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Dry Cleaner Regulation

There are approximately 2,000 dry cleaning facilities using perchloroethylene solvent (perc) in the state, with the majority located in the greater New York City metropolitan area. The information about dry cleaner regulations on this website will be of interest chiefly to owners and operators of dry cleaning establishments, and to members of the public who are concerned about odors or other environmental problems associated with dry cleaners.

Regulating Dry Cleaners

6NYCRR Part 232 Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning Facilities is the air pollution control regulation applicable to all dry cleaning facilities in the state that use perc. Part 232, which took effect on May 15, 1997, establishes several regulatory strategies to reduce and contain the release of perc and minimize the public's exposure to perc vapor. To reduce exposure to perc from dry cleaning operations, state regulations specify:

  • Dry cleaning equipment design and performance standards
  • Phased replacement of older, more polluting technology with more modern perc-efficient dry cleaning machines
  • Facility design and ventilation standards
  • Facility operation, maintenance, record keeping and reporting
  • Owner/manager and machine operator training, testing and certification
  • Dry cleaning machine performance standards
  • Machine certification [A list of CERTIFIED dry cleaning equipment has been developed. Additions will be made to this list as additional equipment is certified.]

Part 232 Requirements

The various Part 232 regulatory requirements were phased-in from 1997 through January 1, 2005. All requirements are now in effect. The following is an overview of Part 232's major regulatory requirements:

Shop Registrations or Permits: Most perc dry-cleaning facilities must obtain a NYS Air Facility Registration. Larger facilities must get a NYS Air Facility Permit or Title V Facility Permit. Registration information must be kept up-to-date: Part 232 requires you to re-file and update your DEC records any time you make machine and equipment changes.

Dry-Cleaning Machines - replacement requirements, and NYS Testing and Certification Program: Existing, older, and more polluting dry-cleaning machines must be replaced with modern perc-efficient fourth generation designs. Most of these replacements were phased-in over the eight year period ending in January of 2005. Only brand-new DEC-Certified fourth generation machines can be legally installed at this time. Part 232 establishes dry-cleaning machine equipment design and performance standards, and machine testing and certification requirements. A list of NYS Certified dry-cleaning equipment is available.

Vapor Barriers/Room Enclosures and General Exhaust Ventilation Systems: perc containment and ventilation measures for dry-cleaning shops in Mixed-Use buildings. These requirements keep perc from migrating to adjacent occupancies.

Checklists and Record-Keeping: Shop operation, maintenance, record-keeping and reporting requirements. Records must be kept on-site for five years.

Hazardous Waste Management: Specific Hazardous Waste and Perc-contaminated Wastewater disposal and record-keeping requirements.

Staff Training and Certification: Shop Owners and/or Managers and all machine Operators must attend a 16-hour training course, successfully pass a DEC Certification test and hold current, valid DEC Owner/Manager and/or Operator Certificates. Every shop must have at least one person with an Owner/Manager and Operator Certification.

Yearly Compliance Inspections: Every perc dry-cleaning facility must be inspected at least once each year by an independent DEC-approved Part 232 Registered Compliance Inspector. Facility inspection reports are reviewed by regional DEC engineering/technical staff for compliance and enforcement purposes. A list of DEC Registered Compliance Inspectors is available.

Posting Notice: Perc dry-cleaners must post a DEC informational sign in a place where it can be read by the public. This posting notice informs the public that the shop uses perc, lists where to report odors and other problems, and states where additional information may be found about the potential health effects of perc exposure.

Public Access: Part 232 requires that you must provide public access to your shop's yearly Compliance Inspection reports (form 232-9).

New Federal Rules for Dry Cleaners -- Effective July 27, 2006

The EPA has issued revised NESHAP standards that effect New York State dry cleaning facilities which use perc. Below is a summary of the new NESHAP requirements for perc dry cleaning facilities:

1. Perc dry cleaning machines may not be installed in residential buildings after July 13, 2006.

2. Perc dry cleaning machines that were installed in residential buildings between December 21, 2005 and July 13, 2006 must eliminate perc use by July 13, 2009. In the interim, all perc dry cleaning facilities must continue to comply with the requirements of Part 232.

Compliance with the July 13, 2009 perc prohibition may be accomplished by either moving to a non-residential building (moving perc machines requires a variance) or by switching to an alternative solvent.

3. Perc dry cleaning machines that were installed in residential buildings before December 21, 2005 (the date of the proposed rule) must eliminate perc use by December 21, 2020.

4. NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: Each owner or operator of a dry cleaning facility using perc, or an alternative solvent, must submit information to the USEPA and DEC pertaining to the compliance status of each dry cleaning facility. This information must be recorded on a form (Notice of Compliance Status) that will be posted on this website and mailed to each permitted dry cleaning facility. The DEC intends to mail out this form in the near future. Additional information on this requirement will be posted on this website.

NOTE: It is now unlawful to install perc dry cleaning machines in residential buildings. When your machine wears-out, you must either switch to non-perc equipment, or move to a non-residential building. Both options will require a new, modified or amended permit or registration certificate.

Background Information

On September 22, 1993, EPA issued technology-based national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) to control emissions of perc from dry cleaning facilities. EPA has reviewed these standards and is issuing revisions to account for the new developments in production practices, processes, and control technologies. The final standards went into effect on July 27, 2006 and are expected to provide further perc reductions beyond the 1993 NESHAP. These reductions are based on the application of equipment and work practice standards and, in certain situations, eliminating the use of perc.

Further Information:

Contact the nearest DEC Regional Office for additional information on Part 232 and DEC's dry cleaner program requirements or refer to Frequently Asked Questions for further information on common topics of interest to the dry-cleaning community.


More about Dry Cleaner Regulation:

  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC
    Division of Air Resources
    Dry Cleaner Program
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-3254
    518-402-8403
    Send us an email
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