WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving to clarify its regulations covering airborne percholorethylene emissions from drycleaning plants. The changes will relax some of the responsibilities mandated by EPA in its NESHAP revisions of 2006.
When the changes take effect, only major sources — plants purchasing more than 2,100 gallons of perc per year — will be required to perform colorimetric monitoring of perc concentrations in the wheel at the end of a cycle. Also, major sources must perform recordkeeping on secondary carbon absorbers.
As written originally, the rule was unclear on whether small “area” sources — the vast majority of drycleaning plants — would have had to perform the same expensive procedures. Without the clarification, most drycleaners were due to begin monitoring in July.
Also, EPA prefers pressure-gauge monitoring on refrigeration units, according to the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), which was instrumental in winning the changes, but will now accept temperature monitoring. EPA will also clarify that its bans on transfer machinery and perchloroethylene use in colocated residential facilitated apply to small area sources.
The changes will be published as a “Direct Final Rule” since EPA vies them as “non-controversial.” Changes to the rule will be effective 105 days from the date of publication if it receives no adverse comments within 45 days.
DLI and a number of other industry groups are also involved in a lawsuit protesting EPA’s ban on colocated facilities. Since EPA can’t amend regulations while its policies are in litigation, the lawsuit will be shelved temporarily until the clarifications to the rule take effect.