Dental Amalgam Compliance Reporting (required by federal law)
On June 14, 2017, the USEPA promulgated pretreatment standards (40 CFR 441) to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices into municipal sewage treatment plants know as Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs). The final rule requires dental offices to use amalgam separators and two Best Management Practices (BMPs) recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). As the local Control Authority, the Greater Peoria Sanitary District (GPSD) is required to implement and enforce the regulation. A summary of the regulation follows:
- The regulation is applicable to all dental dischargers that remove or replace amalgam. It does not apply to dental dischargers that exclusively practice one or more of the following dental specialties: oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, or prosthodontics. Also excluded are mobile units and those practices that only remove or place amalgam in limited emergency or unplanned circumstances.
- All amalgam process wastewater must be treated prior to discharge to the POTW utilizing an amalgam separator meeting specific performance standards outlined in the regulation. Existing separators installed prior to June 14, 2017 meet this requirement until the separator is replaced or until June 14, 2027, whichever is sooner.
- Waste amalgam including, but not limited to, dental amalgam from chair-side traps, screens, vacuum pump filters, dental tools, cuspidors, or collection devices, must not be discharged to a POTW.
- Dental unit water lines, chair-side traps, and vacuum lines that discharge amalgam process wastewater to a POTW must not be cleaned with oxidizing or acidic cleaners, including but not limited to, bleach, chlorine, iodine and peroxide that have a pH lower than 6 or greater than 8.
- Recordkeeping requirements include documentation of inspection, maintenance and repair of the separator as well as amalgam removal and disposal.
- The compliance date for these requirements is July 12, 2020