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EPA PROPOSES FIRST AIR TOXICS REGULATION UNDER NEW CLEAN AIR ACT

    EPA PROPOSES FIRST AIR TOXICS REGULATION UNDER NEW CLEAN AIR ACT
    NEW YORK, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced proposed rules to reduce emissions of perchloroethylene (PCE), a carcinogen, from dry cleaning facilities. This is the first rule controlling air toxics under the new Clean Air Act of 1990.
    "This proposal reflects EPA's commitment to provide a healthy environment for all Americans without causing unnecessary hardship for American's small businesses," said William K. Reilly, EPA administrator in Washington, D.C.  "EPA has worked closely with major dry cleaning trade associations to make significant reductions in the toxic danger from perchloroethylene while, at the same time, minimizing the cost to small business owners.  I am confident that this proposal will provide consistency in control requirements and assist more informed decisions on equipment purchases."
    The proposed rule is expected to affect as many as 600 facilities in New York, 200 in New Jersey, 100 in Puerto Rico and under 10 in the Virgin Islands.  The annualized cost of meeting this proposal for a typical model facility would range from $1700-$3,800 a year; the capital cost for a typical facility would range from $6,3000-$6,800.  The cost increase to be passed on to customers is expected to be less than 1 percent.  The cost of achieving this reduction to the dry cleaning industry nationwide would be approximately $63 million by 1996.  The annualized cost after 1996 would be approximately $9 million.
    Today's proposal would apply to major source dry cleaners; a "dry- to-dry" machine consuming 3,100 gallons or more of PCE a year or a "transfer" machine consuming 2,000 gallons or more PCE a year; and small source dry cleaners, all cleaners consuming PCE below the major source levels.  Dry-to-dry cleaners using less than 220 gallons of PCE a year and transfer cleaners using less than 300 gallons per year would be exempted from the rule.  (A dry-to-dry machine is one in which washing and drying are performed in the same single unit.  A transfer machine is one in which washing is performed in one unit and drying in another.)
    Major source dry cleaners will be expected to control PCE with Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT), which reflects the best control technologies in the industry.  Existing major sources must use control technology as stringent as the best controlled 12 percent of similar sources.  New major sources must be as stringent as the best controlled source in the industry.  Small source dry cleaners will be expected to control PCE using Generally Available Control Techniques, which may in some cases be less stringent than MACT.
    Currently, there are about 25,200 dry cleaning facilities in the United States.  Of these, 9,700 have no pollution controls and would be subject to today's proposal.  However, nearly 6,000 of those facilities potentially affected would be exempted from the rule because they produce very small quantities of PCE.  This leaves approximately 3,700 dry cleaners nationwide affected by the new regulations.
    PCE, the most widely used solvent in dry cleaning, is on the list of 189 toxic air pollutants that EPA must regulate within the next 10 years under Title III of the new Clean Air Act.  The proposal will affect both industrial and commercial dry cleaners.  The dry cleaning industry annually emits 92,300 tons of PCE into the atmosphere.
    Owners and operators of those facilities affected by the proposed rule would have to control PCE emissions and use pollution prevention procedures, such as good operation and maintenance for both dry cleaning machines and auxiliary equipment.  The proposal would also require operators to conduct a weekly inspection to prevent solvent emissions from broken or improperly operating equipment.  Operators will be required to keep records of the amount of PCE used.
    A public hearing will be held if requested.  Contact Julia Stevens at 919-541-5578.
    -0-        11/18/91
    /CONTACT:  Mary Breitenbach of U.S. EPA, 212-264-2515/ CO:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST:  New York, New Jersey IN: SU: SM-FC -- NY089 -- 4634 11/18/91 16:55 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1991
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