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Dry Cleaner Regulation

Over 1,250 facilities operate dry cleaning machines in New York State. Most facilities use perchloroethylene (perc) as a dry cleaning solvent, many use an alternative solvent, while a few use both solvent types. The majority of these facilities are located in the New York City metropolitan area. Regulation of these facilities is under 6 NYCRR Part 232 (leaves DEC website). Facilities using only water-based cleaning processes (wet cleaning) and those using liquid carbon dioxide dry cleaning machines are exempt from Part 232.

Facility Registrations and Permits

Most dry cleaning facilities must have a New York State Air Facility Registration (PDF). Larger facilities may need a State or Title V Facility Permit (PDF) . A new facility owner must obtain all necessary government permits, registrations, licenses, approvals and certifications prior to opening the facility, and appropriate permitting must be obtained before installing dry cleaning machines or switching solvents. Perc facilities must send a Notification of Compliance Status form (PDF) to DEC and EPA if it is a new facility or when changing operations.

Dry cleaners transferring ownership of a facility must file an updated Air Facility Registration application (PDF) within 30 days of the change of ownership at the appropriate DEC Regional Air Program office. New Owners/Managers and Operators must be certified prior to taking over the facility.

Manufacturer's Training

Upon installation of a new dry cleaning machine, the manufacturer or representative must conduct on-site training for the purchaser or lessee. Training for a perc machine is more extensive than for an alternative solvent machine. Training includes instruction on how to maintain and operate the machine.

Notification of Dry Cleaning Equipment Shutdown

When a machine is taken out of service, a Notice of Dry Cleaning Equipment Shutdown (PDF) must be submitted to DEC. Notice is by certified mail or return receipt requested, no later than 30 days after the termination of operation.

Solvent Posting Notices

A facility must post notice(s) informing building tenants and/or customers which dry cleaning solvent(s) the dry cleaning machine(s) use. The notice also tells where to get information about potential health effects from exposure to the solvent. A separate notice is required for each solvent.

Reporting and Recordkeeping

There are many reporting and recordkeeping requirements for dry cleaning machines and facilities, such as:

  • leak inspection and self-monitoring, as well as operational and maintenance requirements
  • solid and hazardous waste disposal
  • wastewater treatment and disposal

Records are retained on-site for at least five (5) years. DEC maintains inspection and reporting forms for regulated dry cleaners. Forms are available online and at any DEC office.

Perc Dry Cleaning

6 NYCRR Subpart 232-2 (leaves DEC website) regulates perc dry cleaning machines. As of December 21, 2020, a facility located in a building that has at least one residence can no longer use perc. The use of perc dip tanks and perc transfer equipment is prohibited. Installation of used, converted, or retrofitted equipment is prohibited. The State has a variance process to move a machine in certain circumstances.

  • New installations: Only new DEC-approved (PDF) perc dry cleaning machines may be used. New installations are only allowed at stand-alone or co-located commercial facilities.
  • Existing machines: Operation of equipment installed under previous regulations may continue at their existing location, until prohibited. The installation of external door fans on fourth generation dry cleaning machines is not allowed. Federal regulation 63.322(o)(5)(i) (leaves DEC website) does not allow use of perc solvent in a co-located residential facility after December 21, 2020. Operation of third generation machines is not allowed after December 31, 2021.
  • Monthly Owner Drum Testing: Regulations mandate monthly testing of most operational fourth generation perc dry cleaning machines. Measurement with a colorimetric detector tube sampler or photo ionization detector determines compliance.
  • Vapor Barrier Rooms: Perc dry cleaning machines in co-located commercial facilities must be enclosed in a vapor barrier room. Entry doors may only be open when a person is entering or exiting. Materials and methods used to construct a vapor barrier room make it impermeable to perc vapors. Vapor barrier rooms must have an exhaust ventilation system completely separate from any other. The ventilation system must be active at all times the facility is open for business. The system must be capable of at least one air change every five minutes.
  • Perc solvent deliveries: Perc process tanks must be refilled using a closed-loop delivery system.
  • Yearly Compliance Inspections: Each perc facility is inspected, and each dry cleaning machine tested, at least once each year by a Registered Compliance Inspector. DEC reviews these reports for compliance and enforcement purposes.

Perc Dry Cleaning Owner/Manager and Operator Certification

To operate a perc dry cleaning facility in the State, the owner or manager must have a valid Owner/Manager certificate. To operate a perc dry cleaning machine in the State, the operator must have a valid Operator certificate.

Initial Certification

Every person at the facility who physically operates the perc dry cleaning machine(s) MUST take the appropriate DEC-approved 16-hour training course and pass the appropriate exam(s). Candidates who receive a failing mark for the certification examination must retake both the written and hands-on sections of the exam. Once earned, the certification is valid for a period of five years. See below regarding renewal of certification.

