Government Shutdown Impact on Hazardous Waste Industry


FEBRUARY 1, 2019

The United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019 occurred from Dec. 22, 2018 until Jan. 25, 2019 (35 days).

During the shutdown, all regulatory offices of non-essential personnel were affected. No regulatory activity was conducted during this time, including the publication of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hazardous waste pharmaceutical rule in the Federal Register. Only enforcement and inspections were allowed to continue.

Among the notable changes from the proposed rule, the final EPA hazardous waste pharmaceutical rule requires that prescription pharmaceuticals sent from healthcare facilities to reverse distributors must be regulated as solid waste and evaluated for hazardous classification at the healthcare facility before they are shipped. This rule will impose significant new obligations on healthcare providers, including pharmacies and long-term care providers, as well as forward and reverse distributors of pharmaceuticals.

In addition, e-Manifest activity also slowed down considerably during the government shutdown, which is likely to cause a backlog for any manifests sent in for manual entry.

Failure for negotiators to come to an agreement on border security by Feb. 15 could result in another government shutdown. Clean Earth is committed to updating our customers about the impact of another shutdown on their businesses. For updates, visit our website.

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