In late May, the American Dental Association (ADA) reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is postponing the release of a new amalgam separator rule. Initially, the rule was expected to become final in September 2015, but will be delayed until September 2016. The EPA released the proposed rule last fall, with the comment period ending in February 2015. The delayed release date will allow the EPA ample time to consider all of the comments received.
If passed, the rule would require most dentists to install best available control technology, amalgam separators, and adhere to best management practices, for controlling the discharge of dental amalgam down the drain to the publicly owned treatment works. EPA is also proposing to streamline oversight requirements for the dental sector to the state and local level as well as eliminate discharge monitoring requirements.