On July 14, 2017, the U.S. EPA promulgated the Dental Effluent Guidelines to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices into the public sewer system. The U.S. EPA estimates compliance with this 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 a publicly owned treatment works (POTW), other wise known as a wastewater treatment plant.
A dental discharger is a facility where the practice of dentistry is performed, including, but not limited to, institutions, permanent or temporary offices, clinics, home offices, and facilities owned and operated by Federal, state or local governments, that discharges wastewater to a POTW.
The compliance date for new dental offices ("new sources") is the effective date of the rule: July 14, 2017.
Dental dischargers regulated under the Dental Amalgam Rule must implement the following EPA Best Management Practices:
Existing and new sources must submit a One-Time Compliance Report to MSD. New sources must submit the completed One-Time Compliance Report Form within 90 days following the introduction of wastewater to the POTW. For existing sources, the One-Time Compliance Report Form must be submitted to MSD no later than October 12, 2020, or 90 days after a transfer of ownership.
Dental dischargers that place or remove amalgam in limited emergency or unplanned, unanticipated circumstances are not required to install amalgam separators or follow the EPA Best Management Practices. The completed One-Time Compliance Report Form must be submitted to MSD no later than October 12, 2020, or 90 days after a transfer of ownership.