Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What do we do if not currently in compliance with ODA Best Management Practices?

Review the information about BMPs located on ODA’s website at and make changes in office operations to meet the standards outlined in the BMPs. 


What was the basis for the new law requiring amalgam separators?

Oregon Indian tribes expressed increasing concern about mercury in water that ends up in fish – a major dietary staple for tribal members.  While the primary source of mercury in surface water is air deposition, there has been increasing regulatory pressure to control all sources of mercury in wastewater.  ODA responded to this emerging concern more than 10 years ago when it developed the BMPs.


In 2007, when legislation (Senate Bill 704) was introduced in Salem requiring immediate installation of amalgam separators in Oregon dental offices, ODA pointed to the success of its BMPs and was able to persuade lawmakers to delay the separator installation mandate.   House Bill 3611 from the February 2008 legislative session allows dental offices following ODA’s BMPs until September 1, 2008 to obtain BMP certification in order to delay installation.  However, a compromise among the stakeholders was necessary resulting in the separator installation date being moved up to January 1, 2010.


ODA is recognized by legislators and policymakers for its environmental leadership regarding safe disposal of dental amalgam waste.  The preventive emphasis in the BMPs is a natural for the dental community since prevention is the basis for dental health.