As a New York State Certified Perchloroethylene (Perc) dry cleaning professional, it is your responsibility to know the many regulatory requirements and to make sure that your perc dry cleaning facility is operated according to the rules.

Approved Certification Instructors

DEC has approved the following organizations to offer the required 16-hour perc dry cleaner Owner/Manager and Operator training courses:

Center for Environmental Technology
69-46 185th Street, Suite 1A
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365
(347) 494-5488
(917) 446-5776
(347) 494-5413 fax

NCA International
252 West 29th Street
New York, NY 10001-5201
(212) 967-3002

North East Fabricare Association
580 Main Street
Reading, MA 01867
(800) 446-1174

Contact these organizations directly regarding course dates, locations, and fees.

Renewal of Certification

A renewal notice is sent to the address on file several months before expiration. Owner/Managers and/or Operators of perc dry cleaning equipment must apply for certificate renewal, pay a renewal fee, and certify that they have read the information in the Certificate Renewal Booklet (PDF) to renew their Owner/Manager and/or Operator certificate(s).

If You Move, We Need Your New Address

To keep your perc dry cleaner Owner/Manager and/or Operator certificate valid, we need YOUR current personal mailing address on record. This is especially important at renewal time. Remember your perc dry cleaner Owner/Manager and/or Operator Certification is issued to you personally, just like a driver's license or passport, not to the shop where you work. Please send change of address notifications to:

Professional Testing Corporation
Attention: NYSDEC Certifications
1350 Broadway, Suite 800
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 356-0660
Website: Professional Testing Corporation (leaves DEC website)

Be sure to include your certificate number and both your old and new mailing address in your notice.

Approved Dry Cleaner Inspectors (as of June 7, 2021)

Part 232 requires annual compliance inspections at all dry cleaning facilities that operate any perc dry cleaning machines. Such inspections must be performed by a Registered Compliance Inspector (RCI) approved by DEC, or by an individual working under the direct supervision of an RCI. Shop owners must contact the RCI directly to schedule an inspection.

Ralph P. Albanese
90 Livingston St., 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201-5046
Registered Architect
Expires: 2/21/2026

Peter Chang
11 Tanner Rd.
Great Neck, NY 11020
Registered Architect
Expires: 01/31/2024

James J. Cleary
565 Plandome Rd., #116
Manhasset, NY 11030
Professional Engineer
Expires: 10/31/2025

Sokwon Im
3A Saturn Blvd.
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Professional Engineer
Expires: 02/28/2026

Rengasamy Kasinathan, P.E.
1106 Main St.
Peekskill, NY 10566
Professional Engineer
Expires: 12/31/2025

Changmin Kim, Ph.D., P.E.
45 Nicolosi Dr.
Staten Island, NY 10312
Physical Engineer
Expires: 12/31/2025

Moon B. Kim
43-19 208 St., 2nd Floor
Bayside, NY 11361
Registered Architect
Expires: 10/31/2025

Susan M. King
King Consulting Engineers, P.C.
619 East Ave.
Lockport, NY 14094
Professional Engineer
Expires: 01/31/2023

James Luke
Engineering Consulting
323 Forest Rd.
Mahopac, NY 10541
Professional Engineer
Expires: 07/31/2023

David Michalewski, P.E.
24 Stone Hedge Dr.
Lancaster, NY 14086
Professional Engineer
Expires: 10/31/2025

Clay V. Morrissey
34 Windwood Dr.
Newburgh, NY 12550
Professional Engineer
Expires: 01/31/2026

Alexander J. Papp
29 Fairmount Blvd.
Garden City, NY 11530
Professional Engineer
Expires: 04/30/2023

Chang-Hyun Park
24-09 38th Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101
718-937-4389 or 917-733-2424
Registered Architect
Expires: 04/30/2026

Lesly C. Pierre
131 Heathcote Rd.
Elmont, NY 11003
Professional Engineer
Expires: 06/30/2026

Disposal of Used Perc Dry-Cleaning Equipment

The disposal of perc dry cleaning machines is guided by the State's Hazardous Waste Regulations. There are three different options:

OPTION 1: Operational machine is sold for use out-of-state. The State does not permit installation of a used machine, unless a variance has been granted. Sale of an operational machine avoids the complications of disposing it as waste.

OPTION 2: Machine disposed of as a "Non-Hazardous Waste". 6 NYCRR Part 376 (leaves DEC website) describes cleaning standards required to consider waste non-hazardous. If done before 90 days from shutdown, the machine can be cleaned on-site without needing a 6 NYCRR Part 373 (leaves DEC website) Hazardous Waste Treatment Permit. Past 90 days, the cleaning must be done at a facility with a Part 373 Hazardous Waste Treatment Permit.

