Amalgam Separator One-Time Compliance Report

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The EPA deadline for dental dischargers that have not yet installed an amalgam separator is July 14th, 2020 and has been written about extensively.  Even if you do not need to install an Amalgam separator because you don’t remove or work with amalgam, you still need to file the one-time compliance report.  What do you need to document and how long do you need to maintain said documents?  

In this installment, I will cover the requirement to submit a one-time compliance report to your Control Authority.  Your Control Authority may be your wastewater utility, your state wastewater agency, or the U.S. EPA Regional Office. For assistance in determining your Control Authority, please see EPA’s website: .

For existing dental dischargers that are just now installing an amalgam separator, this report is required to be submitted no later than October 12, 2020.  For those of you that are certifying that you are exempt from the rule, you still need to file the report stating as much by October 12th, 2020.   If you purchase a practice that already has an amalgam separator, then you need to do a new report and it must be submitted within 90 days of the transfer of ownership.  For new sources (a new practice), a one-time compliance report must be submitted no later than 90 days following the introduction of wastewater into your municipal wastewater system, lovingly referred to as the publicly owned treatment works or POTW in the regulations.  For additional applicability information visit our website at for a link to the actual regulations.

The one-time compliance report must be signed and certified by a responsible corporate officer, a general partner or proprietor.  Even if you exclusively practice one of the specialties that is exempt from the requirement to install an amalgam separator, i.e. orthodontics, you still must file this report by October 12, 2020.  The way I read the regulations, if you buy a practice that is exempt, you will need to file a new report no later than 90 days after the date of the transfer.

For an exempt practice, the report must contain the facility name and address, contact information, name of the operator(s) and Owner(s), and a certification statement that the dental discharger does not place dental amalgam and does not remove amalgam except in limited circumstances.

For practices that do remove amalgam on a regular basis (most of you), then all the information listed above must be included plus a description of the dental facility including the total number of chairs and the number of chairs at which dental amalgam may be present in the wastewater, and a description of any existing amalgam separator(s) or equivalent devices currently operated.   The report must also include a statement certifying that the amalgam separator(s) will be operated and maintained to meet the requirements of the regulation.

The EPA has provided a sample compliance report and there is a link to this sample report on our website at .  Once you complete it, where do you send the compliance report?  The EPA provides the following directions on the sample form itself, “Do not fill out and submit this form unless directed to do so by your Control Authority. Please contact your Control Authority to determine what form to use.”  I think it is appropriate to mention that the sample report’s certification statement ends with this sentence “I am aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment for knowing violations.”

So who is your Control Authority?  In the state of Ohio, you must reach out to your local Sewer District and find the contact responsible for collecting these reports.  In the case of Columbus Ohio and surrounding suburbs, the contact is Jason Westfall.  He works for the City of Columbus, Department of Public Utilities as part of the Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Program.  

As with most regulations, there is a document retention requirement.  Your one-time compliance report must be maintained by you and made available for inspection for as long as you operate the practice.  My next installment in the Amalgam Separator saga will be on other amalgam related recordkeeping requirements.  I bet you can’t wait!

For more information go to or call (614) 534-0073.

Brad J. Primm