Mercury IMERC Solid
Waste Site
ERP About
About Events Links Members Publications Workgroups
site map    member login
Hazardous Waste Program Projects Pharmaceutical Waste

Environmental concerns about pharmaceuticals in the environment continue to grow as more are discovered in surface waters, ground water, landfill leachate, and aquatic life. With an aging population that is being prescribed more medications and an increasing number of new drugs that are brought to market, the problem of pharmaceuticals in the environment is being exacerbated. The vast majority of unused pharmaceuticals are being disposed of down the drain or discarded in the trash, allowing for possible direct releases to the environmental.

EPA is developing a proposal to address changes to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations under Subtitle C to address certain pharmaceutical wastes that are currently regulated as hazardous.

NEWMOA has an interest in improving the management of unwanted, undesired pharmaceuticals, in part because many health care facilities and pharmacies operate across state lines in the Northeast. The organization has advocated for new regulatory approaches and coordination with EPA and other federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that could yield a holistic, flexible, and environmentally-sound approach to pharmaceutical waste management. This might include a new regulatory framework with a workable blend of actions, such as:

  • Education
  • Producer responsibility
  • Convenient collection for households and other small generators

In 2013, NEWMOA formed a Pharmaceutical Waste Workgroup to promote interstate collaboration on:

  • Sharing monitoring data related to pharmaceuticals identified in the environment
  • Communicating and coordinating with EPA on federal regulatory approaches to pharmaceutical waste management
  • Helping members share information on enforcement of existing laws and regulations
  • Keeping informed about regulatory approaches being tested in states and other jurisdictions
  • Working collaboratively to develop new management or regulatory approaches and models

For more information, contact Terri Goldberg at .



Last Modified 07/15/2015

Home  |  Pollution Prevention  |  Mercury  |  IMERC  |  Solid Waste
Hazardous Waste  |  Waste Site Cleanup  |  About NEWMOA  |  NEWMOA Members

Copyright 2019 NEWMOA, Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
89 South Street, Suite 600; Boston, MA 02111-2651;
ph (617) 367-8558
fax (617) 367-0449
TDD/TTY (857) 265-3934
All Rights Reserved
Comments contact: .