The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
, the federal
office that enforces wastewater treatment, ruled in December 2016 that dental offices discharging mercury and other metals into municipal sewage treatment systems must comply with requirements based on practices recommended by the American Dental Association, including the use of amalgam separators. According to an article in the ADA News Archive (December 15, 2016) - scroll down to article:
“The rule is effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The date for compliance for most dentists will be three years from now, at the end of 2019.” As of March 20, 2016, this rule has not been published in the Federal Register.
However here in NJ,
the state Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)
has -- since 2008 -- required that all dental facilities that generate amalgam waste and discharge into sewer systems install an amalgam separator. Furthermore, these dental facilities are required to register and certify compliance
with the state rule annually. This state requirement is not affected by the federal rule. Compliance with the NJDEP requirement continues to be mandatory except for certain exempt practice types.
Exempt practices include endodontics, periodontics,
orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral and maxillofacial radiology and oral and maxillofacial pathology, unless other types of dentistry are also practiced at the facility. Please note that as originally published, endodontics and periodontics were omitted from the list of exempt practice types. We apologize for the omission.
Fact Sheet from the US EPA: federal
Fact Sheet from the NJ DEP: state