Ecology filed a pre-proposal rulemaking notice in the Washington State Register on February 17, 2016 about plans to update Chapter 173-303 WAC, Dangerous Waste Regulation. Ecology plans to amend specific sections of the dangerous waste regulations to incorporate new federal hazardous waste rules, including but not limited to:
- Management standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals.
- Conditional exclusions for solvent-contaminated wipes.
- Definition of solid waste revisions to solid waste variances and to the definition of legitimacy.
- Revisions to the export provisions of the cathode ray tube (CRT) rule.
- Several minor technical and editorial corrections and clarifications.
Ecology is required to adopt certain federal hazardous waste rules to remain authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and consistent with EPA regulations.
A key reason for starting rulemaking now on the pharmaceutical rule is to resolve problems with pharmaceutical waste management. Ecology will adopt newly proposed EPA rules for management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. Adopting these pharmaceutical waste rules will help healthcare facilities and waste management vendors properly manage this waste stream, reduce the regulatory burden associated with waste management, and reduce confusion. Additionally, the new rules prohibit disposal of drugs to the sewer, resulting in fewer toxic chemicals in our waterways.
Adopting the solvent wipes rule allows more flexibility to safely manage dangerous waste wipes while reducing regulatory requirements.