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Lower High Falls, Talladega Forest - Bill Wilson
Dental Amalgam Rule

EPA finalized technology-based pretreatment standards under the Clean Water Act in 2017 to reduce discharges of mercury and other metals from dental offices into municipal sewage treatment plants known as publically owned treatment works (POTWs). Dental offices, which discharge mercury and other metals present in amalgam used for fillings, are the main source of mercury discharges to POTWs; these metals are subsequently released to the environment. The rule (codified at 40 CFR Part 441) requires dental offices to comply with requirements based on practices recommended by the American Dental Association, including the use of amalgam separators. Once captured by the separator, dental amalgam can be recycled. Removing mercury when it is concentrated and easy to manage, such as through low-cost amalgam separators at dental offices is a common sense solution to managing mercury that would otherwise be released to air, land, and water.

Dental offices that discharge to POTWs that do not place or remove amalgam need only submit a one-time certification.

Dental offices that place or remove amalgam must operate and maintain an amalgam separator and must not discharge scrap amalgam or use certain kinds of line cleaners. They must also submit a One-time Compliance Report.

ADEM has developed a template for the ADEM One-time Compliance Report for Dental Dischargers that will satisfy the requirements of the one-time certification or One-time Compliance Report. You may also access EPA’s Dental Effluent Guidelines webpage for more information about the Dental Amalgam Rule.