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Advocacy News

After Years of Waiting, EPA Finally Moves on Proposed Amalgam Separator Rule

June 06, 2014

The ADA has learned that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is now reviewing an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rule to reduce the amount of dental amalgam that dental offices release into wastewater systems. Following OMB’s review (assuming OMB approval, usually within 90 days) EPA will publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register for comment. This is the first significant development on an amalgam separator mandate since the agency first announced its intention to develop a rule in September 2010.

The ADA has consulted with the EPA a number of times since 2010. The agency understands that the ADA supports a reasonable national pretreatment standard for amalgam waste as long as it is not unduly burdensome on dental professionals. The Association has heard from a number of sources that the EPA proposal comports with ADA requirements for a national mandate, but the agency has not yet shared the proposed rule.