EPA reportedly plans to propose a rule in 2011 that would require dental offices to install “amalgam separators” to capture mercury waste and dispose of it separately. According to the agency, about 3.7 tons of mercury are flushed from dental offices in the United States each year, mostly from amalgams. Without separation, mercury is flushed into sewers and wastewater treatment plants and then leaches into the environment through discharges into rivers and lakes or land application by sewage sludge. News reports note that 12 states and several municipalities already require dental offices to separately dispose of mercury waste. See E&E News PM, September 27, 2010.