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6 NYCRR Part 232 Summary: Regulatory Impact Statement

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) is proposing to repeal and replace existing Part 232, entitled: "Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning Facilities," of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulation of the State of New York (6 NYCRR). Major changes to the dry cleaning industry have taken place since the regulation went into effect in 1997. Many of the requirements in Part 232 have become outdated and are, therefore, in need of revision. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies perchloroethylene (perc) as a likely human carcinogen; airborne exposure continues to be a public health concern to residents and commercial occupants at co-located dry cleaning facilities; spills and groundwater contamination continue to be a potential remedial problem; and occupational exposure to employees of perc dry cleaning facilities is a well-documented health issue. This rulemaking will revise the existing regulation and add several new components to improve compliance and program delivery; reduce perc and alternative solvent emissions to the environment; and address advancements in technology and changes in the industry regarding the use of alternative dry cleaning solvents. This proposal applies to any entity that operates, or proposes to operate, approved alternate solvent or perc dry cleaning machines.

New York State's statutory authority for this regulation is found in Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Sections 3-0301, 3-0303, 19-0103, 19-0105, 19-0107, 19-0301, 19-0302, 19-0303, 19-0305, 71-2103, and 71-2105. The legislative objectives underlying the above statutory authority are essentially directed toward promoting the safety, health and welfare of the public, and to protect New York's natural environment.

42 U.S.C. Section 7416 declares it to be the policy of the federal government that states can adopt or enforce any standard or limitation respecting emissions of air pollutants from stationary sources or any requirement respecting control or abatement of air pollution under a federally-approved implementation plan. When implementing requirements that involve the control or abatement of air pollution under a federally-approved implementation plan, a state may not adopt or enforce any emission standard or limitation that is less stringent than the standard or limitation under such plan.

U.S. Constitutional Amendment X declares that those powers not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively. This Amendment protects the capacity of a state to regulate behavior and enforce order within the state for the betterment of health, safety, and the general welfare of the citizens and natural resources of the state.

Proposed amendments to Part 232 will make the state's requirements for perc and alternate solvent dry cleaning equipment consistent with applicable federal standards (40 CFR Part 63, Subpart M and 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart JJJ). In addition to adopting these federal requirements, the Department is proposing changes to further reduce perc emissions including: phasing-out the few remaining older third generation perc dry cleaning machines by December 31, 2021; improving compliance with the emission standards in the existing regulation; and establishing an approval process for alternative dry cleaning solvents and equipment standards and specifications for the design, operation and maintenance of alternative solvent dry cleaning equipment.

Alternative solvent dry cleaning machines are currently regulated under 6 NYCRR Part 212, "General Process Emission Sources." Moving regulation of these sources into revised Part 232 will establish clear and efficient regulatory requirements for alternative solvents. The proposed revised regulation will contain four subparts: Subpart 232-1 for "General Provisions", Subpart 232-2 for "Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning Equipment", Subpart 232-3 for "Alternative Solvent Dry Cleaning Equipment" and Subpart 232-4 for Severability.

40 CFR Part 63, Subpart M mandates the elimination of perc dry cleaning machines in co-located residential buildings (approx. 315 statewide, 290 of which are in New York City) as of December 21, 2020. This provision will require either relocation of affected perc dry cleaning facilities or the purchase and installation of new alternative solvent machines or wet cleaning equipment at the existing locations. Relocated facilities may install only new fourth generation perc machines unless a variance is granted to allow the re-installation of used machines under extraordinary circumstances. Although the mandated December 21, 2020 elimination of perc machines in residential buildings is included in this proposed rule revision, it is an existing federal requirement and is only included in the state regulation for consistency. To help off-set the adverse economic impact on affected dry cleaners, the Department proposes to grant variances to allow the relocation of used compliant fourth generation perc dry cleaning machines, less than 10 years old, to any stand-alone location under the same ownership.

The Department proposes that only perc machine models that have been previously certified by the Department, or which have been issued a Statement of Compliance by the machine manufacturer, may be installed in New York State after the effective date of the proposed regulation.

