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Protecting Public Health: All About the Coming Ban on Co-Located Residential Perc Machines (Part 1)

Q & A with Eric Wade, retired chief of the enforcement section of the N.Y. State Dept. of Environmental Conservation about this national ban

CHICAGO — Perc is a big issue in our drycleaning world. Anything related to perc gets our attention.

Coming later this year in December, the Fed will ban co-located residential perc machines. Does your business use a perc machine in a location shared with a residence? If so, are you taking steps to make the needed adjustments? I’ve invited Eric Wade, retired chief of the enforcement section of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, to a Q&A session all about this topic, where we can hear his views, expressed as a private citizen, about this coming regulation that concerns public health protection and our fabricare industry.

Let’s join the chat…. Welcome Eric, let’s get started:

Tim: “First, tell our readers about your former employer and yourself.”

Eric: “I worked for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for 41 years in the division of air resources. I retired recently as the chief of the enforcement section. As such, I no longer represent the Department and my views are being expressed as a private citizen. Prior to my retirement, I was responsible for revising and updating the drycleaning regulation in addition to my other duties.”

Tim: “A Federal Regulation stating there can be no more co-located residential perc machines goes into effect on December 21, 2020. How will this affect drycleaning owners across the country?”

Eric: “Nationwide, the operation of any perc drycleaning machine at a co-located residential facility will be prohibited after December 21, 2020. A co-located residential facility is a drycleaning facility that is located in a building with a residence. Any dwelling or housing in which people reside, excluding short-term housing that is occupied by the same person for a period of less than 180 days, such as a hotel room, is considered a residence.

“When the Federal ban was proposed in 2005 and adopted in 2006, it was anticipated that most perc colocated residential drycleaning facilities would switch to an alternative solvent during the 15 year transition period leading up to the 2020 prohibition date. After this date, all affected co-located residential perc drycleaning facilities must switch to an alternative solvent, shut-down, or become a drop shop collecting articles for dry cleaning at another site.”

Tim: “Are drycleaning owners across the country aware of this coming change, and for owners in co-located residential locations, are they taking steps to be in compliance?”

Eric: “All co-located residential perc drycleaning facility owners should be aware of the 2020 prohibition date that was discussed in EPA’s 2005, 2006 and 2008 rulemaking documents. Individual states have also provided outreach to affected facilities as most have been delegated the authority to enforce the provisions of the Federal rule.”

Check back Thursday for the conclusion.