EPA Reconsiders Stance on Perchloroethylene

Jason Hicks |

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reconsidering its stance on the phasing out of perchloroethylene use, according to court documents filed late last week.
In July 2006, under the Bush administration, EPA ordered drycleaners located in residential buildings, or “collocated” plants, to phase out the solvent by 2020; cleaners not operating in these types of buildings were required to use devices to detect leaks and reduce emissions.
The Sierra Club has challenged these rules in court, and the appellate court was scheduled to hear the case on May 14, but rather than defend the previous perc regulation, EPA has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to postpone arguments on the case so it can reconsider the regulations on policy and legal grounds.
EPA has asked to leave the previous rule in place while the review is under way.
Earthjustice attorney Jim Pew, whose group represents the Sierra Club in its case against EPA, says he hopes the agency will decide at the end of its review to ban the solvent altogether from drycleaning operations.
“The Obama administration has this great opportunity to eliminate this cancer risk for just about all Americans, and do it in a way that will not significantly impact drycleaners,” says Pew.

About the author

Jason Hicks

American Drycleaner

Jason Hicks was assistant editor for American Trade Magazines, which publishes American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News, for more than nine years, and web editor for three years.


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