EPA has reportedly approved a California rule that bans perchloroethylene (PERC) in dry cleaning facilities and water repellent solutions by 2023. Approved by EPA on March 7, 2011, the rule was adopted by the Cal/EPA Air Resources Board in 2007. It replaces a less stringent federal rule and is the first state rule to impose a statewide ban on dry cleaners’ use of the chemical.
The state rule banned the purchase of PERC dry cleaning machines beginning in January 2008 and required machines 15 years and older to be removed by July 2010. It also required the dry cleaners located beneath or next to apartment buildings or homes to eliminate the use of the solvent by 2010. All PERC machines must be removed by January 1, 2023, under the rule. According to the state agency, the PERC ban has spurred a switch to alternative technologies, such as hydrocarbon-based, water-based and carbon dioxide systems. See BNA Daily Environment Report, March 8, 2011.