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Industry Defends Perc Use in D.C., Philadelphia

WASHINGTON — Representatives of the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), MidAtlantic Association of Cleaners (MAC) and Korean Drycleaners Association (KDA) recently appeared at a hearing of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Government Operations and the Environment to defend perchloroethylene against a proposed ban. The Human & Environmental Health Protection Amendment Act of 2009 would ban the use of several chemicals in the District of Columbia, including perc.
Mary Scalco, DLI; Charlie Smith, DLI’s Dist. 2 director; and Richard Ehrenreich, MAC’s executive director, testified against the proposed ban, focusing on advances in drycleaning equipment and the resulting reduction in perc use. The industry representatives also shared DLI’s 2007 Solvents White Paper and mentioned the undue economic hardship an immediate ban would create for drycleaning operators.
Separately, representatives from several industry associations appeared at a meeting of a Philadelphia Air Management Control Board (AMCB) Ad Hoc Committee to argue against a phase-out of perc use in co-commercial facilities — those sharing premises with other businesses — in the city. Dr. Paul Dugard, a representative of the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance (HSIA), spent a great deal of time challenging interpretations of information regarding perc and perc exposures.
DLI’s Jon Meijer pushed for a modified ordinance that would allow drycleaners in Philadelphia to continue using perc in co-commercial facilities if they could lower perc levels to below 40 ppb. Nora Nealis, executive director of the National Cleaners Association (NCA), noted that New York does not limit perc use in co-commercial locations and emphasized the effectiveness of available technology to control emissions.
Philadelphia’s AMCB is expected to review the information, DLI says, and may ultimately allow co-commercial locations to continue to use perc without threat of a phase-out.

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