On May 14th the EPA announced the delay of the final pretreatment rules for dental office mercury discharge  until June of 2016. The purpose of the pretreatment requirements stem back to a commitment and memorandum by the EPA to address mercury pollution in our waterways back in 2008.

Janet Goodwin, chief of the EPA Office of Water’s Technology and Statistics Branch, said the agency needed time to address the comments concerning the inadvertent regulatory burden that has been placed on dental offices and the publicly owned treatment plants, which would be charged with enforcing the pretreatment standards at dental offices.

Many agencies, states and cites, including the city of Philadelphia, responded in the comment period prompting this latest delay.  The enforcement in the current proposal would burden the water authorities with policing the  enforcement and going after noncompliant dental clinics.They are ill equipped to handle this burden and many comment that they are currently maintaining acceptable levels of mercury discharge at this time.

The current proposed pretreatment rule, published in October 2014, can be found here.