On December 2, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed rule designed to make it easier for generators of hazardous pharmaceutical waste to collect, store and dispose of those wastes. The rule also encourages generators to dispose of this waste as a “universal waste”, which would remove it from the municipal solid waste system. The rule, which potentially affects over 600,000 entities, covers waste from pharmacies, hospitals, physicians’ offices, dentists’ offices, outpatient care centers, ambulatory health care services, residential care facilities and veterinary clinics, among others. The proposed rule is published at 73 Fed. Reg. 73519 (Dec. 2, 2008).
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