PHILADELPHIA — After hearing testimony from industry associations early this month, Philadephia’s Air Pollution Control Board (APCB) declined to act on a proposal that would eliminate perc use in drycleaning plants colocated with residences or other businesses.
Representatives from the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), National Cleaners Association (NCA) and Pennsylvania/Delaware Cleaners Association (PDCA) testified against the recommendation alongside area operators. As a result, the motion was not seconded — a requirement to bring ordinances to a vote.
“It appeared the board would vote for the staff’s proposal, but after hearing strong testimony from DLI and other industry leaders, the board decided not to act on the recommendation,” says Jon Meijer, DLI’s director of membership. “The drycleaning community ‘got to’ the board, as we hammered away at key points of the proposed rule.”
Philadelphia’s department of Air Management Services (AMS) had recommended the ban following a city inspection that discovered low levels of perc vapor in a daycare facility adjoining a drycleaning plant. Proposals such as Philadelphia’s often arise due to low-level vapor intrusion, NCA notes. To protect their right to operate colocated perc facilities, operators should take precautions against vapor intrusion by performing thorough leak checks, sealing holes, gaps or cracks in the floors and walls, and following strict operational procedures.
Having recently faced down a similar proposal in New Jersey, the associations promised to be vigilant against such legislation. “While this is a clear victory, it’s likely we will see more from local regulators over the next several months,” Meijer says. “DLI and PDCA will continue to work with regulators to make sure drycleaners in colocated facilities follow all current rules as required by the current federal perc air standard for drycleaners.”