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Dry Cleaner Program
Preventing Future Contamination
As part of the 1995 legislation, the dry cleaning industry committed to becoming a zero release industry. To meet this commitment dry cleaners must:
Compliance with these requirements is necessary for a dry cleaning facility to be eligible to be cleaned up using funding from the Dry Cleaner Environmental Response Account.
Acceptable Types of Dry Cleaning Equipment
Dry cleaning facilities in Oregon must use the following types of dry cleaning equipment:
Hazardous Waste Management
According to Oregon law, all waste (excluding wastewater) generated at a dry cleaning facility that contains perc is a hazardous waste. This includes, but is not limited to, sludge, filters, lint, button trap cleanout and solvent containing wastewater. Dry cleaner wastes containing perc are “listed” hazardous wastes.
Dry Cleaners who use other types of dry cleaning solvent may or may not have hazardous waste and must evaluated these wastes for hazardous characteristics that can make them hazardous waste.
For more information: Dry Cleaners Hazardous Waste Management fact sheet
The law prohibits the discharge of solvent-contaminated wastewater from dry cleaning machines to any sanitary sewer, septic system, and boiler or state waters.
Dry cleaners can either drum up their wastewater and ship it off-site as a hazardous waste, or properly treat it onsite according to State rules, at their dry cleaning facility. Onsite wastewater treatment has specific equipment requirements dry cleaners must meet.
For more information: Wastewater Management fact sheet
Containment Under and Around Dry Cleaning Systems
Containment pans must be installed under and around equipment and machines that use, treat, or store ANY dry cleaning solvent. Specific materials and volume capacity are called for in the dry cleaner rules. Containment pans must be under the dry cleaning machine, wastewater treatment unit, hazardous waste container, and any solvent stored onsite. This requirement provides extra protection to contain leaks and spills.
For more information: Containment Under and Around Dry Cleaning Systems fact sheet
Annual Hazardous Waste and Air Compliance Report
Dry cleaners and dry stores are required to report annually to the DEQ. Every year dry cleaners and dry stores receive a reporting packet from the DEQ and the Department of Revenue requesting information on implementation and compliance with the law. Some of the topics covered are:
In September 1993, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued national regulations to control air emissions of perc from dry cleaners. DEQ has adopted these standards and is the primary implementing agency for these standards. The regulation requires dry cleaners to keep records to demonstrate compliance with the standards. DEQ incorporates reporting of these records as part of the Dry Cleaner Annual Report.
For more information: Annual Hazardous Waste and Air Quality Compliance Report fact sheet.
Reporting Releases of Dry Cleaner Solvent
Dry Cleaners are required to report spills, leaks, or releases, of more than one pound of dry cleaning solvent (about one cup of perc) that occur outside of their containment pans to the Oregon Emergency Response System at 1-800-452-0311.
Releases that occur within containment pans do not need to be reported provided they are:
For more information on reporting spills: Reporting Releases of Dry Cleaning Solvent fact sheet
Delivery of Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning Solvent
Requirements for the delivery of dry cleaning solvent apply only to perc. Delivery of other solvents does not have to comply with these requirements.
All perc must be delivered to the dry cleaning facility and dry cleaning machine using a closed, direct-coupled delivery system. It is the responsibility of the dry cleaning operator to install closed, self-sealing couplings at the solvent input and air vent points, on all dry cleaning machines in the facility.
It is the responsibility of the solvent supplier to deliver solvent to the dry cleaning facility in containers that are fitted with closed, self-sealing couplings for the solvent input line and the air capture line. This measure reduces perc air emissions and the likelihood of solvent releases.
For more information on the delivery of perc: Delivery of Perchloroethylene Solvent fact sheet
Air Quality Monitoring and Record Keeping Requirements
While the following requirement is not called for by the Oregon Dry cleaner law it is required by federal air quality regulations and is included here to give a complete picture of what requirements dry cleaners must comply with.
Perc is released into the air from dry cleaning machine vents and from “fugitive” emissions. Fugitive emissions occur when the machine doors are opened to remove clothing, when you clean filters, and any time the machine is left open. They can also occur because of equipment leaks.
All perc dry cleaners must keep records of their monitoring activities for leak detection and repairs, refrigerated condenser temperature, and monthly perc purchases. DEQ provides Oregon dry cleaners with a calendar to assist with specific monitoring and recordkeeping requirements, such as:
For more information about specific air quality requirements: Air Quality Requirements for Perc Dry Cleaners
For more information about DEQ's Land Quality programs, visit the DEQ contact page.