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Healthcare Environmental Resource Center

HERC provides pollution prevention and environmental compliance assistance information for the healthcare sector. It is intended to be a comprehensive resource, covering all the varieties of hospital wastes, and all the rules that apply to them, including both federal regulations and the specific rules that apply in your state. HERC also includes environmental compliance information for dental offices and assisted living/nursing care communities.

This website was developed and is maintained by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences. Funding for this project has been provided by EPA under the National Compliance Assistance Centers program. For more information, or to pass along suggestions, please contact: Lisa Stobierski, Sr. Program Manager.

Industry News
09/12/2019 - PharmEcology® Provides Disposal Guidelines for the 2019-2020 Flu Season [more]


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The information contained in this site is provided for your review and convenience. It is not intended to provide legal advice with respect to any federal, state, or local regulation. You should consult with legal counsel and appropriate authorities before interpreting any regulations or undertaking any specific course of action.

Please note that many of the regulatory discussions on HERC refer to federal regulations. In many cases, states or local governments have promulgated relevant rules and standards that are different and/or more stringent than the federal regulations. Therefore, to assure full compliance, you should investigate and comply with all applicable federal, state and local regulations.

What's New on HERC

EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program (Open Date: June 13, 2019 – July 31, 201). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of its 2019-2020 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I Solicitation to develop innovative technologies that protect human health and the environment. EPA is calling for small businesses to apply for Phase I awards up to $100,000 to demonstrate proof of concept in the following topic areas: clean and safe water, air quality, land, homeland security, sustainable materials management and safer chemicals.

Become a HERC Sponsor. The Healthcare Environmental Resource Center (HERC) is seeking private sector sponsors to supplement U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant funding. Sponsorships ($5,000/yr.) will be sought from five sources. Sponsors will be able to provide input to website design, organization and content and will receive full acknowledgment as industry champions through various means including HERC website co-branding, linked banners and other promotional materials. Under this sponsorship program, the current federal grantee, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), will continue to manage and operate the HERC website. More information.

EPA Signs New Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals. Some pharmaceuticals are regulated as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when discarded. This final rule creates a new part 266 subpart P for the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by healthcare facilities and reverse distributors. More information.

Hazardous Waste Portal has been launched. This portal is intended to help generators within most sectors to find federal and state hazardous waste compliance assistance resources.

EPA has launched a new section of their website that specifically addresses Hazardous Waste Generators. It provides basic information, links to forms, regulatory summaries/details, and sector-specific information.

NCMS launches new Assisted Living Care/Nursing Home Resource. The new resource is intended to educate facility owners and managers about applicable environmental rules in an effort to assure continuous compliance. Content covers waste management (e.g., unused meds), and rules related to buildings and grounds, facility management and renovation/construction. Use the main menu above to access these new sections.

DEA publishes new regulations for disposal of controlled substance that can effect hospitals and long-term care facilities. Under the new rule, registered and "authorized" hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy may accept unwanted controlled substances from ultimate users and establish collection receptacles at long-term care facilities. More…

Changes to the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act went into effect January, 2014. You must comply with the new standards if you introduce into commerce any pipe or plumbing product providing water for human consumption or are engaged in the installation or repair of any plumbing providing water for human consumption. For more information, review EPA's:

Federal Rule Establishes Requirements During Renovation, Repair and Painting Activities that Disturb Lead-Based Paint 
The covered facilities include parts of hospitals where children under age six are present on a regular basis. The rule applies to renovation, repair or painting activities. (More information.)

Practice Greenhealth

Need help in carrying out your waste reduction, mercury elimination, or environmental compliance program? Practice Greenhealth can show you the way.

The HERCenter has special pages covering your state's rules for the following topics:

RCRA/Hazardous Waste | Universal Waste | Regulated Medical Waste
OSHA | Mercury | Air Pollution | Asbestos | C&D Debris

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