First Regular Session of the 121st

H.P. 514 - L.D. 697

An Act To Require the Installation of Dental Amalgam Separator Systems in Dental Offices

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

     Sec. 1. 38 MRSA 1661, sub-1-A and 1-B are enacted to read:

     1-A. Amalgam separator system. "Amalgam separator system" means a device that removes dental amalgam from the waste stream prior to its discharge into either the local public wastewater system or a private septic system located at the dental facility and that meets a minimum removal efficiency of 95% if installed prior to March 20, 2003 or 98% if installed on or after March 20, 2003, as determined through testing in accordance with standards contained in "ISO 11143, Dental Equipment - Amalgam Separators," published by the International Organization for Standardization, in effect on the date the system is installed.

     1-B. Dental amalgam. "Dental amalgam" means a mixture of silver and mercury used to restore dental integrity.

     Sec. 2. 38 MRSA 1667, as enacted by PL 1999, c. 779, 2, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:

1667. Dental procedures

     1. Prevention plan. By July 15, 2002, the department shall work with dentists and other interested parties to develop a pollution prevention plan for mercury from dental procedures that provides for reasonable measures to reduce mercury pollution from dental procedures and related sources. The plan must include options and strategies for implementing source reduction.

     2. Dental office defined. For purposes of this section, "dental office" means any dental clinic, dental office or dental practice, but does not include the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

     3. Amalgam separator system required. No later than December 31, 2004, a dental office that, in the course of treating its patients, adds, removes or modifies dental amalgam must install an amalgam separator system in the wastewater line in accordance with the following:

A. Wastewater containing dental amalgam particles must pass through the amalgam separator system prior to discharge to either a publicly owned treatment works or a private septic or waste disposal system, and waste containing dental amalgam must be collected from the amalgam separator system and disposed of in a manner satisfactory to the department;
B. Once the amalgam separator system has been installed, the dental office must notify the department in writing:

(1) Of the type of system installed;
(2) That the system is certified as meeting the standards required in accordance with section 1661, subsection 1-A;
(3) Of the date upon which the system became operational; and
(4) Of the method of disposing of the material after removal from the separator system.

If the amalgam separator system is connected to a publicly owned treatment works, the dental office shall provide the same notification to the director or chief engineer of that facility;
C. Installation, operation and maintenance of an approved amalgam separator system by a dentist in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations must fulfill the requirements of this section. A dentist must demonstrate proper operation and maintenance by maintaining, for a period of 3 years, all shipping records for replacement filters sent to licensed recyclers and written documentation that demonstrates that the system has been properly inspected and maintained; and
D. The department, after receiving proper notification of the installation of the amalgam separator system and after being satisfied that it meets the requirements of this section, must provide the dentist or the dental practice with written confirmation of receipt of evidence of compliance with this section in a format suitable for display by the dental office.

Effective September 13, 2003, unless otherwise indicated.