Regulation of EPA on the reinstatement of amalgam wastes
EPA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lifts its hold on the finalized standards for the reduction of the clearance of mercury and other metals in wastewaters from dental practices into the municipal sewage treatment facilities on June 14th, 2017. The rule will come into force on July 14th, 2017 with the effective date for dental practices of July 14th, 2020.
In December 2016, the modified standards were originally issued by the EPA. It was planned that they would be issued in the Federal Register on January 24th, 2017. Although, on January 20th, the Trump administration has issued a document that has directed the federal agencies to "immediately withdraw" final rules that had been sent to the Office of the Federal Register and had been not yet issued. The EPA had to comply and withdraw the regulation then.
“This new regulation is preferable to the patchwork of regulations and rules in the various localities and states”, - says the head of the ADA, Gary Roberts, DDS.
None of the regulations proposed by EPA or any other agency can be an official unit without being issued by the Federal Register Office in the Federal Register.
The agency declared, that 94 pages of the “Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Dental Category” would be issued in the Federal Register on the June 14th. The republication copy of the guidelines are available here.
President Gary Roberts, DDS, states that ADA believes the regulations to represent a reasonable and fair approach to the question.
“We believe that this rule, a federal standard, is preferable to a patchwork of regulations and rules in the various localities and states”, - declared Dr. Roberts in a press-release.
Separators of the Amalgam
This final rule claims dental practices to use separators of amalgam and two best management practices that ADA recommends. The EPA underlined that the rule included a provision to considerably decrease and streamline the reporting requirements and the oversight that would otherwise apply.
According to the regulation, the facilities that remove or place amalgam can be a subject to the next management practices:
- Scrap amalgam collection and recycling;
- Cleaning the chairside traps with non-bleach and non-chlorine cleansers in order not to release mercury.
The previous EPA statement claimed that obedience with this rule would annually decrease the mercury clearance by 5.1 tons and 5.3 of other metals that can be might be in dental amalgam wastes into municipal sewage treatment facilities.
The ADA approved the aim of collecting dental amalgam wastes.
“The ADA agrees on the EPA’s aim of ensuring dental amalgam wastes are collected and may be recycled”, - states Dr. Roberts.
NRDC legal suit
In February 2017, NRDC, the National Resources Defense Council has filed a legal suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to make this regulation official.
The case is the Natural Resources Defense Council v. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others, which was supposed to be regarded by U.S. Justice Paul Oetken. Hurriedly, the NRDC has not answered to the query to see if the legal suit will continue so that the regulations will have an effect.