New Subpart 232-3 will propose equipment standards and performance specifications for the installation and operation of new and existing alternative solvent dry cleaning machines. Additionally, operator leak inspection, self-monitoring, recordkeeping and operation and maintenance requirements are being proposed to ensure machines are operated in compliance with the revised regulation. Older technology alternative solvent transfer equipment will be phased-out by December 31, 2031. Used compliant alternative solvent machines, less than 10 years old, will be allowed to relocate from a permitted dry cleaning facility and reinstalled at any facility under the same ownership if the facility meets all other applicable requirements and a new or modified air permit is first obtained. New machine standards will ensure greater reductions in volatile organic compounds and species-specific contaminant emissions.

The Department proposes to adopt an alternative solvent approval process. This will place the approval process in regulation and phase out the use of unapproved dry cleaning solvents 180 days after the effective date of the revised regulation.

Repeal and replacement of existing Part 232 will impose additional costs on individual business owners.

Business owners/operators at the 1,007 non-major, co-located facilities will have to purchase a $400 air sampling pump and single use colorimetric sampling tubes, costing about $7 apiece, in order to conduct the required testing.

New compliant fourth generation perc dry cleaning machines typically cost between $25,000, for a 25 pound machine, and $90,000, for a 90 pound machine. These machines are only available by special order and require a 50% down payment. Equipment removal costs for retired equipment range from $1,000 to $7,000.

New compliant alternate solvent dry cleaning machines, without a still, cost between $32,000, for a 25 pound machine, and $100,000, for a 90 pound machine. Costs for alternative dry cleaning machines are therefore approximately only 10 percent more than perc dry cleaning machines. Stills are recommended by the National Cleaners Association (NCA) for solvent recovery and quality cleaning purposes and range in price from $12,000 to $23,000.

In New York City (NYC), the costs are higher for the installation of alternative solvent dry cleaning machines. Engineering fees can range from $8,000 to $15,000. Permits are required from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the City's building, electrical, plumbing, health and fire departments. Additionally, the 2014 NYC fire code requires the installation of an automatic sprinkler system in every facility. These costs range from $1,200 to $1,500 for each sprinkler head one of which may be required for every 100 square feet of floor space. The installation of a new water line can add another $20,000 to the cost of installation. The higher compliance costs, outlined above, for NYC dry cleaners are conditioned upon the current NYC fire code and could therefore change.

The cost of physical installation for both perc and alternative solvent machines can range from $2,500 to $5,500 and concrete machine pads cost from $2,500 to $5,000.

A typical owner would need to spend about $47,000 for professional wet cleaning equipment; this includes a washer, dryer and tensioning forms necessary to restore original clothing shape. Installation costs are normally between $2,000 and $2,500 and are, therefore, less expensive than installing perc or alternative solvent dry cleaning equipment.

This rulemaking imposes new paperwork, record keeping and reporting requirements on dry cleaning facility owners and dry cleaning equipment manufacturers or vendors.

The regulation will require alternative solvent and perc dry cleaning facility owners to post notices, supplied by the Department, informing the public of the regulated chemicals being used at the facility. Owners will also be required to keep records of solvent purchases, leak inspections, emergency response and corrective action, and required operation and maintenance activities. These records must be retained on-site for at least five years. Facilities will also have to retain, on-site, a copy of the design specifications and operating manual for each dry cleaning system and emission control device located at the dry cleaning facility.

The proposed revisions to Part 232 do not create any local government mandates beyond those already incurred under the existing requirements.

This proposal does not duplicate any other state regulations or statutes. Changes to this regulation are being proposed for consistency with 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart M and 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart JJJ. The Department has been delegated the authority to enforce both of these federal regulations.

Should the Department not revise the regulation, the operation of perc dry cleaning machines in residential buildings will still be prohibited starting December 21, 2020, as required by the federal NESHAP standard for perc dry cleaning facilities. Alternative solvent transfer machines would not be phased out and the enforcement provisions of the regulation would not adequately address exceedances of the perc drum concentration emission standards. The use of door fans could continue and obsolete design and performance standards would remain in place for alternative solvent dry cleaning machines. Finally, the approval process for alternative solvents would not be codified in regulation and the Department's ability to effectively regulate alternative dry cleaning solvents would be greatly diminished.


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  • NYSDEC
    Division of Air Resources
    Proposed Part 232
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-3254
    518-402-8403
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