ASTSWMO Position Paper: A New Regulatory Approach to Pharmaceutical Waste Management

Many studies have demonstrated that pharmaceutical compounds are making their way into the environment. Although little can be done to prevent some pharmaceuticals from reaching environmental receptors, the destiny of waste pharmaceuticals can be controlled. The Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) understands that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery is developing new regulations for management of pharmaceutical wastes to replace the December 2008 proposal that would have allowed those pharmaceutical wastes already regulated as hazardous waste under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to be managed as universal wastes. ASTSWMO also understands that while EPA’s forthcoming proposal will be designed to offer flexibility to health care facilities that manage pharmaceutical wastes; it too will only apply to those pharmaceuticals currently regulated as a hazardous waste under RCRA. This Position Paper outlines a more holistic management approach that could apply to all post-manufacturing pharmaceutical wastes, not only those regulated as a hazardous waste. In developing this Paper, several articles and publications were reviewed. A complete bibliography of those reviewed is included.

Fluorescent Lamp Drum-Top Crusher Survey Results

U.S. EPA and State and Territorial (States) regulatory agencies recommend that mercury containing fluorescent lamps be recycled. One device commonly used by industry at the beginning of the recycling process is the drum‐top crusher (DTC). Studies have revealed significant problems with the release of mercury from some DTCs during operation, and there appears to be variability in how States regulate DTCs (from no regulation to requiring a treatment permit). This survey is to quantify the regulatory posture of States with regard to DTCs, to establish a baseline of knowledge, and assist the ASTSWMO Hazardous Waste Recycling Task Force in its dialogue with U.S. EPA on this topic.

RCRAInfo User’s Manual

This document was developed to provide general data entry guidance to users new to the world of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and RCRAInfo and provide “plain talk” instructions on how to understand various aspects of the user screens for each of the modules of RCRAInfo. In this document, a new data entry user will learn how to access the screens, input data, edit information, link data, use shortcuts, and acquire printouts to maximize the effectiveness of RCRAInfo.

ASTSWMO Comments on the December 9, 2011 Report titled “EPA Must Improve Oversight of State Enforcement”

The Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) has reviewed the December 9, 2011 report titled EPA Must Improve Oversight of State Enforcement (the Report) and is compelled to respond due to what we believe is a misleading assessment of State Hazardous Waste Program oversight of regulated entities within their jurisdictions. ASTSWMO represents the waste management and remediation programs of the 50 States, five Territories and the District of Columbia (States). Our membership includes State waste program experts in the management and regulation of solid and hazardous waste; therefore, our comments will be directed exclusively toward those issues in the Report pertaining to State oversight under Subtitle C of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The Hazardous Waste and Solid Waste Subcommittees provide input on the RCRA Messaging initiative.

The Hazardous Waste and Solid Waste Subcommittees of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) appreciate your invitation to  provide input on the “RCRA Messaging” initiative. In this letter, we offer our perspectives on this initiative and the value of the RCRA Subtitle C and D programs as well as additional State and Territorial (State) programs and their continuing accomplishments. At their heart, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and equivalent State programs are pollution prevention and resource conservation programs. This is truer now than when RCRA first became law, as evidenced by substantial reductions in the amount of hazardous waste generated across the nation and shifts towards use of less-toxic, more environmentally friendly materials in manufacturing and production operations. We believe this fundamental shift in thinking was brought about by RCRA and its implementing regulations.

The Hazardous Waste Recycling and Program Information Management Task Forces comment on the Definition of Solid Waste Notice Proposed Rule (76 FR 44094)

The Hazardous Waste Recycling and Program Information Management Task Forces (Task Forces) of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) Hazardous Waste Subcommittee, have reviewed the July 22, 2011 Proposed Rule concerning potential revisions to the definition of solid waste (DSW) at 76 FR 44094. The Task Forces’ comments are enclosed.

The Subcommittee requests a 60-day extension of the comment period for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) supplemental proposal to revise the definition of solid waste (DSW) rule

The Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) Hazardous Waste Subcommittee respectfully requests a 60-day extension of the comment period for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) supplemental proposal to revise the definition of solid waste (DSW) rule. The current 60-day comment period is insufficient to allow full analysis and debate among State waste managers, and so we are formally requesting an extension. The extended comment period would end November 29, 2011. EPA has committed to publishing a final rule by December 31, 2012. Therefore, granting a 60-day extension will still allow EPA plenty of time to review comments and publish a final rule.

Pricing Factors White Paper and Spreadsheet

In January 2007, the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) Board of Directors released the State RCRA Subtitle C Core Hazardous Waste Management Program Implementation Costs Final Report (2007 Core Report), which examined the “nature and costs of implementing a complete and adequate [RCRA Subtitle C] Program.” The Core Report is currently posted on-line <a href=”http://astswmo.org/Files/Policies_and_Publications/Hazardous_Waste/Final%20Report%20-
%20RCRA%20Subtitle%20C%20Core%20Project.pdf” target=”_blank”>here</a>. The 2007 Core Report concluded that there is a significant gap between current federal funding levels and the actual costs associated with administering adequate state hazardous waste (RCRA-equivalent) programs.