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News & Press: EPA Updates

USEPA Finalizes Rule for Dental Effluent Discharges

Thursday, August 10, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Administrator
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Dental offices are the main source of mercury discharges to municipal sewage treatment plants and subsequently to the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized technology-based pretreatment standards under the Clean Water Act to reduce these discharges. Under this new law, which became effective July 14, all dental offices that place or remove amalgam and discharge to a sewer line must install a dental amalgam removal device. The rule also requires proper documentation, maintenance and best management practices for the removal device.

Offices opening on or after July 14 must have the removal device installed prior to starting business. Existing facilities have until July 14, 2020 to install the removal device. All dental offices that do not meet the exemptions listed above must submit a One-Time Compliance report to either the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency or the local sewer authority by Oct. 12, 2020. 

For publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) without an approved pretreatment program, no action is required by this rule.  POTWs with an approved pretreatment program must communicate with regulated facilities, enforce the new rules, and develop, distribute, and collect the required One-Time Compliance Reports. The rule does not require POTWs to conduct monitoring, issue permits to, or inspect dental offices.

For more details on the rules, form templates, deadlines and other requirements, please see the “Dental Effluent” section on Ohio EPA’s webpage: