In 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency amended the National Perchloroethylene Air Emission Standards for Dry Cleaning Facilities. Part of these amendments included a requirement for the phase-out of perchloroethylene (PERC) machines co-located with residential buildings. This means that dry cleaners currently using PERC in residential buildings must either phase out these machines and equipment, switch to an alternative solvent, or move the machine to a nonresidential building by Dec. 21, 2020. This requirement can be avoided if PERC is not used. Several safer alternatives are available in the professional wet cleaning process. There are close to 300 dry-cleaning operations in Ohio currently using PERC.
If your dry cleaning business needs assistance with this issue, the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) is an independent, non-regulatory state agency that provides financial assistance to help businesses comply with environmental regulations. Cost-effective financing and grant assistance are available for small business owners who are seeking to purchase more environmentally friendly equipment to control air pollutants emitted during their operations, as well as those who encounter financial hardship to achieve federal compliance. For dry cleaners impacted by this new federal rule, OAQDA can help fund the purchase of new machines that eliminates the use of PERC. If interested, please call OAQDA at (614) 466-6825 or visit the website at ohioairquality.ohio.gov. The authority is a confidential resource and serves as Ohio’s small business ombudsman to advocate on behalf of these businesses.
For more information and assistance, you can also contact Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP), our free and confidential assistance program by calling our hotline at (800) 329-7518 or by visiting our webpage at epa.ohio.gov/ocapp.