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EPA postpones amalgam separator rule

May 21, 2015

By Craig Palmer

Washington – The Environmental Protection Agency will delay releasing a final amalgam separator rule until the summer of 2016, according to a May 14 Bloomberg BNA media report. The ADA is encouraged by the EPA's willingness to work with the profession as it develops its rule, the Association said in a Leadership Update to be sent to the profession's leaders May 22.  

The EPA announced proposed amalgam separator standards for dental offices last fall and said the agency expected to issue a final rule in September 2015. A 2016 release date will allow the EPA time to address comments on the proposal, according to Bloomberg BNA.

The Association offered comments intended to improve the proposed rule and told the EPA, "ADA's support is contingent only on the final rule complying with nine common-sense principles, including use of amalgam separators that comply with the ISO Standard 11143. The ADA re-affirms its support of a pretreatment rule that requires amalgam separators consistent with these nine principles."

Bloomberg BNA quoted an EPA official as saying that part of the reason for the delay is that the agency needs more time to address the regulatory burden the rule would create.