Dry Cleaning

Commercial cleaning of garments is primarily done by dry cleaning methods that use a non-aqueous solvent.  Two cleaning solvents have dominated the dry cleaning industry -- perchloroethylene and hydrocarbon solvent.  However, several alternative cleaning processes and solvents have emerged that include, but not limited to: high flash point petroleum solvent, carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile methyl siloxane (D5), propylene glycol ether, n-propyl bromide, and water-based cleaning system such as professional wet cleaning.

Perchloroethylene (Perc) is the most widely used cleaning solvent in commercial dry cleaning because of its physical and chemical properties.  In 1991, however, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) identified Perc as a toxic air contaminant (TAC) associated with environmental and human health risks.  In the same year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) added Perc in the Section 112 Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) list.  Then in 1996, the U.S. EPA removed perchloroethylene from the definition of volatile organic compound (VOC), thus classifying perc as an exempt compound.  Notwithstanding its status as an exempt solvent, Perc dry cleaning facilities are still regulated because of their potential adverse health effects.

In December of 2007, CARB amended the Dry Cleaning ATCM to:

  • Prohibit the installation of new Perc dry cleaning machines beginning on January 1, 2008
  • Eliminate the use of existing Perc machines at co-residential facilities (facilities that share a wall with, or are located in the same building, as a residence) by July 1, 2010
  • Require that converted machines, and machines that are 15 years or older, be removed from service by July 1, 2010.
  • Require that all Perc machines be removed from service once they become 15 years old (as a result, all remaining Perc machines must be removed from service by January 1, 2023).

Who Needs a Permit?

  •  Any new or existing dry cleaning operation that hydrocarbon, stoddard, or any other cleaner containing VOCs or toxic air contaminants.
  • Any dry cleaning operation that will emit toxic air pollutants or VOCs at levels greater than or equal to 2 pounds in any 24 hour period.
  • Each dry cleaning machine will be permitted individually (one permit per machine).
  • Examples of cleaning agents that do not require a permit are carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile methyl siloxane (D5) and water-based cleaning systems.

Permit Fees 

New Installations: 

A new dry cleaning equipment shall submit a one-time NEW APPLICATION fee for applying Authority to Construct/Permit to Operate (Rule 300 District Fees).

Modifications:

For modifications resulting in any physical change or change in method of operation shall pay the MODIFICATION fee specified in Rule 300.

Permit Application Completeness Determination

An application will not be accepted for processing until it is deemed complete.  The following will be required for the Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) to make a completeness determination:

  • Completed Form 1-ATC-PTO Application with the original signature of the owner/proprietor or responsible officer of the company.
  • Submittal of fees outlined in Form 400-General Application Fee Determination Sheet and in accordance with District Rule 300.
  • Submittal of Dry Cleaning Supplemental Information Form.
  • Any additional information that may be requested in order to perform a health risk assessment or to better understand the process or the applicability of regulations.

Documents/Forms

Permit Application Forms

Form 1-ATC-PTO ApplicationForm 400-General Application Fee Determination SheetDry Cleaning Supplemental Information Form

Related Rules

MBARD Rules

Rule 200 PERMITS REQUIRED

Rule 201 SOURCES NOT REQUIRING PERMITS

Rule 207 REVIEW OF NEW OR MODIFIED SOURCES

Rule 218 TITLE V FEDERAL OPERATING PERMITS

Rule 221 FEDERAL PREVENTION OF SIGNIFICANT DETERIORATION

Rule 222 FEDERAL MINOR SOURCES REVIEW

Rule 300 DISTRICT FEES

Rule 402 NUISANCES

Rule 416 SOLVENTS

Rule 436 TITLE V GENERAL PROHIBITORY RULE

Rule 1000 PERMIT GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR SOURCES EMITTING TOXIC AIR CONTAMINANTS

State Rules

California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Subchapter 7.5, Section 93109, Perchloroethylene Airborne Toxic Control Measure--Dry Cleaning Operations

California Health and Safety Code, Section 42301.6, Public Notice For Possible Source Of Air Hazardous Emissions Near School Prior To Approving Permit