Federal Dental Amalgam Rule Update

NACWA has sent out an update on the Effluent Guidelines Plans that the EPA published that includes an update on the Federal Dental Amalgam Rule which is excerpted below. The Plans announce both final decisions EPA is making on the control of industrial wastewater discharges, along with proposed new actions for the future.

EPA is requesting public review and comment on the Preliminary 2014 Plan on behalf of your agency and to possibly seek the attention of dental practices in your service areas depending on the content proposed rule. Although the content of the rule is still unknown, some input indicates that it would be troubling for both dental practices and local agencies.

“Effluent Guidelines PlansThe Final 2012 and Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Plans, along with the Federal Register notice and a fact sheet, are available on EPA’s website at http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastetech/guide/304m/index.cfm. Public comments on the 2014 Preliminary Plan are due November 17. If you have any comments on the Preliminary Plan, please send them to me by November 1. EPA states in the Final 2012 Plan that the Dental Amalgam Rule will be proposed in September 2014, with a final rule expected in March 2016.  The White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) completed its review of the rule yesterday, and according to comments made by Al Garcia, Region 8 Pretreatment Coordinator, at the Pacific Northwest Pretreatment Workshop, we should expect to see the proposed rule published in 4-6 weeks. NACWA has consistently opposed a dental amalgam separator rule (see http://www.nacwa.org/images/stories/public/2013-10-07peffluentgp.pdf for comments submitted to EPA last year), and depending on the contents of the proposal, we will likely submit substantial comments on the rule.  I will send out a request soon for more information about existing dental amalgam separator programs and mercury data for all utilities – if you have anything available already, please email it to me at cfinley@nacwa.org.”

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