Industry Testimony Delays Philadelphia Perc Ban

Jason Hicks |

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Air Pollution Control Board has delayed a proposed ban on perchloroethylene in all co-located facilities, thanks in large part to oral and written comments provided by members of the drycleaning industry, including the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute’s (DLI) Jon Meijer and Dale Kaplan and the Pennsylvania and Delaware Cleaners Association’s (PDCA) Carol Memberg.
“Not only were we able to provide the board with some significant guidance, we were able to quickly identify flaws in the data provided by Philly’s Air Management Services staff,” says Meijer
The proposed ban would have affected cleaners that share a wall with a residence or business, including cleaners in shopping centers and office buildings — only drycleaners in freestanding buildings would have been spared. In Philadelphia, most cleaners would have been affected by the ban.
The proposed rule goes beyond the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2006 Air Standard for perc drycleaning plants, according to DLI. After three years of evaluation, EPA decided to phase out perc use in facilities co-located with a residence. No action was taken on other types of co-located facilities, finding that there was insufficient data to support further regulation.
The Air Pollution Control Board believed there was an unacceptable health risk within commercial co-located facilities due to the results of air samples taken from 15 plants by the Philadelphia Department of Health Air Management Services Staff (AMS). Industry representatives and at least one board member criticized the sampling method because it tested only one minute of an average eight-hour workday.
The proposed Philadelphia rule would have phased out perc use in all co-located facilities two years from its enactment date. Facilities co-located with a residence would have had to comply with the existing EPA Air Standard 10 years early.
The next Pollution Control Board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 5.

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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