DLI Provides Industry Defense and Continues to Monitor the Situation
On June 8th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a 10-year phaseout of perc use in most drycleaning machines. The phaseout would also include a phaseout of all spotting chemicals that use perc.
There are three major parts to the rule:
- Prohibition on the use of perc in any drycleaning machine acquired six months or later after the publication date of the “final” rule. Stain removal agents with perc can still be used.
- Prohibition on the use of perc in third generation machines three years after the publication date of the “final” rule. Stain removal agents with perc can still be used.
- Prohibition on the use of perc in all drycleaning, including in fourth and fifth generation machines 10 years following publication of the “final” rule. Stain removal agents containing perc will also be banned. After 10 years the distribution of perc to drycleaners with be prohibited.
It is important to note this is only a proposed rule and EPA must still go through an extensive public comment period before it is finalized. As a result, significant changes could still develop. However, the proposed rule gives some insight to EPA’s thinking with regard to the drycleaning industry. The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) provided both verbal and written comments to EPA making it clear to EPA that the drycleaning industry represents the smallest of small American businesses. This rule arrives as drycleaners struggle to cope with the after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which contributed to the decline of more than one-third of the industry. While EPA did decide to phaseout perc, they did so with an phaseout window (10 years for most perc machines) and without any additional burden to perc drycleaners, including additional management practices and testing.
DLI will continue to provide follow-up comments to the proposed rule over the next several months and will keep members informed.