CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a new law to impose tougher safety measures on the use of perchloroethylene (perc) by the state’s dry cleaners. House Bill 4526 requires Illinois dry cleaners to utilize “best management practices” while using the solvent.
The legislation includes improved control and containment systems, better training, and more comprehensive reporting, the governor’s office says.
The law will require all new dry cleaning machines operating in Illinois, beginning in 2013, to have “primary and secondary” control systems to reduce the concentration of perc, and to have sealed containment structures to contain leaks or spills by 2014.
“If improperly handled, dry cleaning solvents can seep into our groundwater and skies, and pose a threat to workers,” Quinn says. “This new law will help protect our drinking water, and we salute the dry cleaning industry — and especially the Korean American Drycleaners Association — for partnering with environmental advocates to get this done.”