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Illinois governor signs drycleaning law
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn officially signed House Bill 4526 into law in August which requires state drycleaners to utilize stronger management practices when handling perchloroethylene solvent.
The legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Summit) and Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago), calls for improved control and containment systems, better training and more comprehensive paperwork.
“If improperly handled, drycleaning solvents can seep into our groundwater and skies, and pose a threat to workers,” Gov. Quinn said. “This new law will help protect our drinking water and we salute the drycleaning industry — and especially the Korean American Drycleaners Association—for partnering with environmental advocates to get this done.”
Starting in 2013, the law will call for all new drycleaning machines to have “primary and secondary” control systems in place in order to reduce the overall concentration of perc.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, machinery will need to have sealed containment structures to contain leaks. Also at that time, the law will require that at least one person “with specified training” must be present at a facility whenever a perc drycleaning machine is in operation.
The training will have to be approved by the Illinois Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund.
Drycleaning plants will need to keep proof of such training in their facility at all time and it will need to be updated every four years.
The new law also places more responsibility on drycleaners to keep up with proper paperwork and reporting. Drycleaning license renewals will include documentation signifying that all hazardous waste has been stored and transported under the stipulations of the law.
The new law will also affect manufacturers of perc and other solvents.
They will need to provide the state EPA with more information so that the office can make the determination if any of the chemicals pose a health risk to the environment.
Interim Director John Kim of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency believes the new law will generate a big impact.
“This legislation will significantly reduce future contamination of wells used for drinking water through improved handling and disposal of perchloroethylene through practices that are reasonable and affordable to the thousands of drycleaners across Illinois, many of which are small, family-run businesses,” he said.
Rep. Zalewski, who took part in the legislation’s negotiations, also voiced his approval.
“We’ve known about the danger of perc for years, so, as an elected official, an Illinois resident and a parent, I am glad we could produce an agreement among small business owners, the Illinois EPA and the General Assembly to protect Illinoisans from this potentially harmful chemical,” he said.
It has been estimated by the Illinois EPA that there are 994 licensed drycleaning facilities in the state. Last year those facilities purchased over 45,000 gallons of perc.
HB 4526 was first introduced on January 31 of this year. After numerous amendments were added, both houses approved it on May 30 before Governor Quinn signed off on it on Aug. 24.
For more information on the legislation, visit the Illinois General Assembly web site online at www.ilga.gov.
Haiges to host open house in Huntley, IL
This October, Haiges Machinery will be opening the doors to its 20,000 square foot facility at 11314 E. Main St. in Huntley for two days.
The event will be held on the weekend of Oct. 27 and 28. Hours will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Live equipment demonstrations will be on display, including a Firbimatic cleaning machine that utilizes System K4 by Kreussler.
Also featured will be Unipress finishing and V3 tensioning equipment, as well as Wascomat wetcleaning demonstrations.
Additionally, educational seminars will be presented, including ones that focus on wetcleaning and alternative drycleaning solvents.
There will be catering and refreshments all day. Attendees will also be able to visit additional manufacturer’s displays and supply booths.
For more information, call (800) 542-2828.

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