By 2023 the Perc dry cleaning machines in California must be removed and replaced with “green” dry cleaning equipment that does not use PCE as the dry cleaning solvent. According to the California Air Resources Board (ARB), the history of this decision is based on the events below:
In 1991, the ARB identified Perchoroethylene (Perc) as a toxic air contaminant (TAC) under California’s Toxic Air Contaminant Identification and Control Program (Health and Safety Code section 39650 et. seq.). On October 14, 1993, the Board adopted the Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Emissions of Perc from Dry Cleaning Operations (Dry Cleaning ATCM) and the Environmental Training Program for Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning Operations (Environmental Training Program). The Dry Cleaning ATCM sets forth the equipment, operations and maintenance, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for Perc dry cleaning operations. The Environmental Training Program sets forth the criteria for the ARB to approve instructors to train dry cleaning operators on the proper maintenance and operation practices for their Perc dry cleaning equipment.
In 2003, staff began an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Dry Cleaning ATCM. The evaluation showed that although Perc emissions from dry cleaning operations have been reduced by about 70 percent, more could be done to reduce Perc emissions from this source category.
At its public hearing on January 25, 2007, the Board approved amendments to the Dry Cleaning ATCM and the adoption of requirements for Perc manufacturers and distributors. The amendments will over time phase out the use of Perc dry cleaning machines and related equipment by January 1, 2023. On December 27, 2007, the approved Dry Cleaning ATCM and the requirements for Perc manufacturers and distributors became state law.
Visit the California ARB website for details and fact sheets of information regarding perc and dry cleaners at: https://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/dryclean/dryclean.htm