TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is issuing a plan to phase out perchloroethylene use in drycleaning, with a full ban effective in 2021.
Under the proposal, drycleaners would have until Jan. 1, 2010 to install fourth-generation, nonvented perc units to limit airborne emissions of perc, or retrofit their current equipment with vapor barriers.
Perc plants in residential buildings, or “colocated” facilities, would be banned completely on June 27, 2009. And on Jan. 1, 2021, the proposal says, all perc use would be eliminated. About 1,600 plants in New Jersey use perc today.
The DEP says the new rule would reduce perc emissions in the state by at least 467 tons a year. The U.S. EPA recently named perc one of the state’s Top 10 air pollutants, DEP says, and more than 250 soil and groundwater site investigations conducted in New Jersey have found some level of perc contamination.
The proposal will be published Monday in the state’s rule-making journal. DEP has invited public comment on the rule in a hearing to be held January 18, 2008. Submit written comments by February 15, 2008, to Alice Previte, N.J. DEP, Attn. DEP Docket No. 27-07-11/582, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 402, Trenton, NJ 08625.