Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-24.9
Mercury Reduction and Education Act

SECTION 23-24.9-9.1

§ 23-24.9-9.1. Legislative findings.

(a) The general assembly further finds:

(1) In 1998, the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) established a landmark goal to "virtually eliminate" mercury emissions in the region.

(2) The Governors' Mercury Task Force has set a goal of having seventy-five percent (75%) of dentists in the region install dental amalgam separators by the end of 2007 and ninety-five percent (95%) of dentists have them in place by the end of 2010.

(3) The Rhode Island Dental Association, the professional association representing the majority of the State's dentists has been pro-active in adopting best management practices in handling disposal of dental amalgam.

(4) On Earth Day 2003 the United States Environmental Protection Agency awarded to the Rhode Island Dental Association the New England Region Environmental Merit Award for its mercury reduction efforts.

(5) In 2004 the Rhode Island Dental Association in cooperation with the Narragansett Bay Commission began a pilot program to adopt dental office best management practices.

(6) In 2004 the Narragansett Bay Commission awarded to the Rhode Island Dental Association its Environmental Merit Award for Pollution Prevention.

(7) By the end of 2005, all Rhode Island dental offices within the Narragansett Bay Commission's jurisdiction had adopted Best Management Practices to prevent wastewater pollution.

(8) The department of environmental management is concerned about the contribution of mercury to the environment from amalgam waste disposed of into all wastewater discharges, including septic systems.

(9) Beginning in 2005, the Rhode Island Dental Association, working with the wastewater treatment facility operators in the Pawtuxet River basin have begun to adopt a uniform set of Best Management Practices to include all dental offices within the jurisdiction of those facilities.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2006, ch. 556, § 1.)