LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The City Council of Los Angeles may soon examine the relative benefits of all currently available alternatives to perchloroethylene for drycleaning. While no proposal has been introduced, a city ordinance could impose restrictions beyond those now mandated by other regulatory bodies.
“Los Angeles continues to explore ways to reduce its collective environmental footprint,” says Sam Siegel, legislative deputy for City Council president Eric Garcetti. “In light of recent decisions by the state Air Resources Board [CARB] and the South Coast Air Quality Management District [SCAQMD], we are exploring the environmental and economic impacts of the various alternatives to perc drycleaning.”
SCAQMD – a four-county regulatory district that covers the city of Los Angeles and its approximately 500 drycleaning plants – has already imposed strict secondary control requirements to curb the release of perc vapors. In addition, CARB recently issued a phaseout plan that bans perc use in drycleaning statewide by 2023.
“We’re very concerned,” says Sandra Giarde, executive director of the California Cleaners Association (CCA), which sent an alert to members upon learning that the council may seek further restrictions. “We’re monitoring the situation.”
With the Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA), the International Fabricare Institute (IFI) and other industry associations, CCA has requested a meeting with the City Council should its exploration move forward. “We think it’s important for them to see and gather reliable data on what this industry is about,” Giarde says.
The industry will be given a chance to comment on any proposed ordinance, Siegel says. “We are seeking input from the industry to develop strategies on how the city can encourage environmentally friendly processes in a manner that fits with their business model.”