Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711
NATIONAL EMISSION STANDARDS FOR HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS
FROM PERCHLOROETHYLENE DRY CLEANING FACILITIES -- FINAL RULE -- FACT SHEET
- Dry cleaners are a major source of perchloroethylene (PCE or
"perc"), one of the toxic air pollutants Congress has required the EPA to
regulate under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Perchloroethylene is
suspected of causing cancer.
- Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, the EPA proposed
national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) to limit PCE
emissions from both new and existing dry cleaning facilities on December 9,
1991, the first of several rules the EPA will be issuing to control emissions
of air toxics.
- In response to public comments received on the proposed NESHAP,
the EPA published a notice of availability of new information on control of PCE
emissions during clothing transfer at dry cleaning facilities using transfer
dry cleaning machines on October 1, 1992. Additional comments were received.
REQUIREMENTS OF EPA DRY CLEANERS RULE:
- The rule breaks dry cleaners into three separate categories --
small "area" sources, large "area" sources, and "major" sources -- and contains
different requirements for each category. (See Table 1.)
- There are two types of dry cleaning machines: dry-to-dry and
transfer. A dry-to-dry machine consists of one machine, which does both the
washing and the drying of the articles being cleaned. A transfer machine
consists of two machines: a washer and a dryer. Clothing is transferred from
the washer to the dryer at transfer machines, and this step is a significant
source of PCE emissions.
- The EPA's final rule requires all new dry cleaning machines to
be dry-to-dry machines. It does not, however, require the replacement of
existing transfer machines with new dry-to-dry machines.
- There are two sources of PCE emissions at dry cleaning
facilities: process vent emissions (i.e., the dry cleaning machine vent); and
fugitive emissions (e.g., clothing transfer at transfer machines, equipment
leaks, open containers, etc.). Process vent emissions are controlled through
the use of refrigerated condensers or carbon adsorbers. Fugitive emissions from
clothing transfer at transfer machines are controlled through room enclosures.
Other fugitive emissions are controlled through leak detection/repair, and
pollution prevention activities (e.g., good housekeeping).
- The EPA's rule requires control of process vent emissions at
all new dry cleaning facilities. It also requires control of process vent
emissions at large area source and major source existing dry cleaning
- The rule requires control of fugitive emissions at all new dry
cleaning facilities. It also requires control of fugitive emissions at all
existing dry cleaning facilities with the exception of fugitive emissions from
clothing transfer at transfer machines. Only transfer machines at major source
existing dry cleaning facilities are required to control fugitive emissions
from clothing transfer.
- The rule requires the use of refrigerated condensers to control
process vent emissions at new dry cleaning facilities. It also requires the use
of refrigerated condensers to control process vent emissions at existing dry
cleaning facilities, except those existing facilities that have already
installed a carbon adsorber for control of process vent emissions. Existing dry
cleaning facilities that currently use a carbon adsorber may continue to use
this carbon adsorber to comply with the requirements of the rule.
- All new dry cleaning facilities must comply with the new EPA
rule when they begin operation. Existing dry cleaning facilities have 36 months
In 1996 about 25,000 commercial and industrial dry cleaning
facilities will be in operation. Although the dry cleaning industry exhibits
little growth, about 7,700 of these 25,000 facilities will be new facilities
built to replace existing facilities that retire. Of these 7,700 new
facilities, about 400 would likely be uncontrolled in the absence of the rule
and, as a result of the rule, will be required to install process vent control.
In addition, the EPA rule will require about 3,200 existing uncontrolled
facilities to install controls on process vents.
The rule will result in a total maximum national emissions
reduction of perchloroethylene of 6,600 megagrams (Mg) (7,300 tons) from
process vent control and 25,800 Mg (28,400 tons) from leak detection and repair
(LDAR) from projected 1996 emission levels.
Energy: Total maximum national increase in electricity use
(needed to operate the control devices) of 0.28 gigawatt hours per year
(GWh/yr) in 1996 for new facilities and 2.5 Gwh/yr for existing facilities.
Annualized Cost: Total national increase of $3.9
million/year for process vent control in 1996, if solvent savings are included.
Total national increase of $9.0 million in 1996, if solvent savings are not
included. Total national cost savings of $7.6 million for LDAR, if cost savings
are included. Total national increase or $10.0, if solvent savings are not
Capital Cost: Total national increase of $3 million for
new dry cleaning facilities and $32 million for existing dry cleaning
facilities in 1996.
- Typical facility impacts for an existing, uncontrolled, 35-
pound dry-to-dry machine located at an area source dry cleaning facility that
would have to install a refrigerated condenser would be as follows:
Perchloroethylene Emission Reductions: Individual reduction
of 0.8 Mg/yr (0.9 tons per year) from process vent control and 0.8 Mg/yr (0.9
tons per year) from LDAR from projected 1996 emission levels.
Wastewater: Total maximum increase of 0.03 kilograms/yr
(0.07 pounds per year) of PCE in wastewater in 1996.
Solid Waste: No increase for the typical facility.
Noise: No incremental impacts.
Energy: The increase in electricity use (needed to operate
refrigerated condenser) of 604 kilowatt hours per year in 1996.
Annualized Cost: Increase of $1,100/year for process vent
control and $460/year for LDAR, monitoring, reporting, and record keeping.
Capital Cost: Increase of $6,300/year in 1996.
Table 1. Requirements of the PCE Dry Cleaning Rule for Three
Kinds of Affected Sources