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.

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.

Industry News
09/28/2022 - HERC released the updated version of A 10-Step Blueprint for Managing Pharmaceutical Waste in US Healthcare Facilities, 2022 version. [more]

08/18/2022 - Managing Pharmaceutical Waste A 10-Step Blueprint for Healthcare Facilities, 2022 Version to be Published in September 2022 [more]

08/03/2022 - EPA Launches Community Engagement Efforts on New Ethylene Oxide Risk Information [more]

07/03/2022 - Health care leaders convene to discuss climate change [more]


The Web

What's New on HERC


The document Managing Pharmaceutical Waste A 10-Step Blueprint for Healthcare Facilities is being revised by HERC to cover the most recent federal and state regulations for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. Most notably, on February 22, 2019, EPA published Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine.  The updated document will completed by Summer 2022 and will be available on the Healthcare Environmental Resource CenterAlthough the 2008 document is not current with regard to federal regulation of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals, it does contain valuable non-regulatory waste management information that remains valid today. Therefore, we continue to make this 2008 document available for use. Download 2008 document.

HERC has posted Federal and State information and guidance on COVID-19 Medical Waste Management. If you have additional information that you would like to share, send it to George Cushnie.

Managing Your Hazardous Waste: A Guide for Small Businesses. This new EPA handbook provides an overview of the federal hazardous waste regulations and helps businesses understand how best to comply with federal hazardous waste management regulations.

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.

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 | Climate Change

©2015 Healthcare Environmental Resource Center