For Immediate Release
March 17, 2014
Mary E. Maloney, Assistant Attorney General
Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and Commissioner Thomas S. Burack of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES") announce that the Merrimack County Superior Court (McNamara, J.) approved a settlement between the State and Omnicare Inc., d/b/a Omnicare of New Hampshire ("Omnicare") resolving allegations of hazardous waste violations.
Omnicare is an Ohio based company doing business in Londonderry, New Hampshire as Omnicare of New Hampshire. Omnicare operates community-based, long-term care mail order pharmacies that primarily service group living facilities (i.e., nursing homes, assisted living facilities and jails) and generates the majority of its hazardous waste through a product return program.
The State alleged that Omnicare failed to identify certain pharmaceutical wastes as hazardous wastes. Omnicare then shipped the hazardous waste pharmaceuticals to facilities that were not authorized to accept the wastes.
There are 30 pharmaceuticals that are specifically listed as hazardous waste and numerous other pharmaceuticals that are considered hazardous waste due to their characteristics (i.e., ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic). In order for waste pharmaceuticals to be properly managed as hazardous waste, they must be identified by the pharmacy at time they are discarded. State law requires that hazardous waste be handled and disposed of in accordance with the State's Hazardous Waste Rules, in order to prevent harm to human health or the environment.
These violations, as well as Omnicare's failure to follow certain hazardous waste management requirements, were discovered during a DES inspection in October of 2011. Omnicare quickly corrected the problems once identified by DES and was cooperative throughout the investigation.
Under the terms of the settlement, Omnicare will be assessed a total penalty of $298,100.
A link to the settlement agreement/consent decree is below.
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