on making the regulations as veterinary practice-friendly as possible, while still addressing the significant environmental concerns that stem from the disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals. If you have scientific expertise or practical experience that you’d like to share with the AVMA regarding the items above or other items in the either of the proposed rules, please send your comments to us at regulatorycomments@avma.org by November 9th.

If you’d like to send comments directly to the EPA, you can do so by visiting www.regulations.gov, searching for Docket No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2012-0121 for the proposed rule on Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements or Docket No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2007-0932 for the proposed rule on Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals, and then following the online instructions.


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  1. The EPA has extended the comment deadline on both proposed rules to December 24, 2015. For more detail on the extension, click on the links to the rules in the initial blog.