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NY adds Sensene to list
of approved solvents
The New York State Department of Environmental Protection has added Safechem’s Sensene
modified alcohol to the list of approved alternative solvents for drycleaners.
Sensene joins eight previously approved solvents on the list. Under the revised New York rules
for drycleaners, only state approved solvents can be used in New York after September 6.
Other approved alternative solvents include GreenEarth, ExxonMobil DF-2000, Chevron Philips
Ecosolv, Rynex 3, Sasol, R. R. Street’s Solvair and Ktex, Solvon K4, and Essential Solvent’s DC-
142.
Safechem’s distribution partner for North America, Seitz, The Fresher Company, based in
Tampa, FL, has already delivered Sensene to customers in New York.
“Sensene is an outstanding solvent that was introduced on the North American market last
year, and the decision to add it on the list of alternative solvents in New York State speaks to the
great momentum this solvent is generating right now”, said Kurt Wickiser, executive vice
president of Seitz.
The DEC said that approved alternative solvents have a flash point about 140°F, meet the
criteria for a low or moderate toxicity air contaminant and have an acceptable batch-to-batch
consistency as demonstrated in the laboratory analyses of five independent batch samples.
As part of its revising and updating Part 232, the 20-year-old set of rules for perc drycleaners,
the state included a new section that governs the use of alternative solvents.
DEC said that of 1,590 drycleaning facilities in New York, about 1,030 use perc, 540 use one of
the alternatives and about 20 use both.
Initially the state was considering phasing out perc entirely but decided instead to update its
regulations for perc while adding regulations for alternative solvents.
New regulations on the use of perc include the required removal of all perc drycleaning
machines from residential buildings by December 21, 2020 and replacing them with alternative
solvent equipment.
All third-generation machines will be phased-out by December 31, 2021.
Other changes related to perc involve monthly drum testing for fourth-generation perc
drycleaning machines at co-located residential and commercial facilities. Drycleaners would have
to purchase a colorimetric detector tube sampling pump or photo ionization detector to conduct
this test.
Every perc drycleaning facility and each drycleaning machine must be tested at least once each
year by an independent DEC-approved Part 232 Registered Compliance Inspector.
There are reporting and recordkeeping requirements for both perc and alternative solvent
drycleaning equipment. Inspection and reporting forms for perc and alternative solvent
drycleaners can be obtained from any NYSDEC office or can be downloaded from the
department's website.
The regulations also require posting notices that inform building tenants and/or customers
where perc or alternative solvent drycleaning chemicals are used in the facility. Separate notices
are required for both types of solvents.
The notices tell where additional information may be found about the potential health effects
from exposure to drycleaning chemicals. The notices, supplied upon request and prepared by the
department with information provided by the facility owner or operator, must be posted in a
conspicuous facility location that is accessible to the general public.
Posting notices for the use of perc has been required since May 15, 1997. The requirement to
post notices for the use of an alternative solvent took effect September 6 of this year,
Full details of the current requirements are available on the DEC website,
www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8567.html.