For the better part of a decade, the regulated community, policymakers, and regulators have grappled with how best to manage hazardous waste pharmaceuticals.  On August 31, 2015, the curtain rose on a new era with the pre-publication of a new proposed standard for stemming the flood of pharmaceuticals entering our water supply and streamlining waste management practices to protect our nation’s drug supply. 
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As reported by Law360, Troutman Sanders LLP and members of its Environmental and Natural Resources Practice Group assisted Safeway Inc. regarding its recent settlement of retail and pharmaceutical waste issues in California.  The Alameda County District Attorney’s office, along with 43 other California jurisdictions, filed a Complaint and Stipulation of Final Judgment resolving the case for payments of penalties, investigative costs and Supplemental Environmental Projects valued at $9.87 M. Prosecutors alleged that Safeway and its approximately 500 grocery stores and pharmacies, as well as two distribution centers, had improperly disposed of hazardous and medical wastes under state laws regulating the disposal of these materials.
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In early February, EPA released a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) that gives the retail sector the opportunity to submit comments on the various challenges that they face in complying with the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  In the NODA, EPA points out that retailers are challenged to make numerous hazardous waste determinations at thousands of sites, “generally by store employees with limited experiences with the RCRA hazardous waste regulations.”   The NODA is a continuation of EPA’s efforts, initiated in 2008, to address challenges related to hazardous waste pharmaceutical management.
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In May, Senators Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ and David Vitter, R-LA introduced a bipartisan bill that would overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). While the Senate has debated the concept of TSCA reform for several years now, the introduction of this bipartisan bill represents the start of a serious
conversation about reforming the nation’s primary