The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is promulgating technology-based pretreatment standards under the Clean Water Act to reduce discharges of mercury and other metals from dental offices into municipal sewage treatment plants known as publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). Dental offices, which discharge mercury and other metals present in amalgam used for fillings, are the main source of mercury discharges to POTWs; these metals are subsequently released to the environment. This final rule requires dental offices that place or remove amalgam to operate and maintain an amalgam separator and use the two best management practices recommended by the American Dental Association. Amalgam separators are a practical, affordable and readily available technology for capturing mercury and other metals before they are discharged into sewers. The EPA expects compliance with this final rule will annually reduce the discharge of mercury by 5.1 tons as well as 5.3 tons of other metals found in waste dental amalgam to POTWs.
All dental facilities must submit a one-time compliance report as required by the Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Dental Office Category (“Dental Amalgam Rule”). The form is attached.