In December 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule requiring most dental offices nationwide to install amalgam separators, but withdrew the rule following the White House's memorandum ordering federal agencies to freeze all new or pending regulations. The rule became effective July 14, 2017, and compliance for most dentists will be July 14, 2020.
The rule mandates that most dental offices install, maintain, and monitor an amalgam separator that complies with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) American National Standard/American Dental Association (ADA) specifications. You may continue to operate an already-installed amalgam separator for its lifetime or 10 years (whichever comes first) as long as you comply with the rule's other requirements, including the specified best management practices, operation and maintenance, reporting, and record-keeping requirements. The date for compliance with this rule for existing offices will be at the end of 2019. Newly purchased or built offices must comply within 90 days of taking ownership.