HOUSE BILL 481
48th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2007
RELATING TO WATER QUALITY; REQUIRING A DENTAL OFFICE TO REMOVE DENTAL AMALGAM PRIOR TO DISCHARGE OF ITS WASTEWATER.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
Section 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--Sections 1 through 6 of this act may be cited as the "Amalgam Removal Act".
Section 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Amalgam Removal Act:
A. "amalgam" means an alloy of mercury with another metal, usually silver, used by a dentist to fill a cavity in teeth; and
B. "amalgam separator" means an item of dental equipment designed to remove amalgam particles and dissolved mercury from wastewater of a dental facility, passing through a vacuum line filter, screen or chair-side trap prior to discharge and using multiple technologies to remove amalgam, including sedimentation, filtration, centrifugation and ion exchange.
Section 3. [NEW MATERIAL] INSTALLATION OF AMALGAM SEPARATOR REQUIRED.--By December 31, 2008, a dental office shall install and use an amalgam separator system to remove dental amalgam prior to discharge in a wastewater stream and shall demonstrate proper sizing, installation, operation, maintenance and amalgam waste recycling or disposal in accordance with an amalgam separator manufacturer's recommendations. The water quality control commission may impose penalties pursuant to its authority pursuant to the Water Quality Act. The New Mexico board of dental health care shall consider a violation of the Water Quality Act in deciding whether to grant or renew a dentist's license.
Section 4. [NEW MATERIAL] EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN DENTAL OFFICES.--So long as a dental office can demonstrate that it is only minimally engaged in amalgam placement, removal or modification, an amalgam separator system shall not be required. Section 5. [NEW MATERIAL] REPORTING.--A dental office shall report to the New Mexico board of dental health care the size, installation, operation, maintenance and amalgam waste recycling or disposal for the previous three years and, when required, to its local publicly owned water treatment facility. The New Mexico board of dental health care shall retain the reported information with the dentist's licensing information and review, update and clarify whether it needs improvement coincident with the board's licensing and relicensing functions.
Section 6. [NEW MATERIAL] ENFORCEMENT.--The New Mexico board of dental health care shall not renew a license of a dentist who is in violation of the Amalgam Removal Act as reported by the water quality control commission or who has an unpaid fine for a violation of federal environmental protection law imposed by a municipality pursuant to Paragraph C of Section 3-17-1 NMSA 1978.
Section 7. Section 61-5A-10 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1994, Chapter 55, Section 10, as amended by Laws 2003, Chapter 408, Section 6 and by Laws 2003, Chapter 409, Section 8) is amended to read:
"61-5A-10. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD AND COMMITTEE.--In addition to any other authority provided by law, the board and the committee, [where] when designated, shall have the power to:
A. enforce and administer the provisions of the Dental Health Care Act;
B. adopt, publish, file and revise, in accordance with the Uniform Licensing Act and the State Rules Act, all rules as may be necessary to:
(1) regulate the examination and licensure of dentists and, through the committee, regulate the examination and licensure of dental hygienists;
(2) provide for the examination and certification of dental assistants by the board;
(3) provide for the regulation of dental technicians by the board;
(4) regulate the practice of dentistry, dental assisting and, through the committee, regulate the practice of dental hygiene; and
(5) provide for the regulation and licensure of non-dentist owners by the board;
C. adopt and use a seal;
D. administer oaths to all applicants, witnesses and others appearing before the board or the committee, as appropriate;
E. keep an accurate record of all meetings, receipts and disbursements;
F. grant, deny, review, suspend and revoke licenses and certificates to practice dentistry, dental assisting and, through the committee, dental hygiene and censure, reprimand, fine and place on probation and stipulation dentists, dental assistants and, through the committee, dental hygienists, in accordance with the Uniform Licensing Act for any cause stated in the Dental Health Care Act;
G. deny a license to practice dentistry or a renewal of such license in accordance with the Amalgam Removal Act on grounds the dental practice is in violation of water quality standards as reported by the water quality control commission;
[G.] H. grant, deny, review, suspend and revoke licenses to own dental practices and censure, reprimand, fine and place on probation and stipulation non-dentist owners, in accordance with the Uniform Licensing Act, for any cause stated in the Dental Health Care Act;
[H.] I. maintain records of the name, address, license number and such other demographic data as may serve the needs of the board of licensees, together with a record of license renewals, suspensions, revocations, probations, stipulations, censures, reprimands and fines. The board shall make available composite reports of demographic data, but shall limit public access to information regarding individuals to their names, addresses, license numbers and license actions or as required by statute;
J. establish ad hoc committees whose members shall be appointed by the [chairman] chair with the advice and consent of the board or committee and shall include at least one member of the board or committee, as it deems necessary for carrying on its business;
K. have the authority to pay per diem and mileage to individuals who are appointed by the board or the committee to serve on ad hoc committees;
L. have the authority to hire or contract with investigators to investigate possible violations of the Dental Health Care Act;
M. have the authority to issue investigative subpoenas prior to the issuance of a notice of contemplated action for the purpose of investigating complaints against dentists, dental assistants and, through the committee, dental hygienists licensed under the Dental Health Care Act; and
N. establish continuing education or continued competency requirements for dentists, certified dental assistants in expanded functions, dental technicians and, through the committee, dental hygienists."
Section 8. TEMPORARY PROVISION--RULEMAKING BY THE BOARD OF DENTAL HEALTH CARE.--The New Mexico board of dental health care shall promulgate rules by December 31, 2007 to provide standards of quality for dental equipment that meet at least the standards published by the international organization for standardization for dental equipment and to require that a dental office maintain records of maintenance and inspection for the three previous years for an amalgam separator. A method or technology that is demonstrably equivalent or better than an amalgam separator, if approved by the department of environment and the water quality control commission, is in compliance with the requirements of this section.
Section 9. TEMPORARY PROVISION--RULEMAKING BY THE WATER QUALITY CONTROL COMMISSION.--The water quality control commission shall promulgate rules by July 1, 2008 setting forth a statewide method for monitoring quality enforcement and penalties for wastewater contamination by a dental office.
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