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NJDEP Dental Amalgam Program

Thanks to the continued cooperation of the New Jersey dental community, significant reductions in the discharge of mercury into the environment has been accomplished. (See below).

NJDEP Online Registration and Certification

!!!!! ATTENTION DENTAL REGISTRANTS !!!!!

This Dental Amalgam Regulatory Service Portal will be closed beginning October 1, 2017 and will not reopen until January 2, 2018 to incorporate the following changes that affect you:

  1. The portal will be updated to include additional requirements resulting from the June 14, 2017, adoption of the new federal dental amalgam regulations entitled, ‘Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Dental Category’, at 40 CFR 441 . Existing dental facilities in New Jersey have been subject to similar State regulations at N.J.A.C. 7:14A-21 for the past 10 years and must continue to comply with those requirements. These new federal regulations that became effective on July 15, 2017 do not supersede the State regulations. The necessary portal updates are being made to ensure all dental facilities in New Jersey comply with all applicable State and federal regulations.

  2. The current 12 month registration/certification implementation period of October 1 through September 30 is being revised to coincide with a simpler calendar year schedule, January through December. Annual dental registration/certifications will now be due January 2 through March 31 for the previous calendar year.

IMPORTANT NOTE: These changes will not cause any lapse in compliance for dental registrants. Dental practices completing annual registration/certification submissions during January – March 2018 will satisfy the registration/certification submission requirement that would have been conducted in the fall of 2017. Please check back here periodically for updated information on these changes. Email updates and posting updates will also be sent on the Division of Water Quality’s Facebook page, so be sure to send your email address to us at NJDEP_AmalgamWaste@dep.nj.gov and like us on Facebook at @NewJerseyH20 or https://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyH2O/.


Discharges to Septic Systems

The Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control (BNPC) has issued a New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Discharge to Ground Water (NJPDES-DGW) general permit for Dental Facilities Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. For more information, please contact the Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control or read more regarding the K2 General Permit.


Discharges to Public Sanitary Sewer

Discharges into public sanitary sewers are regulated by the Bureau of Pretreatment and Residuals. All dental facilities subject to this regulation were required to implement Best Management Practices, or BMPs, by October 1, 2008, and must have installed an amalgam separator that meets the ISO 11143 criteria by October 1, 2009. Facilities that opened after October 1, 2007 shall immediately install an amalgam separator. Each dental facility subject to this regulation shall register and certify compliance annually with the NJDEP.


Results of the Rule

The effectiveness of the dental BMPs and the installation of the amalgam separators were assessed during calendar year 2012 by studying sewage sludge and wastewater effluent data. In addition, the continued effectiveness of the dental BMPs are assessed by tracking sludge quality data. From the year 2008 (the year Dental Best Management Practices were required to be implemented) to the year 2011 (after required implementation of amalgam separators), there was a reported decrease of about 36 percent in wastewater mercury effluent concentrations, and a 31 percent decrease in sewage sludge mercury concentrations. By calendar year 2016, mercury concentrations in sewage sludge have decreased by 48 percent since the inception of the dental BMPs. The results are summarized below.

Mercury Reductions in Municipal Wastewater Systems Since Implementation of Dental Amalgam Program

 

Year Mercury in Wastewater Effluent (ug/L) Mercury in Sludge (mg/kg)
Baseline -- Prior to BMPs and Amalgam Separators

2008

5.8

1.28

First Sampling After Deadline for Amalgam Separator Installation 2011
3.7
0.88
Percent Mercury Reduction 36% 31%
Most Recent Calendar Year Sampling 2016 N/A 0.66
Percent Mercury Reduction N/A 48%

 

Additional Resources:

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Dental Rule Text
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Best Management Practices
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Fact Sheet
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Amalgam Waste Recycling (Separators and Facilities)

If you have questions or need additional information regarding discharges to the public sanitary sewer, contact the Bureau of Pretreatment and Residuals at 609-984-4428.

 

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Last Updated: September 29, 2017

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