OPTION 3: Machine disposed of as "scrap metal." There are two possibilities:

  1. Clean the machine as in OPTION 2, then turn it over to a scrap metal reclaimer. When cleaned before disposal, the machine is considered non-hazardous waste.
  2. Send the uncleaned machine to a scrap metal reclaimer that has the proper permit and facilities to handle hazardous waste. Even though the reclaimer would be responsible for cleaning the machine, the dry cleaner would still be legally responsible for the proper handling of the hazardous waste. For this very reason, it is important a dry cleaner hire a reputable hazardous waste handler/reclaimer. In this case, the cleaner would have to file a "C7" Notification for Hazardous Waste Generators.

NOTE: Under all options, perc and perc-contaminated washing solutions and drainings are hazardous waste. In most cases, your regular hazardous waste hauler can handle the extra volume. The Small Business Environmental Ombudsman (1-800-STATE-NY) is available to assist with disposal information.

Alternative Solvent Dry Cleaning

6 NYCRR Subpart 232-3 (leaves DEC website) regulates alternative solvent dry cleaning machines. Alternative solvent dry cleaning equipment must use approved solvents when operated in the State. Approved solvents have lower toxicity and are alternatives to perchloroethylene (perc).

Owner/Manager and Operator Certification

Although not required, DEC recommends a 16-hour training course for all owners, managers and operators of alternative solvent dry cleaning machines.

New installations

Only DEC-approved (PDF) new, relocated or used machines, less than five years old and certified as being in a like new condition, may be installed in any location. Relocation of a machine is subject to conditions.

Existing installed machines

Operation of equipment installed under previous regulations may continue at their existing locations, until prohibited. Dryers without a primary control system and operation of any vented machine are not permitted after December 31, 2021. Solvent recovery dryers, with a water cooled condenser as the primary control system, are not permitted after December 31, 2026. Operation of any alternative solvent transfer machine is not permitted after December 31, 2031. Dry cleaners may only use approved solvents in alternative solvent dry cleaning equipment.

New York State Approved Alternative Solvents for Dry Cleaning

To request approval of a solvent, submit information as specified in 6 NYCRR Part 232-3 (leaves DEC website). Only manufacturers or their distributers can request approval. A preliminary decision is issued within 90 days of receipt of a complete submission. Solvents proposed for approval will appear in the Environmental Notice Bulletin. If no substantive negative comments are received, the solvent will be approved. Any solvent changing its chemical formulation must undergo the approval process again before use in the State.

  • Clerane 180: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-48-9) by TOTAL Specialties
  • DC-142: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-88-7) by Essential Solvents
  • DF-2000™: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-48-9) by ExxonMobil
  • EcoSolv®: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 68551-17-7) by Chevron Philips
  • GEC-5 Green Earth®: decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (CAS 541-02-6) by Shin-Etsu
  • HC Boost™: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-48-9) and propylene glycol ether mixture, by R.R. Street
  • Intense®: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 68551-19-9) and propylene glycol ether mixture, by Seitz
  • Ktex™: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-48-9), propylene glycol monobutyl ether (CAS 5131-66-8), and orange terpenes (CAS 68647-72-3) mixture, by R.R. Street/BARDAHL
  • LIFTTM: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon and modified alcohol mixture (CAS 64742-48-9) by R.R. Street & Co. LIFTTM
  • LPA-142: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-47-8) by Sasol
  • Rynex®-3: dipropylene glycol tert-butyl ether (CAS 132739-31-2) by Rynex Technologies
  • SB-32 Green Earth®: decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (CAS 541-02-6) by General Electric
  • Sensene™: aliphatic refined hydrocarbon (CAS 64742-48-9) and modified alcohol mixture by SAFECHEM
  • Solvair®1: dipropylene glycol n-butyl ether (CAS 29911-28-2) by R.R. Streets
  • SolvonK4™: dibutoxymethane (CAS 2568-90-3) by Kreussler

NOTE: None of the above approved alternative solvents is a drop-in replacement for perc. Contact the solvent manufacturer for the required dry cleaning machine specifications for the approved alternative solvent under consideration.

1 The Solvair® dry-cleaning system uses both DPGnBE and carbon dioxide (an exempt solvent) as dry cleaning solvents.

Forms for Dry Cleaners

Owners/managers and/or operators of perc and/or alternative solvent dry cleaning equipment must complete applicable recordkeeping forms and checklists, as required by Part 232. Copies of all forms can be downloaded from the links below, obtained at DEC offices, or requested by mail.

Dry Cleaner Facility Registration

Operation and Maintenance

Notification of Change of Status

Miscellaneous Dry Cleaner Issues

  • Contact for this Page
    Division of Air Resources
    Dry Cleaner Program
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-3254
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