Three EPA hazardous waste updates to know about in October 2017

By: Stericycle

As always, we are closely monitoring the latest EPA updates impacting the management of hazardous waste. EPA continues work on the Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule, work with retail groups and will release additional guidance on Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. Here are three of the latest hazardous waste regulations updates to be aware of in October 2017.

Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule:

The EPA continues work on the Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule and anticipates it will be out in spring of 2018. This rule proposes a ban on the sewering of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals from healthcare facilities, including pharmacies, and pharmaceutical reverse distributors. Further information on the proposed rule can be found on the EPA’s website.

The EPA is continuing to work with retail groups to determine additional guidance or regulation changes for retail related waste streams, such as aerosol canisters. The agency had recently announced it was exploring the potential for adding certain retail items, such as aerosol cans, to the federal universal waste regulations. While aerosols are currently classified as hazardous waste across the country, some states have already added them to their list of items that can be managed as universal waste, including California, Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas (paint only), and Utah.

Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule:

In fall 2017, The EPA plans to release additional guidance to make the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule more understandable. States with approved programs must adopt more stringent new regulations by July 2018, or July 2019 if they require legislation to update their regulations.

Below is the most recent anticipated schedule of states and territories adopting the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule:

  • Effective May 30, 2017: Alaska, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico
  • No Activity: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina
  • Rulemaking in Q4 2017: Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Utah
  • Anticipated Rulemaking by July 2018: Alabama, Colorado, Washington, DC, Idaho, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Virginia, Vermont
  • Anticipated Rulemaking by July 2019: Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  • States with the First Activity:
    • North Carolina: draft rule published
    • Georgia: draft rule published
    • Idaho: draft rule published
    • Kansas: hosted workshops in September 2017
    • Kentucky: draft rule published for comments
    • Utah: draft rule published
    • West Virginia: draft rule published


For more information, visit the EPA’s website for a list of frequently asked questions.

Click here to learn how Stericycle Environmental Solutions can help your business remain compliant with the latest hazardous waste regulations.