KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The council of Illinois’ state cleanup fund, the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust (DERT), has designated GreenEarth Cleaning’s silicon-based solvent as a “green” alternative. The ruling immediately cuts state tax rates on GreenEarth at least 82%, the company says, giving it a substantial edge over perc and other solvent alternatives.
Based on a recommendation from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), the ruling reduces the state tax on GreenEarth from $10 per gallon — the same as perc — to $1.75 per gallon if used in a facility that has used perc or hydrocarbon solvents in the past. “Virgin” facilities in which no chlorine- or hydrocarbon-based drycleaning solvents have been stored or used will be able to take advantage of an even greater tax break. The tax will now be 35 cents per gallon, representing a 96% reduction from prior fees.
“We are gratified that the Illinois EPA and the Trust Fund Council have seen fit to grant this designation,” says Jim Barry, chairman of GreenEarth Cleaning LLC. “The tax savings are important to our Illinois retailers and their customers, but more importantly, this is another example of independent environmental agencies validating our process.”
Silicon-based GreenEarth is listed as a preferred alternative to ozone-depleting chemicals in the U.S. EPA’s Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP), the company adds. Because it degrades to sand, water and carbon dioxide, the solvent is not regulated by hazardous-waste regulations such as the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) or the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA). Retailers using the GreenEarth process have earned 12 environmental awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and five state agencies.
Illinois’ DERT program was established by the state legislature at the industry’s request in 1997 to pay for the environmental cleanup of drycleaning solvents. The fund is financed by solvent taxes, operator licensing fees and insurance premiums.
GreenEarth Cleaning launched in 1998 and has since partnered with General Electric Co. and Procter & Gamble to market its silicon-based solvent worldwide.